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Greatest road tests ever: Alfa Romeo Brera


Tested 5.7.06

Built on a shortened version of the 159’s platform, the Brera had looks that split opinion but were unmistakably Alfa. Power came not from the brand’s fabled and tuneful V6 but a less characterful GM unit, albeit with heads, pistons, induction and exhaust systems particular to Alfa. The variable four-wheel drive system was rear biased by default. At 1765kg, the Brera weighed more than some Jaguar XJs, which restricted performance to hot hatch territory and dented economy. 

The urban ride was unsettled, but it improved on challenging roads and provided reasonable comfort and good body control. Four-wheel drive curbed understeer in the wet but precluded tail slides. The steering was quick and the brakes effective if fade-prone. 

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Tall front-seat occupants struggled for head room and the rear was for kids only. There was plenty of Alfa brio inside, though, with handsome design and classy materials. Equipment was no more than fair, given the Brera’s premium over the Nissan 350Z GT and the Audi TT 3.2. 

For: Presence, laid-back V6, solid build quality 

Against: Heavy, thirsty, handling that lacked sparkle 

Price: £29,850 Engine: V6, 3195cc, petrol Power: 256bhp at 6300rpm Torque: 237lb ft at 4500rpm 0-60mph: 7.0sec 0-100mph: 18.8sec Standing quarter: 15.6sec, 91.8mph Top speed: 144mph Economy: 18.6mpg 



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