Sam Philip20 May 2008

A rarer Brera

Prodrive tunes up Alfa's stunning coupe. This is a good thing

Alfa Romeo Brera S

Comely as the Alfa Romeo Brera is, we've always wished the Giugiaro-styled coupe had a bit more bite in the driving department. A bit more Prodrive, in other words.

So, with joyous serendipity, Alfa has just announced a new 'S' version of the Brera, developed by David Richards' Prodrive team and promising 'all the fun and engagement of a sports car driving experience'.

Available in 2.2-litre JTS and 3.2-litre V6 flavours, the Brera S will be limited to 500 numbered examples.

So how do you Prodrive a Brera? By ripping out the suspension and dampers and starting over again, by the looks of it. Prodrive commissioned bespoke Eibach coil springs and Bilstein dampers for a stiffer, lower ride which, says Alfa, 'gives the car a more nimble, agile feel'.

Chopping out all the excess weight from the portly Brera was the next step. Those serious-looking new 19-inch alloys are lighter than the wheels they replace, while Prodrive also fitted hollow anti-roll bars and aluminium suspension components to reduce the unsprung weight. All of which helps to lighten the V6 Brera by almost 100kg. Which is nice.

Though performance figures remain identical to the non-S version, the Prodrive Brera should at least sound lively, thanks to rortier new rear silencers.

Wisely, Prodrive left the Brera's lovely lines alone: visual changes are limited to a couple of extra badges and a kinky new red-on-black leather interior.

We'll let you know whether the Brera S is car for drivers as well as poseurs when we drive it later this week.


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