16.04.2003

NEW ALFA SPIDER AND ALFA GTV


Appealing style, refined technology and all the temperament of true sports cars: meet the new Alfa Spider and Alfa GTV. 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.


Styling

The new Alfa Spider and Alfa GTV have been redesigned by the Pininfarina Style Centre that was also responsible for the original models. Both models now offer the up-to-the-minute glamour of innovative motifs combined with retro touches.
The roots of this harmonious blend lie in Alfa Romeo's great motoring past. Indeed both models display intrinsic Alfa traits with pride and conviction. Beginning with the triangular front grille that dominates the front end. And continuing with distinctive diverging ribs that outline a bonnet bulge that offsets the distinctive front grille while visually advertising the presence of a mighty power unit beneath the bonnet. Lastly, another two motifs typical of Alfa Romeo tradition are a wedge-shaped line enhanced by a cut-off tail that gives the car a markedly aggressive slant - and a pronounced side shelf that makes it look slender and dynamic.
These are the distinctive traits that the Pininfarina Style Centre has chosen to stress on the new Alfa GTV and Alfa Spider. New parts with great visual impact have also been added. Firstly, the front end has been redesigned to fit in with the current Brand look. For example, the shield is similar to those used on recent models (to ensure a family resemblance) in that its upper edge follows the bonnet and then plunges down to break the bumper outline.
The badge at the top centre is also surrounded by a hint of chrome that underscores the strength and communicative value of the signature. Chrome bars stand out against the black ground of the grille. These horizontal elements are extrapolated and spread to the side outlets to suggest that the car is well settled and firmly anchored to the ground. Lower down, two separate air intakes are delimited by trapezoid foglights to form the traditional Alfa cloverleaf pattern.
When viewed from the side, both models feature a blend of volumes and taut lines reminiscent of the best-looking Alfa Romeos from the past. For example, the sculpted front shelf falls off abruptly to emphasise the wedge shape. This is underscored by a strongly raked windscreen that blends into the upper line of the doors to create an elegant dip in the door mirror area.
The shelf on the Alfa GTV maintains the same strong rake in the rear side volume while the lower edge of the second side window continues the upper parallel door line to create a sense of overall compactness.
The lower tail on the Alfa Spider inspired the stylists to trace a smooth falling line from the halfway point of the rear volume.
This is a clear reference to two of the most famous Alfa Romeo sports cars: the Giulietta Spider and the 'Osso di Seppia' (cuttlefish bone). When the car is closed, the Alfa Spider retains its stylistic sense of proportion because the hood blends into the body.
When both cars are seen from the side, you are struck by the new 16" alloy wheels, while the sides (when seen in plan view) feature a distinctive pattern of four swellings over the wheelarches: the overall impression is of dynamic cars with a firm grip on the road.
Moving on to the rear end, both models can be seen to share certain styling motifs. Examples include a marked horizontal dihedron connecting both boot surfaces that meet at a strong angle; a wraparound rear bumper that houses the number plate holder panel; distinctive individual model badges with elegant italic script derived from the most famous Alfa sports cars.
So far we have spoken about what both models have in common. The Alfa GTV and Alfa Spider naturally differ in their rear box shape: the coupé features a generous, strongly raked rear window that houses the third brake light at the base; the Alfa Spider is distinguished by a U-shaped hood cover that blends beautifully into the body and also houses a third brake light at its base. The styling of the rear end is different in the two models: high and truncated in the GTV, more slender and streamlined in the Spider.
By this stage it should be clear that both models, though created from a common blueprint, express traditional tenets of Alfa Romeo sportiness from two parallel yet distinctly different aspects. Two cars with quite different styling and missions: the Alfa GTV with 2+2 body is a sports car built for performance while the Alfa Spider only comes in a two-seater version designed for open-topped driving satisfaction aboard a great sports car.
From the exterior styling to the interior. The new Alfa Spider and Alfa GTV passenger compartment also offers several new features.
Beginning with the fact that the driver's seat level in relation to the ground (H point) has been lowered for improved driving comfort. The new Alfa Romeo sports car interiors have also been redefined from the viewpoint of styling and user-friendliness.
The styling is designed to reflect the specific personalities of the GTV and Spider and this principle has been followed in the definition of all interior detailing. The first major sign lies in the instruments and controls. The gauges are round and analogue, the outcome of painstaking design for clarity, legibility and elegance. The same approach is evident in new red lighting on controls and the highly attractive instrument panel.
Other new features on the new Alfa GTV and Alfa Spider include a black facia created to enhance the attractive blend of smooth, rounded volumes. The brand-new central console panel also houses the ASR key, radio and satellite navigation system.
The new Alfa Spider and Alfa GTV also offer front seats with adjustable reach and backrest rake. Their classic sports seat configuration is evident in the lateral containment features. Seat structure, padding and trim material also assure the highest standards of driving comfort by distributing differential body part pressures optimally over the entire seat.
The trims vary according to version and specification level and take the form of specially made cloth designed for quality and good looks. Alfatex, in particular, makes its first appearance on medium-range versions where this new high-tech cloth is used to trim seats and door panels.
The steering wheel is three-spoked with a sports steering wheel adjustable for height and depth. The steering wheel centre houses an airbag compartment closed by a trapezoid panel that bears the classic Alfa Romeo badge emblem in the centre. The rim is leather trimmed on all GTV and Spider versions.


Engines and gearboxes

The true heart and soul of every Alfa Romeo model is its engine. The Alfa Spider and Alfa GTV are no exception. The new models' attractive, personality-packed looks conceal a diverse range of outstanding high-tech power units that all offer superlative performance.
First up, the sparky 3.2 V6 24 valve unit delivers a power output of 240 bhp (176 kW) at 6200 rpm and boasts a torque curve of 289 Nm (29.4 kgm) at 4800 rpm for exhilarating performance on a sporty run but 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 second power unit available for the new models is the 165 bhp (121 kW) 2.0 JTS. This is the first direct injection petrol engine with a specific power rating higher than 60 kW/l (82 bhp/l) and a specific torque greater than 100 Nm/l.
The third engine available is the 150 bhp (110 kW) 2.0 T. Spark, a heady blend of Alfa's experience with Twin Spark technology. The performance figures are 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.
Two manual gearboxes are also available: a six speed unit for the 3.2 V6 24v and a five-speed unit for the 2.0 T. Spark and 2.0 JTS versions.

The new Alfa Spider and Alfa GTV have inherited great manoeuvrability and driving comfort from the previous models thanks above all to the suspension layout with its special settings and new mechanical details.
The front suspension is an independent MacPherson system with lower wishbones and a new stabiliser bar for the version equipped with a 3.2 V6 24v unit. Overall suspension geometry aims to achieve high transverse rigidity (to ensure the best possible roadholding in critical situations) and effective longitudinal flexibility (for improved driving comfort). The pressurised shock absorbers with a segmented intake valve also come with new settings to improve comfort and driving noise levels. Tapered offset springs facilitate steering and reduce noise levels transmitted to the body.
The new Alfa GTV and Spider also come with multilink rear suspension (wheel struts guided by four arms) that offer impeccable roadholding under all driving conditions, particularly over winding roads travelled at speed, for a significant contribution to driving comfort even in extreme conditions. This suspension has also been revised to incorporate new adjustments and shock absorber settings.
Multilink suspension systems are a development of the conventional double-wishbone geometry always adopted on high-performing Alfas. They are remarkable for the fact that their constituent elements - upper triangle, double lower wishbone, and stabiliser bar - are anchored to a light alloy subframe arranged beneath the floorpan.
The most outstanding feature of the Alfa rear suspension is the ability of its drive chain to exploit transverse loads generated in the car while steering (that normally tend to trigger vehicle roll (sideways tilt) to optimise rear wheel working angles. This helps give the car the stability that is so vital during sporty driving at high speed over mixed routes by making it easier to adopt a new trajectory and improving tyre grip on the. ground So the sophisticated suspension layout is a guarantee of high quality driving pleasure. But Alfa Romeos have, traditionally, always had to provide onboard wellbeing too.
That means surrounding driver and passengers with technology that ensures the highest possible level of climatic and acoustic comfort. Hence the need to transform the interior environment into a wraparound lounge. And so on the new Alfa Spider and GTV we find state-of-the-art sound-proofing backed by high torsional and flexural body stiffness. And by the way, the acoustic comfort is even excellent on the 'open-air' model. The result of fitting a hood that has been fine-tuned aesthetically, aerodynamically; and functionally, with movements specially developed to make opening and closing operations fast, easy and safe.
The climate inside the cab is one of the main comfort factors during the journey and it is also important for preventive safety because temperature, humidity and ventilation influence the driver's wellbeing and hence his attention level. Without forgetting that the heating and ventilation system also has the task of demisting windscreen and side windows. That is why the new Alfa Spider and Alfa GTV offer a sophisticated climate system that, by way of a central electronic unit, automatically controls temperature, air flow and its distribution, compressor cut-in and recirculation.
Then again particular attention has been devoted to air quality. In addition to the recirculation function, useful during traffic jams and when driving through tunnels, the new Alfa Romeos are also fitted (as standard on medium and deluxe versions) with a filter for air entering the passenger compartment. This traps particles bigger than 0.5 microns in diameter and pollen, which may give rise to allergic reactions.
On board the two new vehicles you can also experience the excitement of hi-fi musicin the highly realistic offering of the radio system complete with CD. The system's pinpoint tuning was designed specifically for this cab and consists of four speakers and offers a power output of 4x40 Watts. It is complemented by a rear subwoofer (one for the Spider and two for the GTV). The set comes, finally, with an external CD player control (with 10 disk capacity).
The new Alfa Romeo sports models would not be complete without a satellite navigation system. This high-tech device comes with a Dot Matrix pictogram display for dynamic navigation and CD Changer.
The navigation system is available over the entire range and is an effective aid for a relaxed drive in full comfort. The device uses visual and voice messages to indicate the route to reach the destination step by step.
In order to compute the route, the system needs the map disk to be inserted in the CD-audio player. Once the relevant area has been loaded into the memory, you can continue to listen to music by replacing the map CD with the music CD.


Active and passive safety

The new Alfa Spider and Alfa GTV offer the most sophisticated devices currently on the market to allow maximum protection for driver and passengers.
Firstly, the braking system is powerful and prompt to respond. the front disc brakes are ventilated with a thickness of 22 mm and a diameter of 284; the rear brakes are 11 mm thick and measure 240 in diameter.
As far as passive safety is concerned, the two new Alfa Romeo sports models offer two front airbags as standard throughout the range. On the active safety front, both models offer ABS with EBD (standard on all versions) and ASR (optional on cars with the 2.0 T.Spark engine).
The ASR allows customers the satisfaction of driving in accordance with their own style and at the same time guarantees optimum safety during dynamic car control. The ASR (Anti Slip Regulation) optimises traction at any speed with the aid of brakes and engine control.


Range

The Alfa Spider and Alfa GTV come in three specifications, all prestigious and all available with a specific power unit.
The first version is equipped with a 150 bhp (110 kW) 2.0 Twin Spark engine and offers, as standard, cloth seats and panels, front seat-belt pretensioners, driver and passenger airbags, electrically-controlled windows and door mirrors, central locking and check control for door and boot closure. And also: three-spoked steering wheel with two settings, provision for radio with aerial and speakers, power steering, third brake light, headlight alignment corrector, foglight, electronic immobiliser and cloth hood (on the Spider version). Both cars also come with new-design 205/50/16" light alloy wheels.
The mid-range specification offers this comprehensive array plus: automatic climate control system with pollen filter, seats and panels in Alfatex cloth and electrically-controlled, heated door mirrors. New Alfa Spider and Alfa GTV versions with this specification offer the innovative 165 bhp (121 kW) 2.0 JTS.
The range is completed by a deluxe version with the scintillating 240 bhp (176 kW) 3.2 V6 24 valve engine. These vehicles can be distinguished inside by their leather seat and panels, while outside they feature new 225/45/17" alloy wheels and brake callipers painted red.
Options available on both models include satellite navigation, radio with CD player and an electrically-controlled hood (Alfa Spider).
Customers can also choose one of three new shades for their car: Brunello Red, Racing Green and Cobalt Blue.

IMAGES ALFA SPIDER

IMAGES ALFA GTV


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