Alfa Romeo MiTo Veloce (Italian for Fast) is the name of this Hot Hatch that try to excite all the Alfa Romeo enthusiasts. The MiTo is certainly nothing new, we are used to it since 2008 when the project was renamed from Junior to MiTo (MIlano, TOrino). Some have appreciated it because it opened the doors of the Alfa Romeo’s world to a younger crowd. Other people disliked it probably because of the too narrow derivation from the Fiat Grande Punto.
The key points of the 2016 facelift are related to the great revival of the Alfa Romeo brand began with the presentation of the Giulia and which involved even the smallest of the manufacturer, the Giulietta and the MiTo with a facelift. The new facelift is in fact inspired by the sister Giulia, the big grille and front air intake are larger now and free of chrome, which it makes the MiTo more aggressive compared to the previous design, maybe too graceful.
Even the logos are obviously modified, the emblem now has a silver background for the exterior and a black and white logo on the steering wheel, such as the Giulia and Alfas of many years ago.
It looks very youthful, lively and sparkling, a project that even after eight years is definitely capable of capturing the hearts of the youngest who would like to own an aggressive Hot Hatch. The MiTo with a good variety of engines and versions, offers solutions for all tastes and needs, ranging from gasoline to diesel fuel, from classic manual gearboxes to modern dual-clutch transmissions.
The range is divided in three main versions: MiTo, MiTo Super and MiTo VELOCE. The entry level MiTo already offers manual climate, 7 airbags, the DNA selector, and, which is not common, the Q2 electronic differential. The Super, offers 16 alloy wheels and mirror caps in satin chrome for the exteriors. Inside, it is equipped with fabric gray and black faux leather with Alfa Romeo logo printed on the front head restraints and technology lovers can count more on cruise control and Uconnect infotainment system with 5-inch touchscreen. And then there is the VELOCE, and here do not change only a few details, change a lot of things to satisfy the needs of sports enthusiasts, or rather the most Alfisti. Rear bumper with extractor, twin sport exhaust, front headlights with carbon look, mirror caps with glossy anthracite finish, leather sports steering wheel, aluminum pedals, Alcantara seats with red stitching and a chrome word “VELOCE” for the exteriors. All of this make it more aggressive than ever and stand out from the rest of the range.
The key difference, however, lies under the bonnet, where you will find a dedicated engine, a 1.4 turbo MultiAir that delivers 170HP and 250Nm of torque with dual clutch TCT (Twin Clutch Transmission). Plus, the sports suspension combined with 17-inch wheels, Alfa Active Suspensions and bigger Brembo brakes. We recommend to add also the Alfa Active Suspensions that comes as an option.
Once on board all find the right accommodation, the steering wheel is adjustable in depth and height, the controls are all in the right place and you will appreciate the sports seats. Very nice and full instrumentation, less praise deserves the navigation system, in this case outdated, compared to other systems, and especially placed in an impractical position if it is to be consulted while driving. A beautiful high-definition screen placed in the upper part of the dashboard would be ideal.
It is therefore time to start the test drive and the first think that I would like to to do to go fast. TCT gearbox in manual mode and the DNA setted on Dynamic. These two devices, TCT and DNA, constantly collaborate with each other to adapt the driving dynamics to the driver’s needs. In particular, the TCT gearbox is adjusted according to the driving style: accelerating in depth the change will be faster, while with minimal pressure on the pedal, gear changes take place smoothly. Good job!
The only thing to which it is good to pay attention is tight corners, the uprights are in fact rather massive and penalize the visibility.
The Q2 electronic differential performs its task admirably with a lot of grip out of tight corners, the MiTo has an amazing traction for a front-wheel drive.
What a pity for the tires fitted on the sample under testing, the Continental Eco Contact 5, designed more for the operating economy than performance; under the most aggressive driving situations, into the corner with the front loaded do not perform well. Into the city is a good car, great comfort, gear change always punctual and engine braking when needed. Leading the MiTo in these conditions is particularly satisfactory so as nothing to regret to superior cars.
But it is so “veloce” (fast)? Definitely yes, for a fast highway trip is unmatched in its category; the motor runs slightly higher, at 130 km / h almost 3500 rpm, but the recovery is swift. Up from the low speed the thrust is full-bodied and unexpectedly in a short amount of time we find ourselves in sixth gear at 6000 rpm, at its maximum speed. The price of 24,800 euro is certainly not low for this category but we must consider that the MiTo Veloce offers a lot of things standard, including TCT gearbox and all you need for entering in the world of Alfa Romeo.
Testo: Leonardo Stefani
Foto: Edoardo Mascalchi