ALFA ROMEO HAS announced pricing details for the 2010 MiTo, which has been released to the Australian media this week (TMR is there). What's clear is that the Italian brand is gunning for a slice of MINI's share of the upper part of the small-car market.
Starting at $31,490 for the base MiTo, Alfa Romeo has positioned the three-door hatchback squarely in the MINI Cooper's territory.
Plus, with 88kW available from its turbocharged 1.4 litre petrol four-cylinder engine the MiTo also matches the Cooper for output.
It may be slightly more expensive than the MINI (by $390 to be exact), but it's marginally quicker - the base MiTo will sprint from 0-100 in 8.8 seconds, putting it 0.3 seconds ahead of the MINI Cooper.
The tables are turned on the 114kW MiTo Sport, however, which costs less than the Cooper S at $37,490 but is 0.9 seconds slower to 100km/h with its 8-second sprint time.
Manual gearboxes are mandatory for both models, with an automatic transmission not on available for the time being. The base MiTo receives a five-speed manual 'box, while the MiTo Sport gets a six-ratio cogswapper.
Fuel economy for both variants is good, with the MiTo consuming 8.1l/100km and emitting 145 grams of CO2 per kilometre, while the MiTo Sport uses 8.5l/100km and pumps out 153g/km of CO2.
Alfa Romeo's intent is clear with the MiTo: to produce a stylish small sports hatch capable of taking down the segment's reigning champ - the MINI Cooper - in the showrooms.
Has the Italian automaker hit the mark? Our very own Tim O'Brien is heading out to experience the MiTo range for himself, so we'll be able to give you the full scoop soon. Stay tuned.