There are no two ways about it, the Alfa Romeo Brera is beautiful. The work of a bloke called Giorgetto Giugiaro (you might have heard of him), the Brera is sort of a coupe, sort of a hatchback, but entirely cool. You wouldn’t have expected the bloke who came up with the first VW Golf to have penned it. Then again, GG did the first Maserati Ghibli.
The concept first dropped at the 2002 Geneva Motor Show and, unlike some recent examples, the production car actually delivered on the show promise. Oh, except for the engine. The concept had a Maserati V8. That would have been a bit of fun.
Pictured: 2002 Alfa Romeo Brera concept
In the end, you could have your Brera with four cylinders and front-wheel drive, but the one you want is the V6 with all-wheel drive. Its 3.2-litre V6 was branded an Alfa JTS but was in fact a derivation of Holden’s Alloytec. Yep, this gorgeous thing has an engine closely related to your Commodore’s 3.8.
The problem with the AWD system is that it made the Brera rather heavy. Like, 1630kg heavy. The four-pot was a 1470kg featherweight by comparison.
Aside from the fact you can feel its weight, the Brera is lovely to drive, and in top guise was available only with a slick 6-speed manual. Just try to avoid big bumps, as the ride isn’t perfect. It’s fine, but not silky.
The interior is incredibly comfortable, and a huge glass roof (what was that about weight?) lets the sun in to show you how well its components are laid out, especially the various gauges lined up along the centre of the dash, which wraps around the driver nicely.
Now, thankfully, picking up a Brera is a little less painful than gathering up the near-$100K it cost new 15 years ago. Of course, while you pay less than a quarter of the new price, you’re probably going to have to set a little more aside to keep the thing on the road. Just ask an owner.
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2005 ALFA ROMEO BRERA SPECS
Engine: 3195cc V6, DOHC, 24v
Power: 191kW @ 6200rpm
Torque: 322Nm @ 4500rpm
0-100km/h: 6.8sec (claimed)