Since Alfa Romeo's curvy new 147 was given its UK debut at the International Motor Show in Birmingham last week fans have continued to applaud the latest model, with the car manufacturer recording a large amount of interest.

From the moment it was unveiled to public view the Alfa Romeo's shapely baby, which replaces the 145 and 146 hatchbacks, has been greeted by a wave of interest from the public.

The latest model, which will be available in Britain next Spring, has a distinctive grille with styling cues harking back to some classic by- gone sporting Alfas.

The elegant 156 saloon has already proved a hit with UK and European drivers who want a performance executive that's distinctively different from the Germanic norm.

And the 147, which will have 1.6 or 2.0 litre 'twin spark' engines and optional Formula One style gearshifting, is set to reassume its place in the hearts of British enthusiasts.

Alfa Romeo's Luigi Maraffi said: "People are asking me when the 147 is available and can they order one right away.

"It's aimed at a younger market - people aged between 25 and 45 who are independently-minded and want a car that matches their aspirations.

"Alfas tend to appeal to people that appreciate driving and distinctive design," he added.