Poised to be released for sale in Europe before the end of the year is Alfa Romeo’s new TI edition of the stylish Brera coupe. TI stands for Turismo Internazionale, an acronym that Alfa Romeo uses for its highest-performing cars. The original TI cars were derived from standard production models but were customized with mechanical and styling changes based on the carmaker’s racing experience. The latest Brera TI continues that tradition.
The car that received many a lustful glance at the Paris Motor Show, will use either a 185 horsepower 2.2L JTS engine or 3.2L V6, and possibly even more engine options in the future. The 2.2 JTS version Brera in Paris also employed a Selespeed sequential transmission. The Brera Ti picks up some of the improvements developed by British rally and racing company Prodrive. If you happened to have read Ridelust’s previous entry on Prodrive, you’ll recall that they were the ones who race Aston Martins in Le Mans and Subaru in the WRC. To futher enhance the performance features of the coupe, TI versions receive a stiffer suspension, 19 inch anthracite alloy wheels and uprated Brembo brakes with red one-piece front callipers. Inside, the car has all of the appointments you would expect from an Italian automaker, with standard high bolstered and top-stitched perforated leather seats, TI badging, brushed aluminum or optional carbon-fiber trim, and leather used on the steering wheel and dash. Options include a white backlighted intrument panel and special non-slip aluminum pedals. Other features offered are a dual zone climate control system, VDC stability control, xenon headlights and parking sensors.
Alfa Romeo’s struggles to regain, or even MAINTAIN a solid sales foothold in Europe have been well-documented. The recently injured Jeremy Clarkson of BBC’s Top Gear reported that resale price values of used Alphas are so low that the company seems to be perpetually spiraling downward as buyers are unjustifiably scared away from the Italian manufacturer. Which is a shame. The Brera is at least as attractive as other upscale European brands, if not more so. Perhaps with a glimmer of economic improvement they will try their luck in America again and appeal to those that appreciate its unique styling.