02 December 2003

Alfa Romeo at the 28th Bologna Motor Show

Alfa Romeo will be revealing its 'cuore sportivo' at the 28th Bologna Motor Show, with a stand where standard models and racing cars alternate to underline, yet again, the brand's vocation and the great character of all its cars. 'Beauty is not enough' is the concept behind the new Alfa Romeo communications strategy and it underlines the importance of substance over and above form. Alfa draws people's attention to its Italian styling and the beauty it represents, but once they have tried an Alfa, customers appreciate the way it handles as well as the technology it contains. And they recognise the enjoyable driving that is typical of any car from Alfa Romeo, on any type of road, in any situation and in any weather.
The many significant innovations presented in Bologna are the ambassadors of this philosophy. Pride of place goes to the latest arrival: the Alfa GT. Developed with Bertone, this model proposes original styling and exciting performance, and represents a brand new concept of sportiness, in which comfort and elegance converge. Four cars are on display: two are equipped with the powerful 3.2 24v engine, and two with the brilliant 150 bhp 1.9 M-Jet.
The spotlight in Bologna is also on the two concept cars that were such a success at recent international motor shows: the 8c Competizione and the Kamal. The former has its Italian preview in Bologna and was designed and built by the Alfa Romeo Styling Centre. It is a real icon for the brand, recalling Alfa's great racing tradition in its name. '8c' was a name given to racing and road cars in the Thirties and Forties which were powered by the new eight cylinder engine developed by the famous designer Vittorio Jano. The second part of the name, 'Competizione' is a tribute to the 6C 2500 Competizione, the sports coupé with which Fangio and Zanardi competed in the famous Mille Miglia race in 1950.
The second prototype is also a reference to the racing world. Designed by the Styling Centre in Arese, the Kamal embodies the concept of 'sporty elegance', which has always been a distinguishing feature of Alfa, in a completely new form that is unique in its way. And it does so with a refined interplay of illusions: on the one hand it recalls Alfa's glorious racing tradition, and on the other it proposes fascinating solutions that look to the future and to the evolution of the SUV and MPV segments in particular.
Another focal point of the stand are the racing cars. 'Alfa Romeo and racing' is of course an inseparable equation, as the Alfa 156 GTA and Alfa 147 GTA Cup exhibited at Bologna show demonstrate. The former won the 2003 FIA European Touring Car Championship with Gabriele Tarquini (Drivers' title), a result that confirms Alfa's unquestioned supremacy for the last six years: four consecutive titles won in the Euro STC championship and two Italian titles won previously. The Alfa 147 GTA Cup will be competing in the next edition of the single brand Trophy for racing customers. GTA is a name that recalls the races of the late Sixties, when Alfa Romeo dominated the Touring category, one of the most popular with the public.
From the racing world to everyday roads. Representing the GTA family, sports cars with appealing styling which revive the legacy of a great tradition of racing and winning, through brilliant modern engineering.
An Alfa 147 GTA, the fastest and most powerful car in its segment (250 bhp - 184 kW) equipped with the Selespeed sequential gearbox will also be on the stand. This is not an automatic transmission but a manual gearbox with robotised activation that combines the convenience of the automatic system with the rapid intervention of a conventional system. Whether the driver uses the shift, with an 'up and down' movement like a joystick. Or whether he prefers steering-wheel mounted controls, set right behind the crown.
Alongside these novelties and racing cars, Alfa Romeo also presents the new 166, the Alfa Romeo flagship, which expresses harmony of form and content, combining the elegance of a large saloon with the sporty flair of a coupé. Winning features to which the model adds visually striking styling details inside and out, and beautiful, refined cloth and colour combinations.
The car exhibited in Bologna features the TI (Turismo Internazionale) sports outfit. In the Seventies, Alfa Romeo only used this name for its most 'performing' cars. Today these two letters, so simple but so illustrious, reappear on a specific outfit which can be requested on Alfa Romeo models. And the same sporty personality distinguishes a 140 bhp Alfa 147 1.9 M-Jet and the new Alfa 156 and Sportwagon (both powered by the powerful 175 bhp 2.4 M-Jet) which can be seen in Bologna. These are beautiful cars that incorporate innovative ideas and technological solutions. Redrawn by Giorgetto Giugiaro's prestigious pencil, the two models represent the perfect blend of sportiness and elegance, performance and balanced forms. In other words, Alfa's distinctive qualities.
There is also room on the stand for the new Alfa Spider and GTV which are proposed with a new look, new outfits and new engines. But the appeal of these models remains the same, evoking the pleasure of travelling, expressed with sportiness and elegance. The car exhibited features the most lavish outfit, and the powerful 240 bhp 3.2 V6 24v engine.
It is a young stand, with a spectacular effect created by special 'cells' made of aluminium and glass, large containers-cum-rooms with a curvaceous design and high tech image where various activities are performed. One hosts Radio Montecarlo, for live interviews with celebrities; in another, the public can try the new GT4 Sony Playstation® 2 game (for the first time in Italy), and finally there is a driving simulator from De Adamich's Safe Driving Centre, which lets visitors try their hand in interactive races with the Alfa GT Selespeed. Without mentioning that all the advantages of the new Alfa Top Care and Alfa Top Care Plus service packages can be examined on the stand.
The 250 bhp 3.2 V6 24v and 165 bhp 2.0 JTS engines are exhibited in glass showcases at the centre of the stand. Next to them are the two powerful Multijet multivalve turbodiesel engines: the 140 bhp 1.9 16v and the 175 bhp 2.4 20v. And in the last case, visitors can admire the sophisticated high double wishbone suspension that is adopted on the GTA versions, and on the 156 and 147.

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