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Alfa Romeo GTV & Spider

Alfa Romeo Spider
Alfa Romeo GTV & Spider
Manufacturer Alfa Romeo
Assembly Arese, Milan, Italy
Turin, Italy (Pininfarina)
Layout FF layout
Class Sports car
Transmission 5 and 6-speed manual
Production 1995-2005
Predecessor Alfa Romeo Spider
Alfa Romeo GTV6
Successor Alfa Romeo Brera
Alfa Romeo GT
Body style Coupé
Cabriolet
Competition BMW Z3
Audi TT
Mercedes-Benz SLK
Toyota MR2
Toyota Celica
Engine 1.8 L 16V TS
2.0 L 16V TS
2.0 L JTS
2.0 L V6 turbo
3.0 L V6 12V
3.0 L V6 24V
3.2 L V6 24V
Wheelbase 2540 mm (100 in.)
Length 4285 mm (168.7 in.)
Width 1780 mm (70.1 in.)
Height 1318 mm (51.9 in.)
1315 mm (51.8 in.) Spider
Weight 1370 kg-1470 kg (3020-3240 lb)
Designer Pininfarina


The Alfa Romeo GTV and Alfa Romeo Spider are two sports cars produced by the Italian manufacturer Alfa Romeo since 1995. The GTV is a 2+2 coupé (to avoid insurance premiums), with the Spider being essentially a two-seat cabriolet version of the GTV. The rear seats can be optionally deleted to increase the very tiny boot space.

The pair were launched at the Geneva Motor Show in March 1995. The GTV's name placed it as the successor to the long-discontinued Alfa Romeo GTV6 coupe, whereas the Spider was effectively the replacement for the then 30-year-old Duetto Spider.

The cars were aimed at the gentleman sports car market with little creature comforts, with air conditioning and a decent stereo. Most 1995-1997 cars have aftermarket radios fitted. Leather was standard on "Lusso" specified models. This was known as "Ti" on Alfasud models etc.

Design

Spider with soft-top
Slightly tuned GTV

Both cars were designed by Pininfarina. It is a typical Italian design, with the Alfa Romeo grill with the pair of lights on each side recalling the 1750 GTV of the late 1960s and 1970s. It has a wedge shape which is in keeping with traditional Alfa Sports design. The back is "cut-off", creating a sharp, aggressive look. The car is very low slung and entering and exiting the car is very similar to that of a Ferrari: difficult. The design has been rebuked by tall drivers that the windscreen is too low. The Spider shares all of these traits except for the cut-off back.

The Spider featured a folding soft-top with five hoop frame, which completely disappears from sight under a flush fitting cover. An electric folding mechanism is fitted on some versions. As would be expected the GTV has a much more rigid chassis, although considerable work was done to ensure that the Spider does not suffer from the traditional convertible chassis problems. There are many complaints that the Spider is displeasing to drive around tight corners, however the subtle flexing of the chassis improves grip and is a very rare feature. The Morgan is the only other car to share this feature. This flexing of the car can scare less able and less experienced drivers.

Characteristics

The Spider & GTV were based on a Fiat Tipo derived platform, in this case a heavily modified version with an all new multilink rear suspension which allowed passive rear steering. The passive rear steering was to reduce understeer (All GTVs and Spider are FWD). 1.8 16V and 2.0 16v Twin Spark petrol engines were available along with a turbocharged 2.0 V6 that produced 200 PS or a 3.0 V6 in either 12 (192 PS) or 24 valves (226 PS). The 2.0 V6, called V6 TB, was developed because of an Italian law that put an extra tax on cars with engines bigger than 2L. It's basically the same engines as the 3L V6 compressed to two liters. The turbo was added for extra power so that you could have nice performance without paying that tax. The V6 TB is also tuned easily because of the turbo and many TBs today have a lot more than 200 bhp. 240 bhp is no problem, which makes it seriously fast. The 3.0 V6 24V was the fastest production Alfa Romeo to date when new. The 3.2 V6 24V GTV (240 PS) is now the current fastest Stradale Alfa Romeo to date (introduced on the 2003 - GTVs), capable of 0-60 mph in just over six seconds. All engines, but especially the V6 versions have a beautiful engine sound!

The 2.0 16v Twin Spark engine is noted to have the best ratio of fuel economy to performance. The 2003 and last restyle to the GTV also introduced the 2.0 JTS (165 PS) engine. To save in weight the hood of these cars was made from composite material called KMC.

1998/2003 facelifts

The Spider and GTV were revamped in 1998; the post-revamp models are recognisable by the addition of a chrome rim around the Alfa shield in the bonnet. Also, the interior was redesigned and a six-speed gearbox was made available as an option for the 3.0 24V. A second, more comprehensive facelift occurred in 2003, with the revamped cars being unveiled at that year's Geneva Motor Show. The most notable difference was the restyling of the front end to include a much deeper 147-style front grille and a frontplate-holder moving from the centre to the right.

2003 facelift Spider

Engines

Model Engine Volume Power Torque 0-100 km/h,s Top speed Years Note
1.8 TS I4 1747 cc 106 kW (144 PS) @6500 rpm 169Nm @3500 rpm 9.2 210kmh 1998-2000
2.0 TS I4 1970 cc 114 kW (155 PS) @6400 rpm 187Nm @3500 rpm 8.4 216kmh 1998-2000
2.0 TS I4 1970 cc 110 kW (150 PS) @6200 rpm 186Nm @4000 rpm 8.4 216kmh 1995-1997/2001- Euro2/Euro3
2.0 JTS I4 1970 cc 121 kW (165 PS) @6400 rpm 206Nm @3250 rpm 8.4 220kmh 2003-2006 Euro4
2.0 V6 TB V6 1996 cc 148 kW (202 PS+overboost) @6000 rpm 285Nm @2400 rpm 7.0 240kmh 1995-1998/2001 Euro2
3.0 V6 12V V6 2959 cc 141 kW (192 PS) @5600 rpm 260Nm @4400 rpm 7.3 225kmh 1995-1998 Euro2 Spider
3.0 V6 24V V6 2959 cc 162 kW (220 PS) @6300 rpm 270Nm @5000 rpm 6.7 250kmh 1997-2000
3.0 V6 24V V6 2959 cc 160 kW (218 PS) @6300 rpm 265Nm @5000 rpm 6.8 248kmh 2000-2003 Euro3
3.2 V6 24V V6 3179 cc 176 kW (240 PS) @6200 rpm 289Nm @4800 rpm 6.3 255kmh 2003-2006

*performance values for GTV, unless otherwise stated

Trivia

  • Autodelta (based in England) has modified the 3.2 V6 engine to increase its displacement to 3.7 litres and considerably more performance.


External links

<- Previous Alfa Romeo Automobiles S.p.A., a subsidiary of the Fiat S.p.A. since 1986, car timeline, 1980s-present
Type 1980s 1990s 2000s
0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9
Supermini Junior
Small family car Alfasud 33 145/146 147 149
Arna
Compact executive car Alfetta 75 155 156 159
Nuova Giulietta
Executive car Alfa 6 90 164 166 169
Coupé Sprint GTV (916) GT
GTV Brera
Cabriolet Spider (916) Spider (939)
Sportscar SZ/RZ
Roadster Spider
Supercar 8C Competizione and Spider
Racing car 179/182/183T/184T/185T SE 048SP