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Future models - Alfa Romeo - Brera

Alfa targets the performance kings

Brera belief: Alfa is tipped to develop its own version of the Italdesign Brera concept car off a unique platform with rear-wheel drive.

A Holden-built V6 and all-wheel drive will spearhead Alfa Romeo's next generation assault on Germany's finest performers

30 Aug 2002

NEXT GENERATION Alfa Romeos will employ Holden-built V6 firepower and four-wheel drive technology to challenge the likes of Porsche for performance car supremacy.

Alfa Romeo Australia representatives have openly stated the Italian brand's desire to take on the German performance kings - including Mercedes-Benz, BMW, Audi and Porsche - by offering all-wheel drive and up to 300-350kW from hot GTA versions of each of its next generation models.

To achieve those power levels, Alfa will apparently develop its own high performance version of Holden's HFV6 using its recently released JTS injection system, new electronics and, possibly, even Saab's variable compression technology. While turbocharging is believed to be off Alfa's agenda, four-wheel drive is definitely not.

Next year will see the arrival in Australia of Alfa's new performance flagship, the 147 GTA, and - possibly - a two-door coupe version of the 147.

But the first new generation Alfa to appear in 2004 - the Spider - will herald a return to four-wheel drive for Alfa.

The last all-wheel drive Alfa 33 was sold in Australia in 1992, when Alfa ceased distribution here.

The Spider will spearhead a return to the US market for Alfa and feature a SLK-style folding steel roof, front and four-wheel drivetrains and a high-output version of Holden's HFV6 for GTA models.

The new Spider platform will also form the basis of the replacement for the 156, to be called the 157, which will also be produced in both front and four-wheel drive from 2005.

A third car off the same platform, the 166-replacing 167 will be exclusively all-wheel drive, available in both sedan and coupe body styles - also from 2005.

Current betting on the next GTV, due like the Spider some time in 2004, is that Alfa will develop its own version of the Italdesign Brera concept car off a unique platform with rear-wheel drive.

* In other Alfa news, parent company Fiat is still considering whether to contest Mitsubishi's use of the GTV moniker for its newly revealed Grand Touring Verada model.

"We have a very long and established use of the GTV name," said Alfa Romeo Australia public relations manager Edward Rowe.

"Fiat's legal department is considering what action can be taken, if any, because any legal action needs to come from them not (local Alfa importer) Ateco Automotive."

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