Alfa Romeo GT 2004 review
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But four days after the company celebrated its 94th birthday, and to launch what Ateco's governing director Neville Crichton calls their "new breed of cars", comes the GT. The GT replaces the 156 GTA and is the first coupe since the previous generation GTV. A convertible GT is due in 2006.
The current GTV, a model the GT will complement, is more a two-plus-two seater, and the two in the back have to be physically challenged. In contrast, the GT seats four in relative comfort.
The reason for the return is explained when looking at Alfa's model line-up. The GTAs were built primarily for the race track of which the 147 GTA fills the niche well. The 147 and 156 are not sporty models while the Spider takes care of the convertible line-up. The GT, however, is sporty and offers buyers a unique car that has the space and versatility of a coupe.
Explore the 2004 Alfa Romeo GT range
Alfa predicts it will sell 100 GTs by the end of the year, a prediction that may be conservative when looking at the position of the car. Priced above cars such as the Nissan 350Z and Audi TT, but below the BMW 330ci and CLK 320, the GT ($79,990) has a spot all its own.
Crichton, who is confident the car will sell well, says: "I think the car – in every way – competes well with every German competitor."
Styled by Bertone the GT subtly features cues from its stable mates. It is the size and general shape of a 156 but the scalloped doors reflect the sporty nature of the 147 GTA. The high-sided doors are accentuated by the sleek and narrow windows and the taut lines that meet at the rear of the car.
The heart of the GT is Alfa's 3.2-litre V6 that puts out 176kW@6200 and develops 300Nm of torque, the same as the racy 147 GTA. The V6 engine couples with a six-speed box and the GT rockets to 100km/h in 6.3 seconds. The GT has the same styling as its siblings and features the subtle, and stylish, red lighting that is characteristic of the brand.
The GT comes equipped with dual-zone climate control, cruise control, steering wheel with integrated radio controls, a Bose sound system with a CD/MP3 player, power windows, remote central locking with remote boot opening, full leather interior and heated front seats.
Then there is safety. The GT has six air bags (dual front, side and window), VDC with brake assist, front and rear anti-submarining seats, inertia-reel seat belt pretensioner and load limiter, and a fire protection system that prevents fuel loss on impact, in a roll-over or in damage to the fuel lines.
The ride is on the rough side but not overly uncomfortable and only a little bug to bear in exchange for the handling qualities the GT possesses. Steering is precise and despite slight tram lining and a little bump steer the GT is extremely sure footed.
While there will be no other version of the GT than the petrol engine, Alfa says diesel offerings will come in other models.
Despite a positive forecast, Alfa has had a very tough first half of 2004. Strikes at Fiat saw 400 Alfas bound for Down Under stranded in the warehouse for months, which hit sales.
Range and Specs
|3.2||3.2L, PULP, 6 SP MAN||$6,500 – 10,010||2004 Alfa Romeo GT 2004 3.2 Pricing and Specs|
Lowest price, based on third party pricing data