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Bravo! Mi.ToAlfa Takes on the MINI

The name “Mi.To” is meant to symbolize the fusion of Milan’s fashion sense with Torino’s manufacturing prowess, but that doesn’t mean Alfa Romeo’s new small car is genuinely Italian.

The name “Mi.To” is meant to symbolize the fusion of Milan’s fashion sense with Torino’s manufacturing prowess, but that doesn’t mean Alfa Romeo’s new small car is genuinely Italian. That is, the Mi.To is based on the Fiat Grande Punto platform...which was jointly developed with GM (and is used as the foundation of the Opel Corsa) when the Italian and U.S. automakers were joined at the hip before their separation in 2005. What’s more, the Mi.To was designed by Frank Stephenson, who designed the previous-generation MINI, which explains why the MINI is a clear target of the Mi.To (he also led the development of the Fiat 500). Styling influence comes from the Alfa C8 Competizione, as witnessed in the headlamp and side window design, along with a revised front grille—all of these cues are likely to appear on future Alfas. Power is to be provided by a choice of four turbocharged gasoline and diesel engines with output between 90 to 155 hp, with a GTA model expected shortly after the Mi.To launches in Europe in July. Alfa is mum on whether the Mi.To will arrive on U.S. shores when the brand returns in 2009.—KMK.