2006 Alfa Romeo Brera
The ItalDesign-styled Brera concept coupe that was shown at Geneva in 2002 was such a hit that both this new 2+2 coupe--the successor to the GTV--and the new 159 ape the styling. (Although Ital takes the credit for the Brera, Automobile Magazine's design editor Robert Cumberford says it was, ahem, pirated from an earlier Zagato study.) The stunning coupe is built on Alfa's new premium platform, which was originally going to be shared with Saab, but the Swedish automaker walked away from the joint venture. The 173.8-inch-long car is underpinned by a multilink rear and control arm front suspension, and uses three powertrains jointly developed by Fiat and GM: a 2.2-liter inline four with direct injection, making 185 hp; a 200-hp, 2.4-liter direct injection turbodiesel; and a 3.2-liter V-6 that produces 260 hp. All-wheel drive is available, as are six-speed automatic and manual transmissions. As well as the striking styling, the large glass roof panel is said to promote an airy interior. The Brera goes on sale in November and will be followed by a spider in early 2006. Alfa Romeo claims that it is finally serious about a return to the U.S. market, possibly as soon as 2007. While Alfa has said this practically every year since it left the U.S. market, our sources say that it means business this time. If the Brera does come to the U.S., we'll be first in line to try one of these gorgeous coupes.