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Old 09-28-2009, 09:37 PM   #1
E. Nick
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Default My Alfa Brera 2.4 JTDM 6-Speed Review

As some may have read in another thread, I went to Italy this month, anxiously awaiting my pre-ordered, pre-paid Lotus Elise SC from Hertz for 2 weeks of vacation pleasure with da wife. Well, upon arrival, about 1 hour after hearing the words "we're terribly sorry, but...", I climbed into a blue Alfa Brera 2.4 JTDM 6-Speed Coupe, at half the rate of the Lotus.

So, here's my review of a car we don't get here in the US yet, but I hear it is coming - and for 36 grand, I would definitely consider it if I had a long commute.

Exterior - aggressive and beautiful, got a good deal of attention all around Italy. 159's are everywhere, but not many Breras - saw just 2 others after 2500 km's of driving.

Interior - comfy and highly adjustable seats - much more support and adjustability than the seats in the 04 STi. Plastic and fake carbon abound, but it looks quite nice, keeping the price point in mind. Basically useless back seats, but good size trunk and a ski pass-through.

Power - torque from 1500 RPM's. Good acceleration - I believe car is rated for an 8 second 0-62, but it feels faster, and you are getting 90% of max acceleration with your foot only half way to the floor. Redline at 4500, but it's already falling off around 3900. Diesel racket is apparent just off idle, but gone as soon as you get into the throttle.

Handling - Tires were crappy Bridgstones - IMHO equivalent to the RE92's that came on the bugeyes. They were 17's, but the sidewalls still felt too soft to take full advantage of the cars suspension. They would scream and squeal at about .8g's, but the car was otherwise fully composed. I imagine with a set of good tires, the car would handle much better. Despite the tires, turn-in was good, and rotating the car was easy with either lift off or throttle application mid-corner. Going into a turn off throttle, it would push just a tad before going neutral and finally into oversteer. Ride was 30% softer than my M5 on comfort setting, again partially due to the tires.

Consumption - I drove over 2500 km's cruising at 200 km/hr most of the time. I didn't jot down litres/km, but did the math in my head after a couple of fill ups to kill some time - it got around 35 MPG converted. Remember, I was cruising over 100 MPH all the time, and with foot to the floor between traffic pockets... so, not too shabby at all.

To conclude, I would say it's a great looking car with good feel and potential with few mods. Just a tune and some tires would probably bring it into the sporty category, while remaining quite frugal in terms of fuel use. Not as fast as it looks, but a cool little DD. However, yes, I am still upset I didn't get the Lotus...
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Old 09-28-2009, 10:07 PM   #2
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very wrong place for this.
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Old 09-28-2009, 11:50 PM   #3
Stanley
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Did your rental burn any oil on your trip? I had a Coupe GT rental which I thoroughly enjoyed driving. Not blazing fast, but plenty of power, comfortable for two and handled the curvy mountain roads in Tuscany with composure.

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very wrong place for this.
How do you figure?
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Old 09-29-2009, 12:08 AM   #4
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ugh, a diesel, I just wouldn't be able to live with a 4500 redline.
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Old 09-29-2009, 12:11 AM   #5
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Did your rental burn any oil on your trip? I had a Coupe GT rental which I thoroughly enjoyed driving.
Cool - I saw a few of those GT's, really nice looking as well. I thought they used cafe ristretto as opposed to motor oil... adds 5hp I'm told...

The Brera didn't burn a drop according to the dashboard oil graph, though I never checked manually (if it even has a dipstick) - didn't even open the hood actually, and car only had 25K km on it when I finished.
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Old 09-29-2009, 01:42 AM   #6
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Great looking car... I'll take one in silver please:

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Old 09-29-2009, 01:56 AM   #7
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Sounds like a fun vacation. How's driving in Italy?
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Old 09-29-2009, 04:01 AM   #8
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That sucks, I was posting something (Lotus) and was thinking Nick got to be on his trip. I would of been pissed, I would tried another agency or something. Eh I guess you did not want to bum out the Wife on her trip. Well I hope you had nice time at least. The Alfa would been cool too I guess. Thanks for sharing and the write up.
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Old 09-29-2009, 11:54 AM   #9
E. Nick
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Sounds like a fun vacation. How's driving in Italy?
It was great - many drivers not particularly skilled, but they are definitely aware of what's behind them, and do not sit in the left lane. I cruised at 100+MPH and would start to slow down coming up on traffic, only to have them all move over as I came up. That was great. On the back roads, very little traffic, and some incredibly windy sections especially near the coast. Cops are also there for safety, not revenue generation - only saw 2 on the Autostrada, and passed each of them at 160-170 km/hr without even a glance.
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Old 09-29-2009, 11:59 AM   #10
E. Nick
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Originally Posted by AVANTI R5 View Post
That sucks, I was posting something (Lotus) and was thinking Nick got to be on his trip. I would of been pissed, I would tried another agency or something. Eh I guess you did not want to bum out the Wife on her trip. Well I hope you had nice time at least. The Alfa would been cool too I guess. Thanks for sharing and the write up.
Sorry Avanti, I was looking forward to giving my writeup on the Elise SC... I was definitely pissed, and got the Brera from another agency Eurocar or some such. So, no business for Hertz that time around. They did offer to give me another car until I got to Rome, then switch me with the Elise, but I didn't want the hassle of going to the Rome airport and all the extra paperwork / downtime.

It was a great time anyway though - only bad thing about the Brera was the large trunk - had I known we were flying out of Milan during fashion week, I would have made sure there was no boot for my wife's purchases... Then again, no trunk could have been even more dangerous - she would have wanted jewelery lol.
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Old 09-29-2009, 12:25 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by E. Nick View Post
... do not sit in the left lane. I cruised at 100+MPH and would start to slow down coming up on traffic, only to have them all move over as I came up. That was great...
I'm happy to hear you enjoyed your trip!

& Yes what you mentioned above is what makes me insane on U.S.. roads = wish people would Get Out of the Left Lane!
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Old 09-29-2009, 01:15 PM   #12
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I rather enjoyed how most folks there drive in both lanes and just nudge to the right or left as needed. Quite civilized chaos on the roads in Italy, imho.
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Old 10-02-2009, 04:15 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by E. Nick View Post
It was great - many drivers not particularly skilled, but they are definitely aware of what's behind them, and do not sit in the left lane. I cruised at 100+MPH and would start to slow down coming up on traffic, only to have them all move over as I came up. That was great. On the back roads, very little traffic, and some incredibly windy sections especially near the coast. Cops are also there for safety, not revenue generation - only saw 2 on the Autostrada, and passed each of them at 160-170 km/hr without even a glance.
I hear ya. I screamed by a Legacy wagon full of them as well headed down to Rome. I must have been doing 130-140 MPH.
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Old 10-02-2009, 08:00 PM   #14
E. Nick
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Here's my actual rental... of over 450 pics we took, these are the only 2 with the car in it...

[IMG][/IMG]
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