Alfa Romeo CEO Luca de Meo has just spilled the beans on the upcoming GTA variant of the ultra-stylish Mi.To hatch, confirming the car will arrive in mid-2009 packing a brand new 1.75L four-cylinder petrol engine turbocharged to the tune of 230hp (172kW). The engine will feature direct injection and variable valve timing technology and is set to be one of the most powerful mills in its class.

The odd 1.75L displacement is a reference to the original Alfa Romeo Giulia and Giuliettas of the 1960s, some of the first compact and lightweight cars to have a relatively powerful engine fitted. The new Mi.To GTA is set to continue the tradition and will be almost as fast as the 8C Competizione supercar when accelerating from 80 to 120km/h, AutoWeek reports.

Hot-hatch grade handling should be on tap with a high-tech suspension system including coilover springs and front McPherson struts, however a rear torsion-beam suspension will induce some inside wheel lift on hard cornering. The carmaker’s Q2 front-wheel torque vectoring system should also make an appearance.

A full selection of driver aids and safety devices, including full airbags, ABS, ESP, and EBD are standard, as are anti-slip control and steering-angle-sensitive torque limitation to reduce the tendency for torque steer. The new Mi.To range will go on sale across Europe in coming months, however the GTA is still at least a year away.