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CAR REVIEW: Alfa Romeo Brera

 
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PostPosted: Mon Apr 13, 2020 8:16 pm    Post subject: CAR REVIEW: Alfa Romeo Brera Reply with quote

CAR REVIEW: Alfa Romeo Brera

The Alfa Romeo Brera is most certainly one of the nicest looking motor vehicles sold in Australia in the last couple of decades.

The original concept for the Alfa Romeo Brera was unveiled in 2003 and featured a Maserati V8 engine that produced 290 kW.

The Brera was designed by Giorgietto Giugiaro of Italdesign Giugiaro who then worked with the team at Alfa Romeo’s Centro Stile to develop a simply stunning coupe that was launched at the 2005 Geneva Motor Show.

The car bodies were built by the Italian coachbuilding company Pininfarina.

The Brera arrived in Australia in June 2006 and imports finally stopped in early 2012 and the coupe was available as:

- a four-cylinder front-drive 2.2-litre JTS model featuring a 136 kW engine and 230Nm. The 4 cylinder model and was priced from $62,990.00 with a 0-100km/h of 8.6 seconds; and

- an all-wheel-drive 3.2 litre v6 JTS model with 191 kW and 322Nm and priced from $87,990.00. The V6 accelerated from 0-100km/h in 6.8 seconds.

The pick of the two models would be a V6 all-wheel-drive Manual Brera with it’s Holden-sourced engine block that received Alfa designed heads, exhaust camshafts, direct injection and variable timing of the inlet and exhaust camshafts.

The Brera performs nicely on the road with accurate steering and Brembo brakes to stop the 1630kg coupe. In combo with the six-speed manual transmission the Brera is a really comfortable tourer. But it also a car that just lacks that extra zing that would have taken this beautifully crafted Alfa to the next level. ……..perhaps the V8 Brera concept was pointing the Italians in the right direction.

The interior is worthy of the outstanding exterior design on the Brera with seven airbags, bi-xenon headlights, stability control, glass sunroof, an impressive 570 Watt Bose sound system and full leather trim. The Coupe is a little noisy inside and what were the team at Alfa Romeo thinking when they failed to include seat-height adjustment on their $90,000 show-piece model for buyers in Australia.

In the UK in 2008 Alfa announced an ‘S’ version of the Brera which was developed by the team at Prodrive and their version came with Eibach coil springs and Bilstein dampers for a lower and stiffer ride on the 500 Brera cars that were modified for sale. Further changes saw 100kg lifted from the coupe via lighter rims, hollow anti-roll bars and aluminium suspension components. There were no changes to the engine. Alfa said the enhancements by Prodrive resulted in the Brera feeling more nimble and agile.

On the road the standard V6 All-wheel drive model suffers from noticeable understeer and the coupe lacks punch from the engine on twisty sections of road. Sudden changes of direction on the road can also upset the balance of the car and the six-speed gearchange is notchy.

Alfa Romeo’s Brera was described by one motoring journalist in the UK as a true example of style over substance. Having said that the same journo then went on to say he would buy a second-hand Brera if it was cheap enough so that he could just look at it rather than drive it.

It certainly is an example of Italian design with considerable visual appeal.

Where it could attack your wallet:

- frameless glass driver and passenger doors fail to automatically drop-down when opened/closed

- the wipers on the car can interfere with the radio reception of the Brera

- early wear in the power-steering rack

- The V6 needs three new timing chains at some stage in its life

- Rear prop-shaft bearings can fail

- The front subframe is susceptible to corrosion

- Front upper wishbones can fail

- Rear lower hub-bushes prone to wear which will result in unwanted tyre wear
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