Well, this morning I exchanged my much-loved Brera for a 159 Ti. In the end, I achieved a good trade-in and I couldn't be bothered with a private sale.
Same metallic silver (I haven't seen many Ti's in this colour, and think it is superb
), but with the 210 JTDM engine.
What a car. I really am blown away by the 159 and any fears I had that it would feel less special have evaporated. Okay, there is the fact that it's a new car to me, but it is such a fantastic design and the Ti touches make it a very, very special place to be.
The Brera was a real passion of mine. I bought it nearly-new, and have endured the usual fools and comics over the last three years but the car was superb throughout. Quick, utterly beautiful and my particular car gave me pretty much faultless service. A minor leak from the water rail, fixed under warranty, and that's it. Tyre wear was absolutely fine (all caster, camber and toe-in adjusted as per Alfa recommendations) and fuel economy never worried me personally. I knew I was going to miss it.
So how would the Ti stack up? Visually, it's a peach. The 19" wheels fill the arches wonderfully, and the stance is extremely purposeful. The saloon body is very well proportioned to my eye, and the silver paint makes it look very fresh. Inside, I immediately appreciated the seats; great looking, supportive and very comfortable. I love the darker interior, and the dark alu finish to the dash, although I think the dials in the Brera probably have the edge in terms of "class". Out on the road, the lowered suspension is very taut and surprisingly supple. I knew it would feel different to the Brera, but the body-control and cornering is far better than I was expecting from a saloon, and the 210 engine is incredibly smooth and tractable, with a great burble once you open it up. Just like the Brera, the engine revs very freely and in an almost petrol-like manner.
I'll post up some pictures soon, but for now I am going to sit here and stare at it!