26.11.2002 ALFA ROMEO TO DISPLAY 3.5-LITRE SUPER TOURING BASED 156 GTAM CONCEPT AT BOLOGNA MOTOR SHOW
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The 156 GTAm to be displayed at the Bologna Motor Show is a pilot car that is the outcome of a double challenge: to convert a racing car into an on-road vehicle and also to improve on an engine that is already one of the best around for performance and power.
The result is a revolutionary slant on the Alfa 156 that shows just how versatile the model really is. Its DNA allows for the ability to adapt to the needs of different customers and different applications, including the most demanding motorsport uses.
The first changes were made to the power unit. The cylinder capacity was increased from 3200 to 3548 cc, while the bore is 97 mm and the stroke is 78 mm. Compared to the 3.2 litre engine on the conventional GTA, the 3.5 V6 24v unit fitted to the Alfa 156 GTAm develops an impressive 300 bhp at 6800 rpm and is combined with a 6-speed gearbox (plus reverse) and a self-locking viscous differential.
Externally, the vehicle is distinguished by its black colouring and also because the big racing spoiler has been replaced by a more discreet outlet lip that nevertheless still improves the 156's aerodynamic flow. The body wings and bonnet have also been changed: now they are made out of composites that help lighten the car by 30 kg compared to the racing version. The light alloy wheels are 8 x 19" while the tyres are 235/35ZR19. The sports ride set-up is also new and has been developed with a view to the lighter body and on-road application. Hence height-adjustable oleopneumatic shock absorbers by Bilstein with Eibach springs with helpers. Compared to the 156 GTA, the front brakes on the 156 GTAm come with bigger Brembo calipers and discs with a diameter of 330 millimetres.
All in all, the Alfa 156 GTAm is a prototype capable of outstanding dynamic road behaviour on a par with the racing version. All with the greatest respect for the GTA tradition.
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