Alfa Romeo presents the self-locking front differential (‘Q2’), which improves all the strong points of a front-wheel drive system in terms of active safety, increasing driving enjoyment and control. The innovative system provides some of the advantages typical of four-wheel drive, but at a significantly lower cost and weight.
The system is now available exclusively with the 150 bhp JTDM engine on the Alfa GT and Alfa 147, but will subsequently be extended to other models in the Alfa Romeo range. It is a step forward that reflects the current state of the art of turbodiesel technology which, since 1997, the year that the Alfa 156 JTD was launched (the first car to adopt Common Rail technology), has seen a considerable increase in torque delivery to the wheels even on compact cars. Alfa Romeo has developed the sophisticated ‘Q2’ system to guarantee maximum control and traction in all driving conditions.
In addition to the new transmission, the Alfa 147 ‘Q2’ is also identified externally by a number of stylistic details: satin finish whiskers, grille and mirror housings, special 17” alloys, a rear spoiler, chromed exhaust terminal, lower stance and the ‘Q2’ logo at the rear. Inside, this version has a particularly sporty outfit underlined by instruments with red scale background and white lighting, leather upholstery with red stitching on the steering wheel, gear lever and hand brake gaiters, grey anthracite trims on the steering wheel and central console, special ‘Q2’ heel-high strips and aluminium pedals. The equipment of the Alfa 147 ‘Q2’ is completed by radio controls on the steering wheel, cruise control, the VDC system, 6 airbags and a Bose® Hi-Fi system.
The Alfa GT ‘Q2’ version, on the other hand, has specific 18” rims, dual chromed exhaust terminals, satin finish grille, whiskers and mirror housings, low stance and the ‘Q2’ logo on the tailgate.
The styling of the interior underlines this version’s sporty character: an instrument panel with a red background and white lighting, black leather seats with red stitching and the Alfa Romeo logo, the steering wheel, gear lever and handbrake gaiters in black leather with red stitching, special ‘Q2’ heel-high strips, grey anthracite facia trims and aluminium pedals. And finally, radio controls on the steering wheel, radio with CD and MP3 player, and a Bose® Hi-Fi system with sub-woofer are all standard.
The introduction of the ‘Q2’ versions of the Alfa 147 and Alfa GT extends the range of the two models which are enjoying great popularity with public and critics, not only achieving their set goals but exceeding every expectation. For example, in almost three years on the market, the Alfa GT has acquired over 55,000 customers in Europe, which underlines that the model has earned itself an important space in a fiercely competitive market segment.
The Alfa 147 is even more successful; since 2000, more than 500,000 have been bought by European motorists. And we cannot overlook the accolades from the trade press which, to date, has awarded the car a total of 32 prizes, acknowledging the car’s ability to express a new concept of sportiness in which elegance, comfort, safety and refined technology converge. Prizes from the critics include: the title of ‘Car of the Year 2001’, ‘Volante d’Oro’, ‘Trophées du design 2000’, and ‘Auto importado del Año en Brasil 2002’; while those awarded by readers include: ‘Auto Europa’ in 2001, and ‘L’auto che preferisco’ in 2001, 2003, 2004 and 2005.
The Alfa 147 and Alfa GT have kept their promise, achieving important goals. The merit certainly goes to the sound foundations on which the models are built: the best elements of Italian design, sophisticated engineering and the many engine-gearbox combinations which have been constantly updated and added to, maintaining public interest high at all times, as the debut of the ‘Q2’ version today underlines.