Thursday, July 15, 2010

Speculation on a coming Giulietta Sprint coupe. As ever. And a TZ3 'Corsa' drive

Rumormill: Alfa Romeo planning Giulietta Sprint coupe? — Autoblog
If you're thinking a two-door Giulietta would step on its baby brother's toes, you're not far off. The Mito was envisioned as part of a two-pronged approach to replacing the old 147. But with the Alfa GT in need of replacement, a Giulietta Sprint could help Alfa capitalize on the new platform which is also set to underpin a new crossover as well.
Alfa Romeo Zagato TZ3 | Auto Express | Reviews | First Drives
It’s parked in the Supercar Paddock, and we fire the V8. It starts with an angry rasp, and the six-speed sequential racing box adds to the intimidating feel. You think you’re doing some damage each time you select first, second or reverse gears, such is the force required to engage the ratios.

As we approach the start line for the Goodwood hillclimb, we notice smoke rising from below us. “That’s the paint getting heated by the exhausts running through both door sills,” says a matter-of-fact Karr.

In fact, the sills are red-hot, and getting in and out without burning your thighs is an acrobatic exercise! Adding to the extreme feel is the vibration of the extra-light Plexiglas windows, while the hammer-formed aluminium body panels barely insulate the noise.

'evo' mag reviews the nuova Giuletta Cloverleaf

Not sure these reviewers really know their cars, to be honest. Especially when they pretend to know Alfa Romeo. Whilst some Alfas crack along like the true GTAs of the past, in the main they have built warm, characterful sedans with a technical edge, smaller, stylish and clean-handling coupes and softish but sweet-engined grand tourers that lope along the autostradas. Now I have owned a "mark 2" Giulietta (arrow-shaped body on an Alfetta 'chassis'), a 33ti and an '82 Alfetta GTV. None of these cars were red-blooded ultimate powerhouses, rather they were a step short: nimble, exciting, stylish but comfortable cars with an emphasis on long, fast drives on good to great roads. They could also spit fire and venom when required but that really wasn't the main dish. Underneath all of them was that feeling of Italian passion in the style and handling, the interior and the sound of the engine. But sharp instrument just a notch off racing caliber? It was more of a suggestion, a hint. These older Alfas could be modded successfully to great reward, but the standard roadcars - even the green cloverleafs and GTVs - were not lightened GTAs. They were tourers.

Somehow journos always equate 'Italian passion' with top speed, quickest-in-class-acceleration and noise that drives you batty after 15 minutes. Whereas Italian cars are usually much more user-friendly than that. Doesn't mean they won't make a new GTA but it's sad they expect every Alfa to be a GTA...      

Giulietta Cloverleaf takes on Golf GTI & Leon Cupra | evo
Golf first, Leon second (but easily the best value), Giulietta third. Pity, but there it is. This is new Alfa: better built, more mainstream and easier to live with, but in chasing the Golf GTI so assiduously, Alfa has lost sight of the bigger picture: it’s forgotten to inject the stuff that makes us love Italian cars unconditionally. So what we’ve ended up with is an Italian car that lacks the flair, vigour and passion of a German car. It’s an Alfa, but not as we know it.