Alfa-Romeo cars

We often talk about how mergers and shared productions have really made the automotive world do a complete 180 in recent years. A great example of this is back in the late-1980s when Ferrari and Maserati were direct competitors and no one could have ever imagined that in 1999, Ferrari would have complete ownership of Maserati. Then, Maserati ended up being split between Alfa Romeo and Ferrari in 2005.

What would be good for a barrel of laughs would be to travel to the mid-1980s and tell Enzo Ferrari that in 2012 his company would be manufacturing a pair of engines for Maserati . Well, all irony aside, that is exactly what’s happening, but also included in this €50 million ($62 million) production deal are Alfa Romeo and Lancia . All four of these models are under the only ownership umbrella that rivals Volkswagen AG, Fiat S.p.A., which is what allows them to share information without fear of losing sales to one another.

The first engine to hit the market will likely be a twin-turbo V-6 powerhouse that will crank out up to 450 ponies. The second engine to come from this development sharing will be a naturally aspirated (non-turbo) V-8 model that will likely crest the 500-horsepower mark. Alfa Romeo has had plans for a replacement for its sports sedan, the 159, but a proper engine hasn’t been developed for it yet. These engines would certainly fit the need and give it a whopping 200- to 300-horsepower increase over the 2011 159’s 3.2-liter V-6.

For Lancia, we really can’t see a model that these engines are suited for, as Lancia currently only has a rebadged Chrysler 200 in its lineup. Maserati can slap either of these engines in any of its cars and it would look right at home, as long as all “Ferrari Ferrari ” badges are stripped. Then again, the automotive world could pay back Maserati by forcing it to slap a “by Ferrari” tag on it like the 1989 through 1991 Chrysler TC by Maserati that we all know and “love.”

We’ll keep you updated on this as more information becomes available.

Alfa Romeo Spider

Last week, we reported that Fiat was open to allowing Mazda to use U.S.-based Chrysler factories to manufacture U.S.-bound Mazda models. Before that, Fiat and Mazda officially announced a partnership in building the MX5 Miata and Alfa Romeo Spider . These two announcements brought about a lot of speculation of Fiat taking the same approach that Ford did, by buying into the struggling, but slowly recovering, Mazda.

After hearing plenty of these rumors, Fiat Chairman, John Elkann, had enough and announced at a shareholder meeting that Fiat is not interested in acquiring any percentage of Mazda Mazda in the future. Fiat does plan on adding a Japanese partner in the future to help expand its global reach, but there is no mention of what companies Fiat is considering.

We would not be surprised to find out that this is simply a rouge to not tip its hand too early. It only makes sense for the two to partner up in a larger sense, as Mazda needs some help getting over the recovery hump and Fiat needs a Japanese partner. It would be a win-win situation, so we’ll see if Fiat’s tune changes after testing out Mazda’s abilities with the Mazda Miata-Alfa Romeo Spider production deal.

Fiat is planning a little bit of expansion soon though. In July 2012, Fiat is planning to expand its ownership in Chrysler by an additional 3 percent, bringing its total ownership to over 60 percent. Over the course of time, Fiat plans to jump its overall Chrysler ownership to 100 percent, giving it complete control over the recovering automaker’s operations and profit.

It definitely looks like Fiat is on the right track here so far. We will keep you updated as its expansion continues.

Concorso d’Eleganza Villa d’Este 2012 is in the books and one automaker, which was surprisingly not BMW – the sponsor of the event – cleaned up house by taking home four awards, including the most prestigious award. The winner of three of the four awards is a 1933 6C 1750 GS, an ultra-rare specimen from Alfa Romeo . The main prize that this beauty won was the “Concorso d’Eleganza Best of Show” by vote of the jury, which is the top award. In addition to this top prize, the Alfa Romeo also took home the “Coppa d’Oro Villa d’Este” and the “Tropheo BMW Group Italia” by public vote.

The 6C 1750 GS was part of a series of road and race cars that Alfa Romeo manufactured from 1929 through 1933. While all of the models have their own special place in automotive history, this 1933 6C 1750 GS is especially rare. This model was designed by Figoni coach builders and boasts a 1,752 cc in-line six-cylinder engine, which cranked out a then-impressive 102 horsepower at 5,000 rpm and 126 pound-feet of torque at 2,000 rpm.

In addition to the 6C taking home three awards, Alfa Romeo took home yet another award. This prize was handed to the 4C , as it won the “Design Award for Concept Cars & Prototypes,” which is voted on by the public. This sleek and sexy sports car takes its styling cues from the 8C Competizione and boasts a 200-horsepower 1,750 cc turbocharged four-cylinder engine. An official at the event was quoted “…the 4C represents the essence a of true sports soul in accordance with the brand’s values: performance, Italian style and technical excellence for maximum driving pleasure in complete safety.” And we certainly agree with that interpretation.

In closing, we tip our hats to Alfa Romeo and impatiently await the release of the 4C’s debut in the U.S. in 2013.

Click past the jump to read the full press release.

Mazda MX-5

Just a few days ago, we reported that Mazda and Fiat have joined forces to jointly produce a new sports car based on the upcoming redesigned MX-5 Miata . Fiat would use this opportunity to revive the once popular Alfa Romeo Spider, the car whose shoes the MX-5 filled back in 1990. This could not only revive the Spider overseas, but it could also bring Alfa Romeo back into the U.S. market at a reasonable price.

Recently, at a Chrysler event, a reporter from Reuters learned that this relationship may go even further than simply jointly manufacturing a sports car. The report states that Fiat Fiat is also open to allowing Mazda to use Chrysler plants to manufacture their North America-bound cars. This would obviously help Mazda Mazda a great deal, as importing cars from Japan to North American countries is extremely expensive and drives up the cars’ MSRPs, which in turn drives customers out of dealerships.

There is nothing official, but we could see something like the Ford-Mazda partnership that started in 1979 and effectively ended in 2010. This would result in various joint-ventures between Fiat , Chrysler , Alfa Romeo , and Mazda , making the group one that rivals Volkswagen Auto Group, though a tad less luxurious and expensive. The advancements across the board, however, would be similar.

After some tough times, Mazda finally saw some gains in 2011, as its market share increased 9 percent that year, but it needs more to remain afloat. Mazda should see some additional increases over the next few year regardless, as the RX-8 , which was down 33 percent in 2011, is being discontinued and the Miata, which was down 11 percent, is being significantly redesigned. A little added boost from a production-cost sharing venture with Fiat and Chrysler could do nothing but help all three rebounding brands and reinvent Alfa Romeo in the U.S.

Source: Reuters

If you’re trying to rack your brains trying to figure out where you’ve heard the name ’Ugur Sahin’ before, we’ll save you the trouble and tell you that this dude is the same guy behind the design of the Soleil Anadi.

Recently, Sahin’s design house unveiled a new design project, this time based on the Alfa Romeo 8C Competizione , called the C12 GTS Concept.

We don’t need to remind anyone about the design skills of Ugur Sahin Design because their works already do that for them. With the C12 GTS Concept, the objective was to build a project car that not only pays tribute to Alfa Romeo ’s famous design characteristics, but do so with a fresh perspective and a sharp eye towards building on the Italian automaker’s appeal.

In terms of its design, the C12 GTS Concept carries Alfa Romeo’s distinctive ’inverted triangle’ grille, a characteristic that underscores the design heritage of the car. The addition of swooping lines, tactically-placed curves, and balanced proportions further enhances the car’s aggressive and sporty appeal. All told, the C12 GTS Concept is being pegged as a bigger 8C Competizione that comes with the looks of a real, head-turning Italian masterpiece.

Similar to the Anadi, Ugur Sahin Design needs an investor to get the C12 GTS Concept off the ground. It took them a few years to do so with the Anadi, but knowing how these guys operate, we’d be very surprised if it takes them the same amount of time to get somebody to build a production model of this stunning concept vehicle.

Lord knows if we had that kind of money to make it happen, we’d be on this project like white on rice.

The past few days have been chalk full of tuning programs from German tuner Wheelsandmore, and now they are adding another one in the mix. The first package was called the Lamborghini Aventador "Rabbioso" , which was then followed by the Ferrari 458 Perfetto . Now, the third package is based on an even more impressive sports car: the Alfa Romeo 8C Competizione .

As usual, the package includes a cool exterior kit, as well as two stages of engine upgrades. The first stage takes the power up to 470 HP, from the standard 450 HP, with the use of an ECU upgrade. Total price for this upgrade is 1680 euro ($2,138 at the current rates). The second stage goes even further to 485 HP. This stage includes an ECU upgrade and a handcrafted stainless steel exhaust system with remote-able valve flaps. The price for this upgrade is 6720 euro ($8,552 at the current rates).

The exterior kit starts with a new set of 21" ultralight forged wheels, but the tuner is also offering unlimited color and surface finishes as well as an upgraded carbon look design with white outliner and inlays.

Alfa Romeo 4C GTA Concept

Alfa Romeo made a brief return to the U.S. in 2008, in the form of only 50 of the $241,000 8C , but it then quickly vanished, just as it did back in 1995. Now there have been talks amongst Alfa Romeo and Fiat to bring the brand back to the U.S. when the Italian automaker releases its newest creation, the 4C.

Well, the speculation and talking are no more, as the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office officially awarded Fiat with an American trademark for the name “Alfa Romeo 4C.” It looks as if Fiat first filed for the trademark on March 25, 2011 and received the all-important approval on Aril 10th. This makes it a near certainty that this Maserati-built, Fiat-owned stunningly sexy sports car will make its way to the states.

Much like the 8C that predated it, the 4C will be a limited production model, as Maserati only plans to build about 2,500 models per year. Given we saw 90 of the 500 8Cs produced, we will again likely see about 18 percent of the total production, meaning we will have somewhere around 450 of the 4C available per year.

Fortunately, unlike the 8C, the Alfa Romeo 4C will be affordable for the upper middle-class American with a projected MSRP of $59,310. Fiat plans to pit the Romeo against the likes of the Porsche Boxster , the BMW Z4, and the more affordable MX-5 Miata , though its limited production will not make it easy to compete. This gives Alfa Romeo a car to build around in the U.S. and hopefully make a successful return.

Posted on by Brad Anderson 5
Alfa Romeo 4C GTA Concept

The Alfa Romeo 4C Concept revealed at the 2011 Geneva Motor Show is arguably the best looking car to come out of Alfa’s headquarters for years. It combines these good looks – which were only enhanced by the stunning matte red the first concept was revealed in – with the promise of high performance, yet affordable and very efficient driving. There is even the possibility of an Abarth model spicing things up even more.

Very little has been confirmed about the car until now, as Maserati recently confirmed that it will produce the 4C at its main production facility in Modena, Italy where it also builds the GranTurismo . It hasn’t yet been confirmed how this agreement between the two Italian firms was reached, but as Maserati is lending its services and facilities for the car, some financial benefit has to come out of the deal, and we suspect a Maserati variant of the 4C may be possible in the future .

Production is expected to start sometime next year, where Maserati aims to construct 2,500 units annually, and if all goes well, this figure is likely to rise. Pricing has yet to be released for the car, but early reports suggested the 4C could start at the fairly hefty price of $45,000, but with the Subaru BRZ and Scion FR-S being released in the months after the 4C was, we suspect Alfa may drop this price to compete with these two cars in the U.S. market.

That being said, the Alfa promises to be even more exotic than the comparable Subaru BRZ and Scion FR-S as the concept car was constructed out of carbon fiber and weighed less than 1,900 pounds, although the use of carbon fiber in the production car is expected to be reduced significantly.

Either way, the 4C is shaping up to be a truly unique sports car, and it may even pave the way for a new segment in the sports car market.

Though not all auto buffs enjoy watching auto races, there is no disputing that all car buffs love race cars. This becomes even more amplified when you look at classic racecars, as this was back when racecars were really racecars. There were no restrictor plates or standardized engine manufacturing, if one maker could maximize power within the regulations of the sport, it was all good. Nowadays, racecars are, for the most part, mechanical copies of one another with a differing bodies.

So, when a classic race car hits the auction block, affluent car buffs’ ears perk up just a little bit, especially when a legend hits the block. The latest legend to be scheduled for auction through RM Auctions is the 1968 Alfa Romeo T33/2 ‘Daytona’, particularly chassis No. 75033.99. Ed McDonough, an Alfa Romeo expert, stated that chassis No. 75033.99 was a racing car of the 1960s, but the overall record keeping of chassis by Alfa Romeo was poor, so records of all of its races are a little sketchy, as are details of how many chassis were built.

McDonough estimates that 20 chassis were built and that this particular chassis was involved in one of the best showings by Autodelta/Alfa Romeo, as it was a part of the 1st, 2nd, and 3rd place finishes at the 1968 500 KM race in Imola, beating Porsche by a wide margin.

The owner of the vehicle claims that the vehicle is in operating condition and is “very reliable.” It has a Dutch and U.K. road registration, and FIA, HTP, and FIVA documents.

This racing legend features a 270-horsepower, 2.0-liter V-8 engine – yes, a 2.0-liter V-8 – and a six-speed gearbox. It also features independent front and rear suspension, and has a 2,250 mm (88.58-inch) wheelbase. So, if you are in the market for a turnkey classic racer, you can snag this one up May 11 or 12, 2012 in Monaco. There is no estimated price, as of yet, but it will certainly crest the $100K mark, easily.

Hit the jump for the official press release and more pictures.

There was once a time when Alfa Romeo had a car called the C 52 that was appreciated for its exceptional aerodynamic qualities, earning itself the nickname "Disco Volante," or in English terms, "Flying Saucer."

That was back in 1952 and it’s safe to say that we haven’t seen a car quite like it since then. That is...until now.

In celebrating the company’s 60th anniversary, Alfa Romeo has teamed up with Italian coach builder, Touring Superleggera, to bring us a modern-day interpretation of the legendary C 52. This model, called the 2012 Disco Volante Concept, is based on the Alfa Romeo 8C Competizione . It carries a unique aerodynamic design and is built with carbon fiber and aluminum panels that should make its predecessor proud. And for those wondering if the Disco Volante Concept is just a novelty piece, not only does it carry a stout Maserati -sourced 4.7-liter V8 engine that produces 450 horsepower, but there’s a good chance that we will see a number of units for this unique supercar out on the streets in the near future.

UPDATE 03/13/2012: Milan-based coachbuilder, Touring Superleggera, has unveiled a very cool promo video for their latest Disco Volante Concept. Enjoy!

Find out more about the Alfa Romeo Touring Superleggera Disco Volante Concept after the jump.

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