Because that’s the first thing that comes to mind.
“It’s an Alfa”, to the uninitiated Alphistas, is synonymous with “it’s a piece of shit”, let’s face it. Not in the sense of intelligence, but in the sense of reliability. It’s the automotive equivalent of marrying a porn star. She’s sexy as hell, but has a penchant for other men who like lube.
But it’s the engine, the whole 3.2-liter V6, and the way it puts out its power, that’s what’s appealing. You don’t even resist, because the sound embraces you, the red hide squeezes your hands, and it’s all Red Rover. The sound of its exhaust sounds a lot like a woman’s exhale from a cigarette. I understand why you want it, but do you need it?
If I were younger, say, like Nadeem, my chauffeur for the next 25 minutes, this car would have to be it. It’s got everything. I think you can make out the words chick and magnet on the side.
But I’m not going to ask him to let me drive it because, frankly, it’s none of my business. He’s trying to sell it. But if he offers, I’ll bite his hand off.
When you change gear, there’s no unpleasant clanking or jerking of the clutch. Power is gained so gradually that I have to check myself if I am not used to turbo motors. The ride is supple but comfortable, and sitting among waves of red cow and beaches of tactile black plastic is very pleasant. I have to admit it’s a neat ride for a passenger.
Admittedly, in this case necessity forced me to take my two offspring along. So I guess you can understand my hesitation in asking to drive. I’m pretty much at ease as it is. I just asked a guy to take me for a ride in his impeccably presented car with two monsters in tow. And he did. Hats off to him.
But why an Alfa?
It’s the only GT V6 I could find around, with the upgraded Q2 diff. And why does that matter? Well, other than the fact that the original differential was highly suspect from an engineering standpoint (when it failed, it often took big chunks of the engine with it, like kidney surgery in a back alley). In addition, the heavier nose and increased power resulted in limited thrust control capabilities and poorer handling.
The Q2, by contrast, is different.
Alfa talks about its Q2 system.
Alfa’s limited slip differential virtually eliminates torque steer and understeer, which for a front-wheel-drive car with 244 horsepower/177 kW in the nose isn’t much of an accomplishment. Plus, it works, and there are very few problems recorded with it. Grip and cornering are much improved, even in the wet. It’s almost like a 4WD system for a front-wheel-drive car. It distributes torque to each wheel depending on road conditions, allowing you to press the accelerator pedal more confidently when exiting a corner. You can rest assured that if the inside wheel slips, the diff torsen will transfer torque to the side wheel and maintain excellent handling. It even improves handling, which is something this car was always meant to have.
Equally important is its functionality. Forums around the world unanimously praise it, and few problems have been identified so far. From “this is probably the best upgrade you can do, and it’s definitely worth doing as soon as you can afford it” to “the GT definitely needs the Q2 as it not only protects against the much talked about diff breakage, but also transforms the handling of the car in all conditions”.
The total cost of the upgrade is $2-2,500, and while you’re at it, you can check the master cylinder and clutch since the engine needs to be removed.
So, if you want to scratch your teeth and finally say you have an Alfa, should you choose this particular car? Many will say the 147 GTA is the best, but in my opinion the GT with the updated Q2 looks better and has a slight edge when it comes to dynamics. It’s fast, holds the road well and compared to previous Alfa’s, this car won’t see too many men behind it.