The Alfa Romeo MiTo and Giulietta models have been put through their paces by an elite free-running athlete to test out their performances on both road and ice.
All new Alfa Romeo models now come with the DNA driving mode built in as standard, enabling drivers to switch the settings depending on the conditions they intend to tackle.
DNA stands for the three distinct settings on offer – ‘Dynamic’, ‘Natural’ and ‘All-Weather’ – with the new 4C also including an additional setting. This ‘Race’ mode enables the Alfa to reach its full potential on the track.
Drivers can manually select the setting and the car will automatically adjust itself to alter throttle response, power delivery, power steering assistance, VDC stability control and braking Pre-Fill.
The models were driven around a multi-story carpark and an ice rink respectively, with the former environment tackled in the Dynamic mode, while the latter surface saw the All-Weather mode activated.
Ronnie Shalvis was the man to give the models the runaround – jumping, leaping and diving around while the MiTo handled the tight corners and darted around the concrete pillars with ease.
The challenge demonstrated how the ‘Dynamic’ mode is able to provide motorists with immediate throttle response, while a Pre-Fill braking system delivers excellent stopping ability.
Alfa Romeo also says that added steering weight in the Dynamic setting creates a much sportier driving style, which feels more involved for the driver.
The manufacturer also boasts how the electronic dynamic and stability systems (VDC, DST, ASR) become far less intrusive when the setting is selected, while models fitted with an ALFA TCT gearbox also experience a reconfiguration of the gearshift characteristics.
Heading onto the ice, the Giulietta was able to keep control on the surface thanks to the shift to All-Weather mode.
When selecting this option, drivers can gain even more traction in icy conditions as the VDC (Vehicle Dynamic Control) system becomes more intrusive and the ASR (Anti-Slip Regulator) is lightened.
Models with the ALFA TCT will also benefit from improved traction when trying to pull away from standstill in second gear.
Eventually, the Alfas proved to be too much for Ronnie, who concedes defeat to the superior handling of both the MiTo and the Giulietta.
“With parkour, you have to adapt to varying and challenging environments, whilst remaining agile and dynamic,” he said.
“If you fail to respond to a situation or mistime a move, it could result in serious injury. When everything works together, though, and you nail those difficult manoeuvres, it’s an amazing feeling!
“Making the film with Alfa Romeo was a fantastic experience and I think it really demonstrates how having that control of your environment lets you stay safe but also have a lot of fun.”
Damian Dally, head of brand at Alfa Romeo UK, said the system is incredibly sophisticated, yet simple for the person behind the wheel to use. All they have to do is select the mode and the car will do the rest.
“The Alfa D.N.A. system ensures that every 2014 Alfa Romeo can adapt to the prevailing driving conditions, varying the cars numerous dynamic characteristics from power delivery to steering feel and VDC stability control intervention,” he said.