Alfa Romeo has managed to squeeze a remarkable 240bhp from 1742cc in its new Mito GTA concept car. It's the hot hatch version of the Mito supermini and will form the centrepiece of the Alfa stand at next week's 2009 Geneva motor show.
This is the first GTA since the musclebound 147. GTA stands for gran turismo alleggerito – and this pocket rocket version of the Mito has indeed been lightened and toughened up to give it some serious performance.
Alfa Romeo Mito GTA: how they've saved the weight
Carbonfibre is used extensively in the GTA (you can tell this is concept car cloud cuckoo land) and the lightweight composite features in the tailgate spoiler, roof and door mirrors. Aluminium is used in the brakes, suspension and chassis to trim the kilos.
But forget the theoretical weight saving – perhaps the most important part of the GTA is its engine. The 1.7-litre four-pot is the first time we've seen the Fiat Group's new downsized family of engines.
It uses direct injection, dual variable valve timing and turbocharging to muster 240bhp from 1742cc. Although that output is unrealistic for the majority of production cars, it shows how the brand will shrink capacity without damaging everyday performance.
What else do we know about the Mito GTA?
This is a concept, but Alfa is serious about building a production iteration. Some of the chassis mods give a pointer to what we can expect. The car sits 20mm lower and the suspension is significantly modified to the regular Mito.
There are new geometry and bushings, plus Skyhook functionality. The adaptive dampers take in data from the brakes and steering to set up the Mito hot hatch for any changes.
>> Come back to CAR Online on 3 March 2009 for our full show coverage