Mention the Mediterranean dream and you would be forgiven for thinking about big Italian GTs, blasting down the Autostrada dei Fiori, on the way to a cosy den on the rock of Monte Carlo. True, very true. That is one of the best pleasures known to man. But this story is not about an 8C. It’s about the other Mediterranean dream. Yes, there is a second one. Not as well known. In fact, you can almost call it a secret.
Only a stone throw away from the big cities of the Mediterranean, there are still some pristine areas, corners of heaven that escaped the greedy bulldozers of the unscrupulous developers. Stunning fishing villages await you, as you emerge from the pine forests. The houses are all white, boats are still being pulled on the beach, the waves crush on wild, towering cliffs.
And where there are villages, there are roads connecting them. Narrow, traffic free and with stunning views. And yes, with amazing corners. This is the habitat of the MiTo. While most of its rivals are of unquestionable urban descent – I am looking at you 500 and Mini – the MiTo feels like it was always meant to be the apex predator of these tasty roads.
While others look bulky and aggressive, urban bulldogs looking for a fight, beefed up for extra street cred, the MiTo looks candid, curious… happy. It doesn’t want to be a hipsters’ car. It doesn’t want to look tough. It doesn’t need to. Instead, it just looks gorgeous. While other small cars want to scare you, the MiTo uses sex appeal to make its conquest. Of course. It’s an Alfa.
In this landscape, it blends in to such an extent that you can barely imagine these roads without it. Luckily, you don’t have to. Here’s where alfisti like Alberto come in, making sure there is always some fresh rubber laid on this tarmac. You will hear him come long before you see him. And if he is not stopped, waiting for his brakes to cool while taking in the view, you will not have much time to admire his Alfa.
He is not messing around. A solid tune, semi slicks, coilovers and carbon seats, on top of the afore mentioned exhaust. He giggles when he tells me THIS is his daily driver. A true built not bought kind of guy. My people. Alberto took his car to the track to learn his limits, before attacking the coastal roller coasters. Smart move. This MiTo pulls some serious Gs. He told me the horsepower number, but I will not share that here. Suffice to say that, when the revs build the boost up, it really pulls. At Silverstone, a big GT will beat it easily. Out here, any supercar will struggle to even keep up.
There you have it, the Mediterranean dream. Now you know all about it. Alberto calls Barcelona home, but this story could have taken place in so many places all along the shores of Mare Nostrum. So, I hear you, should you buy a MiTo now or wait for its replacement? Well, here is where things get a little weird… You see, we haven’t heard of a MiTo replacement yet. The word is there will not be one. I know, it’s insane… So, go get one now. Then ask Alberto how to make it perfect.
As the sun sets on the production of the MiTo, it’s up to us, alfisti, to keep the flame burning. Away from marketing targets and platform sharing, Alfa miraculously always found ways to produce something from the heart. It’s not always a perfect car. And it’s not always fully understood from day one. Yet, somehow, in time, it inevitably find its way into the hall of fame. MiTo. King of the secret roads. A future legend.