Alfa Romeo: 2015 Giulietta Distinctive TCT QV Line review

June 30th, 2015 by Darren Cottingham

The Giulietta name was first seen on an Alfa Romeo in 1954 which is also the year that Elvis Presley began his recording career. Owning an Alfa Romeo is a good talking point, but the purpose of this review is a little less conversation, a little more action, and more action is definitely what’s been provided in the 2015 model, especially if you get the Quadrifoglio Verde model with the 1.75-litre engine out of the beautiful 4C coupe. Continue reading “Alfa Romeo: 2015 Giulietta Distinctive TCT QV Line review” »

Alfa Romeo releases promo video for 4C concept

July 26th, 2011 by Darren Cottingham

Alfa Romeo is getting pumped-up about its new 4C mid-engine sports coupe that could arrive in European showrooms as early as next year.

To send its fans into a frenzy the Italian carmaker has just released a new promotional video for the 4C concept car.

The production car will feature a lightweight carbon fibre body and a mid-mounted, turbocharged 1.8-litre four-cylinder engine with more than 150kW of power on tap. A dual-clutch gearbox will feature and will help the coupe accelerate from 0-100 km/h in less than five seconds and hit a top speed in excess of 250 km/h.

Check out the video below to find out more. Continue reading “Alfa Romeo releases promo video for 4C concept” »

Zagato unveils Viper-based Alfa Romeo TZ3 Stradale

April 29th, 2011 by Darren Cottingham

About a month ago it was announced that Zagato was building a new TZ3 Stradale,  now the Milanese design house has revealed the first photos and details of its newest creation.

Zagato’s TZ3 Stradale is an Alfa Romeo bodied sports car based on the platform and mechanical hardware of the hardcore, but out of production Dodge Viper ACR. Power comes from the top-spec Viper’s same 447kW 8.4-litre V10 engine mated to a 6-speed manual gearbox and a full race-spec suspension. The TZ3 Stradale uses an all new and all carbon fibre body with the most distinctive design feature being the classic Kamm-tail layout. While this coachbuilt Viper doesn’t actually use any mechanical pieces from Alfa Romeo, its design puts a decidedly contemporary spin on years of collaboration between Zagato and Alfa.

The TZ3 Stradale is Zagato’s second and final tribute to the 100th anniversary of Alfa Romeo (1910-2010), which started in 2009 with the presentation of the 8C Competizione-based TZ3 Corsa that took out the Villa D’Este Design Concept Award in 2010. Continue reading “Zagato unveils Viper-based Alfa Romeo TZ3 Stradale” »

Dodge confirms next-gen Viper for 2012

December 6th, 2010 by Darren Cottingham

It hasn’t been the easiest road for the Dodge Viper supercar recently. When the last model rolled off the assembly line back in July, there were only loose rumors about the possibility of a new generation. It was a few months later that new information leaked about a possible successor, which was to share a platform with the Alfa Romeo 8C Competizione, much to the dismay of hardcore Viper fans.

Now, according to The Detroit News, Chrysler has confirmed that next year the world will get it’s first look at the new 2013 Viper and it won’t be based on Alfa’s supercar.

“There won’t be a part of the car that remains untouched,”Dodge CEO Ralph Gilles said, and would apparently not rule out the potential for a brand-new V10 engine.

“Where the cabin is, relative to the wheels, is unique” said Gilles. “The Viper cabin is very rearward and the hood is very long. Few cars in the industry are designed with those proportions anymore” he added.

Late last year, Gilles confirmed that the new Viper would draw on the Alfa-owned Ferrari brand’s knowledge, but would not use any of its technology. “They really know sports cars. We just want some advice,” Gilles said at the time. “Ferrari is Ferrari, Viper is Viper. Please don’t go there.”

Mr. Gilles also added that the 2013 Viper will be “a more forgiving car to drive and accessible to more people”.

The previous generation Viper was an unforgiving machine, without any real electronic assistance it quickly scorned anyone who treated it with disrespect. While this has given the supercar a hardcore appeal a more drivable Viper is not such a bad idea.

How far Dodge plans to dilute the sports car’s aggro nature is not known for now. But Chrysler will be looking to keep a fine balance between the ingredients.

Finalists announced for 2011 European Car of the Year

November 11th, 2010 by Darren Cottingham

While there are a multitude of automotive awards out there in cyberspace the one many automakers value most remains the European Car of the Year. To find a winner for the coveted title seven publications from seven different countries get together each year to nominate their collective Car of the Year, and then announce it in one united voice.

The process takes place over the course of months with the first step being the nominations, then the finalists and ultimately the solitary winner. The finalists for 2011 have just been announced, and as you’d expect it’s heavily loaded with European vehicles, but the list is not without some surprises.

The finalists include the Alfa Romeo Giulietta, Citroën C3/DS3, Renault/Dacia Duster, Ford C-Max/Grand C-Max, Nissan Leaf, Opel/Vauxhall Meriva and Volvo S60/V60. The Alfa’s nomination is a decade after its predecessor, the 147, took the award in its launch year. The Nissan Leaf is an interesting inclusion and represents the first time an electric vehicle has made it this far in the competition.

The winner will be announced on November 29, so check back then.

Alfa Romeo and ‘Avatar’s’ Federico Alliney create official artwork

October 20th, 2010 by Darren Cottingham

If you’re both an art fan and a Alfa Romeo fan then this might just be something made perfectly for you. The same artist behind the three dimensional landscapes James Cameron’s movie blockbuster, ‘Avatar’, and the distinctive visual image of the film ‘District 9’ has created a unique set of limited edition prints to celebrate Alfa Romeo’s Centenary.

Called the ‘Snake and the Cross Collection’, the artwork by Federico Alliney is as creative and unusual as his cinematic work, some, such as ‘La Bella e La Bestia’ depicting Alfa Romeos in places as other-worldly as the visual feast of Avatar; some in worlds suggested by the cars themselves; others with interpretations of the their own historical place in Alfa Romeo’s history and some, such as the Alfa Romeo 8C featured in ‘Dorian Red’, illustrating Alfa Romeo’s lasting legacy to the history of the car.

“It’s as if Alfa Romeo cars are linked to our inner self and to the essence of the earth,” explains the artist. “There is the most perfect encounter between aesthetics and mechanics. The mechanical elements do not seem to result from an engineering exercise but have their roots in a work of art which rises above the limits of its body and its invisible aura. This is the starting point of my research: to capture the subtle connection between the object and its soul which makes its shape resonate with the soul.”

“I wanted to transport the onlooker inside my paintings. For this intent I use a pictorial technique which I have developed as a movie designer, painting with light, superimposing layers of light and shadow which complement each other. The result of this treatment is then elaborated with pictorial techniques to make the smallest details stand out of the painting.”

Continue reading “Alfa Romeo and ‘Avatar’s’ Federico Alliney create official artwork” »

Volkswagen wants to buy Alfa Romeo, Fiat says “no way”

August 26th, 2010 by Darren Cottingham

According to recent rumours being thrown around, Volkswagen is keen on continuing its big buy-up of the entire automotive world. The German manufacturing giant now has Alfa Romeo clearly in the cross hairs, even though parent-company Fiat has no intention of parting with the iconic Italian brand.

Adding Alfa to the lineup would potentially bring Volkswagen’s carmaking portfolio to nine brands, including VW, Audi, Seat, Skoda, Bentley, Lamborghini, Bugatti, and Porsche (as well as Karmann, Italdesign, VW LCV, a 20% chunk of Suzuki and the rights to NSU).

While the two companies appear to be currently at odds, Fiat has said that it wants Alfa Romeo to become a world-class luxury manufacturer. To achieve this Alfa will need to sell upwards of 500,000 units per year by 2014 — almost five times what the company managed to move in 2009. Fiat’s long term plan is to retain Alfa Romeo and turn it into an Italian Audi killer, helping reach Marchionne’s goal of 500,000 units a year.

So why exactly does VW want Alfa Romeo so bad? Because getting the brand would be an easy way to help the carmaker in its quest to become the world’s number one automaker. Also getting rights to the Alfa Romeo stable would give VW access to a wealth of new technology and front-engine, front-wheel-drive chassis options as well.

Alfa Romeo MiTo now priced below $35,000 in NZ

July 30th, 2010 by Darren Cottingham

Following the launch of the range-topping Alfa Romeo MiTo Quadrifoglio Verde (QV), the Italian car maker has re-positioned its prestige small car so that not only is the MiTo now available with a recommended retail price of $34,990 plus statutory charges and on road costs, the new entry level MiTo is now powered by the 114 kW engine.

“The arrival of the 125 kW MiTo QV has enabled Alfa Romeo to provide a double win for drivers looking for a small car that can boast a unique 100 year heritage,” says Lawrie Malatios, General Manager of Alfa Romeo in New Zealand. “Not only is it now possible to buy a MiTo with a recommended retail price plus on statutory charges and on road costs below $35,000, that car now offers the 114 kW powerplant.”

The entry level MiTo is now powered by the new 1.4TB 114 kW unit, delivering its maximum power at 5500 rpm along with a maximum torque of 230 Nm at 3000 rpm, which enables it to accelerate from 0-100 kmh in just 8.0 seconds and reach a top speed of 215 kmh. Around town, drivers can achieve 8.5 l/100 km, while motorway journeys and the combined cycle are 5.3 l/100 km and 6.5 l/100 km respectively.

The Alfa MiTo is fitted with 17″ alloy wheels — similar to those that appear on the Alfa 8C Competizione —inside, the Mito features sports cloth upholstery and sports dials with white illumination and a carbon fibre effect dashboard. The MiTo comes with the Blue&Me hands-free system with voice recognition, and media player with USB port and front fog lights.

Situated beside the gearlever, a three-position switch alters the behaviour of vehicle dynamics with the system working on engine, steering, suspension, and gearbox.  This creates three different vehicle behaviour modes based on the driving style best suited to the situation, terrain or the wishes of the driver.

Continue reading “Alfa Romeo MiTo now priced below $35,000 in NZ” »

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