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Alfa Romeo GT PDF Print E-mail

On a recent edition (probably repeated) of the BBC?s Top Gear program, Clarkson, May andHammond were let loose in a variety of Alfas.?And while the boys inevitably caused havoc with ?their? cars, they didconfess to a soft spot for the marque.??A real driver?s car,? says Jeremy.

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It is true: although sometimes temperamental and at timesunreliable, an Alfa Romeo is immense fun to own and drive.? These days they have been somewhat sanitizedbut there are still good ones to chose from.?One such is the Alfa Romeo GT.

The GT offers a choice of engines, from a 1.8 literproducing a modest 140 bhp (103 kW) and 163 Nm of torque, to a 2.0 liter with165 bhp ? this motor is available with the optional Selespeed transmission ? ora 1.9 liter common-rail diesel with just 150 bhp, but a massive amount oftorque at 305 Nm, delivered at the low engine speed of 2,000 rpm.

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All models are equipped with ABS and EBD, as well as a formof electronic stability control.? Theoriginal ESC was developed in Germanyby the Robert Bosch company; Alfa Romeo?s version is produced by MagnetiMarelli, which like Alfa, is part of the Fiat Group.

Fiat has recently agreed to take a 35 percent stake inailing Chrysler in the United States and it is predicted that one or more Chryslerplants in the U.S. will be turned over to the manufacture of Fiat and AlfaRomeo vehicles in the future, particularly as Fiat specializes in small carswhich, in the current economic paralysis, U.S. consumers may well turn to inthe coming years.

The optional Selespeed gearbox is a cross between anautomatic and a manual, in that you can change gear without use of theclutch.? It has its critics as beingneither one thing nor the other, but in practice it is easy and extremely rapidto use.

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A conventional gearshift involves three stages. First, theclutch is disengaged to disconnect power from the wheels; secondly, the driverselects and engages the gear and then the clutch is engaged to resume sendingpower to the wheels and engine speed begins to increase again.

The Selespeed gearbox carries out these manueuvers fullyautomatically. When the driver changes gear, it is no longer necessary torelease the accelerator pedal and depress the clutch; the Magneti Marellielectronic unit controls the gearbox and requests the clutch opening, reducesthe torque regardless of the accelerator position and selects the next gear.

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The Selespeed is essentially a robotized manual gearbox. Thedecision of which gear to be engaged is left to the driver, but three actuatorsintervene to carry out the actions that are normally performed duringconventional gear shifts. One controls the clutch, the other controls theengagement and the third controls the speed selection.

A fourth actuator is linked to the engine?s fly by wire throttle.This system manages power delivery on the basis of requests received throughthe gearbox control system. During gearshifts Selespeed is in charge of theengine to ensure maximum performance and remove any risk of damage to any partof the drivetrain as the Selespeed system runs through its programs.

Developed from Magneti Marelli?s experience in Formula One,particularly with Ferrari ? also part of the Fiat combine - the majoradvantages of the Selespeed system are its speed of gear shift and thereduction of power losses normally associated with automatic gearboxes.

Alfa Romeo is distributed in Thailand by Thai Prestige AutoSales in Bangkok.? There are a number ofAlfa models available in the Kingdom and as the Top Gear boys said, they are still all ?driver?s cars?.? Well worth a look.

 
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© 2018 Jeff Heselwood. All rights reserved.
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