Alfa Romeo Mini Beating Mi.To in 2009, and Fiat 500

Alfa Romeo plans to import its Mi.To (say "me toe"), becoming the first to offer a serious challenge to the BMW produced Mini.

Mi.To Image

The Mini started a fashion trend towards small cars among the wealthy when it arrived in Thailand a few years back. Priced around the THB 2 million mark, there is no logical reason to buy one.

But as the Mini continues to sell well to those who aren't buying a logical vehicle, Alfa is eyeing the market for its own expensive baby car, the Mi.To.

According to a recent Bangkok Post article the Mi.To will be officially joining the rest of the Alfa line-up in the second half of next year. Thai Prestige Autosales (TPA) will also revive the Fiat brand by importing the Fiat 500 as early as the end of this year.

Want one? Mi.To

The Mi. To is very easy to look at and should steer a few buyers away from the Mini. Although, it will probably be left to the 500 to go toe to toe with the Mini on price and specification.

Mi.To Front Image

The Mi.To will "definitely cost more than the Mini" according the Bangkok Posts interview with the boss of TPA.

As with the Mini, buyers are probably not going to be at all interested in knowing what engine it has, or what transmission system, or indeed what safety features it has. Minis are sold the way you sell handbags or shoes.

Alfa Mi.To rear

But for those that are interested, the Mi. To will most likely come to Thailand with a 1.4 litre turbo charged petrol engine, which will be mated with a brand new twin-clutch automatic transmission. This should be a big improvement over the - somewhat flawed - clutchless manual transmission system in the Fiat 500.

When?

The Mi.To should be in Alfa showrooms in the latter half of 2009. Pricing is not confirmed, but we can expect it to be well over THB 2 million.

In the meantime the Fiat 500 should start arriving officially as soon as December, or as late as January '09. The 500 pricing is not set yet either, but should run below the Alfa Romeo Mi.To, perhaps undercutting the Mini somewhat. Grey imports of the 500 are currently selling for THB 1.95 million.

What's with that weird name?

The Mi.To was codenamed Junior for a while during development. Mi.To is actually short for Milano and Torino, or Milan and Turin as we would know the Italian cities in English. Interesting? Whatever, it beats a number like 139 anyday.

Mi.To Image Gallery