New models - Alfa Romeo - Spider - 1750 TBi
Alfa Spider, Brera get 147kW turbo for last hurrah
Alfa’s Brera and Spider twins get four-pot turbo, higher spec as V6 prices drop $11k
27 Jan 2011
ALFA Romeo has boosted the performance of its base Brera coupe and Spider soft-top by replacing the 2.2-litre JTS four-cylinder engine with its new 147kW 1.75-litre turbo unit.
At the same time, both cars ad auto-folding door mirrors, power adjustment for the Frau Pieno Fiore leather-upholstered front seats (with driver’s seat memory) and 19-inch alloy wheels to the standard equipment list.
Prices for the stylish duo, which are in run-out this year, remain fixed at $64,990 for the Brera and $69,990 for the Spider, both of which drive the front wheels through a six-speed manual transmission.
Specification of the all-wheel-drive, automatic-only 3.2-litre V6-powered flagships remain unchanged, but Alfa has slashed the price of both by $11,000, down to $79,990 for the Brera and $84,990 for the Spider.
In addition to the newly-added equipment, the base Spider and Brera come with Bluetooth telephone connectivity, chrome roll bars, wind break, automatic dual-zone climate control, electric folding roof, cruise control, fog lights and 6-speaker sound system.
The V6 adds Xenon headlights and an upgraded Bose stereo.
Left: Alfa Romeo Brera 1750 TBi. Below: Alfa Romeo 1750 TBi engine.
As GoAuto has reported, the new Euro 5 turbocharged four-cylinder engine – which recently debuted in the 159 and is available in 173kW tune on the new Giulietta QV – employs direct injection and dual variable valve timing.
Peak power increases by 11kW over the outgoing 2.2-litre engine and is delivered at just 5000rpm while torque takes a healthy 90Nm lift to 320Nm – just 2Nm shy of the V6 – and is developed from 1400rpm (the V6 develops peak torque at 4500rpm).
The extra performance means the Spider can reach 100km/h from rest in 7.5 seconds (down from 8.8s and close to the 7.2s time of the V6) while the Brera completes the sprint in 7.7s (down from 8.6s).
Both can match the V6 model’s top speed of 235km/h.
Thanks to the advancements in engine technology, the extra performance does not come at a price in terms of economy and emissions. The Spider’s combined cycle fuel consumption reduces from 9.4L/100km to 8.2L/100km and CO2 emissions are reduced 13 per cent to 192g/km while the Brera achieves similar gains, consuming 8.1L/100km and emitting 189g/km.
Alfa has upgraded the brakes to cope with the extra performance, with front Brembo rotors growing 25mm in diameter to 330mm and clamped by four-piston fixed callipers. The rear discs now match those of the V6 at 292mm.
Although the Alfas offer improved value-for-money and generous standard equipment levels, competition from European rivals remains strong.
For example, a six-cylinder BMW 125i coupe or convertible offers higher performance (0-100km/h in 6.9s) but poorer fuel economy (9.1L/100km). At $55,600 for the coupe and $64,900 for the convertible before options, they cost about $5000 less than the equivalent four-cylinder Alfas.
The $64,500 Audi TT 1.8 TFSI coupe is similarly priced to the Brera and offers similar performance (0-100km/h in 7.2s) while returning significantly lower fuel consumption (6.7L/100km).
Also with superior fuel consumption and roughly equivalent performance is the Peugeot RCZ Turbo coupe, which is $10,000 cheaper than the Brera.
Australian importer Ateco Automotive expects to sell 30 Breras and 20 Spiders by the end of the year, which, along with its forecast for sales of the 159, Mito and new Giulietta, should bring the Milanese brand’s total to 1100 units.
Alfa sales peaked at 1866 cars for the year in 2007, when it sold 79 Spiders and 217 Breras. Sales of the coupe and convertible dropped considerably in the following years, with just 16 Spiders and 22 Breras finding homes in 2010.
Once all the Spiders and Breras are sold, they will not be replaced in the model line-up until 2013.
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