Alfa Romeo is seriously considering giving a hard time to the biggest German manufacturers. A V8 powered 159 GTA is currently under testings and will be unveiled next year at the Geneva Motor Show. When it will go on sale in early 2009 it will compete with the BMW M3, Audi RS4 and Mercedes C63 AMG.
Built as a successor for the 156 GTA, the 159 GTA (Gran Turismo Allegerita) will feature rear spoiler, unlike its predecessor, large low-profile tyres, slightly flared wheelarches, and side skirts.
But how will Alfa-Romeo build a 400 hp car, as until now they didn’t had this kind of powertrain? It is very easy actually: with a little help from Maserati-Ferrari.
So, under the hood there will be a 4.3 litre V8 engine built as an evolution of the 4.244 cc GranSport unit. The engine delivers around 440 bhp at 7000 rpm with 505 Nm of torque. And it only weights 183 kg. The very good news about this engine is that with minimum of modifications it can deliver more of 500 hp. But Alfa Romeo we keep the target under 420 hp, as the M3 delivers 414 hp.
The V8 engine will be mated with a wheel-drive system and, probably, sequencial gear. That is why the future Alfa Romeo 159 GTA has all the right characteristics to challenge without fear its aggressive German competitors: not only 400 horsepower, but also high handling quality and reliability!
The V8 engine will be mounted transversely similar to the old Lancia Thema 8.32. Compared to the standard 159 it will loose 130 kg. Part of the weight reduction are going to be high-performance parts such as Brembo CCM (Composite Ceramic Material) brakes, used only in high performance cars such as the Ferrari F430.
The 2009 159 GTA will make the 0 to 60 mph sprint in less than 4 seconds and its top speed will be limited to 155 mph.
The Alfa Romeo 156, manufactured by Alfa Romeo, was introduced in 1997 as replacement for the 155. Its distinctive style with its high curved flanks made it, to some, the best looking car in it’s class.
Alfa 156 GTA marks the return of the logo that is a legendary part of motoring history: the exterior styling is aggressive and elegant, while the interiors are lavishly appointed with a distinctly sporty feel. The powerful new 3.2 V6 24v engine offers exceptional performance and tremendous handling even in day-to-day driving. A car that can put real pleasure back into driving.
In February 2002 the 156 GTA and SportsWagon GTA were launched. A 3.2l V6 with six speed gearbox, this car was aimed at the Audi S4 performance market. The GTA was subsequently stopped production in October 2005, citing poor sales and the upcoming replacement to the 156, the Alfa Romeo 159
The brand-new 3.2 V6 24v petrol engine is an evolution of the 3.0 V6 engine already available on the sporty GTV and Spider, with power output increased from 220 to 250 BHP at 6200 rpm. Both the 6-speed manual gearbox and the F1-derived Selespeed transmission considerably enhance the engine’s sporting qualities. The car can go from 0 to 60 mph in 6.3 seconds, with a top speed of 155 mph and average fuel consumption in the combined cycle of 12.1 liters per 100 km, figures that sum up the potential of the new GTA, which boasts a torque curve reaching 221 lbs-ft at 4800 rpm, giving thrilling performance for both sporty driving and everyday use.
The Alfa Romeo 159 is a compact executive car produced by the Italian manufacturer Alfa Romeo since 2005. The 159 was introduced in production form at the 2005 Geneva Motor Show as a replacement for the successful Alfa Romeo 156.
Alfa 159 comes with a choice of three JTS directinjection petrol engines and 3 new-generation JTDM Common Rail turbodiesels, a perfect reflection of Alfa Romeo’s “cuore sportivo”
The utmost sportiness is guaranteed by the 3.2 6-cylinder V petrol engine, along with Q4 fourwheel drive, while the 2.4 JTDM diesel combines the power of its 200 bhp with total reliability. The 1.9 and 2.2 JTS petrol units offer excellent performance, while the 1.9 JTDM diesels guarantee top-level performance with low running costs. The new 1.8 petrol engine is available.
The first M3 produced 192 hp from its 2.3-liter four-cylinder engine during its 1988-1991 model year run. A legend was born and Americans embraced the high-rpm, naturally-aspirated M concept. The next generation arrived in 1995 with a 3.0-liter (and later, 3.2-liter) 240-hp inline-six powerplant. In 1997 the first M3 Sedan joined the family and the first M3 Convertible followed shortly thereafter. The most-recent version, available as either a coupe or convertible from 2001-2006, again was offered with six-cylinder power, this time providing 333 hp from its 3.2 liters. This vehicle was BMW’s first use of SMG (Sequential Manual Gearbox) for the US market.
The move to eight cylinders in the fourth generation BMW M3 provides a powerplant offering the seemingly disparate characteristics of more power, increased efficiency and reduced weight when compared with the previous six-cylinder M3 engine. Displacing 3,999 cubic centimeters (4.0 liters), the new light-alloy engine produces 414 hp at 8,300 rpm and 295 pound-feet of torque at 3,900 rpm with 85 percent of the maximum torque available consistently through 6,500 rpm. This power output represents a 15-percent increase over the six-cylinder from the last generation M3 and it comes with an eight-percent fuel-economy improvement when compared to its predecessor. Compression ratio is dialed in to 12.0:1 and redline is set at 8,400 rpm.
One of the most waited cars this year, the new C63 AMG ensures exciting motor racing at the highest level. Powered by an AMG 6.3 liter V8 engine, the C63 AMG has a maximum power of 457 hp and a maximum peak torque 600 Nm and makes the 0 to 60 mph sprint in just 4.3 seconds and has a top speed electronically limited to 155 mph.
Merely the appearance of the C 63 AMG is impressive enough, with its wide, road-hugging stance. The new bonnet with its prominent power domes conceals the independently developed AMG 6.3-litre V8 engine, which develops a fulminating 336 kW/457 hp at 6800 rpm from a displacement of 6208 cubic centimetres. In this respect the C 63 AMG comes very close to the 470 or so horsepower delivered by the AMG C-Class racing touring car in the DTM series. This high output also benefits the power-to-weight ratio, which is a very favourable 3.6 kg/hp.
The torque developed by the AMG 6.3-litre V8 engine need fear no comparison either. The maximum of 600 newton metres at 5000 rpm is unrivalled in this class, and the torque curve is equally impressive: from 2000 to 6250 rpm the driver always has more than 500 newton metres on tap – ideal for powerful acceleration in any engine speed range.
The future Audi S4 will be unveiled next year, probably in the same time with the 159 GTA at the Geneva Motor Show. It will be powered by a 4.2-litre V8 engine that delivers 340 hp.
Compared to the standard A4 unveiled this year at the Frankfurt Motor Show it will feature S-style bumpers, a small bootlid spoiler as well as quad exhaust pipes.