The Alfa GT, Gran Turismo, is a true grand tourer and is a proper four-seater, unlike the GTV, Gran Turismo Veloce, which is really only a two-seater. Released at the Geneva motor show in March 2002, the exterior of the car received great acclaim, however, the car on display was only a model with the interior filled with what looked like black concrete. Styled by Bertone the car has echoes of Alfas both old and new and is the first proper GT since the Alfetta GTs of the late '70s and early 80's, interestingly the flagship models of both these cars share the same basic engine block, the sublime Alfa Romeo V6, now stretched from 2.5 litres to 3.2 litres. The Carrozzeria has done a stunning job; the scooped outflanks, the deep front grille, the aggressive headlamps, the offset front number plate all say this is an Alfa Romeo coupe. This is no BMW 3 series coupe, which shares the same lines as its four-door sibling. The waistline slopes gently forward and the subtly-bulged rear wheel arches give a real sense of power.
The front windows are frameless, de rigueur for a coupe, and the rear window is small as you would expect in a coupe, however, the visibility forward is very good. The interior is superbly equipped, the seats are wonderfully deep and very supportive they come in "Alfatex" or leather and are a work of art to look at. The dash has a comprehensive array of analogue instruments that are clear and easy to see. The steering wheel is a carryover from the 147/156 and is very nice to hold with a grip just where your thumb sits that is very tactile. The steering wheel radio controls sometimes get a little confusing when driving the car hard or manoeuvring which is slightly annoying. The rear seats are comfortable and there is room enough for three adults to travel on a reasonable journey; the centre seat even has a three-point seat belt. This versatility is aided by a well-disguised hatchback that gives access to a boot that is only a little smaller than the 156 and can be extended by folding the rear seats flat.
The body is based on a 156/147 floor pan but is 15% stiffer, this stiffer chassis allows the engineers to have more freedom with their suspension settings and the car benefits from a slightly more compliant ride while also rolling less than its brethren, a nice trick. The steering is very sharp with only 2.5 turns lock to lock and there is absolutely no dead spot around the centre position which instils the driver with confidence. The VDC stability control system is one of the best in the business and allows the driver to drive which is very nice. Under braking, the car dives forward slightly which in turn transfers some weight forward giving you some confidence that it is digging into the tarmac and not likely to skid along the surface. The brakes also have electronic brake modulation which automatically regulates the fluid pressure to each wheel giving maximum braking force to that tyre.
The GT has three engine options in the UK, the 2.0 litre JTS, the 1.9Mjet Diesel and the 3.2 litre V6 petrol. All the engines have their advantages and are all very advanced designs. The 2.0 litre JTS is a direct injection engine with variable inlet cam timing and a variable-length inlet manifold. The 1.9 diesel Mjet is a 16 valve common rail diesel with variable vane turbocharger and multiple injections per cycle and the V6 24 valve engine is almost universally acclaimed as one of the greatest engines ever produced. To harness this power there are three gearbox options, the diesel and V6 both have 6-speed boxes while the JTS has the choice of 5-speed manual or the trick Selespeed Formula 1 derived gearbox.
|2.0 JTS||3.2 V6 24v||1.9 Diesel Mjet|
|No of Cylinders||4||6||4|
|Peak Torque (Nm)||206||289||305|
|Top Speed (mph)||134||151||130|
|Fuel Consumption (combined - mpg)||32.5||22.8||45.6|
|CO2 Emissions (g/km)||207||295||165|
|Fuel Capacity (litres)||63||63||63|