Test: Alfa Romeo MiTo QV SBK Limited Edition
“What are you driving these days? – An Alfa Romeo MiTo Quadrifoglio Verde Superbike Limited Edition.” That’s quite the mouthful. Abbreviated, ARMTQVSBKLTD, it’s completely pointless. Let’s just stick with the Alfa MiTo QV SBK. Or is it Cloverleaf? Anyway, that’s what we’ve been driving the last week and have been enjoying very much.
It is actually just a MiTo QV in SBK-suit, of which only 200 were made (ours was N° 52, as is shown on the label underneath the center console). What you get is the 170bhp 1.4l MultiAir engine, wheels fitted with 18” alloys and red Brembo brake calipers, aluminum sport pedals, carbon fiber Sabelt racing seats, Alfa Active Suspension, cruise control, dual zone climate control, the well-known Blue&Me-system + satnav, Bi-Xenon headlights, (slightly) different bumpers and, of course, the exclusive paintwork. Some other options are included as well, but these are the main ones. Except for the revised bumpers, the paintwork and the red stitching inside the interior, all these options are actually available on the regular MiTo QV as well. The difference is that, given that this is a ‘SBK pack’, they would be way more expensive if you’d click them all separately on the options list.
We’d driven the MiTo QV before, but not this well-equipped. Having had the pleasure of enjoying the Sabelt seats (both ergonomically as well as optically, with the Biscione split across the two chairs), we must say that they are a must-have. The 18” alloys look lovely as well, and they emphasize the red Brembo brake calipers, which then again match with the side mirrors and roof. This SBK-version is certainly not a wolf in sheep’s clothing, as opposed to the regular Mito QV (where nearly only the Cloverleaf-badge gives it away). But that doesn’t mean it isn’t a tremendous little thing to behold. Something which was proven by the many thumbs up.
While pedestrians were glad with what they saw, plenty of German saloon-drivers weren’t. With a sprint from 0 to 100 km/h (0-62 mph) in 7,5 seconds, there were plenty of Beamers, Mercs and Audis who didn’t understand what just hit them at the lights. “Did that small Alfa Romeo just outrun me? Is that paintwork magical, perhaps? – No sir, you might want to check for Quadrifoglio Verde-badges before sprinting against an Alfa in the future. – What’s that? – The Cloverleaf-sign just above the front wheel arches! – Oh…” It happened more than once during our testing week, pointing out how many people have no clue of what this glorious emblem stands for. Shame on them.
Still, we didn’t let that spoil our week, quite the contrary. While many were left clueless in the straights, even fewer were able to follow when faced with corners. The Alfa Active Suspension combined with the Pirelli Pzero Nero tires makes for endless grip and no body roll whatsoever. You see a corner, you turn the steering wheel at no matter what speed, the Sabelt seats keep you in place while the rear passenger is flying all over the place (should’ve worn your seatbelt, my friend) and you come out of the bend simply staggered by how the car didn’t lose grip for even a split second. The MiTo QV was born for this, and it is incredible fun to look for its limits, while along the way finding out that it nearly has none.
The DNA-system was in Dynamic 99% of the time, but it has to be said that N deserves some credit as well. While very dull in the city and on B-roads, it is actually handy on highways as it makes for a surprisingly comfortable ride. The Sabelt seats, too, get extra points here for being both comfy as well as very supportive when you need them to be.
The Alfa Romeo MiTo QV SBK is a very complete car then, and definitely worth taking a look at (if they’re not sold out yet) considering its price/quality relationship. Should they be sold out already, a regular MiTo QV will do the trick equally well. But don’t forget to opt for those amazing carbon fiber Sabelt seats.