Last year Alfa Romeo burst onto the supercar scene with its deliciously daring 8C Competizione. Smooth, flowing original lines spoke of a redefinition of the company's styling language. And the upcoming Alfa Romeo hatch, nicknamed Mito, will share that language - one universally understood as beautiful.

Due for a reveal at an upcoming March 18th-19th dealer presentation, the new Junior is named after Alfa Romeo's historical ties with Milan and Fiat Group's home in Turin, resulting in the contracted Mito. The name is expected to stick through to production, and should help the smallish Alfa fight its main competitor, BMW's Mini, on even ground. First deliveries of the new car will be made in Italy in September, with the rest of the EU taking delivery later in Q4 2008, after the Paris auto show.

The Mito hatch is based on the Fiat Grande Punto platform, and will be Alfa's smallest current production car. Handling should be a tick above the donor Fiat, thanks to a retuned suspension by Alfa. Several variants and engine options are predicted for the Mito, from a 95hp 1.4L petrol model to a 1.4L Multiair producing 105hp paired with a six-speed transmission. A 1.4L turbocharged Multiair will produce something between 135hp and 165hp. Slotting between the two beefier petrol engines will be a diesel 1.6L unit producing 120hp. Finally the top-end model will feature a 1.8L turbocharged motor cranking out something in the neighborhood of 230hp and possibly wearing a GTA badge.

Styling of the new hatch will be based heavily on the 8C Competizione, especially at either end. Up front, a similar rounded fascia with low intakes and the inverted-triangle should dominate. Out back, the circular taillights and Kammback styling with integrated rear underbody diffuser will remind those behind you of the Mito's big sister. Our rendering of the new Junior from last month (pictured) illustrates many of these features. Similar cues will be carried inside, with a carbon-fiber look dashboard and instruments, console and steering wheel derived from the 8C Competizione.