17 May 2016
2008 Alfa Romeo Brera 2.2 S
Why We Like It
This is a low mileage example of the Brera S, a UK-only model co-developed by British rally and performance car specialists Prodrive with Alfa Romeo. That makes this car a relatively uncommon example of an already rare coupe. Besides being low mileage it’s also said to be in excellent condition, to have a fully stamped service history and an MoT out to August 2017.
Whatever the Brera’s issues when new – and there were one or two that explain its rarity – this Alfa remains as strikingly beautiful as ever, its flaws far easier to overlook once depreciation has had its way with the original price. For the price of a hot hatch you can drive around in something far classier that will, we’re sure, become mildly collectible in time. That should apply particularly to the limited edition Prodrive version, which is special for more than some badges. Alfa Romeo specialists reckon that the Brera is fundamentally a very reliable car, and the marque's most dependable contemporary model.
What is it?
There were only ever 250 Brera S’s, Prodive commissioned to develop a version that sharpened this Alfa’s handling and performance. There were Prodrive versions of both the 3.2 V6 and the four cylinder 2.2. Although the power ouptut was unchanged, the S is 100kg lighter than the Q4 coupe (achieved partly by doing without four-wheel drive), is 10mm lower, has fifty percent stiffer Eibach springs and Bilstein dampers to improve body control, and Brembo brakes.
This Brera is said to have covered only 38,600 miles from new, its enthusiast owner reckoning that it's in excellent condition. He's the second owner, and bought the car from Veloces, an Alfa Romeo specialist in Hertfordshire. It’s been service by Alfa Romeo dealers or Veloces, a non-franchised specialist, throughout. The last service was apparently carried out this month.
It’s hard to miss the so-called telephone dial alloys of this Alfa, the Prodrive version getting special lightweight 19in rims. The owner says that these wheels were refurbished in 2014 and they would appear to be unmarked. Behind them can be seen the red calipers of the Brembo brakes.
The paintwork of this example appears to be in good shape, but it would be wise to find out more because the Brera is prone to paint chipping, though more so in red. Some cars have been repainted under warranty, this coating reckoned to more durable than the factory’s. Vulnerable areas include the front bumper, the ‘A’ pillars and around the rear wheelarches. Later cars had stoneguards on the forward part of the rear wheel aperture, but this example’s black paint makes it hard to tell whether they’re present.
Check that there’s still some meat on the tyres, wear potentially quite heavy, although the revised suspension geometry of the Prodrive version is said to reduce it. A test drive should indicate any of the front suspension knocks that these cars are prone to. That said, this car’s full service history may have dealt with these, and its low mileage will help, upper wishbone knock not usually appearing until 80-100,000 miles. The rear lower hub bush also tires, causing uneven rear tyre wear.
The interior of this Brera looks to be in very good condition. Wear on the driver’s seat looks modest where it can be seen, although the wear prone offside side bolsters are not visible. The leather steering wheel rim is only mildly shiny, in keeping with the mileage, although the driver’s overmat looks a bit grubby. The Prodrive specification includes red contrast stitching to the black leather, incidentally.
On-board equipment includes iPod and iPhone connectivity, says the owner, which can be operated via the multi-function wheel.
The back seat looks minimally worn – further evidence of the low mileage – although the unexpectedly cramped rear quarters in a Brera are another reason. This image clearly shows the leather’s red stitching.
A fine view among the many pleasing angles on a Brera. There should be no issues here. The owner says that the exhaust system is stainless steel, and tuned by Prodrive. Also visible are rear parking sensors – very necessary on a car that does not have the best rearward visibility.
The under bonnet area looks decently clean, as it should on a vehicle of this mileage and with a full service history. Although this 2.2 is the less powerful petrol option, the view is that in Prodrive form it extracts a more sporting drive than the heavier Brera 3.2 V6, which is more of a cruiser. Alfa specialists report that with big mileages the 2.2’s timing chain can get stretched, but otherwise this is a reliable and durable power unit.
This looks to be a sharp example of a car that offers exceptional style for the money, pedigreee and rarity too. Bound to become a classic.
Make and model:
Alfa Romeo Brera 2.2 S
four cylinder, 2198cc
170 lbs ft
0 - 62mph:
How many left:
2772 taxed, 86 SORN (all Breras), 314 taxed, 1 SORN (Brera 2.2 S)