Now, with the launch of the revised Alfa 147 range, this engine’s power output has been extended still further, thanks to a modified injection strategy which also benefits noise and vibration levels. Already available in the Alfa Romeo GT, the twin overhead cam, 16-valve unit, with variable geometry Garrett turbocharger, now delivers 150 bhp at 4000 rpm, while the remarkable maximum torque figure remains at 305 Nm (226 lb.ft) at 2000 rpm. The result is a smooth, reliable and quiet delivery of power, with remarkably low fuel consumption allied to sparkling performance and impressive flexibility.
The maximum torque figure is actually greater than that generated by the 250 bhp 3.2 litre petrol V6 of the 147 GTA, and the result is exceptional flexibility: 90% of maximum torque is available between 1750 and 3250 rpm. The 0-60 mph acceleration time drops from 9.1 to 8.8 seconds, while combined cycle fuel consumption remains at a frugal 47.9 mpg.
The MultiJet engine is mated to a six-speed manual transmission, while other versions in the 147 range are equipped with a five-speed manual ’box. Customers choosing the 2.0 litre TS engine can also opt for the innovative Selespeed robotised manual transmission, which dispenses with the clutch pedal to combine the convenience of an automatic with the operating speed and entertainment of a conventional manual. Gear changes are made using either a sequential lever, or paddle controls behind the steering wheel. The electrohydraulic system instantly disengages the clutch, reduces torque, and smoothly selects and engages the required gear. Selecting ‘City’ mode switches Selespeed to a relaxing automatic transmission that is ideal in town traffic.
Precision handling and great roadholding make the Alfa 147 a real driver’s car, one that enhances everyday driving satisfaction. Now, subtle changes to the damper characteristics and suspension design have brought higher standards of ride comfort to complement its dynamic ability. The proven and successful arrangement of double wishbones at the front and MacPherson struts at the rear continues to deliver exceptional lateral grip, swift cornering, great efficiency and crisp steering response.
The 147 range remains comprehensively equipped and a standard fitment on all models are six airbags - front, side and window bags, climate control, load limiters and pretensioners for the front seatbelts, a steering wheel adjustable for height and reach, a height adjustable driver’s seat, electric front windows and door mirrors, tinted windows, remote control central locking, ‘follow me home’ headlamps, 60:40 split folding rear seat and an Alfa code immobiliser and alarm system.
All models now also have an RDS radio/CD player with eight speakers (1.6 TS 105 bhp six speakers).