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Alfa Romeo : Alfa 147 GTA

A few short months after the launch of the 156 and Sportwagon GTA, the 147 also joins the GTA family, an exclusive club whose numbers are destined to swell over the next few years as they are joined by out-and-out sports versions of new Alfa Romeo models. The GTAs represent the very purest distillation of brand values: Alfa Romeo is world-renowned for its ability to produce good-looking, sporty cars that combine a glittering racing pedigree with the cream of contemporary engineering. 

Cars that enhance everyday driving experiences with a true racing feel and authentic driving satisfaction. The Alfa 147 GTA upholds these attributes but, like the 156 and Sportwagon GTA before it, is also able to add something extra when called upon: more performance, more handling, more braking capacity. In other words, the dynamic behaviour of a car that spices your everyday driving experience with racetrack sensation. This philosophy is encapsulated by the slogan used to advertise the Giulia Sprint GTA in another age of motoring: 'The car you drive to work is a champion'. 

The designers who created the Alfa 147 GTA were given a very specific brief: to create a car for everyday use that could, under the right circumstances, ensure customers the performance, behaviour and driving sensations of a car built for racing. Without detracting in any way from the stylish, understated shape that typifies this compact Alfa Romeo car.

Although no constraints were set, the designers preferred to highlight functional aspects of the car and made radical changes to the already excellent base offered by the sporty Alfa 147. In other words, they altered all the parts that affect the car's dynamism. Hence the powerful, vital 3.2 V6 24V engine, completely new suspension geometry and settings, state-of-the-art active safety systems and new sports alloy wheels. The result is a car capable of thrilling performance (it is the most powerful car in its segment) and truly scintillating responses in terms of dynamism, ride and handling. 

All in all, a car for those who demand the very best when it comes to sportiness. And want it to be known, albeit without ostentation. Hence the decision not to make radical changes to the much-lauded shape of the original saloon. But limit exterior changes to a few features that add extra oomph to the model's sporty appeal. All the design changes emphasise the functional appearance of the car and are the result of uncompromising technical alterations to the frame and mechanical units without a spoiler or flashy add-on in sight. The car is still recognisable from the outside and simply looks like a more beefy Alfa 147: wider, lower to the ground and more evidently glued to the road. This is partly due to the tyres fitted: 225/45 tyres on 17" wheels. 

Ten body colours are available on the GTA, including the outstanding Nuvola White, an iridescent shade exclusive to the model. All in all, more performance and more aggressive styling, but also improved handling and safety upgraded to handle the new performance levels. 

The suspension, for example, assures the car outstanding dynamic responses coupled with superlative comfort. The choice fell on the tried and tested configuration that brought such success to the Alfa 147: high double wishbones at the front (the only car in its segment to adopt this configuration) and an advanced MacPherson layout at the rear. 

Then our engineers set to work to adjust the suspension to the car's specific characteristics and the specific weight distribution on the Alfa 147 GTA. The aim: to achieve the highest level of handling, ensure maximum dynamic performance and keep a tight rein on this great sports performance model. The results in terms of overall car performance are truly scintillating and may be summed up as follows:

  • smooth, precise steering; exceptionally prompt responses; 

  • excellent stability and ease of control even at the grip limit; highly contained body movements; 

  • great comfort under all service and road surface conditions. 

In the field of active safety, the Alfa 147 GTA unleashes the most sophisticated electronic devices for the control of vehicle dynamic behaviour: from braking to traction. In other words, ABS and also EBD to distribute brakeforce over front and rear wheels; ASR to limit wheel slip during acceleration; a cutting-edge VDC for stability control on corners and MSR to modulate brake torque while changing down through the gears. 

The Alfa 147 GTA VDC also comes with a TCS (Traction Control System). The system is active only at speeds below 40 km/h and automatically brakes the drive wheels during take-off or abrupt acceleration on roads with poor grip. The car is therefore made more stable even under critical conditions.

Photo: Alfa Romeo

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