Alfa Romeo Brera – 2005

The gorgeous Brera concept car was shown at the 2002 Geneva Motor Show, powered by a Maserati V8 engine and sporting unusual doors that opened upwards. The reception it received was positive enough to encourage Alfa to plan a production run. The first cars appeared in 2005 and, although the Brera looked exactly like the original, it had actually shrunk from the full-sized GT concept coupe into a mid-sized two-door coupe.

Pininfarina manufactured the Brera for Alfa, using the premium platform shared with the Alfa Romeo 159. Three engines were offered. The smaller petrol unit was a 2.2 litre straight four and the bigger power plant was a 3.2 litre V6. There was also a 2.4 litre JTD turbodiesel option (updated in 2007). Transmission choices were six-speed manual or automatic. All versions of the Brera were high-performance cars with even the slowest model capable of hitting nearly 140 mph (225 km/h) . . . and V6s were considerably faster.

Breras were front-engined cars with different drive systems, depending on the engine. The 2.2 litre petrol and the turbodiesel were both front-wheel drive, whilst the 3.2 litre V6 came only with a Torsen four-wheel drive system. From the 2008 model year a front-wheel drive version of the V6 Brera was offered, whilst all models acquired an electronic limited-slip differential and improved interior trim.

A Brera S special edition was offered in the UK from 2008. A limited run was planned, with British performance specialist Prodrive working with Alfa to enhance suspension and handling. This reflects some criticism of the standard car from those who tried to drive it to the limit, suggesting that the Brera was too powerful for its own (and owners’) good. In 2009 a new turbocharged 1.7 litre TBi engine was introduced, with direct fuel injection and variable valve timing.

COUNTRY OF ORIGIN:

Italy

FIRST MANUFACTURED:

2005

ENGINE:

1,742 cc or 2,198 cc Straight Four; 3,195 cc V6; 2,387 cc Straight Five Diesel

PERFORMANCE:

With 3.2 I engine — top speed of 155 mph (250 km/h);0-60 mph (97 km/h) in 7 secs

YOU SHOULD KNOW:

A convertible two-seater Spider cabriolet version of the Brera was launched in 2006 to general acclaim. It replaced the Spider 916, which was only a year old, thus becoming the sixth generation. Although based on the Brera it was not badged as such, being described simply as the Alfa Spider.

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