[Live image update] Alfa Romeo MiTo GTA adds spice to mini Alfa

Alfa Romeo applied an historic label to its little MiTo by creating the MiTo GTA, a 240-horse hot hatch with Italian flair. Going up against the Mini Cooper S John Cooper Works edition, the MiTo just might make it to North America.

Power for the MiTo GTA will come from a 1.75-liter four-cylinder, producing 240 horsepower. To achieve its lofty output, the small, 1.75-liter engine will feature direct injection, variable valve timing, and a turbocharger. The hot hatch will wear a GTA badge like other fast Alfas of the past, and the Italian automaker claims it will be the most powerful car in its class, outgunning the Mini Cooper S and its Works edition by at least 22 horsepower.

The 1.75-liter engine represents a retro throwback, as a four-cylinder engine of the same displacement, the 1750, was used in Alfa's Romeo Giulia and Giuliettas of the 1960s.

To set the GTA model apart from lesser MiTos, the hot hatch will feature flared wheel arches and a unique aero kit. To ensure the MiTo GTA's bite matches its bark, the GTA model will be fitted will high-tech coilover springs and front McPherson struts. Alfa's Q2 front-wheel torque vectoring system will also be part of the MiTo's GTA package, although a torsion-beam suspension will still be employed out back.

The MiTo GTA will also be packed with plenty of safety technology, including ABS, electronic stability control and a system to keep torque steer in check.

Check back for more details and live images after the Alfa MiTo GTA makes its debut at next month's Geneva Motor Show.