04.10.2004 exclusive details on the production ALFA ROMEO 'brera'

Alfa Romeo Project 946

Along with recent sightings of the upcoming Alfa Romeo GTV replacement being tested around Germany’s Nürburgring, we present two new spy photographs taken at an undisclosed location in Italy.

Codenamed project 946, the new 2+2 coupé is a sister development to the project 939 Alfa 156-replacement. It uses a short wheelbase version of the General Motors / Fiat 'Premium' floorpan, combined with a superior space frame structure to create a split-frame steel chassis.

Like the saloon car, it draws on Italdesign-Giuigaro’s Alfa Romeo Brera concept car for inspiration. The car in fact can be regarded as the production version of the coupé concept, which was presented at the 2002 Geneva Motor Show to great acclaim.

A number of secrets can be obtained when regarding these two new photographs, which were taken almost two months ago by photographer Stefano Maiano.

Particularly exciting is the lightly camouflaged front end, showing an immense amount of detail regarding the headlights and bumper design. As on the recently facelifted Alfa 156 and 166 models, the Brera-style headlight projectors will be positioned behind clear polycarbonate / glass lenses.

On the models being tested on the open roads and around proving grounds such as the Nürburgring, these lenses have been removed. This misleads people to believe that the six individual projectors will be ‘open’ as on the Brera concept. A similar trick was pulled by Land-Rover with their Discovery / LR3 model. We also believe that similar covered units will be fitted to the 156 replacement.

The front bumper on the new coupé has a virtually identical grille and intake treatment to the Brera concept. Mist lights have now been positioned in the outer intake sections, whilst the chiseled bumper and front wing line of the Brera has been retained.

‘Moustache’ type grilles, first presented on the original Alfa 156 in 1997, finish off the air intakes adjacent to the headlights and ‘Biscone’ shield.

The side of the car promises to maintain the striking Brera profile, however the doors obviously open in a conventional fashion hinging off the A-post. The mirrors present on the prototype are thought to be existing production parts sourced from the current Alfa GTV and Spider or 166. The production version of project 946 may have mirrors protruding from the door skins themselves, as on the 1989 Alfa Romeo SZ / ES-30.

Whereas the Brera had only one side window, the larger C-post of the production car hints at another, separate window for the rear passengers. This area on the prototypes spotted so far has been covered up with camouflage. Plastic side skirts are also missing from the prototype cars.

The rear of the car will be virtually identical to the Brera, with similarly shaped optical units, bumper and glass hatch. The large elongated tail lights are quite simply striking, whereas the bumper has individual cut-outs for tail pipes protruding from either side.

The interior will be carried over from the 156 replacement, with the same instrument binnacle and centre console. Imagine a slightly better trimmed version of the 939 interior, most probably with a leather finish on the dashboard. This is most similar in concept to the shared design present on the GT Coupé and 147 models. Unfortunately we cannot use the interior photograph of the 946 prototype for legal reasons.

It is already clear from the exterior proportions of the prototype, that the interior and boot space will be a great improvement over the current Pininfarina GTV. Whereas the Bertone GT Coupé is a coupé of traditional proportions, the GTV replacement is thought to be a more practical fastback derivative of the 156 replacement.

The Giugiaro-designed coupe will be built by Pininfarina, who are also believed to be responsible for the styling of the open top Spider version.

Pininfarina’s Vice President Andrea Pininfarina, together with the delegation administrator of Pininfarina, declared on the 24 September at the Paris Auto Salon that their company is to produce two new Alfa Romeo models between mid-2005 and the first half of 2006. This appears to be a clear reference to the new GTV and Spider.

The GTV replacement will be previewed at next year’s Geneva Motor Show, while the Spider is expected to debut in the autumn at the Frankfurt IAA before production commences in January 2006.

Projected engines & drive layout:


*2.2JTS 190bhp+
*2.4JTD 200bhp
*2.4JTD Q4 200bhp
*3.0V6JTD 250bhp
*3.0V6JTD Q4 250bhp
*3.2V6JTS Q4 265bhp+
3.6V6JTS Q4 300bhp+
GTA 400bhp+


2.2JTS 190bhp+
*3.2V6JTS Q4 265bhp+
3.6V6JTS Q4 300bhp+
GTA 400bhp+

* launch models

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Virtually camouflage-free, the front of this prototype gives an excellent preview  to the new GTV. (image: Stefano Maiano)

The rear, still heavily camouflaged, gives the impression of more interior space over the current Pininfarina GTV. (image: Stefano Maiano)

This interior picture of the 939 shows more-or-less how the interior of the 946 will look. Chrome surrounds around the three gauges on the centre console are not present on the photograph. 

A prototype of the 946 screams around the fabulous Nürburgring circuit 

Based on the topmost photograph, Italiaspeed presented this impression in August.