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Saturday, June 14, 2008
Anyway it's a look underneath my 1982 Alfetta GTV showing the rear mounted transaxle, de Dion tube, Watts linkage and inboard disc brakes. Most cars of course don't have de Dion tubes, so that's a bit special. The Watts linkage is more common. The rear mounted transmission is much more rare and gives the car better weight distribution (ie 50:50) and a polar moment of inertia that lends the car stability rather than twitchiness.
The inboard brakes are also unusual on a road car, but were an Alfa specialty in the late 70s and throughout the 80s, both with their rear and front drive cars. On this car it meant that even the rears could overheat a tad on mountain descents... but OTOH the rear wheels didn't have to carry the extra unsprung weight so an Alfetta could menace much more powerful cars around corners. (The Alfasud from this era had inboard front brakes, which probably worked better than the Alfetta's rear brake arrangement and helped to make the 'Sud a great handler - but suffered from the occasional accidental ill-placed drop of engine oil... ooops.)
Tuesday, June 10, 2008
- Not a lot of Alfa content, but just enough to satisfy, and a great pictorial blogpost focused around Mugello...."Aloha and Welcome to *Liam's Wild Ride* , the Official Website of Liam Shubert. This is the chronicle of my travels, adventures, and experiences while I'm busy working in MotoGP! Please enjoy the places, faces, and especially, the Races!"
- An Alfa Montreal 'company car'? And a secret test track (not!)
- Oh please no, Alfa, don't do it..."Alfa will built its first SUV : the Alfa Romeo 149 SUV
The new project will come alive in 2010 and it will be in the same class as the Audi Q5, Mercedes GLK and Volkswagen Tiguan. The 149 SUV will be a sporty car with the Alfa branded design. The engine is thought to be a 2.0 l 300 hp engine"
- In 2 minds - a Brera ruined or improved? "Prodrive decided that while the Alfa Romeo Brera was an excellent supercar in its own right they would be able to turn it into perfection. Thus was born the Alfa Romeo Brera S."
- We'll believe it when we see it: Marchionne believes the only way to sell Fiats profitably in the U.S. is to build them in North America. He said he's "having discussions with everybody," though he also didn't rule out building a factory. While Fiat has an existing partnerships with Ford (F), another potential alliance partners is Mercedes-Benz (DAI), which is interested in building passenger cars in North America in addition to the SUVs it builds in Alabama. Nissan (NSANY) has excess plant capacity at its Mississippi plant, and seems interested in replacing some of the SUV capacity it has there with passenger cars. Fiat already shares engineering with Ford on the U.S. automaker's Ka minicar in Europe. Ford is expanding its small car manufacturing in Mexico to build the Ford Fiesta, and would also be a logical partner.
- Everyone wants to know us now: "GM, the UAW, state and local government should take the initiative to begin a dialogue with Alfa's parent company, Fiat. Fiat already does business in Wisconsin with its Case-IH business in Racine. State tax and development incentives should be offered to secure the Alfa factory and align with this premium global brand. A Janesville Alfa Romeo plant could be a high-tech infused facility with a forward-thinking, attractive product -- but the city and state will have to lobby for it, and not a moment should be wasted." But GM and FIAT, again? This guy has no understanding of recent history. eh?
- How about Canada then? "With bad news of auto plant closures spreading across the province, Queen's Park retains a glimmer of hope that Ontario is in the running to land an Alfa Romeo factory. Minister of Economic Development and Trade Sandra Pupatello called a May 21 meeting in Turin, Italy, between Premier Dalton McGuinty and executives from Fiat, Alfa Romeo's parent company, a positive step."
- And lastly, the MiTo photoshoot and a cabrio...
Saturday, June 07, 2008
Wednesday, June 04, 2008
Once out of BP you pick up speed (on the GP circuit) and the 1.8 litre Giulietta was good for 160km/hr (in my hands) by the kink. Then hard braking, hard left, mind the concrete wall all over again and into the twisties.