Geneva Motor Show: Alfa Romeo Spider world premiere

Alfa Romeo debuted the stunning Spider today in Geneva, and we think Alberto is in love (With the car, people! The car!). I have to admit that the Brera's droptop sibling is simply gorgeous. We can only hope that the Fiat Group's continued recovery means more beautiful cars from Alfa Romeo, and maybe even a return to the U.S. market.

The official press release and more pictures after the jump! Official Press Release: Alfa Romeo Spider at the Geneva Motor Show

An attractive stand for the ‘159 family’


Alfa Romeo returns to the 76th Geneva Motor Show with a spectacular stand on which standard models and special versions come together to underline, yet again, the brand’s unique role in the automotive world.


There can be no doubt that the star of the stand is the ‘159 Project’, displayed in all its forms: saloon, coupé, sportwagon and spider. The latest generation of Alfa Romeo’s is completed here in Geneva , the same prestigious stage where the Alfa 159 and Alfa Brera made their debut last year. And today, obviously, the spotlights will all be focused on the two much anticipated ‘world premières’: the Alfa 159 Sportwagon and the Alfa Spider.


The Swiss Show is also an opportunity to present a new version of the Alfa Brera, equipped with the 200 bhp 2.4 JTDm 20v engine, and to admire the lavish, elegant ‘Collezione’ versions of the Alfa GT and Alfa 147. The Alfa Romeo building at the rear of the stand, was designed with the same stylistic refinement and state-of-the-art technology, and contains the offices, Alfa Café and lounge areas, while sophisticated LED screens on the walls employ an original video-art installation to underline the deep bond between Alfa Romeo products and the concept of ‘Art in motion’.


In other words, world previews and cars from today’s line-up coexist perfectly at the Geneva Motor Show, successfully representing ‘sportiness and elegance’ as interpreted by Alfa Romeo, the fruit of the most sophisticated technology and a long history of cars and designers, races and engines that have written the history of technological progress and of motor racing in the 20th century. Because the heritage of the Alfa Romeo brand embraces all this, plus the work and professional pride of the thousands of people – technicians, blue-collars and managers – who have played their part over the years, in the plants, the offices and the racing venues. Here lie the roots of the inimitable personality that makes an Alfa Romeo stand out immediately from all the other cars on the road.


Alfa 159 Sportwagon and Alfa Spider


On the stage at the Swiss Show is the station wagon version of the Alfa 159, a car with its own personality and strong features that are summed up successfully in the definition ‘Sportwagon’. Three versions are on display in Geneva : one has ‘Alfa Silver’ paintwork and is equipped with the powerful 3.2 V6 Q4 24-valve engine delivering 260 bhp, the second is ‘Ruby Red’ with the 185 bhp 2.2 JTS engine, and the third is ‘Dawn Light Blue’, powered by the 200 bhp 2.4 JTDm engine. The three Alfa 159 Sportwagons are lavishly equipped and epitomise Italian styling and performance, and the handling of a true sports car, with the flexible use and the versatile interpretation of space you expect from a prestigious station wagon.


The other undisputed queen of the stand is the fascinating, new Alfa Spider which through a complex, refined game of allusions, recalls Alfa Romeo’s glorious tradition in this sector (from the Giulietta Spider of the 1950s to the Duetto and this model launched in the 1990s); it proposes cutting-edge solutions, inheriting the excellence of the mechanicals and engineering from the Alfa Brera, as well as its elegant, sporty styling.


The public will be able to admire two versions of the Alfa Spider in Geneva: a 2.2 JTS delivering 185 bhp and a 3.2 V6 Q4 delivering 260 bhp, both in the top-of-the-range outfit that includes 7 airbags, VDC, ASR, automatic dual-zone climate control, Wind-stop, Blue Tobacco natural leather upholstery and 18” alloys.


The Alfa Brera and Alfa 159


There is also room for the other two cars from the ‘159 project’: on one side, the Alfa Brera, the fascinating car that transforms the traditional soul of the coupé into the more exciting spirit of ‘absolute sportiness’, and on the other, the saloon which was recently awarded the prestigious 5-star rating by Euro NCAP.


Geneva marks the debut of a new version of the Brera equipped with the powerful 200 bhp 2.4 JTDm 20v engine, with a maximum power output of 147 kW (200 bhp) at 4,000 rpm and peak torque of 400 Nm (40.8 kgm) at 2,000 rpm. The engine has 5 cylinders in line and is the most powerful of the JTD multivalve engines with Multijet technology, with a specific power of 84 bhp/litre.


Next to this debutante is the second Alfa Brera, a Q4 version with black paintwork and a 3.2 V6 JTS 24-valve engine, a jewel of automotive engineering which delivers 191 kW (260 bhp) at 6,200 rpm and peak torque of 322 Nm (32.8 kgm) at 4,500 rpm.


Both cars are lavishly equipped. Take the safety equipment for example: 7 airbags (including knee bags on the driver’s side) VDC, ABS with EBD, ventilated disc brakes front and rear, MSR, Hill Holder, ASR and foglights. And from the long list of devices designed to guarantee the highest possible level of comfort on board, we can mention: dual-zone automatic climate control, radio with CD player and CD changer, parking sensor, Bose Hi-Fi system, a Visibility Pack (rain sensor, dusk sensor and misting sensor), map radio navigator and telephone with voice controls. The two versions both have natural leather upholstery and 18” alloy wheels.


Now we can go on to the 159 saloon, the four-wheel drive Q4 version of which is shown in Geneva, equipped with the powerful new 3.2 V6 JTS 24v engine (191 kW – 260 bhp), with ‘Ocean Black’ paintwork that interprets the Alfa Romeo concept of ‘classical sportiness’ perfectly. It is lavishly appointed with precious Frau ‘pieno fiore’ fine-grain leather upholstery on the facia, seats and door panels. Plus tri-zone climate control, aluminium trims, electric seats, Cruise control, 7 airbags, VDC stability control with a hill holder, map radio navigator and telephone with voice controls, xenon headlights and 18” alloy wheels, parking sensors and reclining rear seat.


The Alfa GT and Alfa 147


Under the spotlights of the Swiss Show is a special version of the Alfa GT which conveys the model’s unique personality perfectly. Developed in collaboration with Bertone, the Alfa GT embodies original styling, lavish equipment and exciting performance, reflecting a new concept of sportiness, which embraces comfort and elegance too. The version on show, a ‘Collezione’, was designed for a more sophisticated clientele. In addition to the usual standard equipment, it also has a number of exclusive features: 17” alloy wheels (a borehole pattern with chrome treatment), black-framed front headlights, a body-coloured front bumper grille, two-tone leather seats with a perforated cushion and Alfa Romeo logo, beige/black facia and gear and hand brake levers covered with leather. The carpet and mats, centre console and side partitions are all the same beige colour. And finally, this refined Alfa GT also offers a map navigator with a telephone and voice controls, complete with a subscription to the info-telematic services.


The 147 also fits into this context of Alfa Romeo styling and technology, and a 5-door version is on show in Geneva , with the ‘Collezione’ outfit and metallic black paintwork. This compact Alfa is equipped with the brilliant 150 bhp 1.9 JTDm engine, and features the most sophisticated safety equipment as standard: VDC, ASR, ABS with EBD and six airbags. The outfit also includes dual-zone automatic climate control, new 17” alloys with a double ray pattern, radio with CD player, Cruise Control and electric rear windows. The car on display also features exclusive two-tone beige leather seat upholstery, a map navigator with built-in hands-free telephone, and radio and telephone controls on the steering wheel.


The sophisticated ‘Blu&Me’ system


Some versions of the Alfa 159 Sportwagon and Alfa Brera feature the innovative BLUE&ME system, based on Windows Mobile technology, and developed jointly by Fiat Auto and Microsoft, which changes the communications, information and entertainment paradigms in the car, improving the comfort and quality of the time spent on board.


The device is extremely simple to use, and allows you to make/receive telephone calls and to listen to music simply and safely as you drive. And thanks to Bluetooth® technology, you can also communicate with the outside world from the car using your own personal mobile phone or HDA.


The system on offer will be supplemented in future with more evolved devices giving access to the many novelties that technological progress has in store for the coming years: from a complete multimedia system to satellite navigation. In addition to which there is a whole range of services that will make all your journeys more comfortable, safer and easier.


The ‘Blu&Me’ device on the Alfa 159 Sportwagon and Alfa Brera incorporates a sophisticated hands-free system with voice recognition that guarantees maximum driving safety in all conditions, and respects the law because the driver can use the system without taking his hands off the wheel. The system allows drivers with a Bluetooth® mobile phone to use the telephone even if it is in a jacket or a bag, automatically lowering the radio volume (when this is on) and routing the interlocutor’s voice through the stereo speakers. The system is also extremely compatible with all cell phones currently on the market and can be updated to comply with new standards and future telephones.


The ‘Blu&Me’ device is built into the car and the control keys are positioned on the steering wheel for immediate, safe access to the system; the driver can find a number in his phone book by scrolling the control panel display, or ‘mute’ the call for confidentiality.


One interesting feature is the fact that the mobile phone only has to be registered with the system once. It is also possible to transfer one’s personal phone book to the car, automatically updating it every time the system recognises a cell phone.


Privacy is guaranteed because access is only granted to the phone book if the telephone registered with the system is in the car. The number or name of the caller is shown on the display if it is in the phone book and the number can be called ‘vocally’ by dictating the numbers or pronouncing the name if it has been memorised.


The evolved voice recognition process means that the voice does not have to be ‘learned’, and the device is able to memorise up to 5 cell phones at the same time, allowing immediate use of the hands-free system by several users of the same car; and programming can obviously be modified whenever necessary. And finally, the hands-free system with voice recognition can also reproduce a ‘personal’ call tone using the radio speakers.


These are the features of the hands-free system with voice recognition, but there is more to the innovative ‘Blu&Me’ system on the Alfa 159 Sportwagon and Alfa Brera: it allows the motorist to listen to his favourite music when it is recorded on a mobile phone, one of the new smart phones, on an MP3 player or on a USB pen drive. This is made possible by a USB port in the glove compartment, to which any digital device with a similar connection can be connected, allowing musical audio files (MP3, WMA and WAV) to be reproduced directly through the stereo system. And because all the information is visible on the instrument panel display, the client can scroll through the system archive (divided by type, album, artist, etc.) either vocally or using the steering wheel controls, and select the piece he wants to listen to by the controls on the steering wheel.


The Alfa Romeo Racing Teams


In the world of sport, ‘Alfa Romeo and innovation’ make a strong team. Both as a sponsor and competing with its own Racing Teams, the brand and its athletes have promoted its winning spirit and its use of the most sophisticated technology. This is embodied in the Alfa Romeo Ski Racing Team, a group of eight slalom, downhill and SuperG experts (Giorgio Rocca, Kristian Ghedina, Massimiliano Blardone, Manfred Moelgg, Karen Putzer, Denise Karbon, and sisters Elena and Nadia Fanchini) and their trainers (Flavio Roda and Gustavo Thoeni). Alfa Romeo is also Official Supplier to the Luna Rossa Team that is taking part in the build-up to the prestigious 2007 America’s Cup, and sponsors the ‘Alfa Romeo’ maxi-yacht of owner and skipper Neville Crichton, the boat which set new speed records in the past season, winning the Grand Slam and the most important high-sea regattas. And finally, the brand is sure to be one of the protagonists with its private team in the World Touring Car Championship and in the Tricolour with the 147 Cup.


And last but not least, in 2006 a new collaboration agreement is taking shape between two big names in the field of Italian engineering: Alfa Romeo and Ducati have announced that they will be working together at the circuits that host the events in the MotoGP and Superbike World Championships. The Ducato Racing team will be equipped with a fleet of brand-new Alfa 159s to transport the riders and team personnel to the different circuits all over the world.


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