First Drive: Alfa Romeo Mito 1.4 Multiair 170

Tom Webster

Hot hatches are enjoying a mini revival at the moment as manufacturers are finding ways to get high performance out of their small cars without compromising economy. It makes sense that Alfa Romeo, a brand renowned for passionate cars, is joining in and putting a 170bhp engine into its smallest car, the Mito. It also gets a new trim level that reflects Alfa's racing pedigree – the Cloverleaf.

The engine Alfa is using is the latest of its highly innovative Multiair range, that controls the amount of air that goes into the engine and therefore improves efficiency by optimising how the fuel is burnt. It is the same engine that has headed into the new Fiat Punto Evo and will slowly find its way into the rest of the Fiat and Alfa range. The complicated technology results in fantastic performance from the small 1.4-litre unit – it gets to 62mph in just 7.5 seconds and keeps going to 136mph. The new technology also ensures this is not at the expense of economy though, with 47.1mpg claimed to be possible on the combined cycle.