23.12.2002 ALFA ROMEO 156GTAM PROTOTYPE GIVES POINTERS TO FUTURE DIRECTION OF GTA LINE
|The 156 GTAm displayed at
the Bologna Motor Show gives pointers to Alfa Romeo's future direction:
The 166GTA which arrives in 2003 will use the GTAm's 3.5-litre V6 engine.
Built by N-Technology, Fiat's competition department, the 156GTAm transfers racing technology from this year's 156GTA SuperTouring race cars which swept all before them in the European Touring Car Championship into a car designed for the road and is fitted with an increased capacity version of the 147GTA and 156GTA's 3.2-litre V6 engine.
In creating the GTAm, changes were made to the power unit: The cylinder displacement was increased from 3200 to 3548cc, 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 has power raised by 50bhp to300 bhp @ 6800 rpm and is combined with a 6-speed gearbox and a self-locking viscous differential.
Externally, the vehicle is distinguished by its black colouring while the 156GTA SuperTouring's big rear racing spoiler has been replaced by a more discreet outlet lip that nevertheless still improves the 156's aerodynamic flow.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 30kg 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. Compared to the 156GTA, the front brakes on the 156 GTAm come with bigger Brembo callipers 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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