March 25th, 2009

Is the MiTo GTA the Cooper S killer?

Isn’t the Mini Cooper S just a bit nonchalant nowadays? There is no question that it is a fantastic city car with more chuck-ability than a Frisbee but isn’t it time something should knock it off it’s pedestal. Well now the Italians are fighting back at the Germans with all the ammunition they have. The main cannon in their artillery is the new Alfa Romeo MiTo GTA.

We first saw the MiTo GTA in the internet rumour mill and then shortly in person at the Geneva Motor Show this year. The GTA was a breath of fresh air by incoporating Italian raw blooded style and speed into a three door hatch. Compared to the normal MiTo the GTA can be seen as the brother who likes to work-out, party and dabble with drugs from time to time. Think the TV show Skins but within a motoring environment. I am not sure if this was the plan which Alfa were discussing around their glass table but it sure as hell works for me. Swollen arches, Gene Simmons matte black mascara around the headlights and rear exhaust pipes that look like they have been taken straight off a F430 Scuderia means this thing lacks oozes nothing but aesthetics. When the GTA goes on sale later on this year it will probably make the ageing Cooper S body style look like Stonehenge.

What is quite surprising is that Alfa have not just stopped with the aesthetic prowess like they have been know to do with other cars*cough* Brera, wherever there was a spare nook and cranny they managed to fill it with horsepower 230 to be precise. So not only will it make the Mini look like Stonehenge, it will also make the 175hp the Cooper has feel as fast as the erosion of Stone Henge. The MiTo’s power comes from a 1.8 litre turbocharged four pot which is sure to whiz, pop and bang away to the bring a smile to the drivers face.

But let us not forget that we are in a global economic crisis and is it really the time for Alfa to release a hot hatch? With the MiTo set to arrive at the end of the year consumer confidence may have improved enough to by a new hot piece of metal. Nevertheless I have faith that the B-road bruisers of the world would dip their toes in more debt for the sake of style. Alfa Romeo have tried to get people to fill their wallets with money in preparation for the MiTo GTA’s release by creating a selection of videos to show it off in its greatest light. In this video you see the GTA cruising and burbling around the streets of Valencia and it just so happens to come against another Italian veteran from days gone by the Giulia Sprint GTA.