Travel: How Well Did an Alfa Romeo MiTo QV Handle The Mille Miglia?

How Well Did an Alfa Romeo MiTo QV Handle The Mille Miglia?

Avatar By Jacopo Villa
May 19, 2015
16 comments

Photography by Federico Bajetti

This year, Petrolicious was in the Mille Miglia with two cars: the 1100 Zagato and a 2015 Alfa Romeo MiTo QV, effectively dubbed the “Petromobile”. While the first is an historic racecar, the latter is a quick and fast Italian hot hatch, with a 1.4-litre turbocharged 4-cylinder engine. Oh yes, Petrolicious and #drivetastefully stickers adorn the bodywork. I just love it!

We were lucky to have Alfa Romeo on our side by lending us this little red thing to follow the race just a week or so ago: I made a few calls and was able to take delivery of it in Milan.

I must confess that we were skeptical about our success in keeping up with cars that usually have 300+ horsepower and are extremely light—with a car with just 170 hp. But our skepticism vanished as soon as we allowed her to stretch its legs: when the turbo boost comes in at about 2,000 rpm, this thing just flies.

It’s a fun car to drive and it proved to be the perfect choice to follow the Mille Miglia. It doesn’t break a sweat. It can both accelerate quickly, and be the perfect highway machine. The gearbox is slower compared to other cars I’ve driven recently, but not too bad. The infotainment is not that good—but who has time for infotainment when you are following this race? This might be a problem in everyday use, though.

The interior offers really nice race-inspired elements like the carbon fiber and Alcantara Sabelt seats and a beautiful steering wheel. It also makes the right noises to entertain the race crowd: the turbine whirrs with anger and the exhaust makes a delightful sound.

It’s a car that looks so fun to drive that one can easily impress even the most jaded: the owner of a beautiful two tone 1900 SS Zagato wanted one! If you were at the race this year, did you catch a glimpse of the “Petromobile”?

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Christian Baumann
Christian Baumann

Dear Mr. Schlenger, what is exactly your point? As a colleague of Jacopo and Federico, maybe let me point out some things from a professional point of view. Their beautiful car broke – so both needed a new “tool” to follow the MM and to post pictures and articles for all of us – they had to do their job! So they needed a fast and professional solution. So whats the point? Waiting for another old-timer, taking photos analog and send them via airmail to Los Angeles – just to stay stylish? And by the way – do you think… Read more »

Paco HC
Paco HC

I reckon, Mr. Baumann, that people speaking as sarcastic as that, only talk out of, err, ignorance. There is no point in arguing with them. I clearly understand that a modern car is just as good as any, and to be honest, a much better ride than a vintage car to work with. And by the way, those “front-wheel driven monsters” have kept alive a brand for years, so they do have their importance in the glorious history of Alfa Romeo. Otherwise the brand must have just disappeared, as many other great brands in the history of automobiles. And Alfa… Read more »

Michael Schlenger
Michael Schlenger

Dear Mr Baumann, This appears to be misunderstanding. Of course, I am perfectly aware that the Mito was a welcome “rescue car” and certainly provided everything required to finish the job under the given circumstances. My point is simply that I do not like the idea to present and praise this modern Alfa Romeo-badged Fiat in the same manner like one of the true classic vehicles that Petrolicious is famous for celebrating in a uniquely tasteful way. It’s perfectly alright to mention a sponsor’s generous gesture, however, there are lines that should not be crossed, if one wants to retain… Read more »

Michael Schlenger
Michael Schlenger

Jacopo,
Point taken – of course you are free to like and to praise a modern car. It’s just not what I expected on Petrolicious and that’s what annoyed me. Sorry, if I didn’t strike the right note, but I simply don’t see the need for yet another review of contemporary small cars on my favourite classic car website. In the end, however, we seem to share the same passion, I believe.
Best regards
Michael

Dennis White
Dennis White

Under the circumstances, I’d jump in the back of a garbage truck to follow the Mille Miglia! Bravo Jacopo!!

Guitar Slinger
Guitar Slinger

If i may be so bold as to rephrase the question without diminishing in the slightest any and all appreciation we may have for the fact that Alfa Romeo/FCA came to Signor Villa’s rescue ; ” How well did a FIAT masquerading as an Alfa Romeo MiTo handle the Mile Miglia ? ” The the fact being ; As a modern car it ___ well better have handled the Mile Miglia in its modern tour/rally guise very well indeed . With no excuses possible if it hadn’t . The real question at hand and the one I’d like to see… Read more »

Riccardo
Riccardo

Its funny, I like the MiTo (is that Milano – Torino, or Myth?) as it looks good (especially this QV version)and drives well enough. However, I think that in its segment it doesn’t shine particularly well, I’d say that judged on its own, its a generation or two behind the game. Certainly I’d never pick it instead of a Mini (which is what I drive for the city). Jacopo, fully understand your article and where you’re coming from, kudos to Alfa for supporting Petrolicious and allowing the rest of us to enjoy the Mille Miglia trip reports and pictures! PS:… Read more »

Matthew Lange
Matthew Lange

I brought a Mito as a commuter car/ grocery getter when they first came out back in 2009, keeping it for 4 years and just shy of 60,000 miles. It’s more spacious inside than a Mini and from my experience more economical too. It was also very reliable only needing routine servicing in the time I owned it. Dislikes were the seats lack under thigh support (The seat base is quite small to make some room for the passengers in the back), and the choppy ride, my Wife really disliked the ride. Also if I was Alfa I would have… Read more »

Michael Schlenger
Michael Schlenger

The Alfa Romeo MITO is a true gem, I swear! Actually, nothing quite like it could be produced before the takeover by FIAT. All you stubborn Giulietta, Giulia, GTV, and Alfetta addicts will immediately want to scrap your ridiculously underpowered Alfas, after you have enjoyed this front-wheel driven monster! Just listen to the breath-taking sound of its, err, race-bed engine and the smell of its high-grade plastic interior and you’ll be in love! Honestly, is Petrolicious now going to promote new mass production cars or is this just a parody?

Matthew Parsons
Matthew Parsons

The Mito has petrol flowing through its’ veins, yes? Then why not enjoy this article as much as any other, for surely those of us who appreciate cars can do so regardless of their era?

Michael Schlenger
Michael Schlenger

Hello Jacopo, I did not intend to appear to be impolite. Of course, it was a good thing to have a reliable car under the given circumstances. Excellent job, as usual, by the way! Yet, I still feel it’s inappropriate to celebrate the Mito the way it was done. It may be reliable and comfortable modern car (for two people with little luggage…) – actually almost all modern cars are – but it has hardly been as successful like the Alfas in the 60s and 70s, hasn’t it? Let’s be realistic, the brand is in deep trouble. The Mito sales… Read more »

Francisco Yantorno
Francisco Yantorno

Michael Schlenger, can you please just let people live their cars and lives in peace without judge them? I’v driven all kinds of Alfas (and lived with them), from the 70s to the 00’s… I do prefer classics over modern Alfas but I enjoy every one of them, from the 1979 Alfetta GTV to the 2013 Giulietta I’v owned (and everything in between). Can you just feel good about Alfa’s past without trashing modern Alfas? Talking like that about the MiTo won’t make the classics any better than they are.

Michael Schlenger
Michael Schlenger

Hello Francisco,
Don’t get me wrong – I was just trying to challenge the need of a modern car review on Petrolicious, of all websites. Obviously, I chose an overly sarcastic way to do so – my fault. Of course, the Mito is a pretty good car – it’s just that modern cars don’t thrill me at all. And believe me, I am very much familiar with the flaws of classic cars….
Regards
Michael

Michael Banovsky
Michael Banovsky

For an official answer: we will continue to drive new and new(er) vehicles when it makes sense, and when we’re able to tell an interesting story. Besides the practicality of following the race with a modern (reliable) vehicle, the MiTo is from a marque that participated heavily in the Mille Miglia in the past, and to me it’s interesting that a little “warm” hatchback can keep up with the multi-day circus-like MM convoy.