- Nov 9, 2009
Besting Prodrive: Autodelta unveils tuned Alfa Brera S and 159 J4 3.2 Compressore at MPH09
Autodelta Alfa Romeo Brera S and 159 J4 3.2 Compressore – Click above for high-res image gallery
Alfa Romeo has proven itself capable of crafting some of the most achingly beautiful automotive works of art on the road today. Unfortunately, their driving dynamics and performance numbers rarely seem to cash the checks written by their sumptuous bodywork. Nowhere is that schism more evident than with the Brera, a fantastically angular design with disappointing dynamics.
That's where aftermarket tuners come in. Over a year ago, Alfa teamed up with Prodrive to create the Brera S. The venerable British house of motorsport tightened up the suspension and steering and yanked out the heavy all-wheel-drive system to bring the sport coupe's drive closer to the aggressive level of its styling. Some evidently felt the result was a good starting point, but that it needed a little more oomph, prompting Autodelta to join the fight with the Brera S 3.2 Compressore.
By bolting a supercharger to the 260-horsepower, 3.2-liter V6 and remapping its ECU, Autodelta – one of the world's foremost Alfa tuners – has coaxed out an impressive 347 stallions. But while removing the all-wheel-drive system helped shave 220 pounds off the Brera's curb weight, the London-based tuning house felt it needed a substitute, so they've fitted a limited-slip differential to handle the extra power. They'll also soften the suspension a touch from Prodrive's hard line at a client's request.
Customers looking for the convenience of a four-door can also get most of the same modifications in the form of the Autodelta J4 3.2 C, based on the 159 sedan. Both models were unveiled in London at MPH09, the live-action auto show where Autodelta exhibits its latest offerings each year. Follow the jump for all the details in the press release and have a stroll through the photos in the high-resolution image gallery below.
TWO WORLD PREMIERES FOR AUTODELTA AT MPH09 MOTOR SHOW
London, England - Autodelta will present two exciting new additions to its range of exclusive bespoke sportscars this week, on the occasion of the MPH09 Prestige & Performance Car Show at Earls Court Exhibition Centre, London (November 5-8). Autodelta is the leading global aftermarket Alfa Romeo design and tuning house, and this annual automotive extravaganza - hosted by BBC TV's Top Gear presenters Jeremy Clarkson, Richard Hammond and James May - has come to be regarded as our 'home' motor show, taking place as it does just a stone's throw from our Park Royal headquarters. The MPH Motor Show attracts only the very cream of latest high-performance and luxury automotive brand names, and is thus the perfect focused environment in which to showcase our ultimate-specification Alfa Romeo products.
We will unveil two products that break new ground for their dynamic capabilities. Firstly, the Autodelta J4 3.2 C, which completes our ambitious and fruitful project of redefining the stylish Alfa Romeo 159 sedan into the ultimate modern-day interpretation of the classic Italian notion of 'gran turismo'. Alongside it, the out-and-out sports-minded Alfa Brera S 'Compressore', which fulfils this limited edition model's sporting makeover by providing the optimum solution for the key area which remained unaddressed when the muscular coupé was recently tweaked by Prodrive: namely, a significant boost to its power output.
Autodelta J4 3.2 C
One year on from the commercialisation of the Autodelta J4 2.2 C, we raise the Alfa Romeo tuning bar once more with the arrival of a bespoke package for the 3.2-litre V6 version, which completes the petrol engine range upgrades for the Alfa 159 and in the process create a car pushing at the performance boundaries, in true Autodelta fashion.
When our engineers set about developing Alfa Romeo's acclaimed flagship sedan right across the board, firstly with the 2.2-litre direct injection supercharging project, we were driven, as ever, by the exacting requirements of our customers. And for this project, the Giorgetto Giugiaro-designed car's inherent beauty and elegance led us toward the goal of creating the ultimate 'grand tourer' in true historic Alfa Romeo fashion, fusing the glamour, grace and dashing style of the golden era of Italian motoring with all the power, agility and driveability expected of an Autodelta brand product - all tightly wrapped in a package that cosseted the driver in luxury and comfort.
In almost a century's history, Alfa Romeo has defined grand tourer motoring time and time again; rising to face that challenge, adding value to that tradition, and creating a product that is worthy of the famous badge was a task we accepted with unrivalled enthusiasm, but at the same time, complete respect.
The groundbreaking result was the Autodelta J4 2.2 C, flamboyant in spirit and utterly in-tune with the driver, bursting with cutting-edge technology, but at the same time, always practical and user-friendly; and the resulting demand over the last year proves that we have been able to tap into a rich vein of Alfisti desire. Now we have taken those core ideas and melded them into the ultimate expression of modern-era Alfa Romeo motoring: the V6 engine, making this stylish four-door sedan available with the 352 bhp / 435 Nm supercharged 3.2-litre engine package that has made the Autodelta J5 3.2 C into a globally-respected sportscar.
The new Autodelta J4 3.2 C is the result of a complete reworking of the Alfa 159 into an optimised, leading-edge bespoke package, with our highly-experienced engineers pushing the performance and dynamic envelope of the car outwards in all key areas to create a truly driver-orientated package. Importantly, however, such dynamic prowess does not detract from the inbred luxury; rather, it is enriched to deliver the ultimate high-performance touring experience. Alongside the new supercharging system with intercooler, the J4 3.2 C features upgrades to the chassis, electronics, brakes, and suspension, with the adjustable coilovers evolving from the sporty-but-smooth J4 2.2 C, now recalibrated through our on-going R&D programme to take into account the new weight of the V6 engine, its distribution and dynamic properties, and ensuring that ride quality is enhanced despite the significant power increase and new chassis characteristics.
Autodelta Brera S 3.2 'Compressore'
A recent project between Alfa Romeo UK and long-established motorsport preparation firm Prodrive saw the Brera coupe realised into the limited-edition Brera S 3.2, with the most productive aspect of the project being a weight loss of 100 kg thanks to the use of front-wheel drive rather than the standard Brera V6's Q4 all-wheel drive system. With cosmetic and trim upgrades in addition to suspension changes, the Brera S has become a distinctive new version of this striking car. However, Prodrive didn't tackle the area of the car's performance, and this has led to a flurry of requests from buyers for us to take the "bull by the horns" and complete the overall package.
Reworking the Brera S 3.2 with our supercharging system, the finely-honed result of almost a quarter-century of developing and applying forced induction principles to Alfa Romeos, completely transforms it and turns the Brera S into a high-performance sportscar perfectly in sync with the driver. The Brera S 3.2 'Compressore' remains true to our principles - as well as living up to the values of the historic Autodelta brand name - remains a sportscar that is always ready for everyday use in any scenario.
We have great experience taming high-powered front-wheel drive Alfa Romeo models, such as the 425 bhp Alfa 147 GTA which we produce (and which has had excellent reviews), so we knew exactly what would be the parameters and objectives of the Brera S 3.2 project. The resulting car uses our tried-and-tested supercharging package with intercooler, drawn from the successful Autodelta J5 3.2 C with a maximum power output of 352 bhp (compared to the Brera S, which retains the standard model's 260 bhp) and a significant hike in peak torque to 435 Nm (compared to 322 Nm for the standard Brera S model). The front-wheel drive nature of the Brera S means that with our performance upgrade, in-gear acceleration is greatly improved, as the Brera S no longer has the power drain of the four-wheel drive system. Traction is further improved by fitting our bespoke mechanical limited slip differential (LSD), which operates in combination with the car's standard electronic Q2 system. The mechanical LSD works in a more natural way (as the Q2 only operates in more extreme driving scenarios by applying the brakes to transfer power to the required corner), and offers the driver much greater feedback, which helps to optimise the 'fun' experience that is a prerequisite of any Autodelta-refined sportscar. Drivers will appreciate the way our LSD integrates into the Brera to enhance the all-round experience.
The result has been transformational, turning the Brera S into an ultimate product in the finest of Autodelta traditions, a sportscar with dynamic capabilities to match its award-winning looks. While this version remains outside of our comprehensive range, in order to cater for the demand of owners, we have made this upgrade available from our factory and we will present the Brera S 3.2 'Compressore' at the MPH09 Motor Show.
To complete the all-round dynamic package of the Brera S, at the request of a number of customers, we have fitted the renowned Autodelta Sportline suspension kit which was developed for the Brera chassis through our exhaustive R&D programme, and has been now optimised for this latest application. The Prodrive suspension promotes excellent performance on smoother surfaces, such as racetracks, but it misses out on providing comfort for everyday use; the Autodelta Sportline suspension kit resolves this issue to offer the owner the best of both worlds. The height-adjustable Autodelta Sportline coilover suspension features specific new spring rates and 40 different firmness adjustment settings that can be quickly and conveniently adjusted by the driver. This means the ride height of the Brera S can now be altered for greater road convenience or to optimise the car in very different driving scenarios, from the requirements of a long-distance family tour, to the daily commute, or the more extreme demands of a trackday.
Autodelta Spider Superflow
Alongside these two new models at MPH09 this week we will showcase the Autodelta Spider Superflow, a recent custom-built project that perfectly demonstrates our ability to create unique, hand-crafted creations developed to a customer's specific tastes and requirements. Each car is built at our factory to the owner's specifications, from the ultimate enhancements to its dynamic and performance capabilities, through aerodynamic exteriors with enhanced styling, to luxurious interior finishes. The Autodelta experience involves realising the customer's deepest dream - and then exceeding it. The Alfa Spider Superflow was born out of one customer's love and appreciation for the last-generation Spider model, leading him to seek a special, individualised version, complete with maximum performance capability and truly unique styling. The car of his dreams would combine the thrills of wind-in-the-hair motoring with flair and style. The brief was to enhance the car's performance in every area, and to create new styling, unique from anything else we had done before, subtle yet distinct - yet still obviously embedded with a clear sense of Alfa Romeo history and Autodelta DNA. The result was the Spider Superflow, a car that pays homage to one of the most significant one-off concept cars associated with Alfa Romeo's rich history.
About MPH09 Motor Show
The 'Ultimate Performance Arena' kicks off at MPH09: the Prestige & Performance Motor Show, which offers fans of award-winning TV programme Top Gear the opportunity to get up close and personal to everyone's favourite TV presenters: Jeremy Clarkson, Richard Hammond and James May. So skip the waiting list for the TV show and experience the assault on your senses that is Top Gear Live!
Top Gear Live not only brings the TV show format to life, it is injected with more performance enhancements than a disgraced sprinter. The theatre performance features breathtaking stunts, amazing special effects and blockbusting driving sequences featuring some of the world's best precision drivers. But that's not all - this motoring spectacular is not just the supercar-fest you might expect, for it leaps, bounds and bulldozes its way through a heady mix of thrills and spills, to prove once and for all the boys from Top Gear do in fact have the best jobs in the world.
Once you've seen Top Gear Live, you'll want to spend the rest of your time at MPH with the hundreds of exhibitors selling everything from the latest car gadgets to the coolest accessories. Plus, get up close to the stars - very close. Look around, sit inside and see what some of the most stylish, rare and expensive cars in the world are really made of in the MPH Gallery. Name a supercar and you'll almost certainly find it in the MPH Gallery. Not behind barriers, but displayed to give you maximum possible access to this jaw-dropping collection of car exotica. Think Ferrari, Maserati, Lamborghini, Koenigsegg, Spyker and Aston Martin. MPH is a showcase of the world's best. While Autodelta will fly the flag with pride for Alfa Romeo by showing the Autodelta J4 3.2 C and Autodelta Brera S 3.2 'Compressore', other Italian high-performance cars set to be seen in the gallery this week include the limited-edition Ferrari Scuderia Spider 16M and convertible California, as well as Lamborghini's Gallardo LP560-4 Spyder. For more information on MPH09, please visit www.mphshow.co.uk
Autodelta and the MPH Motor Show
MPH Motor Show has a strong legacy for Autodelta, especially so with the Earls Court Exhibition Centre being located just a few miles from our headquarters. We presented our first exclusive, fully-bespoke model, a car transformed in every area - the Autodelta 147 GTA AM 3.7 - during the first edition of the show, MPH03, held at Earls Court six years ago, in November 2003. The following year, Autodelta presented two models that went on to achieve great significance for their world premières at MPH04, the Autodelta 156 GTA AM 3.7 and the Autodelta GT Super, while at the subsequent edition, MPH05, the assembled crowds saw the debut of the Autodelta GT Super Evo, featuring a distinct performance step over the previous model as well as 'Model Year' upgrades.
Three years ago, for the fourth edition of the show, the Autodelta Brera J5 3.2 C made its public debut at MPH06, seen for the first time in final production format after an exclusive world preview in Monte Carlo that summer. Indeed, for the launch of the J5, Autodelta attended both MPH shows - firstly at its usual home at Earls Court in London, and then at the National Exhibition Centre in Birmingham. Two years ago, it was the turn of the Autodelta Spider J6 3.2 C to be unveiled for its world première at MPH07, with the convertible sportscar again displayed in both London and Birmingham. Last year, following a special media unveiling in Holland, we presented the Autodelta J4 2.2 C for its public debut at MPH08, and one year on, its V6-engined sister is set to receive its world première at Earls Court, alongside a first public showing of the supercharged Brera S 3.2 'Compressore'.
Autodelta is the acknowledged leading global aftermarket Alfa Romeo design and tuning firm. In 2007, Autodelta celebrated its 20th anniversary. Autodelta has built a reputation for its range of exclusive, bespoke, high-performance models which maximise Alfa Romeo engine capabilities and optimise chassis dynamics. As well as these Autodelta-branded cars, Autodelta offers engine, chassis, braking, electronic, suspension and styling upgrades for most current and recent Alfa Romeo models, and offers a range of Autodelta-branded performance products through its Autodelta Sportline and GTA Racing parts programmes. Autodelta operates internationally through its world headquarters and factory located in Park Royal, London, and through a series of authorised agents worldwide. For more information, visit www.autodelta.co.uk
The Autodelta J4 3.2 C and Autodelta Brera S Compressore, along with the Autodelta Superflow, will be on display at the Galleria G94 G95 G96 at the Earls Court Exhibition Centre (November 5-8). Jano Djelalian and the Autodelta team will be on hand to introduce you to the cars and answer any questions.