I don’t blame them: with adaptive dampers, inch-bigger alloys (at 19in), Alcantara interior trim and lovely aluminium shift paddles (for the standard seven-speed dual-clutch gearbox), it looks smart value. It helps make a bit more sense  of the dynamics, too. As Matt Prior found in the Ti, there’s a slight knack to getting the powertrain to operate smoothly, and pulling those lengthy paddles (which are fixed in place, so your fingers always find them) does help smother some of the gearbox’s jerkiness at lower speeds.

This is a car that operates much more naturally with the driving mode dial notched up to Dynamic. Tauter body control, firmer steering and a more assertive powertrain certainly help make the frequent fiddling feel more worthwhile, the car always starting in Natural mode. As in a Ferrari (oh how Alfa Romeo will love me using that phrase), you can press a button within the dial to activate Soft damping (Bumpy Road in Maranello parlance) to pair the sharper engine map with a comfier ride.

But I’m not sure you need to, the ride being the acceptable side of firm on those 19in wheels. As an aside, the stock Ti rides equally commendably on its passive set-up and 18in wheels; you just can’t have it with paddles.



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