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Old 21-08-06
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Brera 3.2 takes a kicking

Well, the latest Top Gear mag dropped through the letter box on saturday and they've tested the Brera 3.2.

Sad to say they rated it 9/20 - too fat, not fast enough and not nearly as engaging to drive as it's (mostly) cheaper competitors. It will sell on looks alone.

It makes a pretty sorry read but I think it confirms what many have written here on AO about the car.

I find myself getting a bit angry with Alfa Romeo on this. Here we have what might arguably be the most beautiful Alfa for a generation built to very high standard but lacking in the thing Alfa are most famous for - speed, handling and character.

Let's hope the GTA will address the shortcomings.


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Old 21-08-06
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Re: Brera 3.2 takes a kicking

I think it would have looked far better if it looked the same as the concept. The car appears fatter than the original pics and it is judging by the weight. I think Alfa will struggle with it, especially up against the GT.
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Old 22-08-06
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Re: Brera 3.2 takes a kicking

Originally Posted by symonh2000
I think it would have looked far better if it looked the same as the concept. The car appears fatter than the original pics and it is judging by the weight. I think Alfa will struggle with it, especially up against the GT.
I think if it was lighter, faster and had a more characterful engine noone would be comparing concept with reality
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Old 22-08-06
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Re: Brera 3.2 takes a kicking

Unfortunately , over weight, too short in side profile. Looks good front on and from rear and 3/4 view and too 'premium' meaning too expensive!!!!! .
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Old 22-08-06
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Re: Brera 3.2 takes a kicking

Good summary Stori..........
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Old 22-08-06
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Re: Brera 3.2 takes a kicking

I test drove a 2.4 at the weekend on both dual carriageways and very bumpy back roads and thought it rode and handled very well indeed !! The dealer was obviously confident in it's abilities too, hence taking the back roads!!

It sounded pretty damn good on full chat too!!
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Old 22-08-06
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Re: Brera 3.2 takes a kicking

I saw my first Brera on the road on Saturday (still haven't seen a 159). Also on that day I saw and MGA, Austin Healy 3000, and new Audi TT and 2 Aston Martins - this says something about how well the new Alfas are selling Although I think the Brera looks good, I honestly don't think it looks amazing, not in the same way the 8C does. IMHO they should have just made it a 2 seater - the rear seats are even more useless than on a GTV and it would have allowed them to have a lower roof line. I too test drove a 2.4, and thought it had good mid-range acceleration, I also thought it exuded quality. However, something was lacking....


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Old 22-08-06
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Re: Brera 3.2 takes a kicking

9/20 is a very tough judgement. I still think the problem all along has been the marketing of the Brera. People were led to believe it was a sports car, when in fact it's a very luxurious GT. Judged as a sports car, it's poor. But as a supremely well made, comfortable, fast, nimble and glorious looking Coupe, it's fantastic. I've now done 2500 miles in mine. I absolutely adore it.
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Old 22-08-06
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Re: Brera 3.2 takes a kicking

i dont think its a distinctive as the gtv when it came out, its nose is the same as any other alfa, like a GT or 159 and it looks like a few other cars on the road, dont get me wrong it looks well but not as distinctive as it could be compared with both other alfas and other similar cars on the road
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Old 22-08-06
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Re: Brera 3.2 takes a kicking

Originally Posted by Gary Slegg
I saw my first Brera on the road on Saturday (still haven't seen a 159).
Drove from Edinburgh to Oxford (M1) on Friday, saw two Breras and two 159s. Also two GTs, and I was keeping an eye out for Noah, but then a third GT showed up. Return journey (M6) on Sunday, saw one Brera and one 159. I know that three of each in 700 miles isn't an awful lot, but they are starting to appear out there.

The 2.4 is the only Brera I've driven too, and I thought it rode very well and handled OK. I was more aware of the nose-weight than with the GTV, but then I'm more aware of the nose-weight in the GTV than in the 147, so I daresay it wouldn't take more than a couple of days to get to grips with it, understanding when to turn and when to apply power etc.
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Old 23-08-06
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Re: Brera 3.2 takes a kicking

Hi,

After owning one for 1 month I would agree it lacks a little top end speed. The positive side is that its great to drive a car everybody is interested in and Alfa have engineered a car which is different from the rest. How boreing it is to see and hear (not)! how many BMW's are on the road. Nobody looks anymore. I would test drive one before you believe the "experts" Im v, happy. Regards steve
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Old 23-08-06
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Re: Brera 3.2 takes a kicking

I had a little play with one this morning, in Alfa red, he seemed up for a little friendly comparison. Too slow, yes (slower to 100 than the 156 2.5 is a sorry state of affairs for the 3.2 Brera and 159) but it looked amazing on the road, superb, I don't like it in many pics but having seen a couple in the flesh I love it. Weight's the issue, and it's a big one. With so many modern cars on shared "platforms" what exactly is the point in buying the coupe version and giving up all that practicality for no weight/performance gain at all? Built from the ground-up at huge expense it could be much lighter, but that's not the modern car world
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Old 23-08-06
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Re: Brera 3.2 takes a kicking

Originally Posted by steve gamble
Hi,

After owning one for 1 month I would agree it lacks a little top end speed. The positive side is that its great to drive a car everybody is interested in and Alfa have engineered a car which is different from the rest. How boreing it is to see and hear (not)! how many BMW's are on the road. Nobody looks anymore. I would test drive one before you believe the "experts" Im v, happy. Regards steve
Genuinely pleased to hear a report from the real world of Brera ownership. I still want to trade the GT for one this time next year.
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Old 23-08-06
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Re: Brera 3.2 takes a kicking

Originally Posted by Stori
Unfortunately , over weight, too short in side profile. Looks good front on and from rear and 3/4 view and too 'premium' meaning too expensive!!!!! .
Short on firepower and only room for 2 people.

That'd be the new Alfa Romeo Brera then...

Such a shame...

Having said that, when I drove one I guess I enjoyed it.
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Old 23-08-06
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Re: Brera 3.2 takes a kicking

Originally Posted by Alfa20V
Short on firepower and only room for 2 people.
That'd be the new Alfa Romeo Brera then...
It's not a 0-60 beastie - but isn't bad, the AWD gives awesome levels of grip and go - try to wheelspin - you'll need the GTA, and if the 3.2 was mental where would the GTA Go? The 3.2 is a really good tourer and coupe for the price.

We happily fit 3 and have had 4 more comfortably than my uncles gtv, and with more boot space to boot. The 4 seats are there for company car buyers - I buy my own but have to deliver 4 seats - although they may never be used it's stipulated that the car has at least 4. 350z is out, cayman is out

The skyview, awd and all the latest euro compliances add shedloads of weight, but yes it needs to look at lightening up - but this will cost....

Originally Posted by Alfa20V
Having said that, when I drove one I guess I enjoyed it.
At any road legal speed and above the brera is a much happier car than any previous alfa and as such moves the game on in terms of ride, handling and build quality..


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Old 23-08-06
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Re: Brera 3.2 takes a kicking

Breras handling on sporty ride seems to be disappointing. Four Scandinavian auto magazines made a track test (Scandinavian performance car of the year 2006) and Brera was the biggest disappointment on track. On final results it won only Volvo V50 T5 and lost to cars like Seat Leon 2.0 TFSI and Mazda MX-5.
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Old 23-08-06
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Re: Brera 3.2 takes a kicking

If Alfa should never have facelifted the 156, that spoilt the impact of the new Alfa face for the Brera. If the Brera had been out first with a more GTA evolved design, faster, lighter and market leading then they would have had a much better chance of selling more of the 159 off the start and maybe even have helped the 147's sales (i can count on one hand the amount of facelift 147's i've seen on the road) .

Marketing strategy just aint their strongpoint. At the moment I want a GT but when I've got one I'll want something else after a few years and what will Alfa have on offer? Will I have to change loyalties? Mind you by then MY arse might be big enought o fill the Brera's seats.



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Old 23-08-06
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Re: Brera 3.2 takes a kicking

Hmm you guys only have a view of the sales in the UK, overhere I see plenty of 159's and facelifted 147's. True - the Brera is rare, but not to the extend that I haven't seen any...
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Old 24-08-06
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Re: Brera 3.2 takes a kicking

Originally Posted by Gerard
9/20 is a very tough judgement. I still think the problem all along has been the marketing of the Brera. People were led to believe it was a sports car, when in fact it's a very luxurious GT. Judged as a sports car, it's poor. But as a supremely well made, comfortable, fast, nimble and glorious looking Coupe, it's fantastic. I've now done 2500 miles in mine. I absolutely adore it.
I think what you say makes a helluva lot of sense. They have marketed it very poorly. Round here (admitedly not represnatative) people have traded CLKs for Breras and no-one as afr as I know would regard a CLK as sharp handling sportster.

For me the Brera is still a highly desirable vehicle which ticks most of the boxes.

I think we'll have to wait for the GTA to check out it's fire-breathing credentials.
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Old 29-08-06
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Re: Brera 3.2 takes a kicking

People were led to believe it was a sports car, when in fact it's a very luxurious GT
yep. the difference between the GT and Brera is too small. Great car have seen two on the M56 Cheshire recently and nothing looks like them on the road. shame about the reviews but i'd still get one anyday.
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Old 29-08-06
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Re: Brera 3.2 takes a kicking

Saw my first one on the road today in balck, with gorgeous 18" alloys.

It certainly had presence!
From magazine pictures I had thought its rear looked a little lardy and overdone, I didn't think that at all in real life though - very characterful.

Black certainly suits it.

Overall its a stunner, the GT is stylish too but in a much more understated way.
If the Brera had the go to match its looks it would be a spectacular car.
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Old 04-09-06
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Re: Brera 3.2 takes a kicking

Having picked up my 2.2 on Friday I can only say what a pleasure it is to be driving an Alfa again. After having and Alfasud 1.5ti in the 80's I have had numerous cars including BMW's & VW's none of which have compared with the build quality and ride of my new baby.

On looks alone this car will sell. It is not photogenic as it looks way better in real life as it does in the photos.

Handling - unbelievable. I am still trying, after 4 attempts, to get any tire screech or lose the back while accelerating hard round a roundabout.

Speed - Not a racing car but the 2.2 is quick enough. How fast can we drive now with cameras every 100 yards and ugly BMW's & TT's clogging up the road?

My Alfa driving experience has returned and I am delighted with it. 18/20 in my eyes. I would not have looked at an Alfa before the Brera as nothing they have produced since the 'Sud has come close in design.

To sum up, 2 Porsche driving buddies of mine both saw the car this morning (having never heard of it before). Their reaction? - "F@%K Me - Its amazing"
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Old 04-09-06
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Re: Brera 3.2 takes a kicking

Nicely said spensaf!
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  #24 (Post Link)  
Old 04-09-06
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Re: Brera 3.2 takes a kicking

Hi All,

Don't bother reading reviews go and try it!!

I had a Renaultsport Clio 182 with Cup suspension - Evo magazine's favourite hot hatch bar none because it is quick and handles like a dream. Ok they aren't the same type of car but the Brera thrashes it for handling (and remember Evo put the Clio Trophy up against the new M5 and thought it did that for handling) but in straight line from the lights the Clio would roar in front. I have to say though, I'm not that type of driver - are you?

If you fancy finding out exactly what a Brera can do try getting a test drive with Craig Aspin at Mangoletsi. If 5 minutes with him down his favourite road followed by you trying to emulate his time can't convince that the Brera is really quick point to point, then fine it isn't for you. It certainly was for me.

Try it go on you deserve it.
Ged
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Old 15-10-07
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Re: Brera 3.2 takes a kicking

I have a GTV6 that i bought in 1989. I have kept this car, as to me it was the last real Alfa Romeo. Designed when Alfa were not owned by Fiat or in partnership with huge fat cat manufactures.

The GTV6 was designed to be a drivers car, great transaxle set up, rear wheel drive, inboard brakes and proper Alfa Romeo engine (designed and built from scratch). That V6 engine is incredible and is largely considered to be one of, if not the best production engines built (amazing to think it first appear in 1979 and was still around in 2005).

That GTV6 is incredibly responsive to drive with near on faultless handling, it is everything an Alfa Romeo should be. Yes it has faults - lots!- Ridiculous gear change, bad ergonomics, needs lot of TLC... but none of that seems to matter. Every time I drive it, it makes me grin from ear to ear.

So when i test drove a Brera (with high expectations after previously owning a 916GTV 2.0 and 147 GTA) and I was disappointed not to feel moved in the same way .It looks great to a point (but the GTV6 looks better, as does the 916 GTV), but it just cant match my 20 year old GTV6 for pure driving pleasure. The new V6 is good (or OK), but it is based on a GM unit and it doesn't have the magic of the Arese unit. The handling is good, maybe even excellent, but the trans axle is something special.

For me the Brera has been designed to appeal to BMW buyers which economically makes sense, but for true Alfa Enthusiasts like myself leaves us feeling uninspired. I will buy one because I there isn't an alternative, but I don't dream of owning one like I did when I first saw the GTV6 back in 1980, or for that matter the Alfasud, Alfasud Sprint Veloce or even the 916 GTV.

I guess I'll be for a good kicking now for putting down the Brera, for which i apologies. But to me the Brera along with the closure of the Arese plant marks the end of something truly special; Alfa Romeo become just another car manufacture. From a business point of view this was inevitable and necessary but none the less a sad.

I'm going to take my 6 out for a drive now (if it starts, second gear works and inst full of water) hmmmmm
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