If you're expecting an Italian take on a VW bus, you're thinking of the wrong kind of stoner, hippie. That's Stoner with a capital S, as in Casey Stoner, Ducati's star rider who's riding this year to the MotoGP title. To commemorate the victory, Alfa Romeo teamed up with Ducati Corse to produce this special-edition 147.
Now if you're thinking "not another special-edition 147", hold on another second there, hippie. (Okay, now we're just raggin' on hippies for kicks.) This one actually gets more power! Summoned by a power boost button on the center console, this Alfa draws an extra 20 horses from its 1.9-liter MJet diesel, bringing peak output up to 170 from the standard 150. Not bad, considering this isn't even the range-topping 147 GTA. The Ducati edition also gets Alfa's trick Q2 differential, unique 18-inch rims, special "Rosso Ducati" paint and leather sports seats.
True, the 147 is on its way out, to be replaced by the upcoming "Alfa Junior" and five-door 149, but those are both over a year away from market. In any event, this seems like a more fitting goodbye for the stylish Golf alternative than some of the previous all-show-no-go special-edition 147s we've seen before. But don't expect it to be the last, as Alfa seems to turn out special-edition 147s like so many jackrabbits.
The partnership seems a little odd, though, considering that Alfa's parent/sister company Fiat sponsors Stoner and Ducati's rival Valentino Rossi's Yamaha (now riding under Abarth livery). But then again, Fiat and Ducati made the special-edition Panda Monster a couple years back. And besides, the Fiat Group owns nearly the entire auto industry in Italy, so where else were Ducati supposed to turn?