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A L F A   N E W S

CroswagonCrosswagon 2004
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 1] [Crosswagon 2] [Crosswagon 3]

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.

Next generation 156
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 drive.
– 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. [158] [158 test1] [158 test2] [158 test3] [158 test4]

Autodelta 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, with
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 www.autodelta.co.uk. [Autodelta 156 GTA] [Autodelta 147 GTA 1] [Autodelta 147 GTA 2]

ViscontiVisconti concept
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 and steering.

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.

Italdesign Alfa Romeo BreraNext gen. 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 in 1997.
[Brera1] [Brera2] [Brera3] [Brera4] [Scighera]

Alfa Romeo 8C Competizione 20038C Competizione available late 2004
Alfa Romeo 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 1] [8C Competizione 2]
[8C Competizione 3] [8C Competizione 4] [8C Competizione 5]

Alfa Romeo GTNew GT
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, dualzone aircon, xenon lights nav system, 17" wheels etc. It will go on sale late 2003. [GT 1] [GT 2] [GT 3] [GT 4] [GT 5] [GT 6] [GT 7] [GT 8] [GT 9] [GT 10]

Alfa Romeo 166166 2003 facelift
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. [166 2003 1] [166 2003 2] [166 2003 3]

Alfa Romeo 156Ti 2003156 & 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.
[156 2003/1] [156 2003/2] [156 2003/3] [156 2003/4] [156 2003/5]

Alfa Romeo Spider 2003GTV & 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 delivered. [Spider1] [Spider2] [GTV1] [GTV2] [GTV3]

Alfa Romeo KamalKamal 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] [Kamal2] [Kamal3]

Alfa Romeo 147tiA 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] [156 TI]

156 GTAm 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] [GTAm2] [GTAm3]

Alfa 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.

Alfa GTV 2004 sketchGTV 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] [Spider2] [Spider3] [Spider4]

New 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 like the Ferrari 360 Modena from behind – while "Eva" is an extreme 2-seater with design details from the 50’s Formula 1 Alfas. [Corsa1] [Corsa2] [Corsa3] [Eva1] [Eva2]

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.

Nicola Larini/Team NorautoAlfa 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]

147 GTA
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.
[147 GTA1] [147 GTA2] [147 GTA3]  [147 GTA4]

Spider 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 more…]

Alfa Romeo XapherArt 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.
[Elessa] [Xapher] [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"]. [More info]

Alfa Romeo GTV 2005New GTV?
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 simply breathtaking! 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.

Official Alfa GTA webGTA Versions
The introduction of the GTA version [like the BMW M versions] in each model range has started with the 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. Auto Express 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 Vi Menn and Drive have taken the 156 GTA for a spin, and give top ratings! [156 GTA1] [156 GTA2] [Sportwagon GTA]

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 Giorgio Pirolo, Simone Canepa, Fabio Miniati, and Michele di Lillo.

Alfa Romeo 147 Autodelta J12 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 Cup

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 Cadillac.

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 Romeo Sportwagon.