Alfa Romeo Arna
|Alfa Romeo Arna|
|Body Styles:||FF subcompact 3-door or 5-door hatchback|
|Engine:||1.2 L Flat-4|
1.4 L Flat-4
1.5 L Flat-4
|Predecessors:||Alfa Romeo Alfasud|
|Successors:||Alfa Romeo 33|
|Similar to:||Nissan Pulsar/Cherry|
|Built in:||Pratola Serra, near Naples, Italy|
Launched at the 1983 Frankfurt Motor Show, the Arna was a product of a short-lived partnership between Alfa Romeo and Japanese manufacturer Nissan; the car's name was an acronym meaning Alfa Romeo Nissan Autoveicoli. The Arna was essentially a twin of the N12 series Nissan Pulsar / Nissan Cherry (also known as the Nissan Cherry Europe in Europe and the Nissan Pulsar Milano in Japan), but featured Alfa Romeo engines carried over from the Alfasud, as well as an Alfa transmission and front suspension. It did however use an independent rear suspension from Nissan. The body panels of the car were constructed in Japan by Nissan, then shipped to the then-new Alfa factory in Pratola Serra, near Naples, for assembly. Italian-built cars badged as Nissan Cherry Europe can be readily identified by their rear lighting clusters, which match those of the Arna rather than the Japanese-built Cherry.
The Arna was however not an economic success, and production ceased after only four years, most likely due to the bizarre fact that the Arna exhibited the worst qualities of each of its parents. While customers would expect an Italian-Japanese vehicle to feature cutting-edge Italian styling and lithe driving dynamics coupled to reliable Japanese mechanicals, the idiosyncratic Arna was the reverse. It carried on Alfa's legacy of electrical issues and tempestuous mechanicals married to a Nissan body of questionable build and frumpy styling, with insipid handling common to Japanese cars of the time. This mis-match of technical strengths served to kill the sales of the Arna very rapidly. The Arna is listed as number 26 in the Richard Porter book, "Crap Cars".
The Arna was constructed initially as 3-door L version and 5-door SL with Alfasud 1.2 boxer engine (63 PS). In 1984 was introduced 3-door TI version with 1.3 boxer engine, this version was capable to reach 170km/h top speed. In 1985 came more powerful 1.2 engine with 68PS and there was also some TI trim cars built with 1.5 boxer engine, sold also as Nissan Cherry Europe GTI. The 1.5 TI/Cherry GTI had top speed of 175km/h.
- 1.2 L (1186 cc) Boxer-4 (63 bhp)
- 1.4 L (1350 cc) Boxer-4 (71 or 86 bhp)
- 1.5 L (1490 cc) Boxer-4 (95 bhp)
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