Alfa Romeo MiTo Quadrifoglio Verde Goes Auto-Only

What's this then?

You're looking at the new Alfa Romeo MiTo Quadrifoglio Verde - that's Green Cloverleaf to you and I, QV or 'Cloverleaf' for short.

Anything new?

Yes and no. The MiTo itself isn't new, having debuted in 2008. The car was revised earlier this year, but between then and now the QV has been on hiatus, while it receives a few tweaks.

That's the car you see here. Over the standard MiTo, you get burnished headlight surrounds, a set of 18-inch alloy wheels, a rear spoiler and revised rear bumper, some natty chrome exhaust tips, red Brembo brake calipers and Cloverleaf emblems on each front wing - a symbol that first popped up on Alfa Romeos back in 1923.

Alfa Mito QV driving rear

What's under the bonnet?

The QV's engine is largely the same as before, but features the expected fuel efficiency improvements required of any modern car. Alfa has attached a turbocharger to its 1.4-litre MultiAir petrol engine for a 170 horsepower, 184 lb-ft output.

One option that may not be so welcome, depending on your view of driving interaction, is the now-standard six-speed twin-clutch DCT gearbox with paddle-shifters. Yup, it's auto-only - a move widely criticised on Renault's Clio Renaultsport and hot hatchbacks like the VW Polo GTI.

It's had the expected efficiency and performance improvements - the former up 10 percent to 52.3 mpg, the latter slicing the 0-62 sprint from 7.5 to 7.3 seconds - but hot hatch buyers do still like their three pedals and wobbly stick.

Alfa Mito QV engine

Anything else?

Kit levels are high - Alfa's press release boasts a Uconnect five-inch touch-screen multimedia system with TomTom Satellite Navigation, DAB digital radio, Bluetooth, Text Reader, Audio Streaming, Voice Controls, MP3, and USB and Aux-In inputs. And breathe.

Much more interesting are the carbon-fibre and Alcantara Sabelt bucket seats, and the option of a new matte Magnesio Grey paint finish. Alfa has also thrown in a flat-bottomed steering wheel, on which we'll reserve judgement until we've wrapped our grubby mitts around it.

Alfa Mito QV interior

How much?

Pricing starts at 20,210, when the car hits dealers in July. Before then, it'll make its debut at this year's Goodwood Festival of Speed in late June.

Any alternatives?

The market is awash with competitive hot hatchbacks, offering power outputs at or above the Alfa's 170 horses.

If you're looking at the Alfa though, we're going to assume you want something a little left-field of the usual Fords, Peugeots and VWs. Renault's equally-automatic Clio Renaultsport may appeal, and it's cheaper too, starting at 18,995. MINI's brand new Cooper S may have crossed your radar too - nearly 190 horses for 18,655. Neither is as frugal as the Alfa, though.

Alfa Mito QV side

In a line:

Offbeat hot hatch is compelling but pricey. Check out alternatives and their deals here.

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