While on a drive, I spotted this distinctive shape of a car that has always intrigued me whether it will be perceived in future times as a true classic Alfa, “worthy” of owning. I mean, at least from conversations I’ve had with local Alfisti, the 159 (which just happens to be passing us in this photo) is held very highly in the community, especially with the right drive-train. And it’s beautiful, one of the best modern sedan Alfa designs. But the Brera?
On paper, it should be even more desirable than the 159, with which it shares a platform and many components. After all, the Brera started out its life as a concept car derivative and was shaped as a big, majestic coupe, thus ticking the right check-boxes.
But a design that looks good on a concept car can get a bit lost in translation to a production car. The front is an almost 159 copycat (which is fine), but the rear end looks a bit… heavy, maybe bulbous. Dare I call it fat?
However, you can’t say it’s ugly and anyway, that’s only half the story; As gorgeous as it may have looked, the Brera never delivered in the handling department. It had too much body roll, and would not react well to swift direction changes. You might accept this in a “normal” car, but it’s not what you’d expect in an Alfa, much less a sporty one.
I had a chance to see this a few years back, when I visited a handling course which, on the day, hosted Alfas & Abarths. There were two Breras there:
Yes, they looked lovely. But out on track…:
Well, you see what I mean. If I recall correctly, the rival Audi TT was much more agile. And it’s not that the Brera undercut the TT’s price by much- it wasn’t cheap by any means, well not here in Israel.
Maybe the best testament to this post is the driver of the Brera in the video. It was an elderly woman, one that would be better placed in a Merc or a Lexus. I dare not say elderly women should not enjoy driving their Alfas, but that’s just it; In my eyes, Alfas are meant to be driven hard, not toyed around with. There are much better German alternatives on the market.
So, is this the first Alfa that’s meant to look good above all, and make concessions otherwise? I don’t know.