Alfa Spider

Appealing style, refined technology and all the temperament of true sports cars: meet the new Alfa Spider and Alfa GTV at their Italian debut. Just over one month after their world premier (at the recent Geneva Motor Show), the new models designed by the Pininfarina Style Centre are ready to meet the world's motor trade press ahead of their May launch date.

Both models come with a brand-new look and a revised range of specifications and power units, though their timeless appeal is unchanged: driving satisfaction in a sporty, stylish package.

A quick glance at the shape reveals improvements to the car's exterior appearance. Firstly, the front end is now more imposing and distinctive. This impression of solidity and dynamism is complemented by side pillars that are the source of the traditional V-shape on the bonnet: two converging ribs that delimit and emphasise a central bulge that hints at the presence of the powerful, beefy engine beneath.

The new Alfa Spider and Alfa GTV also preserve the same wedge-shaped line emphasised by a cut-off tail that gives the vehicle body a strong sense of aggression. Similarly, it was decided not to change the strongly raked windscreen and the emphatically shelved side that give both models their slender, dynamic looks. The much-appreciated profile of both sports models has also been kept, including the Alfa GTV's high cut-off end and the open-topped sports car's slender, tapering rear.

The 16" light alloy wheels, on the other hand, are new, as are the three body shade options: Brunello Red, Racing Green and Cobalt Blue.

Several new features have been added inside the new Alfa Spider and Alfa GTV, beginning with a lower driver seating level in relation to the ground (H point) for improved driving comfort. The interiors have also been redefined to make them more stylish and user-friendly. This tendency is evident in the black facia and the brand-new central console panel that houses the ASR key, radio and satellite navigation system. The lighting on the instrument panel and controls is now red while a new cloth trim is available for seats and interiors. All these factors help emphasise the concept of stylish sportiness that has always typified the Alfa Romeo brand.

The new Alfa Spider and Alfa GTV power units are also bound to arouse plenty of interest. Just for starters, the models now offer two engines that have already met with considerable success on other Alfa Romeo models: the 165 bhp (121 kW) 2.0 JTS and the 240 bhp (176 kW) 3.2 V6 24 valve.

The 2.0 JTS (Jet Thrust Stoichiometric) is a revolutionary petrol engine with direct injection that offers a specific power rating in excess of 60 kW/l and a specific torque of more than 100 Nm/l. The second power unit is the spirited 3.2 V6 24 valve unit, with a power output of 240 bhp (176 kW) at 6200 rpm that boasts a torque curve of up to 289 Nm (29.4 kgm) at 4800 rpm and can ensure exhilarating performance during sporty driving and also during everyday use. More specifically, a GTV equipped with this engine reaches 255 km/h, a performance that makes this the fastest on-road car in Alfa Romeo's history. The last power unit to grace the new range is the 150 bhp (110 kW) 2.0 T.Spark, a distillation of Alfa's experience in Twin Spark technology. The performance is outstanding: the GTV reaches a top speed of 215 km/h, while the Spider reaches 210 km/h. Both cars take just 8.5 seconds to speed from 0 to 100 km/h.
continues... | Part Two

Published : 16/04/03 Author : Melanie Carter

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