Cars are often divided into two categories: cars and beautiful cars. It would be unfair to say that the ugly category also exists, as each car has its own character, but the beautiful ones are instantly recognisable, and the Alfa GTV was no exception. In this week dedicated to 110 years of Alfa, we wanted to take another look.
The letters GTV, an acronym for “Gran Turismo Veloce”, have won the hearts of “Alfisti” since the mid-1970s, when the first car with this name was presented: the Alfetta GTV whose success was confirmed by 13 years of uninterrupted production. The trouble was that after the acquisition of Alfa Romeo by the Fiat Group, hopes of seeing another Alfa in the Gran Turismo family seemed to fade. But in 1994, at the Geneva Motor Show fans received a nice surprise: elegant and aerodynamic, please welcome the GTV and the Spider.
The fact that fans call them by their codename “916” speaks volumes: if you reach this level of attention it means that the car has been accepted as a significant fruit of the brand’s family tree. Pininfarina’s hand, in this instance Enrico Fumia, made all the difference by combining an original design with futuristic solutions. The inspiration was the 1991 Alfa 164 Proteo concept, with the taut lines of the side stretching the car forward and the bonnet that included the fenders and featuring dual round headlights with the traditional clover grille in the centre. The rear is masterfully cut off with a “codatronca” (Kamm tail) giving improved aerodynamics, a clear reference to the Alfa Romeo tradition in sport.
Based on a Fiat platform, it introduced several technical innovations, such as the all new multilink rear suspension – a novelty for an Italian car – and powerful V6 engines, designed by Giuseppe Busso in 2.0 and 3.0 configurations. Beautiful today as it was back then the GTV Berlinetta and Spider were the last Alfa Romeo cars produced in the historical Arese plant, something that makes them even more interesting as a collector’s item.