The word ‘MiTo’ is Italian for legendary or mythical. It is also an amalgamation of the first two letters of the cities Milan and Turin in Italy. The car was formerly named as Alfa Romeo ‘Junior’. However, in 2007 Alfa Romeo hosted a competition for the general public for the name of the car at the chances of winning an Alfa Romeo Spider or an Alfa Romeo Mountain Bike. The winning name was ‘Furiosa’, which, for reasons unknown, was not very well received in Spain. On the 14th of March 2008, the car was announced to be named Alfa Romeo ‘MiTo’ as the car was designed in Milan and was assembled in Turin. MiTo was introduced at a Motor Show in Milan and then at the British Motor Show.
Design and Features
The car is a 3-Door Hatchback which is built on the Fiat Small Platform, like the Opel Corsa and The Fiat Grande Punto. The car was launched to compete with the cars by MINI and Audi and was based loosely on the Alfa Romeo 8C Competizione. MiTo has a luggage space of 8.8 cubic ft. and LED tail lights. The car was designed by Alfa Romeo’s very own Centro Stile designs and has spawned several variants since its launch in 2008.
The ‘MiTo’ features a new signature gearbox system called as the ‘Alfa DNA’ which controls the behavior of the engine, suspension and breaks based on 3 different settings. The three DNA settings are namely Dynamic, Normal and All-Weather. The Q2 differential on the front wheels also allowed for better handling and gets active when the DNA system is switched to the Dynamic mode.
The Alfa Romeo MiTo has been updated twice so far, each time bringing a whole new range of features and changes in design and specifications. The 2010 version of the MiTo was unveiled at the Geneva Motor Show and introduced a new six-speed TCT transmission produced by the Fiat Powertrain Technologies. The 2010 update also introduced a new Blue&Me infotelematic system integrated with the TomTom navigation system. In 2014, another new update of the MiTo was launched which has several new features like the new engine, a chrome plated grille, refurnished headlights and interiors including the upholstery and dashboard. The different Alfa Romeo MiTo variants are listed as follows.
- Alfa Romeo Mito PROGRESSION
- Alfa Romeo Mito DISTINCTIVE
- Alfa Romeo Mito QUAD VERDE
- Alfa Romeo Mito Base
Apart from the above 4 there were several special and limited editions of the Alfa Romeo MiTo were launched including a concept car. The list is as follows:
- Edizione Sprint (2009) – Intended for the Belgian Market only, 250 were produced with a 1.3 JTDM 95 PS (70 kW; 94 hp) diesel engine
- Maserati Version (2010) – limited to just 100 cars, the Maserati version featured a 125 kW (170 PS) engine on an enhanced MiTo Quad Verde.
- Quadrifoglio Verde 101 (2012) – Again based on the Quad Verde model, the car marks the 101st anniversary of Alfa Romeo and only 101 models with updated paint, upholstery, engine and carbon fiber body were produced.
- MiTo SBK and MiTo Superbike Special Series (2012) – limited to 200 cars, featured 1.4 70 PS and 1.4 170 PS petrol engines, 16 inch titanium alloy wheels, chrome plated exhaust and spoiler, redesigned bumper and black colored fog lights.
Awards and Accolades
The Alfa Romeo MiTo, due to its revolutionary design and features, received several awards and accolades.
- Auto, motor und sport – Bestes Auto des Jahres 2013
- Die besten autos 2011 – Import small cars category – Auto, Motor und Sport
- What Car? Reader Awards – Supermini category winner
- My favorite cars – Small cars category Quattroruote
- Die besten autos 2010 – Import small cars category – Auto, Motor und Sport
- Auto Europa 2009 – UIGA (Union of Italian Motoring Journalists)
- Best cars 2009 – Portugal Motopress Magazine – Utilitarian category – (February ‘09)
- Best car 2009 – Slovenia – Avto Magazin – Small cars category – (February ‘09)
- New car of the year – Readers of Quattroruote
- My favorite cars – Readers of Quattroruote – Small cars category
- Most beautiful car of 2008 – Repubblica.it
- Auto lider 2008 – Poland – Survey of automotive press (February ‘09)
- Top cars of 2008 – Poland – “Motor” and “Auto Moto” (February ‘09)
- Most beautiful car of 2008 – Poland – “Motor” e “Auto Moto” (February ‘09)
Image Credits @ Hector