Nobody really likes a history lesson but you should certainly make this an exception. Have you ever heard of the Alfa Romeo Montreal? Although it wasn’t cleared for sales in the US, it’s still worth getting to know because it is the only Alfa’s postwar vehicle with a V8 engine.
For today, we are going to take a closer look at the beginnings of the iconic Alfa Romeo Montreal. We’ll delve into what makes it so special and unique to the other cars Alfa Romeo produced over the years. Plus, you’ll also get to discover the reason for the fall of this iconic vehicle.
In The Beginning
It was in 1967 when the Montreal was created. It was actually built for the Montreal Expo and is based on the four-cylinder Giulia. The bodywork was done by Marcello Gandini who also designed the other coupes that Alfa produced. It took about six months to create this vehicle and the overall appearance resembled the Lamborghini Miura as well as the Lamborghini Espada. This mid-engined vehicle had B-pillar louvers, slatted headlight covers, and a Kamm tail.
What’s In The Name
The concept car produced for the expo didn’t really have a name. So Alfa just used the name “Montreal”. This model could have easily used the engine for the standard coupes Alfa had produced. However, it didn’t. Alfa’s racing subsidiary, Autodelta, developed a 1995cc V8, which was used for the 33 Stradale and the Tipo 33 sports racer. With this, Alfa decided to place a detuned version of the engine to the Montreal.
The Montreal V8 Engine
The V8 engine fitted on the Montreal is what makes it special. It had a 2,593 cc capacity with a midrange torque. The engine used the Alfa-SPICA mechanical fuel injection paired with a dry-sump oil system, aluminum block heads, and a hemispherical combustion chamber. With this, the Alfa Montreal had a torque of 173 lb-ft at 4750 rpm and 200 hp at 6500 rpm.
With a powerful engine, the Montreal was built as a fast car for its time. It could reach 0-60 in less than 8 seconds and it could also reach the top speed of about 135 mph. However, it also featured less attractive parts like the suspension with strong initial understeer combined with fatter tires and heavier weight due to the nose design. This made cornering more difficult.
The Fall Of The Montreal
The main reason for Montreal’s fall was the very thing that made it unique. The V8 engine was very attractive but it was also expensive to run as it consumes a lot of fuel. Additionally, proper maintenance and repair isn’t available at all shops because it requires the use of specialized tools. This may be the reason why Alfa didn’t certify it for sales in the US.
The last of the produced vehicles was released in 1977 and only roughly 3900 vehicles were produced. Even if this car wasn’t a great success for the Alfa Romeo, it still has its name in history for being the only postwar vehicle produced by alfa with a V8 as the regular engine.