Alfa Romeo is hoping to attract young, image-conscious buyers into its showrooms with the launch of the Mito.
To that extent, expect to see large pictures of hearts, computer controllers and mobile phones in its dealerships soon, as the
Italian carmaker unveils its first new sporty compact for 35 years.
The marketing images are the manufacturer’s attempt at showing a younger audience that it is in touch with their lifestyle, despite the fact that Alfas are traditionally owned by older drivers.
Prices start at £10,745 for the entry-level 1.4-litre, 95bhp Turismo, rising to £14,745 for the range-topping 1.4-litre TB Veloce with 155bhp.
To ensure dealerships could connect with the target audience, the company sent its staff on a two-day training course in October.
Alfa marketing operations manager Damien Dally said: “All customer-facing staff went on the training. We wanted to make it fun, because everything to do with the Mito is fun.
“We wanted them to get their heads round the fact that they will be attracting this new customer – just because they are young, don’t expect their expectations to be lower.”
A website about the Mito was created because the target group “live their lives on the internet”, while staff were encouraged to reply quickly to email inquiries about the car because this is how it is envisaged that customers will communicate with the dealer.
Actors posing as “young trendies” were also used to see how the staff responded to their questions.
Expected volume for this year is about 5,000 units across the range, with a 70% petrol and 30 % diesel mix.
Styling is inspired by Alfa’s super coupé, the 8C Competizione, while the high-quality interior features comfortable seats, which look great in leather, a good driving position and carbon fibre effect trim.
The iPod and MP3 connector is on the centre console, but other than using a cup holder, there is no-where to put the devices. A “bling” gearknob also looks out of place.
However, the DNA function should appeal to gadget lovers. It alters the behaviour of the vehicle’s driving characteristics.
N is for normal driving, while D (dynamic) stiffens the suspension and A (all weather) increases the sensitivity of the traction control in adverse conditions.
The torquey 155bhp model pulls and handles confidently.
Rear vision is poor, although parking sensors are an option.