|ALFA ROMEO CONCEPT X |
Geneva hosts the world début of Concept X, an original model that marks an authentic conceptual leap in the international motoring scene. New scenarios and brand new segments are opening up and Alfa wants to play its part.
It is easy to see why the Alfa Romeo Business Unit poured so much energy into one ambitious goal: to make another of the elegant sports car for which Alfa is justly famous but give it an entirely new and unique shape. Concept X calls on a complex, sophisticated interplay of allusions that hark back to Alfa's traditions in the sports car sector while also including attractive ideas that look to the future and new developments in the SUV - MPV segments in particular.
The model combines the off-road performance of an SUV (Sport Utility Vehicle) with the driving satisfaction and handling characteristics of a compact Alfa Romeo. At the same time, it offers a versatile, functional passenger compartment typical of a Multi Purpose Vehicle due above all to clever use of space and a wide range of seat configurations.
All this is packed into a car that measures 435 centimetres in length, 186 cm in width and 162 cm in height. Its size and features make the Concept X unique in the world.
Other innovative features include a big, clear roof and rear seats that can be stowed away out of sight. The load compartment formed with the back seats down is flat and easily accessible. The car's all-terrain appearance, the chassis and engine protection and the 20" wheels with special tread leave little room for doubt: the Concept X was created to overcome any road or weather condition.
|ALFA REINSTATES AUTODELTA |
On March 5 1963, Autodelta was set up to prepare Alfa Romeo cars for international championships.
March 5 2003 will be Autodelta's fortieth birthday and it has just got its old job back with the team that will race the Alfa 156 ETCCs in the European Touring Championship this year.
Just as in those days, the races will be fought by cars derived from standard production models. Back in the Sixties and Seventies, the races were fought by the Alfa Romeo Giulia, in TZ1, TZ2, GTA, GTAJ and GT Am versions. Now it is the turn of the GTA version of the Alfa 156, the car that won the last two European Touring Championship events.
The construction of the Giulia TZ put Autodelta firmly on the map and it remained Alfa Romeo's technological sounding board and high-tech department for more than twenty years in all areas of motorsport including Formula 1.
|ALFA LAUNCHES NEW AD CAMPAIGN |
Alfa Romeo launched a new global advertising campaign that heralds a fundamental shift in corporate communication strategy for the car maker. The campaign broke first in Italy on the 27th December 2002, with the other countries following in early 2003.
|BRERA WINS "CAR OF THE YEAR" AWARD |
The Alfa Romeo Brera was elected 'Automotive News Concept Car of the Year' in the categories 'Best exterior' and 'Best concept car of the year'.
|ALFA REPORTS SUCESS AT BOLOGNA |
Alfa Romeo reports it's stand at the 27th Bologna Motor Show was a sucess, with record numbers of visitors.The heart of the stand was a large theatre surrounded by steps where visitors could sit. The area also hosted entertainment and meetings with famous personalities such as Jean Todit and Giorgetto Giugiaro. In both cases, Daniele Bandiera, chairman of the Alfa Romeo Business Unit was present to do the honours.
The Ferrari Stable motorsport manager, officially designated a particularly demanding Alfa Romeo customer, was given the keys of his new Alfa 147 GTA. Together with the 156 and 147 equipped with the innovative 1.9 JTD 16v Multijet engine, the new arrival represents the first steps towards Alfa's development plan - explained Bandiera - and will pave the way for a completely new range by 2007. During this period, Alfa will launch 16 new products including 10 all-new models.
The meeting with Giorgio Giugiaro was another highlight of the show on the Alfa Romeo stand. The Designer of the Century (thus elected in 1999 by more than 120 international journalists) told of his long relationship with the brand and showed visitors the Brera, the Alfa Romeo concept car previewed in Geneva that has walked off with numerous international prizes since its first appearance. The prototype is an ideal blend of sportiness and grace, performance and formal balance. 'These very aspects', confirmed Daniele Bandiera, 'combined with distinctive styling, are among Alfa Romeo's core values. For this reason, we have decided to entrust Giorgetto Giugiaro with the extremely tricky job of designing the car that will replace the Alfa 156 in 2005. In actual fact, Giugiaro contributed to the 156 during the initial stage of the project. The car due to replace the Alfa 156 will also be the forerunner of a very diverse model family that will include a coupé and an open-topped sports car in addition to a saloon and sportwagon'. Daniele Bandiera also revealed that the Brera styling will be used on the new coupé.
|ALFA ROMEO-ITALDESIGN COLLABORATION: |
BRERA WILL BE PRODUCED
At the Bologna Motor Show, Eng. Bandiera, Chairman of the Alfa Romeo Business Unit, called a Press Conference on Friday, 6 December 2002 at 2 p.m., at the Alfa Romeo stand in order to inform the Press and Sector operators of the collaboration agreement entered into with Italdesign Giugiaro.
Recalling the early days of his career, Giorgetto Giugiaro declared:
|ALFA ROMEO AT THE BOLOGNA MOTOR SHOW |
Alfa Romeo and its 'cuore sportivo' are back at the Bologna Motor Show, on a stand where standard production models and racing versions alternate to underscore - yet again - the sporty vocation of the brand and the great character exhibited by all its cars.
The heart of the stand is a large theatre surrounded by steps where visitors may sit and admire the cars. The place of honour naturally goes to the GTA family: compellingly-styled sports vehicles that combine a glittering racing pedigree with the cream of contemporary engineering. The 147 GTA and the 156 GTA are joined by the Alfa GTAm (see news story below), a proposed on-road development of the 156 GTA developed by N. Technology, the Alfa Romeo racing team.
Nearby, visitors can see the Brera, the concept car designed by Giorgio Giugiaro and currently the biggest attraction on the Alfa Romeo stand.
The four stars of the show are flanked by the Alfa Sportwagon GTA and Alfa 147 GTA Cup. Next season, the latter will race in the single-brand Trophy reserved for customers who are motorsports enthusiasts. The GTA is, amongst other things, a name that conjures up memories of races in the late Sixties when Alfa Romeo dominated the Touring category so enthusiastically followed by the public.
From the world of motorsport to the roads of every day. We begin with the Alfa 147, our prestige compact. Three versions of the car are on show, all in the Distinctive specification: a 3-door 150 bhp 2.0 T. Spark 16V equipped with a Selespeed sequential gearbox; a 5-door 140 bhp 1.9 JTD 16V Multijet and lastly a 3-door 120 bhp 1.6 T. Spark 16V.
The spotlights at the Bologna show are also on the New Alfa 156 and Sportwagon, fine-looking cars packed with innovative technological ideas and solutions. The stand features a saloon and a wagon version, both in the Distinctive specification and equipped with the latest two revolutionary engines: a 165 bhp 2.0 JTS and a 140 bhp 1.9 JTD 16v Multijet. The line-up is completed by an Alfa Spider with a 218 bhp 3.0 V6 24v engine.
|156 GTAm |
One car emerges from among the throng of red on the stand: an unusual black 156 that immediately stands out as something different. In fact it is the 156 GTAm, a proposed road version of the 156 GTA developed by N-Technology, the Alfa Romeo racing team.
The 156 GTAm displayed at the Bologna Motor Show is a pilot car that is the outcome of a double challenge: to convert a racing car into an on-road vehicle and also to improve on an engine that is already one of the best around for performance and power.
The result is a revolutionary slant on the Alfa 156 that shows just how versatile the model really is. Its DNA allows for the ability to adapt to the needs of different customers and different applications, including the most demanding motorsport uses.
The first changes were made to the power unit. The cylinder capacity was increased from 3200 to 3548 cc, while the bore is 97 mm and the stroke is 78 mm. Compared to the 3.2 litre engine on the conventional GTA, the 3.5 V6 24v unit fitted to the Alfa 156 GTAm develops an impressive 300 bhp at 6800 rpm and is combined with a 6-speed gearbox (plus reverse) and a self-locking viscous differential.
Externally, the vehicle is distinguished by its black colouring and also because the big racing spoiler has been replaced by a more discreet outlet lip that nevertheless still improves the 156's aerodynamic flow. The body wings and bonnet have also been changed: now they are made out of composites that help lighten the car by 30 kg compared to the racing version. The light alloy wheels are 8 x 19" while the tyres are 235/35ZR19. The sports ride set-up is also new and has been developed with a view to the lighter body and on-road application. Hence height-adjustable pneumatic shock absorbers by Bilstein with Eibach springs with helpers. Compared to the 156 GTA, the front brakes on the 156 GTAm come with bigger Brembo calipers and discs with a diameter of 330 millimetres.
All in all, the Alfa 156 GTAm is a prototype capable of outstanding dynamic road behaviour on a par with the racing version. All with the greatest respect for the GTA tradition.
|2003 SEASON SPORTING PROGRAMMES AND DRIVERS DECIDED |
After winning the Manufacturers and Drivers titles in 2002, Alfa Romeo confirms its intention to compete in the FIA ETCC (European Touring Car Championship) in the 2003 season with the Nordauto GTA Racing Team. Alfa Romeo also intends to continue to cooperate with its sporting clients who compete in the various national championships and company-organised, single-brand trophies.
Three Alfa 156 GTAs will be in the line-up for the ten events scheduled, cars to be driven by Nicola Larini, Gabriele Tarquini and Roberto Colciago.
Nicola Larini, who has raced with the brand's cars since 1992 when he won the Italian Touring Championship, has confirmed he will continue to drive for Alfa Romeo. 1993 saw him triumph with an Alfa Romeo in the DTM, and then again at the wheel of an Alfa Romeo the driver from Tuscany participated in the International Touring Championship. From 1998 he has raced with an Alfa 156.
Gabriele Tarquini won the British Touring Championship (BTC) with an Alfa Romeo in 1994. He participated in the ITC at the wheel of an Alfa 155. This season he raced in the last two European Touring events with a Nordauto GTA Racing Team Alfa 156, contributing to the brand's victory in the Manufacturers Championship.
But also up-and-coming young driver, Fabio Francia, an outstanding performer in the Alfa Challenge, may well participate in some of the European Touring events with a Nordauto GTA Racing Team Alfa 156. Just turned twenty-one last May, Francia finished 2nd in this season's Italian Super-production Championship and has already won two Italian titles at the wheel of an Alfa Romeo: the I.S.C. with an Alfa 147 in 2001 and the I.V.T.C. N4 with an Alfa 146 in 2000.
Driver Fabrizio Giovanardi will end his association with the Nordauto GTA Racing Team at the close of this season - December 31 2002.
The champion from Emilia, who this year has won the FIA European Touring Car Championship with the Alfa 156 GTA with one event still to go, has been racing with Alfa Romeos since 1995. During these eight years he has won 1 Spanish Super-Touring Championship, 2 Italian Super-Touring Championships and 3 European Touring Car Championships. He has driven to victory 33 times at the wheel of an Alfa 156, including 9 wins this season, and contributed to Alfa Romeo's conquest of the prestigious FIA ETCC Manufacturers title.