Small is cool again, witness the sales of the Mini and Fiat 500. Last month, Alfa Romeo took the wraps off its curiously named entrant in this field, the Mi.To.
Shhh ... I'm hunting Minis
Based on the Fiat Punto, the Mi.To is aimed fairly and squarely at the Mini. Although at about four metres long it's some 30cm bigger than the Mini.
The Mi.To is the smallest car wearing the Alfa shield, although we're still waiting to hear back about when the MiTo make the trip to Australia.
What's in a name?
You're probably not the only one who thinks that Mi.To is an odd name for a car; it's a contraction of Milan, the city of its design, and Torino (Turin), the city in which it will be produced. When Alfa initially announced its intention to build a Mini, it referred to it as "Junior". Then it launched a naming competition on the Internet, with "Furiosa" winning out. Alfa didn't like that name -- Italian speakers will know why -- so it's gone with Mi.To instead.
Think small, dream big — part I
Its deep shield grille means that the MiTo (on the right) couldn't be anything other than a small, affordable Alfa hatch.
Think small, dream big — part II
With its ovoid headlights and look-alike alloy wheels, Alfa's designers want MiTo owners to think that they're behind the wheel of the desirable, expensive and achingly beautiful 8C Competizione coupe (on the right).
On the tech front, the MiTo's highlight is Blue&Me, a Microsoft in-car technology that combines satellite navigation, Bluetooth mobile phone syncing and USB access to your MP3 player.