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Alfa GTV V6 six-speed due in July

Six-shooter: Alfa Romeo's revised GTV V6 will benefit from a six- speed gearbox and a host of upgrades from mid-July.

Alfa Romeo's swift, suave GTV V6 will soon become the only car in its class with a six-speed gearbox.

23 Mar 1999

ALFA ROMEO'S svelte GTV V6 coupe will benefit from a six-speed gearbox and a host of upgrades from mid-July.

The revised GTV V6 will be visually distinguishable from the current model by a large rear deck spoiler, colour-matched underbody sill, a revised grille surround and new 16-inch alloy wheels.

Inside, the newcomer scores classy Momo leather trim and climate- control air-conditioning.

The added features come at a cost though, with the GTV V6's price rising from $75,000 to $79,500.

Its main opposition will come from the Peugeot 406 Coupe ($76,500), BMW 323Ci ($73,900), Audi TT ($73,000) and imminent Saab 9-3 Viggen (around $72,000).

Mechanically, the GTV V6 remains unchanged, with its 3.0-litre V6 generating 162kW at 6300rpm and 270Nm at 5000rpm - superior outputs to all its immediate rivals.

The rapid coupe remains a niche seller, with just 60 sold until the end of May. The GTV 2.0-litre and Spider notched up a modest 79 and 47 sales respectively during the same period.

Alfa's striking 156 sedan has proved an altogether greater success, posting 358 sales during its first three months on the market.

Demand has been particularly strong for the Selespeed, with the waiting list for that model stretching to October or November, according to Alfa Romeo spokesman Newton Head.

The range will be spearheaded by a new flagship, the luxurious 166 sedan, in early August.

Powered by the same engine as the GTV V6, the 166 will be priced between $85,000 and $90,000 - well below the equivalent BMW 5 Series ($98,900 for the 528i) and Mercedes-Benz E-Class ($110,800 for the E280).

The 164 replacement will be pitched as a direct rival to the new Jaguar S-Type (from $91,500), Volvo S80 (from $83,950) and Saab 9-3 Griffin ($84,900).

Alfa Romeo Australia says the 166 may notch up around 300 sales per year.

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