It’s not quite what you would expect from an Alfa Romeo nor what you expect from an SUV, yet it someone manages to be better than both of those things. The Alfa Romeo Stelvio is a luxury crossover SUV manufactured by Alfa Romeo. It has been receiving a lot of praise and high reviews as of late, and for good reason. It’s stylish, safe, and very practical. Perhaps the first time this manufacturer has received this much praise since it released the Matta back in the 1950’s.
Designed in Italy during the dawn of the space-age, Alfa Romeo’s first racing prototype in a decade was quickly dubbed the “Disco Volante” (Italian for Flying Saucer) in response to it’s thoroughly contoured, aerodynamic design. It immediately divided racing professional and enthusiast into two camps: one that considered the vehicle to be a complete and utter waste of time, energy, and money; and the other that thought the design was pure genius.
As it turns out, both were right.
Breaking New Ground
After the 2nd World War, Alfa Romeo was the car manufacturer to beat on the Grand Prix circuit and during the early concept phase of the prototypes the confidence was apparent as the Alfa Romeo brass has visions that such a vehicle might quickly overtake newer American and German designed sports cars as the car of choice on the LeMans and Monacco venues, however they quickly realized the shortcomings in terms of quality validation at sustained speeds. While these issues were solvable, only 3 were ever produced and 2 tested, and the Alfa Romeo racing team quickly moved to concentrate on more traditional single-seat racing cars like the Alfa Romeo’s Tipo Alfetta
Alfa Romeo has always impressed in the mini car arena. This company, founded way back in the 1900’s, has had an impressive run over the century it has been in existence. It has produced cars for the masses that have defined generations. The Mito in particular is a supermini series that has been on the market since 2008. This car is definitely among the best in its cadre in terms of style, efficiency, and bare looks.
There are key things that every car enthusiast looks at when ranking a particular model, for the Alfa Romeo Mito, they have to include the looks since this car is particularly made for its aesthetics. We will look at the overview of this car in terms of features including where it impresses as well as highlight any places it might have fallen short of expectations.
Please, if anyone in Alfa Romeo is listening, this car needs to become a reality…Lucio
Nurturing talent is essential for an individual to go forward. In the world of car designers, though, some people have an inborn knack for creating spectacular machines. Today we’ll zero in on an up-and-coming automotive design crackerjack from Italy.
His name is Gianfranco Spano and, according to his LinkedIn profile, the young fellow just got himself a degree in Vehicle Engineering at the Universita degli Studi di Modena e Reggio Emilia. To graduate from university, you need a thesis. Mr. Spano prepared one in the form of a design study.
The 1:5 scale model in the adjacent photo gallery is the concept in question. Designed and fabricated with the aid of Modelleria Modenese and Carrozzeria Zanasi, the Alfa Romeo 6C is a design study for a road-going GT car.
Carrozzeria Zanasi is in cahoots with Ferrari since 1964, the year old man Enzo was looking for a shop to repair damaged cars. These days, Carrozzeria Zanasi can prepare your Ferrari for Ferrari Classiche certification, provided that your car is over 20 years old. It’s rather clear then why Gianfranco’s 1:5 scale study looks so Ferrari-like, yet the badge reads Alfa Romeo.
I’ll leave the photographs and renderings do the talking in my stead. What caught my attention the most, however, is the so-called Active Hidden Roof. The curiously called roof prides itself on no less than three possible configurations: Coupe, Targa, and Spider. It is still a work in progress, mind you. However, Mr. Spano intends to patent this system in the near future.
Behind the driver’s seat, this magnificent concept theoretically hides the 510 PS 2.9-liter twin-turbo V6 from the Alfa Romeo Giulia Quadrifoglio. That’s essentially the 3.9-liter V8 engine from the Ferrari California T, with two cylinders lopped off for good measure. Last, but not least, I would like to mention an intriguing detail about this concept car. The Alfa Romeo 6C by Gianfranco Spano is said to ride on the backbone of the 458 Italia, sharing the same wheelbase and the front/rear tracks with the Prancing Horse.
I admit there’s a whiff of McLaren 570S and Ferrari 488 GTB at the rear end and a lot of Alfa Romeo 4C at the side profile, but nevertheless, Mr. Spano deserves a round of applause for what he created here. Bravo, dear sir!
I’m so excited! The 2016 Giulia Specs and Pricing is available – Audi, BMW watch out, Alfa Romeo is going to eat your lunch! Check out this article originally published by TheWeek.co.uk ….
Alfa Romeo will add a stylish entrant into the competitive BMW 3-Series, Mercedes C-Class, and Jaguar XE market space this year when it unleashes its latest saloon – the Giulia.
Having first revealed the car last summer in range-topping Quadrifoglio trim, Alfa has since shown off more mainstream versions at the Geneva Motor Show.
According to CarWow, the Giulia is only the firm’s second all-new model in six years, since the release of the Giulietta, so its importance to Alfa is huge. It forms a big cornerstone of the company’s future plans, which include ambitions to grow sales from 74,000 in 2013 to more than 400,000 by 2018.
CarBuyer says the Giulia is “a very pretty car that will most likely turn more heads than a BMW 3 Series or Audi A4” and that its design is likely to be one of its biggest selling points. It’s flamboyant and stands out against its German rivals.
The Giulia uses a more rounded design language that the aggressive angles found on the 159. Alfa’s triangular grille is flanked by two large air vents in the front bumper, with two creases running down the length of the bonnet. The headlamps remain fairly angular and use large, straight, leading edges.
A line juts out from behind the front wheel arch, feeds around the sides and then recedes, tapering away into nothing by the time it reaches the rear door handle. Similarly muscular side skirts make the cut, as do flared wheel arches.
Around the back, the top edge of the boot creases to create a little ducktail while the bumpers feature a large, black skid plate, with two exhausts positioned either side of the car.
The aggressive styling tweaks of the Quadrifoglio trim take things to another level. A big splitter peeks out from underneath the front bumper, which has also been tweaked to appear more muscular. Two vents appear in the bonnet and a small lip spoiler sits on top of the boot. It also features a huge rear diffuser, with quad-exhaust exits. These new aero additions mean that at top speed, the Quadrifoglio can produce 220lbs of downforce.
Alfa claims every model in the range has 50/50 weight distribution, mated to an all-aluminium suspension setup on the range-topper.
There should be around 13 different body colours available, Auto Express says, concluding that the Guilia’s design should make it an “interesting contender” in the executive saloon sector.
Engines and drivetrain
The Giulia is available in rear-wheel and all-wheel drive configurations, a departure from recent Alfas, says CarBuyer, which have been predominantly front-wheel. However, the move signals the company’s intention to move back into the sphere of creating “driver’s cars”.
Alfa will offer the Giulia with four different engine options: two diesels and two petrols.
The two petrols are the most powerful choices. The first is a turbocharged 2.0-litre four cylinder, making 197bhp and 243lb-ft torque. Being an Alfa, there is a V6 available and it sits atop the range in the Quadrifoglio car.ok
That version has a Ferrari-developed aluminium 3.0-litre bi-turbo producing 503bhp which sends the Quadrifoglio from 0-62mph in 3.9secs and on to a top speed of 190mph.
During development, the Quadrifoglio lapped the infamous Nurburgring Nordschleife in 7mins and 39secs– some 13secs faster than BMW achieved with its rival M4 and even topping some of the most exciting supercars of years gone by, lapping a second quicker than the McLaren Mercedes SLR’s official time.
As exciting as this is, the diesel options will be the most popular choices and will form the entry level versions of the car. Both are 2.2-litre units, either in tunes of 148bhp or 178bhp, the more powerful option available with an “Eco” trim. They will be offered with either a six-speed manual gearbox or an eight-speed dual-clutch automatic.
Carscoops points out that more engine options could be on the way, though. The site says Alfa has plans for two more choices to become available by the end of the year – a 210bhp version of the 2.2-litre diesel and a 280bhp version of the 2.0-litre turbocharged petrol option – as a way of bridging the huge golf between the 503bhp Quadrifoglio and the rest of the range.
However, details are still thin on the ground and there’s no indication yet that these could be on UK forecourts by the end of 2016.
CO2 and efficiency
The two diesel options are frugal. Alfa claims they will both return around 67mpg on a combined cycle while emitting 109g/km CO2, meaning you’ll pay £20 a year tax on either the standard 148bhp or 178bhp versions.
The 178bhp model comes with a party piece, though. This engine is available with a different “Eco” specification, delivering the same performance but with CO2 emissions just ducking under 100g/km, making it tax exempt.
As you’d expect, the petrols are more expensive to run and thirstier. The 2.0-litre turbo claims fuel economy of 47.8mpg and CO2 emissions of 138g/km, for a tax bill of £130 a year. The 503bhp Quadrifoglio claims to return 34.4mpg on a combined cycle, though the duty will hit £295 a year.
Interior and tech
CarWow says buyers should expect a range which is generously equipped as standard, especially in terms of safety equipment. Each model will get a collision avoidance system as well autonomous emergency braking which can detect pedestrians. A lane departure warning system, alerting the driver of straying over white lines, is also coming, along with other goodies such as adaptive cruise control and blind-spot monitoring.
A 6.5ins centre console display in the cockpit, acting as an infotainment interface, is also standard, along with sat nav on all but the entry level car. A separate screen, either 3.5ins or 7ins, depending on trim level, sits behind the steering wheel and Quadrifoglios will get an 8.8ins display in the centre console.
A half-leather interior comes as standard on cars one trim level up from entry level, while full leather, power-heated front seats, a heated steering wheel and gear-shift paddles on automatics are available as optional extras. The Quadrifoglio gets a mixture of leather and alcantara, with carbon fibre trim details. Optional fixed-back carbon fibre bucket seats made by Sparco are a £3,000 option.
Elsewhere, Autocar claims that Alfa is in the process of creating an autopilot system for the Giulia, with the semi-autonomous driving features seen on the Tesla Model S as the benchmark for the one the Fiat Chrysler Group is currently developing.
The magazine says that Alfa Romeo and Maserati boss Harald Westler doesn’t expect fully autonomous technology to become available before 2024, but for the time being, establishing the Giulia alongside cars like the Model S is one of Alfa’s goals for the near future.
While this may seem at odds with the Giulia’s image of being a “driver’s car”, the Alfa boss says that the technology is not in contrast to the company’s brand image, and that “once fully autonomous vehicles are established, more people will appreciate driving on a road free of traffic and enjoy driving their car again”.
First impressions are good. Auto Express says the Giulia “is a refreshing and stylish new entry into the highly competitive executive saloon sector”, adding that the car’s quality is on par with its German rivals but also enjoyable to drive thanks to its 50/50 weight distribution and rear-wheel drive platform.
Inside, things aren’t “quite up to Audi quality”, but the interior is stylish and simple and the materials have a good fit and finish. In the back, there is an “impressive amount of room, with enough space for six-footers to be comfortable in the bucketed seats”.
The ride itself feels “remarkably good”, both in terms of comfort but also a “lovely sense of support in corners and through compressions”. As for the engine, AE drove the 2.2-litre diesel and while they think it sounds a tad rough when firing up, they say it settles and becomes smooth and refined both on the move and idle.
Pace is brisk – the 2.2-litre diesel Giulia does 0-62mph in 7.1secs – and it is frugal, too, with Alfa claiming 67mpg.
Overall, it’s a “pleasant surprise”, enjoyable to drive and blessed with competitive specifications in all the right areas.
Some classic Alfa niggles remain, as outlined in the Sunday Times’s drive of the Giulia. While impressed with the design and the way the new Alfa saloon drives, several reliability and build quality issues were on plain show.
One of the test cars was taken away like an “A&E casualty” after its infotainment system shut down. “Another I drove had an engine warning light screaming for attention from the instrument binnacle, and the cruise control refused to switch on.
“A third car tested suffered a frozen infotainment system, which could only be brought back to life by stopping the car and switching the ignition off and back on, and at times some air vents stopped blowing air whilst others continued.” There were problems with the parking sensors too.
These are pre-production models, but The Times says that the same glaring issues are rarely present on the first drives of German rivals.
Prices and release
According to Auto Express, exact UK specs for the Giulia have yet to be outlined, as have the prices. However, the magazine expects the car to start from £29,000. CarWow reckons it should be a little cheaper, at £27,000. The Quadrifoglio should start at more than £50,000. Autocar says that first deliveries are set to take place in September this year.
At least as famous as Ford in Europe, it’s an understatement to say that the Alfa Romeo line of cars has a very rich and impressive automotive history. The story of Alfa Romeo begins in 1910 just outside of Milan and it did not take long for them to gain attention as several of the great names in science and engineering worked together to create early cars that not only displayed the luxury and status symbol that could come from the right car construction, but also proved to have plenty under the hood. Needless to say, these cars quickly became a favorite among drivers for racing both flat courses and hill climbing ones, as well.
Over the years plenty changed, and while most focus tends to be on special designs or luxury models that Alfa Romeo put out, there are many people whose fondest memories are of the Alfetta models that weren’t made for high speed racing or as an obvious show of sophistication, wealth, and power. It’s in this “humbler” category that the often overlooked Alfetta falls into.
1972 Heralded the Alfetta
Following the saloon style of 3 box cars that were in vogue, the Alfetta actually came in two different styles: the 4 door saloon and the 2 door coupe. The Alfetta wasn’t designed to flaunt luxury or be used in high speed dirt path races, however the car was extremely practical as an individual or small family care and despite its relatively light weight, the engine has some real get up and go – which you would hope for from any vehicle from the Alfa Romeo brand, no matter how modest it was meant to be.
In fact, this model was so popular that it would be around for most of two decades, with models still coming off the line in its last year of 1989. During this time there were 10 separate engines used. The exact engine depended on the year, the exact design, and the general advancements that were being made throughout the factories as technology and efficiency improved.
Model Changes through the Years
The original 1.8 model lasted from 1972 to 1975 and would set the base design for everything that was to follow. While this was a relatively simple look and design for an Alfa Romeo vehicle, the Alfetta quickly proved popular as a high quality car that the average worker or family man could afford.
The 1.6 model was actually an option that became available after 1.8 in 1975 and lasted in 1981. This scaled down version of the 1.8 was partially in response to the oil crisis that would last just short of a decade and that scaled down engine just made sense during the time period.
New models would tend to come out every couple of years, each one a little bit unique but following the same winning combination of quality engineering going with a more practical car model that works for the common auto buyer.
Alfetta Models Include:
- Alfetta 2000 & Alfetta 2000L (1977 and 1978)
- Alfetta Turbo D (first introduced turbo engine for this line)
- The rare & experimental Alfetta CEM (which was ahead of its time)
- Alfetta LI America
- AlfettaQuadrifoglio Oro
These were all the models made, and were released in the year they are chronologically listed up above. While the last face lift change would be the Oro in the early eighties, these vehicles would still be produced for almost another decade.
La Storia del Alfetta – Molto Bene!
While the Alfa Romeo models of car may have moved on, it’s hard not to have fond memories of the popular Alfetta and how this particular automobile was top of its class over two amazing decades combining the simple and common with exceptional engines and design to give that little extra something that nudged these models above similar competition. These cars are remembered fondly for good reason, and they certainly deserved to be remembered.
Owning a sports car or vintage vehicle is pretty much awesome, let’s be honest. Simple logic tells us that if someone is willing to spend thousands, sometimes tens of thousands of dollars on something, they must REAAAALY love it. Indeed classic cars are nice, but unless you plan on using it as your primary means of transportation, you’ve got storage costs, upkeep and insurance to contend with. Moreover, if you plan on moving long distances or overseas, you may want to consider transporting your prized car to avoid incurring resell-killing miles on the speedometer.
Today, we’re going to delve into the various options vintage and sports car owners have in transporting their vehicles safely and economically.
Option 1 – Do it Yourself
Are you a capable do-it-yourselfer and have the time for a road trip? You may consider renting an auto trailer from a company like U-Haul. Costs typically run around $15.00 to $18.00 per day (c.2016 USD) and are rated hold between 4,500 and 5,500 pounds depending on the model trailer. Most rentals come equipped with loading ramps, security chains, and tire straps to make carrying your car or cars safe and easy.
A word of caution before you go all-in on this option: know ahead of time what you’re getting into, and plan accordingly. An overnight trip to the beach is with your ‘56 Chevy is one thing, but traveling cross country over mountain, desert, field and stream is an entirely different scenario.
Make sure that the towing vehicle is rated to safely haul the weight of not only the car itself, but that of the trailer. Additionally, since your towing vehicle is going to be doing extra duty, confirm that the towing vehicle is up to date on its maintenance checkup and fluids and make double-sure that the brakes are aligned and not worn – nothing puts the fear of death like brake failure down a steep mountain pass!
Option 2 – Hire a Towing Service
Most tow companies are happy to oblige towing a sports car long distance and most offer a reasonable rate. Providing they have the right equipment to do the job, a reputable company will give you a reliable approximation of when they can pick up your car and when it will be delivered.
And since this is your pride-and-joy we’re talking about here, you’ll want to insist on a flatbed configuration, which is a hydraulically controlled platform mounted directly to the back of a truck. A flatbed will allow the tower to hydraulically tilt the platform to allow your vehicle to be gently load on and of the tow truck.
NOTE: Avoid any outfit that tries to sell you a hook and chain tow, where a chain is wrapped around the front axle of the vehicle to hoist the front of the car in the air. The rear wheel are then used to tow the vehicle behind the towing truck. Besides wearing the rear wheel and axles, hook and chain tows can easily damage front bumpers.
Option 3 – Commercial Car Shipper
For those looking for more of a full service approach or require your car to be kept out of the elements altogether, you’ll want to consider an Auto Transport company with an enclosed trailer. Most Auto Transporters cater to the higher end clientele offering customized solutions to meet an individual’s needs and the tailored attention does not come cheap. Be aware that enclosed truck transport is at least 60 percent higher than open-air trailer transport.
- Look for the Best Quote but Don’t Go with the Cheapest: As with all things in life, you often get what you pay for. If you’re interested in shipping your sports car or cars, you don’t want to go with a company that is not reputable, no matter how low the cost is. Look for a reasonable quote, but verify the company offering the service is reputable and recommended. A poor auto shipper could be deficient in its insurance guarantees, present hidden charges, be late with pickups, provide inadequate transport equipment, or worse.
- Avoid Door-to-Door to Save Money: Door-to-Door delivery will cost more than terminal-to-terminal delivery. Assuming that the Transport Company or Tower has a hub in your area, you may be able to save some money by requesting terminal-to-terminal delivery rather than door-to-door.
Most large auto carriers will have hubs in larger cities, but you may be out of luck for delivery to or from smaller towns
- Save Money by Using Your Own Auto Insurance: Your auto insurance coverage may be more economical than the insurance offered by the towing company or auto carrier service. Speak to your insurance carrier about having your car covered during shipment.
- There is a Season: Auto delivery tends to wane during the winter months. You’ll be in a better position to negotiate prices if you can ship during these months.
- Inspecting Your Vehicle: Most good shippers have a good policy in place with respect to a pre-inspection protocol or agreement. If they don’t – run – don’t walk to the next company. Most involve a walk-around with the driver to take note of any prior damage. You’ll need to sign off on the report to indicate your agree. Upon receipt of the vehicle you should repeat the process to take sure no additional damage was incurred. Take care to get the receipt of anything signed by you.
For extra precaution, take pictures of all sides of your vehicle prior-to and after in case you need to back up a claim for damage.
Moving your prized vintage or sports car can be a traumatic experience, but an ounce of research can save you a mountain in headaches and potential costs. Take our advice above and keep on rolling with your baby down easy street where you belong.
In the world of Italian sports cars there is one manufacturer that consistently stands out in providing surprises in both design and performance. Alfa Romeo has long been a favorite among the biggest car enthusiasts and in 2013 Fiat came out with its latest two-seater sports car – the Alpha Romeo 4C.
Just to look at this car has a stunning shape with an attention to detail you would fully expect from Italian designers. From a distance you would easily be fooled into thinking that you are approaching a Ferrari, and this Alpha will turn just as many heads.
With a starting price of $56,000 it comes nowhere near the price range of Italian super-cars, which means that the average sports car fan has a wonderful piece of Italy with some serious power and engineering.
Alpha Romeo 4C Body Design
In order to squeeze every last bit of torque and speed out of a sports car, the engineers at Alfa Romeo have designed the 4C with a lightweight, but extremely rigid chassis made entirely of carbon fiber. In order to get the curb weight under an impressive 2500 lbs, they’ve used aluminum where possible for heavy components like the crankcase and turbo.
The beautifully shaped outer body is made from a sheet molded compound which is 20% lighter than commonly used steel and has the added benefit that it does not corrode. Of course the look of car can be pointless if aero dynamics have not been taken into account.
This is where Alpha Romeo has made significant improvements over some of their older sports cars. The sleek design is not only very appealing to the eye; it serves a purpose of allowing efficient airflow over and around the car, making it such a stable drive.
On the Road
To give you the real feel of a high performance supercar you will find that the clutch and paddle shift on the steering wheel will give you that race feeling every time you sit into the car. With a twin clutch transmission system and sophisticated launch control you will be able to shift gears faster than you can blink an eye.
When you combine this with the 1750 cc turbocharged engine, providing 237 HP, you will get from 0 to 60 in 4.1 seconds. That is less than a second slower than an entry level Ferrari at an incomparable price tag. Top speed on the 4C is 160 mph, which is pretty impressive and will have drivers longing for more time on race tracks.
You will have an amazing amount of fun driving this car, whether it is on a race track or just a Sunday cruise to enjoy some sunshine and the open road with no particular destination in mind. The current model is available as a coupe and now also as a convertible. For those living in sunny climates and with the budget to stretch this is a fantastic option.
Built for Comfort?
Okay…okay so the Alpha Romeo 4C is not built for comfort. The seats don’t recline much – okay not at all. Power steering at low speed is basically non-existent and if you plan on carrying anything more than a briefcase, you may be out of luck since the trunk space is limited and there’s hardly any storage space in the cabin save a small “box” behind and to the right of the driver. Another complaint is the near-total lack of visibility to the sides and rear of the car.
While we are dedicated Alpha Romeo fans, it’s obvious that the powers-that-be at Alpha Romeo has cut weight at the expense of creature comforts, but hey – this baby’s made for driving…fast. Real fast!
Fiat, part of the Chrysler family of automobiles, has been working hard to increase their share of the automotive market in the United States, but there’s no question that their overall plans have undergone massive changes the past several years. This doesn’t mean things look bleak – in fact part of the reason the company’s 5-year plan is adjusting so much is because of the data they have about how certain vehicles are doing compared to others.
Hello More Jeeps!
The numbers were clear on one thing to Fiat’s executives: in North America at least their Jeeps and Rams were by far and away the best-selling vehicles and the ones that are in highest demand. Because of this, their 5 year plan is shifting production heavily towards more Jeeps, more Dodge Rams, and more of the vehicles that have already found a very positive response from the marketplace.
Not So Good News For Dodge/SRT
The Dodge Grand Caravan and Dodge SRT weren’t so lucky. Between the vehicles currently in demand and the direction Fiat plans on going, these two specific models were given the ax. They are being phased out as other vehicles that are more popular and fit the same niches as those previous models will be produced in the future.
Moving From 8 Platforms To 5
Part of what Fiat is going to emphasis is more quality streamlined into better selection. While originally there were 8 “platforms” or vehicle model types they used, that is being trimmed down to 5. This means a more streamlined selection for the consumer.
Less Luxury, More Practicality?
While luxury is far from dead, especially with the announcement of a new model of the Alfa Romeo coming back in full force, there does seem to be some shift to bringing a touch of luxury to traditionally more practical vehicles and paying attention to market trends.
The announcement of a plug-in hybrid minivan that gets 75 miles to the gallon certainly caught a lot of positive attention and is exactly the type of buzz that this company wants from its newest models of vehicles not only in 2016 but moving forward in their 5 year plan, as well.
What About the Fiat Dealers?
While it’s no question that the smaller Fiats are struggling with sales in the United States, there are some glimmers of hope as the Fiat-Chrysler laid out a multi-year plan in March, 2016 to boost sales at existing Fiat dealerships by reducing fees, simplifying it’s lineup and increasing incentives to customers. Initial dealer response has been positive, but the proof will be in the 2016 sales numbers.
Wrapping it up
While the Fiat-branded cars continue to gain a foothold in the US, it’s looking like Fiat-Chrysler will continue riding the mojo of the Chrysler brand automobiles at least for the short term. That being said, we feel like Fiat has a strong plan in place, they’re proving they can react to changing markets, and that is why they are going to remain a strong player in the automotive game for years to come.