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Marangoni M430

Rafay Ansar

Italian company turns Alfa Romeo's MiTo into a real hot hatch. A taste of the upcoming GTA?

The MiTo is getting mightier! This wild two-tone version of Alfa Romeo's new supermini made its debut at the Essen Motor Show – and it's the closest thing yet to the forthcoming GTA hot hatch.

Modified by Italian tyre maker Marangoni, the MiTo M430 features a striking white and red paintjob, red tyres and a dramatic rear diffuser. However, perhaps the most outrageous details are the Lamborghini-style scissor opening doors.

Inside, it's not for the shy or retiring either. This MiTo now sports some special seats with red stitching and a host of Swarovski crystals too. But the M430 isn’t all show – the 1.4-litre turbocharged engine produces 220bhp, which should be enough for 0-60mph in less than seven seconds. Its suspension has been lowered and stiffened to cope with the extra performance.

While the M430 is just a one-off, Alfa Romeo has confirmed it is planning a flagship GTA, which will be powered by a new direct-injection, turbocharged 1750cc petrol engine producing 230bhp. It should go on sale in late 2009.

In the meantime, we'll be driving the Marangoni M430 early in the New Year, ahead of its UK debut at the Autosport International show at the Birmingham NEC in January.
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