Baby Got Back: 2009 Alfa Romeo Brera S

There’s always been something remarkably forgettable about the Brera. Growing up in the naughties, it should be the defining Alfa of my childhood, but I always think of the last GTV, the predecessor to the Brera, as the Alfa Romeo. On launch, it was decidedly pretty, although I thought its bottom was a little too large – as it happens, the car was also decidedly heavy, weighing up to 1,625kg. Since it is one of the cars I’ve never cared about, I’ve never researched it. Until now. Find this 2009 Alfa Romeo Brera S for sale in Rugby, Warwickshire, UK, for £13,500 ($16,900 USD at the time of writing). 

The Brera’s looks were its selling point from the start, it was cramped, expensive, and handling left a bit to be desired. Hence, Alfa Romeo turned to an unlikely partner for a UK-only special edition S model: Prodrive. Prodrive was the company behind Subaru’s rally team from 1990 until 2008, and ran Ford Performance Vehicles (FPV) in Australia from 2000 until 2012, as well as Ford’s V8 Supercars efforts. They completely removed Alfa’s suspension set-up, and replaced it with unique Eibach sprigs and Bilstein dampers.

The S package was offered on both the 2.2 four-pot, and this example’s 3.2 V6 JTS motor, mated to Alfa Romeo’s Q4 AWD system. Interestingly, the block for this engine was a GM design, built by Holden in Australia, although the Italians added all the important bits beyond that. Prodrive didn’t modify the 256hp engine, the six speed manual, or the looks, content with giving the car much better handling manners.

I’m still not sure if the Brera is my cup of tea though. The supposedly stunning looks are outshone by the 90s GTV, and although I’m sure the Brera S is a much quicker car, the Brera still doesn’t excite me. I never thought an Alfa Romeo could be boring, but that’s what the Brera is, it’s the transition point between racy, 1990s Alfa, with the wonderful, if temperamental, 164, and classic Spider, and grown-up, 2010s Alfa, with the 4C, and Guilia being real competitors to the British and Germans. The Brera was the puberty Alfa Romeo, and 7 year old me wasn’t ready for it.

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Michael is a teenager who’s been obsessed with cars since he was able to talk, but has no ability in mechanics whatsoever. His daily driver is a manual transmission Nissan Maxima – the Australian Infiniti I30.