Alfa MiTo Cabriolet

4 Jun, 2008 1:34pm Dan Strong

First pictures of Alfa's sensational drop-top MiTo

We've lifted the lid on Italy’s hottest secret... Alfa Romeo’s stunning new MiTo supermini is set to be given a sleek soft-top with the development of a cabriolet version, which is due to go on sale in under 18 months.

The car is among the first to be designed by Alfa Romeo’s new in-house styling team at the company’s historic headquarters in Milan. Other Alfas created there include the 8C Competizione supercar and three-door MiTo. Previously, models were designed by outside experts, including the likes of Bertone and Pininfarina.

Details regarding the cabrio’s engineering are still scarce. However, it’s been hinted that the four-seater could debut as early as the Geneva Motor Show next March. First examples are likely to hit the road later in 2009 with right-hand-drive models arriving early in 2010.

The cabrio, as with its tin-top equivalent, aims to deliver class-leading driver satisfaction, so will get a series of chassis revisions aimed at ensuring the handling is first class.

What’s more, Alfa is conducting an exhaustive programme of reliability tests to ensure it lays to rest the spectre of poor build quality associated with the firm’s older cars. The company will also be making full use of its new active suspension system, known as DNA.

The electronically controlled set-up, which uses two springs on each wheel to improve the ride and handling, debuts on the standard MiTo. Insiders claim that it delivers a class-leading blend of grip, comfort and cornering agility.

Our main scoop image shows what the sporty convertible is set to look like, with exterior styling based on elements of the 8C. There’s also a host of familiar Alfa details, such as the long nose and deep grille.

The MiTo drop-top’s combination of performance and good looks will put the MINI Convertible, Audi A3 Cabriolet and forthcoming soft-top VW Golf firmly within its sights.

And while prices are still to be announced, we expect the MiTo convertible to start at about £14,000, with the coupé costing somewhere around £12,000.

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