Friday 22 April 2011
The Alfa Romeo Alfetta is an Italian rear-wheel drive executive saloon car and fastback coupé produced from 1972 until 1987 by Alfa Romeo. It was popular due to its combination of a modest design with powerful engines, selling over 400,000 units until the end of its production run, but in the final years its sales were down due to Alfa Romeo's reliability problems that plagued the company through the late 1970s and early 1980s. Some problems were noticed in contemporary commentaries by motor testers such as Archie Vicar.
The Sedan had a body designed by Centro Stile Alfa Romeo, and the Alfetta GTV coupé (not to be confused with the more recent 1995 Alfa Romeo GTV, or the classic Giulia GTV), was designed by Giorgetto Giugiaro. The Alfetta introduced a new drivetrain layout to the marque. Clutch and transmission were housed at the rear of the car, together with the differential for a more balanced weight distribution, as used on the Alfetta 158/159 Grand Prix cars. The Gold Cloverleaf (Quadrifoglio Oro) model was actually sold as the Alfetta 159i in some markets. The suspension relied on double wishbones and torsion bars at the front and a de Dion beam at the rear. The Alfetta was renewed in 1979 with a revised frontend, new wheel rims and new lights, as well as a diesel version.
It was available with two four-cylinder DOHC engines with two valves per cylinder and a turbodiesel engine supplied by VM Motori. The 1.6 and 1.8 L base models had two double-barrel carburettors, while the 2.0 DOHC received fuel injection in 1979. The diesel initially had 2.0 L, but was increased to 2.4 L in 1982.
The four-door Alfetta was sold in the USA from 1975 through 1977 under the name Alfetta Sedan. From 1978 to 1979 a mildly restyled version was sold under the name Sport Sedan. The four-cylinder coupe was available from 1975 to 1977 under the moniker Alfetta GT, renamed the Sprint Veloce for the final two years of production in 1978 and 1979. Finally, the V-6 version was marketed from 1981 to 1986 as the GTV-6.
The Alfa Romeo Alfetta became well known throughout the world since it was Italian Prime Minister Aldo Moro's official escort car, when, in 1978, he was first kidnapped, then killed, by the Italian Terrorist left-wing organization The Red Brigades. A fictionalised account of these events was produced as a critically well regarded Italian film, The Advocate, which also heavily featured Alfettas of all types, from Carabinieri 'Short Nose-Round Light' through to the Prime Minister's own 'Long Nose-Square Light' 2000 Super Saloon.
- engine: 4 cylinders
- capacity: 1962 cc
- horsepower: 120 HP
- gearbox: 5+1
- top speed: 180 km/h