Chunky alloy wheels and a revised front bumper pick the newcomer out from lesser models.

Chunky alloy wheels and a revised front bumper pick the newcomer out from lesser models. Its larger grille improves air flow to keep the uprated engine and brakes cool, while wire mesh gives it a more purposeful look. At the back, changes include a revised rear bumper, which houses four tell-tale exhaust pipes. They're likely to be fed off a tweaked version of the brand's 260bhp 3.2-litre V6 engine. With more power on tap, the GTA should storm from 0 to 100 km/h in six seconds. To avoid the unruly handling that characterised the previous 156 GTA, the hot saloon will boast Alfa's Q4 all-wheel-drive set up. Alfa chief Antonio Baravalle said: "We don't need rear-wheel-drive to become a world-wide brand." But he admitted that the door was open for the forthcoming 8C coupé to gain the sportier rear-drive set-up, as the firm plans its long-awaited US comeback in 2009.

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