|Alfa Romeo at the 2006 Paris International Motor Show|
Alfa Romeo returns to the Paris International Motor Show with a stunningly staged exhibition of standard models and special versions designed to emphasise – as if we needed reminding – the unique position of the brand in the world motoring scenario.
The design of the exhibition area is defined by simple geometrical shapes. Spaces closed on one side are offset by an aluminium and glass sunscreen at the front. These structural elements define the image of an Alfa Romeo villa built in accordance with the canons of Italian rationalist architecture. The rigour and sparseness of the design as it translates into the shapes, colours and materials help to create an ideal setting for the sinuous, aggressive cars, turning them into the stars of the show: everything is dominated by the red and black that have always been used to express Alfa Romeo’s twin soul, a combination of passion and technology.
The true heart of the stand, featuring horizontal surfaces juxtaposed with swathes of glass, is undoubtedly the area devoted to the gorgeous Alfa 8C Competizione: this showcase protects the latest addition to the Alfa Romeo stable as though it were a jewel, a precious object to be admired and desired.
Behind this fabulous showcase, visitors can discern the Alfa Romeo building that houses the offices, the Alfa Café and lounge areas, all bearing the same stamp of sophisticated style and state-of-the-art technology.
Cars making their world premieres and current production models sit easily alongside one another at the Paris Motor Show. They also neatly represent the marriage between sportiness and style so typical of Alfa Romeo. The outcome of cutting-edge technology and a unique heritage made up of the cars, designers, races and engines that have marked technological progress and the sporting events of the twentieth century.
Alfa 8C Competizione
The absolute star of the stand is the Alfa 8C Competizione, an exclusive Gran Turismo model that will be produced in limited numbers. The new car, designed by Alfa Romeo, is the best blend of the values that have always distinguished the brand: technology and emotion. The Alfa 8C Competizione sets out to play a starring role and forcefully assert Alfa Romeo’s unique position in the world: i.e. the brand’s ability to wed a thrilling shape to driving satisfaction.
Alfa 159 and 159 Sportwagon
First up on the French catwalk are two Alfa 159s (one equipped with a 2.2 Selespeed, the other with a 1.9 JTD 16v power unit) – that were recently awarded the coveted 5-star ranking by Euro NCAP – and two Alfa 159 Sportwagons (the former with a 260 bhp 3.2 V6 Q4 engine, the latter with a 200 bhp 2.4 JTDm engine). All the cars are distinguished by an Ocean Black body colour that effectively expresses Alfa Romeo’s interpretation of classic sportiness. The four versions offer a wealth of equipment that differs according to the specification: including top-quality Frau® ‘grosgrain’ leather, tri-zone climate control system, electric seats, Cruise control, 7 airbags, VDC with hill holder, parking sensors, map radio navigation system, telephone with voice commands and the sophisticated ‘Blue&Me®’ system.
Three of these cars are also fitted with the new 6-speed ‘Q-Tronic’ gearbox that operates in automatic or sequential mode to exploit the power produced by the 200 bhp 2.4 JTDm engine to the full (the gearbox will shortly also be available on the 150 bhp 1.9 JTDm).
Alfa Brera and Alfa Spider
All the attention at the French motor show will also be on another two new-generation Alfa cars: the Alfa Brera, an appealing car that lifts the traditional coupé spirit into the more rarefied atmosphere of out-and-out sportiness. And the ultra-new Alfa Spider that reminds us, through a complex and sophisticated set of allusions, of Alfa Romeo’s glorious tradition in this sector (from the Giulietta Spider of the Fifties by way of the Duetto to the Nineties version of the same Spider model).
Visitors to the Paris show can admire two versions of the Alfa Spider (185 bhp 2.2 JTS and 260 bhp 3.2 V6 Q4), both in top of the range versions and equipped with 7 airbags, VDC, ASR, automatic bi-zone climate control, wind-stop, natural leather interiors and 18” alloys.
Next to these two cars visitors can admire an Alfa Brera, a black Q4 version equipped with a 24 valve 3.2 V6 JTS power unit, a jewel of automotive engineering that delivers a power output of 191 kW (260 bhp) at 6300 rpm with a maximum torque of 322 Nm (32.8 kgm) at 4500 rpm. Both vehicles are extremely well endowed with equipment, including a host of features specifically devoted to safety: 7 airbags (including driver side knee bag), VDC, ABS with EBD, ventilated front and rear brake discs, MSR, Hill Holder, ASR and foglight. The long list of devices used to ensure maximum on-board comfort includes: automatic bi-zone climate control system, radio with CD player and CD changer, parking sensor, Bose® Hi-Fi, a Visibility Pack (rain sensor, dusk sensor and anti-mist sensor) and a map navigation system with telephone and voice commands. This version is complemented by natural leather interiors and 18” alloy wheels.
Alfa 147 in Q2, Black Line II and Collezione II versions
Another example of the Alfa Romeo world of style and technology is the 147 model exhibited in three versions at the Paris show. The first car, enjoying its world premiere, is distinguished by a front self-locking differential (known as the Q2) that confirms all the strengths of a front wheel drive configuration, i.e. increased driving satisfaction and control while guaranteeing some of the typical benefits of a four wheel drive. The system is available solely with the 150 bhp JTDm engine. This choice takes into consideration the current technological turbodiesel scenario. Since 1997, the debut year of the Alfa 156 JTD (the first vehicle in the world with Common Rail technology), the amount of torque to be transmitted to the wheels has increased greatly, even on compacts. Alfa Romeo has therefore developed the sophisticated Q2 system to guarantee maximum control and traction in all driving conditions. The Alfa 147 Q2 therefore offers satinised ‘whiskers’, grille and mirror farings, rear spoiler chrome exhaust tailpipe, low ride and a special Q2 logo.
Inside, this version offers a sporty look including: gauges with red scale and white lighting, leather upholstery with red top-stitching on the steering wheel and gearlever gaiter and parking brake, dark grey steering wheel panels and central console, special Q2 door sill and aluminium pedal unit. The Alfa 147 Q2 equipment list is complemented by radio controls on the steering wheel, cruise control, a VDC system and 6 airbags. The car on show also adds leather seats in a sports configuration with red top-stitching, Bose® sound system, satellite navigation and xenon headlights.
The second Alfa 147 is available in the Black Line specification. This three door car equipped with a 120 bhp Twin Spark 1.6 engine marries sportiness and style, as is evident from its special ‘b-colore’ livery: this takes the form of an Alfa Red body with some details painted in a sophisticated glossy Black (roof, central panel and rear spoiler) with satinised grille, ‘whiskers’ and door mirror fairings. The interior is enhanced by a new two-tone sporty cloth (black and grey) with black steering wheel panels and central console. In a quest for further sportiness, the new Alfa 147 Black Line Special Series also offers low ride, chrome exhaust tailpipe and 17” perforated chrome shadow alloys with 215/45 tyres. The standard equipment list also includes ABS with EBD, 6 airbags, radio with CD player, leather steering wheel and gear knob and manual climate control system. The vehicle on the stand complements these items with some options such as VDC with ASR, Cruise Control and wiring for an iPod.
Lastly, the third car is a 5-door version in the ‘Collezione II’ specification with a metallic black body and elegant two-tone ‘b-colore’ leather interior (black/cream) and black ‘b-colore’ facia. The compact Alfa, equipped with the 150 bhp 1.9 JTDm, offers the most sophisticated safety devices available: including VDC, ASR, ABS with EBD and six airbags. The equipment array is complemented by a bi-zone automatic climate control system, 17” spoked alloys, radio with CD, Cruise Control and rear electric windows. The car on show is also equipped with a map navigation system with built-in handsfree phone and radio and telephone controls on the steering wheel, rear parking sensors, CD changer, Bose® Hi-Fi system, low suspension and particulate filter.
Alfa GT ‘Black Line’
The Paris show will also host the Alfa GT in a special version designed to emphasise the model’s unique spirit still further. The Alfa GT was created in conjunction with Bertone for original styling coupled with exhilarating performance. It is a revolutionary new concept of sportiness geared for comfort and elegance. The line-up includes a ‘Black line’ version with an Alfa Red body and interior trimmed in black leather top-stitching equipped with a powerful 165 bhp 2.0 JTS engine.
This car, designed to appeal to sporty customers, offers certain exclusive features and content in addition to the usual standard equipment: 18” alloys (perforated design with chrome treatment), front headlights with black frames, satinised painted central grille and chrome door mirror fairing. The interior features a black facia with dark coloured central console treatment and seats in black leather with red top-stitching and logo and perforated seat area. The carpet, mats, gearlever and handbrake gaiters are also black with red top-stitching. This original Alfa GT also offers a highly attractive equipment package including a map radio navigation system with telephone and voice control complete with subscription to infotelematic services.
Turin Sep.12.th 2006