A L F A N E W S
Alfas new version of the Sportwagon is named Crosswagon and
was presented at the March 2004 Geneva Motor Show. It will have new bumpers and side skirts, and be 60 mm
higher than the original Sportwagon. Four wheel drive and the
1.9 M-Jet diesel engine will be only engine option with more
alternatives to follow. Crosswagon will go on sale in Italy in
October 04. [Crosswagon
147 2004 facelift
Alfa has given the 147 a mid-life facelift including a newly
designed grille and front and rear bumpers. 4-wheel drive
will be available. The car will be presented at the 2005
Paris Motor Show and go on sale early 2005.
The next generation 156 will be launched at the March 2005 Geneva
Motor Show as Alfa Romeo 158, –
probably skipping the 7 to get in sync with the
upcoming 148. It will be build on the Premium platform
developed together with GM and SAAB, and come in both 2 and 4 wheel
– FWD: 1.8 JTS 150bhp, 1.9 JTD 140bhp, 1.9 JTD 160bhp, 2.0 JTS
170bhp, 2.2 JTS 190bhp, 2.4 JTD 200bhp
– 4WD: 2.0 JTS 170bhp, 2.2 JTS 190bhp , 2.8 V6 JTS 230bhp, 3.2
V6 JTS 260bhp, Quadrifoglio 2.2 JTS Uniair 310bhp, GTA (Europe &
Japan) 3.2 V6 JTS bi-turbo 300bhp, GTA (USA) 4.2 V8 JTS Uniair 430bhp,
1.9 JTD 140bhp, 2.4 JTD 200bhp, 3.2 V6 JTD 250bhp.
156 GTA 3.7 V6
London-based Alfa Romeo tuners Autodelta has now also upgraded
the standard 156 GTA. The Autodelta GTA is
powered by a bored-out version of the existing 3.2 V6 unit,
engine capacity now up to 3750cc, delivering 328bhp at
7300rpm and capable of reaching 175mph! Autodelta’s own
styling and manufacturing dept. Creativestudio, has given both
the 156 and
147 a new, distinctive and even sportier look. It will be strictly customer built
and each one will have its own plaque carrying the serial
number. More on
156 GTA] [Autodelta
147 GTA 1]
147 GTA 2]
Italdesign will present their new Alfa Visconti concept at the
Geneva Motor Show March 2004. If everything goes as planned
for Giugiaro and Italdesign, the Visconti will be Alfa’s new
flagship car with it’s 3.2 litre 400bhp V6 twin turbo
engine. According to Italdesign, the concept is practically
ready for production and has been designed for all wheel drive
No return to the U.S. for Alfa
Alfa Romeo has shelved the plan to drive its sleek sportscars
back into the U.S. market in 2007. Head of the brand
Daniele Bandiera said they will rather focus on growing in
Europe and Asia.
GTV and Spider based on Brera concept
Alfa has decided that the Giugiaro/Italdesign concept Brera, which
was presented at the Geneva Motor Show 2002, will form the basis for
the upcoming 2005 Alfa GTV. The original Brera is a classic 2+2 seat
configuration with the bodywork entirely made of carbon fiber
composite and an all-new Alfa 4litre V8 engine with at least 400 hp.
The GTV will probably be somewhat modified and it will first appear at
the Geneva Motor Show in March 2005 and go on sale towards the
end of that year. Rumors has it that a Spider version will be
presented in Geneva 2006.
Italdesign has had a love affair with Alfa Romeo since it was
established and their recent creation was the spectacular Alfa Romeo Scighera
8C Competizione available
8C Competizione is designed and developed by Alfa Design Centre, and
was presented at the Frankfurt Auto Show 2003. Certain modifications –
especially the front – will be made, but the car will go on sale late
2004. A limited run of 1000 will be build at around € 100.000,-
each. The engine will probably be a modified version of the 400hp Maserati 4.2 litre, now with 480bhp! According to Alfa it will be
capable of 0-100 in 4.5 sec and pass the 300 km/h mark. The name is
classic Alfa going back to the pre-war 8 cylinder (8C) models, and Competizione comes from the
1950-model 6C 2500 Competizione Sports Coupé. [8C
Competizione 4] [8C
The GT Coupe was designed by the Bertone Style Centre and represents a
brand new concept of sportiness that blends comfort and elegance the
Italian way. With a length of 4.48 m, width of 1.76 m and a
height of 1.39 m, the GT is aggressive and compact. The car owes its performance to a mechanical
layout that has borrowed the very best features from the 156,
including three power units, the 140 bhp 1.8 T.Spark, the 165
bhp 2.0 JTS and the 150 bhp 1.9 JTD MultiJet 16V. Those who want the
very best in terms of performance and sportiness can choose the GTA
version equipped with a powerful 240 bhp 3.2 V6 24 valve engine and
equipped with 6 airbags, Bose Hi-Fi with CD/MP3-player, cruise contol,
xenon lights nav system, 17" wheels etc. It will go on sale late
A 166 facelift was first shown at the 2003 Frankfurt Show in
September. Four engine alternatives will be available;
150bhp 2.0 TS, 188bhp 2.5 V6 24v, 220bhp 3.0 V6 and 240hk 3.2 V6 24v
plus 2 diesel options – 150bhp 2.4 JTD 10v and 175bhp 2.4 Multijet 20v.
The 166 will come with three styling options: Impression,
Progression or Distinctive, – plus a lowered TI version with 18"
wheels and black leather with an embroidered red TI logo.
& Sportwagon 2003 facelift
Both the 156 and the Sportwagon has
got an elegant update signed Italdesign and Giorgetto Giugiaro
himself. Italdesign was also responsible for the Brera concept, now
going into production as TZ3.
Alfa 156 made it’s debut in 1997 and Walter deSilvas excellent
design is still a knock out. The 2003 Italdesign facelift is therefore
pretty discrete. The front has got a larger grille, a narrower bumper
and changed headlights. More Alfa if you like. Inside, the dash is
slightly modified – with a leather-trimmed facia for some models, and
a new video/nav-display.
New color options and a microfiber cloth – Alfatex – for parts of
the interior has been developed and patented by Alfa. Several new
engines are offered and Selespeed will be available on even more
models. The sporty TI – Turismo Internazionale – is also offered.
& Spider 2003 facelift
The current, long serving GTV and Spider final facelift
was presented at the Geneva Motor Show in March 2003. Now with a much larger and more aggressive grille together
with a deeper front spoiler. They both come with newly designed 16" light alloy
wheels and three body shade options: Brunello Red, Racing Green and
Cobalt Blue. The dashboard has been reworked, while a new centre
console which houses the optional sat-nav system as well as radio and
ASR controls. New seating
trims are available, to seats that have been lowered as Alfa seek to
improve the model’s centre of gravity. Two new engines are offered.
The 240bhp 24V 3.2-litre V6 with a 255km/h top speed, and the 165bhp
2.0-litre JTS unit. Also a reworked 150bhp 2.0-litre TwinSpark is
SUV concept revealed at Geneva
The Kamal concept presented at the Geneva International
Motor Show 2003 is a little shorter that the 156 Sportwagon, but high
enough (1620mm) to be clearly a SUV in its concept. The vehicle is
designed by the Arese Style Centre and was shown as an exterior-only
model. The rugged yet voluptuous design shows a likely future
direction for Alfa Romeo and would be a logical addition to their
current range, and could share parts with the 147 and 156. Kamal is
powered by 3.2 litre V6 with 250bhp driving all four wheels. [Kamal1]
comeback for the TI
The TI – Turismo Internazionale – is back. The letters used to be assigned to
Alfa’s best-equipped cars. Standard production models which underwent
both styling and mechanical changes to create thoroughbred sports car
for the ordinary road. They now designate a sporty kit that will be
available for the whole Alfa range. The code stands for quality and a guarantee
that changes such as wider tyres, alloy
wheels and sideskirts have been made in the factory. The TI interior
will be identified by
sporty configuration seats, leather-trimmed steering wheel and
gear knob, an aluminum sill plate and
black facia and ceiling. [147 TI]
to be given the green light?
The "m" version of the 156 GTA displayed at the Bologna Motor Show
in December 2002, will probably be given the green light for a 500
unit run. Built by N-Technology – Fiat’s competition department – the 156 GTAm
transfers racing technology from the 2002 156 GTA SuperTouring race
cars (which swept all before them in the European Touring Car
Championship) into a car designed for the road with an
increased version of the 147/156 GTA 3.2-litre V6 engine. The cylinder
displacement has been increased to 3548cc and power is
raised from 250 to 300 hp. The body wings and bonnet have
also been changed to composites for less weight. The light alloy
wheels are 8 x 19" fitted with 235/35ZR19 tyres. The sports ride
set-up is also new with height-adjustable shock absorbers by Bilstein
with Eibach springs, and the front brakes come with bigger Brembo
calipers and 330 mm discs. [GTAm1]
166 GTA with 300 hp
Alfa will launch a GTA version of the 166 at the end of 2003.
The car will get a mild facelift, 4×4 and an upgraded version of the
current 3.2 liter GTA engine, now with 3.5 liter and 300 hp. Along
with the GTA, other options will be a 2.0 JTS w/165 hp,
a 2.5 V6 w/192 hp, a 3.2 V6 w/225 hp. Two
diesel alternatives; 150 hp 2.4 JTD and 180 hp 20V 2.4 JTD.
and Spider back to the drawing board
Next generation GTV and Spider have been sent back to the drawing
board. The Alfa management including boss Daniele Bandiera and Fiat CEO Giancarlo Boschetti
haven’t so far been happy with the results presented. If this means
that Pininfarina is out of the picture, I don’t know. The GTV was
expected in the fall 2004 and the Spider sometime spring 2005, but due
to the redesigning, the release plan most likely has to be pushed
back. Rumors still has it that the new models will be "significantly"
different visually, breaking with the pattern of the current model’s
almost identical looks. Sketches: [Spider1]
Alfa design studies
The Master’s Transportation Design students at Pauda Design College
have been working on a project assigned by Alfa’s design dept. Centro Style.
Among the many suggestions, the Alfa "Corsa" and "Eva"
was chosen. The Corsa concept is back wheel drive 2+2 coupe – quite
Ferrari 360 Modena from behind – while "Eva" is an extreme 2-seater
with design details from the 50’s Formula 1 Alfas.
US re-launch delayed
Fiat are to delay the US re-launch of their Alfa Romeo brand again,
now aiming to introduce it to American customers in 2007, two years
later than originally planned. It is believed that factoring stringent
US safety and emission regulations into new models has caused problems
and delays, particularly with the new Spider which was expected to
lead the re-launch. Initially Alfa Romeo were planning to re-launch
the new Spider and GTV in 2005, these being joined by the 156 and 166
replacements as they came on stream. However with Fiat’s enormous
debts, funding an expensive US-wide advertising and promotional
campaign for one model and subsidizing the new dealer network until a
full range becomes available is not viable. With the 156 replacement
due in 2004, the 166 in 2005, the 147 in 2006, and a SUV [Sports Utility Vehicle] in the pipeline, a
2007 re-launch will give Alfa Romeo the opportunity to introduce a
full range of models.
wins the 2002
ETCC [European Touring Car Championship]
For more than 30 years the GTA logo has been used to identify Alfas
prepared for racing. Nordauto’s close link with Alfa has resulted in the
Nordauto GTA Racing Team competing with the new 156 GTA in the European
Touring Car Championship (ETCC). After a superb performance in 2001 – (1st
and 2nd place in the Drivers Championship, and
1st in the Team Championship), Alfa Nordauto have done it again! First
place for both driver and team in ETCC 2002. The Alfa team did great
all through the 2002 season with 13 wins out of 18! The domination was
in fact so strong that FIA midway in the season decided to
make new rules to "optimise the equality
of performances between the cars". Front-wheel drive cars (Alfa Romeo)
was loaded by 15 kg ballast and rear-wheel drive cars had the weight reduced by 15 kg. Alfa Rules! [www.teamnordauto.com]
The 147 GTA made its public debut at the 75th Paris Motor
Show in September. The 147 GTA is fitted with the 3.2-litre 24v V6
engine from the 156 GTA. Along with this powerplant it has a revised
suspension set-up, upgraded braking and improved safety systems, GPS
navigation and 17" alloy wheels with 225/45 tyres.
Special Editions 2002
2 different versions of the Spider has been introduced. The
Edizione Sportiva and
Edizione Elegante. They both have newly designed
leather seats and 17" rims [with 225×45 tyres], and white
side blinkers. The Sportiva also has air vents situated behind the
front wheels. [Read
Center College of Design showes Alfa design
Art Center College of Design recently hosted its Spring 2002 Graduation
Senior Show, featuring work from ten graduating students in the
Bachelor of Science – Transportation Design program. Among the designs
presented was the Alfa Romeo GT Sedan "Elessa" by Tom Matsumoto and
the Alfa Romeo GT "Xapher" by Jae Shin. Shin felt that Alfa needed a
front engined, rear wheel drive, two seater. His goal was to make a
one of a kind car, – just like the Viper and the TT. The "Xaphers"
front design is very aggressive and the overall design is very
romantic which hints at the flavor of Italy. Tom Matsumoto proposed
the "Elessa", – a GT sedan, which would have a strong impact as well
as make profitable sales. The "Elessa" is beautifully proportioned,
with a fluid and sculptural form. A triangular grill, character line
on the body side and a thin long tail lamp signal that this is
unmistakenably Alfa Romeo.
[Art Center College of Design]
156 and Sportwagon facelift
The 2002 upgrade for 156 and Sportwagon has been released in Italy. A new
JTS [Jet Thrust Stoichiometric] engine is replacing the old Twin Spark. The 2.0 liter now comes
with 165 hp. Other new details are Xenon lights, Bose sound system and
a completely new facia [with
the optional infotelematic tool "Connect"].
The Transportation Design students
at the Art Center College of Design in
Pasadena presented their works recently.
Among the concepts was sketches of what could be the next generation
Alfa Romeo GTV. The drawing is
by student Taehoon Kim, and is
Art Center College of Design is one of the
world’s leading in Transportation Design.
Probably more than half the world’s cars
are designed by former students.
The introduction of
the GTA version [like the BMW M versions] in each model range has started
147 GTA, 156 GTA and the Sportwagon GTA. The GTA will include lowered suspension, newly
designed 17 inch wheels with 225/45 tires, enlarged brakes,
Xenon lights, head airbags, better quality dashboard
with GPS navigation and telematic system. The classic
Alfa V6 now has 3.2 liters displacement, and 24 valves, and
the output is 250 bhp. The interior will have a general mild
upgrade and feature sports seats and steering wheel.
The 166 GTA is expected late 2003 and GTV/Spider GTA will be developed for the next
generation, and are scheduled for a 2004/5 release.
recently did a review of the Sportwagon GTA and says:
«Quite simply, it’s possibly the sports car bargain of the decade – and an
estate to boot» Not bad 🙂
For those of you understanding Norwegian, both the magazines
and Drive have taken the 156 GTA for a spin, and give top ratings!
3. generation Sportwagon
The Transportation Design students the the Italian L‘Instituto d’Arte
Applicata e Design di Torino showed their work in July 2001.
The project was based on Alfa sportconcept and the planning of the
3. generation Sportwagon with backwheel drive. See the works by
Fabio Miniati, and
Michele di Lillo.
147 with extra muscle
UK company Autodelta have launched 2 turbo-versions of the Alfa
147 called "J12" and "
J12 Evo" – in
the same series as the J10 Spider/GTV and
J11 156. Autodelta has modified Alfa’s EOBD version III T-Spark
engine (1.6 and 2.0 liter), which has been used by Alfa since the end of 2000. "J12 Evo" –
the 2.0 liter – will manage 0-100 km/h at 5.7 sec. and 240+ km/h. Also read more
about the Alfa 147
Fiat and GM joint venture
In March 2001, General Motors and Fiat Auto formed a joint venture.
Because of this, the next-generation 156, Sportwagon and Spider will
be based on GM’s Epsilon II platform rather than one of Fiat/Alfa’s
own platforms. Alfa’s re-entering the US market will start with
showing off the Spider at the Detroit Auto Show in January 2005 and
sales will start the same year in dealerships shared with Saab and
Autonis – Germanys first cadesign award
I’ve of course always thought that most Alfas looks great, and now
more than 50.000 readers of the German mag AutoStrassenverkehr
do agree. "Die Schönsten Autos 2001"
was chosen in 12 categories and among 339 different models.
Alfa Romeo won TWO categories: The compact class
– Alfa Romeo 147, and the stationwagon
class – Alfa