FACTfile - Alfa GT
New kid on the block
Again we bring you latest information - straight from the horse's mouth (and largely unexpurgated) - on the new addition to the Alfa lineup - the Alfa GT. Watch out for an ItalianCar test drive - when we give you our opinion - soon.
Alfa has set a new standard for performance, automotive beauty and driving exhilaration with the launch of the Alfa Romeo GT today (1 July 2004) without losing its renowned value for money reputation. Styled by Bertone, the legendary Italian styling house, the Alfa GT takes all the Alfa Romeo elements that have lead to the Alfa Romeo sports cars, the 147, the 156 and the 166 be lauded for their unique elegance, style and eye-catching beauty and added their own unique additions to produce a car that is, quite simply a new byword for beauty. No less of an achievement is the interior and, like Alfa Romeo's existing range, it can be expected that this interior will, too, become a palette from which other car makers draw their inspiration.
But few will match the clarity of view that Alfa Romeo provides to produce an interior that is both snug like a sports car and spacious like a sedan; stylish to the to ultimate level, but easy to use and ergonomic, in summation an interior that is always an occasion in which to sit, whether in traffic jam or on a favourite stretch of road. Power is supplied by Alfa Romeo's legendary 3.2 litre V6 engine, developing the same 300 Nm of torque as the renowned Alfa Romeo 156 and 147 GTA road racers. But while it delivers similar shattering performance - the zero to 100 kmh sprint is covered in just 6.3 seconds - a mild retune of the engine means its presentation of this performance is in a new, slightly mellower mode that matches the spirit of the Alfa Romeo GT. Nevertheless there is the wondrously evocative raspy burble produced by the race track bred engine from the moment the key is turned, a sound that can only be described as added an operatic edge to every drive in the Alfa GT. But practicality has not been sacrificed at the altar or emotion. This is a coupé that is also remarkably practical.
There is comfort for four people, space and seat belts for five, matched by a spacious boot of 320 litres, which may be enlarged by folding down the split rear seats and a through loading device only adds to the load carrying options. But there are also excellent detail features, such as the lockers on either side of the boot, the 12 volt power point located on one side of the boot and the polished chrome - who says practicality can't also be beautiful - tie luggage down points.
The Alfa Romeo GT is spectacularly well equipped. Naturally there is the equipment you would expect in this market position, such as power windows, remote central locking with remote boot opening, full leather interior and a powerful sound system, trip computer, cruise control and heated front seats. But each of these items has been honed to match Alfa Romeo's requirements. Hand crafted, fine Italian leather is used on the elegant shaped and styled seats that offer both comfort and the lateral grip required in a sports car; the powerful stereo system is fitted with a Bose power amplifier and speakers, as well as a Bosch stacker CD unit and the ability to play MP3; the central locking includes auto-lock to ensure security; the readout on the trip computer to be changed to suit individual requirements.
Performance is nothing without safety and security and here, once again the Alfa Romeo GT has all the features expected of a car in the exacting class. Active safety features include the full range of electronic safety features, such as electronic stability controls (VDC, ASR and MSR) tuned to provide safety but without dampening down the driving experience, as well as the latest generation of ABS anti-lock brakes. Naturally, a responsive chassis aids accident avoidance, as well. Passive safety features are led by six air bags, crumple zones and an occupant safety cell. With such a unique combination of performance, style and sheer presence, it could be expected that a car of the Alfa Romeo GT's abilities would command top-dollar. But with a recommended retail price of $79,990, the Alfa Romeo GT represents commendable value for money.
- "Few cars can offer the complete emotional experience supplied by the Alfa Romeo GT, even fewer, if any, at the price that makes this involving experience possible with the Alfa Romeo GT," says Kevin Wall, General Manager for Alfa Romeo Australia. "It touches nearly all the senses, making every drive a real occasion, an event to be savoured. Yet, at $79,990, it is available at what is, considering what the Alfa GT offers, a very reasonable price. For Alfa Romeo, the GT represents yet another example of the unique spirit that has made Alfa Romeo a legend in the automotive industry, a byword for a motoring excellence, a name that is as instantly recognisable as the cars that it produces."
Beauty, style and aggression
The Alfa GT is a car that arouses strong emotions: a dashing, aggressive design with a stylish and sophisticated looks. Herein lies the soul of the Alfa GT, bringing together the essence of the Alfa Romeo brand and elements of the 147, 156 and 166 in a unique design by the Bertone style centre. All the great European designers have, at one time or other, helped clad Alfa cars. The long history of cooperation has mirrored changes in the company and in popular taste. Nowadays, the craftsmen of bygone times have given way to true designers who work with the Alfa Romeo Style centre, often as outside consultants. This is the philosophy behind the Bertone Style Centre's creative contribution to the Alfa GT.
It is no mere chance that the new vehicle immediately calls to mind the Giulia Sprint GT, the model created by Nuccio Bertone in 1963: Alfa's new coupé shares the same sporty nature, smooth tapering lines and great Italian sense of style. The Alfa GT offers original style and exhilarating performance. It also represents a brand new concept in sportiness, where comfort and elegance combine. The car aims to offer all the driving satisfaction of an extraordinarily high-performing coupé without the compromises typically dictated by this type of car. The roomy luggage compartment - 320 litres - is one of the most generous in its segment. With a length of 4.48 metres, width of 1.76 metres a wheelbase is 2.59 metres and a height of 1.37 metres, the Alfa GT Coupé is aggressive and compact with a shape marked by distinctive traits that define its strong personality and render it immediately recognisable. A new interpretation of the distinctive Alfa motif is evident at the front. The Alfa shield is slightly larger and constitutes an imposing presence out of which the entire car appears to grow. The result is very effective: it oozes force and aggression. This impression is reinforced by two side air intakes and light clusters that are objects of beauty in their own right. The rear end also has a lot to say stylistically. The tail end of the Alfa GT is compact and slightly dipped and tapering with large blended bumpers. The rear window is drop-shaped while the light clusters are embedded in the body. The tail also offers the right amount of balance and elegance with its strongly raked rear window and quality wraparound tail-light design.
The equally distinctive profile gives the model the appearance of an agile, solid and protective car. This is due above all to a pronounced shelf on the side that makes the car look slender and dynamic. Taut lines that meet at the rear and the small area of glass (compared to the large extent of metal at the side) add elegance and also sturdiness. Like the exterior shape, the interior of the Alfa GT is as sporty as Alfa Romeos get. The steering wheel, pedals and gearbox, for example, are designed for maximum vehicle control. The instruments are also functional and allow clear, simple and immediate understanding of the information. They also look good. Two large round analogue dials - the speedometer and rev counter - are located on either side, while two smaller gauges are located in the middle - fuel level and coolant temperature - with a central display beneath. All the dials have a grey background and black numbers. Red lighting, with adjustable brightness, makes the dials easier to read at night. The shade is easier for the eye pupils to focus on as they adjust from the dark road to the bright dashboard. The Alfa GT on-board instrument array includes a multifunction display that allows access to several menus and submenus that speak the motorist's language and offer a host of functions. For example: clock, date, programmable warning buzzer and displays for the radio, phone, check control etc. The trip computer provides a set of information on previous or current trips: fuel consumption (instantaneous and average), average speed, remaining range, journey time and kilometres covered. In the centre of the fascia are the radio and controls for the automatic dual zone climate control system produced with a sophisticated design. In detail, the radio, complete with CD/MP3 player offers an outstanding sound system designed and adjusted to the passenger compartment that consists of six speakers and delivers a power output of 4x40 Watts. The radio may also be activated by controls on the steering wheel.
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