AUTODELTA EUROPEAN TOUR 2006

19.09.2006 THE AUTODELTA EUROPEAN TOUR ARRIVES IN MONTE CARLO

Today was the last day on the road for the Autodelta European Tour, with a 600 km run from Switzerland to the final destination in Monte Carlo, over the Alps and via Milan the schedule.

With such a long day a 5:30AM alarm call saw the tired participants gathering outside the Hotel Suisse in Basel as the last day on the open roads got underway, the scream of high-performance engines rudely interrupting the early morning quiet on this city, which was punctuated only by the screeching of the frequent green-liveried trams. The Tour quickly split into groups with one convoy heading for Italy via the St. Gotthard Tunnel, the other taking a more scenic route high over the Alps.

With torrential rain lashing the Swiss roads this morning, we set off, and again I'm ensconced in the new Autodelta Brera J5 3.2 C, which is now less than 24 hours away from its official media presentation at the Hotel Metropole in Monte Carlo. This model's Torsen C-system four wheel drive transmission really comes into its own in these very difficult conditions, the new traction system developed for the "Premium" architecture allowing the Autodelta conversion's stock 348 bhp to be put down very effectively on the road. The Alfa Brera's high levels of interior comfort together with its excellent soundproofing levels mean that this sports car is able to provide a relaxed driving environment even in these treacherous conditions.

We eat up the kilometres and soon it is time for a lunch stop in Milan when the weather is not and sunny. Now it is time to sample another new Alfa Romeo model on the European roads, this time the Alfa 159 1.9 JTDM which has been entered this year by official partner, Mangoletsi.
 


The Mangoletsi Alfa 159 JTDM entry - running at No 04 - is finished in Alfa Silver and features a red leather interior - colours that bring out the saloon's stylish lines very effectively.

Today was the last day on the road for the Autodelta European Tour, with a 600 km run from Switzerland to the final destination in Monte Carlo, over the Alps and via Milan the schedule.


Based in Knutsford, Cheshire, Mangoletsi (www.mangoletsi.com) is the UK's largest and longest established authorised Alfa Romeo dealership, with a strong image and a long tradition with the brand. In fact next year Mangoletsi will celebrate 40 years with Alfa Romeo, and many of their staff have been there almost since the beginning. Their Alfa 159 JTDM entry - running at No 04 - is finished in Alfa Silver and features a red leather interior - colours that bring out the saloon's stylish lines very effectively. With the Mangoletsi "M" insignia on the doors and their website address emblazoned on the car's front and rear, their unique livery is complemented by a large snake on the roof.

Behind the wheel the refined nature of the punchy Alfa 1.9 JTDM unit is immediately apparent, its strong torque and power levels coming to the fore as it easily copes with the fast, sweeping dual-carriageways that feature prominently on the run from Milan to Monaco; its responsive handling and sumptuous interior making this model quite a joy to drive on these roads, which demand all the skills of technically able driving. Alfa Romeo have certainly pushed the acceptance of the turbodiesel engine as a consideration when seeking sporty motoring, to a new level.

Back in the Autodelta Brera J5 3.2 C in the late afternoon, and as the temperatures hover around the 25-26 degree centigrade mark, the final run in Monte Carlo is achieved with ease. With the Tour running well ahead of schedule Jano Djelalian breaks away from the main pack - which has been swelled by the arrival of a third Alfa 159, this time a 2.2 JTS running at No 1, from Autodelta's new Italian operation - to take us into the Principality via the "back" entrance, a series of sharply descending roads and tight hairpin bends. The J5's abilities in the area of braking comes to the fore as the car races towards sea level and the forecourt of the Hotel Metropole.

By Edd Ellison with the Autodelta European Tour at the Hotel Metropole, Monte Carlo

official Tour website: www.autodeltatour.com

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19.09.2006

Day four of the Autodelta European Tour 2006 started with a visit to the Michael Schumacher Kart Center near Kerpen in Germany before a 500 km run to Basel in Switzerland beckoned

Report & Photos: Autodelta / 2006 Interfuture Media/Italiaspeed