Alfa Romeo Alfetta GT
Reviewed by Unique Cars and Parts
Our Rating: 2
Alfa Romeo added a coupe version of its Alfetta Saloon to its range in 1974
. The Alfetta GT had a slightly shorter wheelbase than the saloon, but retained the same mechanical layout which included a twin-cam 1.8 litre engine and a rear trans-axle. The coupe bodywork
was instantly recognisable as an Alfa Romeo, the trade mark grille adorned the front.
The design came about as a result of joint labours of Giorgetto Giugiaro and Alfa's own design team, the Alfetta GT being one of the most beautiful cars to look at, and because of a combination of slightly less weight and uprated suspension
the GT felt tauter than the sedan, rolling less and in particular having lost most of that slightly annoying sway of the Alfetta.
What was disappointing however was that the driving position had not been modified - this being often criticised by motoring journalists of the day. The addition of a quite brilliant mechanism to raise and lower the height of the driving seat (pushing or pulling a lever while remaining in the seat) had unfortunately done nothing to cure the basic problem of misplaced pedals.
Mechanically the GT was identical to the sedan - the same rear axle/transmission
arrangement, same engine, same gearbox and final drive
ratios and so on, but the wheelbase was 4 inches shorter. The excellent aerodynamics
, incorporating a pronounced front spoiler and tiny rear one on the lift-up tailgate resulted in a claimed 5 m.p.h. improvement in top speed (roughly 116 m.p.h.).
The gear change was very ordinary, but the steering
remained delightful with initial understeer being less pronounced than in the sedan, but the shift from understeer to oversteer could be a little ragged, particularly if upset by bumps. The Alfetta GT's brakes
were excellent except under continual duress, the rear seats just about adequate for two adults, upholstery beautiful and the boot deep.
The interior of the Alfetta GT was well appointed and featured a rather curious centrally mounted speedometer
. This proved a bone of contention with motoring journalists and enthusiasts alike, the big and lonely tachometer
placed directly in front of the driver, ideally placed, you might say, for judiciously controlling the willingness to rev of the 140 b.h.p., twin overhead camshaft, 1,779 c.c. engine.
The problem was, in the Alfetta GT's home turf on European roads, ever changing speed limits were rife making the speedometer
the most critical instrument in ordinary daily driving. Thus, the set up necessitated a deliberate, lengthy removal of the eyes from the road to see it. As a sporting and affordable Italian car there was only one real competitor at the time, that being the Lancia Beta coupe
which at least has a driving position designed for human beings. Production of the Alfetta GT continued until 1976
The Alfetta GT would morph into the GTV, a brilliant car with enough power to exploit the wonderful chassis.
GT and GTV Racing Versions by Autodelta
Racing versions of the Alfetta GT and GTV were built by Autodelta, initially with the normally aspirated engine from the earlier GTAm racer based on the 105 series coupe, for homologation under FIA Group 2. In this form they were rallied with moderate success in 1975, winning the Elba and Costa Brava rallies overall, as well as winning the Group 2 category in the World Rally Championship's Corsican event.
The next year Autodelta shifted its focus to circuit racing the Alfettas, which won the under 2.5-liter Group 2 division of the European Touring Car Championship, scoring a remarkable second place overall at the 24 hour race at Spa-Francorchamps
, as well as an overall win in the ETC race at Vallelunga.
Despite such results, Autodelta's efforts with the Group 2 Alfetta were desultory, and ended prematurely. At a single rally at the end of the 1975 season, Autodelta also rallied an Alfetta GTV with a 3.0 litre V8 engine, derived from the 2.6 litre V8 of the Alfa Romeo Montreal coupé and sharing the same mechanical fuel injection
by SPICA. It had been suggested to produce 400 roadgoing versions of this model for homologation but this plan was abandoned as well.