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Mike Stevens | Feb 25, 2010

THE ALFA ROMEO MiTo, updated for 2010 and due to arrive in Australia in the third quarter of this year, will feature Alfa Romeo's six-speed twin-clutch automatic transmission. Since its launch in Australia last July, the MiTo has been available with five- and six-speed manual transmissions only.

The new gearbox uses two gear sets, each with its own clutch, allowing the gearbox to select the next required gear while the previous gear is still engaged.

“While the Alfa Romeo Mito has put in a solid performance for us in Australia since its launch last year, its lack of an automatic gearbox has held back sales,” Andrei Zaitzev, General Manager for Alfa Romeo in Australia said.

”This new gearbox will transform this situation. We will have a state of the art gearbox with the performance and fuel economy advantages of a manual and, thanks to the new twin clutch technology, the refinement and ease of operation of full automatic.

This intelligent technology fits seamlessly with the MiTo and we fully expect it to double Alfa Romeo Mito sales in Australia.”

Along with the new transmission, the updated MiTo will feature Fiat's new 99kW 1.4 litre MultiAir petrol engine and Stop&Start technology, deactivating the car’s engine while at a complete stop and reactivating it when the driver engages the clutch and selects a gear.

Fuel consumption and CO2 emissions are listed at 4.5 l/100km and 129g/km respectively. By comparison, the current MiTo uses 6.1 l/100km and emits 145g/km of CO2.

By using an electro-hydraulic tappet between the camshaft and the intake valves, Fiat says its Multiair system can vary valve lift profiles on-the-fly with precision and greater versatility than other variable cam systems.

According to Fiat, its MultiAir technology can slash fuel consumption by up to 25 percent, reduce CO2 emissions by 10 percent and improve both power and torque output.

Pricing for the new automatic MiTo has not been confirmed, although Mr Zaitzev said it will be "comparable with a conventional automatic transmission".

Click here to read TMR's review of the Alfa Romeo MiTo.

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