Now you can have your cake and eat it too with Alfa Romeo’s all new Q2 system which is available exclusively on the Alfa GT with the 110 kW 1.9 JTDm engine.
Essentially what it is, is a self-locking front differential which incorporates all the strong points of a front-wheel drive system in terms of active safety, increasing driving enjoyment and control, while providing some of the advantages typical of four-wheel drive, but at a significantly lower cost and weight. In a nutshell, the sophisticated ‘Q2’ system guarantees maximum control and traction in all driving conditions.
In addition to this mechanical upgrade, the Alfa GT ‘Q2’ is cosmetically distinguished by specific 18” rims, dual chromed exhaust terminals, a satin finish grille complemented by front ‘whiskers’ and mirror housings, a lower stance and a ‘Q2’ logo on the tailgate.
The styling of the interior underlines Q2’s sporty character: an instrument panel with a red background and white lighting, black leather seats with red stitching and the Alfa Romeo logo, the steering wheel, gear lever and handbrake gaiters in black leather with red stitching, special ‘Q2’ heel-high scuff plates, grey anthracite facia trims and aluminium pedals. And finally, radio controls on the steering wheel, radio with CD and MP3 player, and a Bose® Hi-Fi system with sub-woofer are all standard.
How the Alfa ‘Q2’ system works
The main element of the ‘Q2’ system is a limited slip differential, of the Torsen mechanical type. This differential splits torque between the front drive wheels dynamically and constantly, according to driving conditions and the road surface. Combined with the exclusive double wishbone front suspension, the system allows very effective fine tuning of the car.
Alfa Romeo started from the excellent reputation that front-wheel drive enjoys with customers (in fact it is the layout chosen by the majority of car-makers). Suffice it to say that, in addition to the overall benefits of this type of architecture (weight, roominess, etc.), in extreme conditions, the understeer typical of front-wheel drive enables the driver to respond more intuitively to the car’s reactions: this gives the impression that front-wheel drive is more ‘responsive’ than rear-wheel drive.
To highlight these benefits, Alfa Romeo has developed the ‘Q2’ system which embodies all the strengths of front-wheel drive, significantly increasing roadholding, traction and stability on the release, while attenuating understeer on acceleration, the intervention of the electronic control systems and steering wheel vibration.
The two practical examples below highlight the technical potential of the ‘Q2’ system.
Case no. 1: when the car corners
Taking a corner when grip is poor (wet road, mud, snow etc.) or with a sporty driving style, grip is often lost on the inside wheel. When the transfer of the lateral load takes weight off the suspension, torque on the inside wheel is reduced, and a conventional differential (which splits the same torque value between both wheels) transfers an equal amount of torque to the outside wheel, but this is insufficient for good traction.
In this situation the car can respond in two different ways, depending on the equipment mounted. On a model without ASR-VDC (Traction Control/Stability Control), the perceived result is the slipping of the inside wheel, a loss of control of the car (strong understeer) and a loss of acceleration coming out of the bend. If, on the other hand, the car is equipped with ASR-VDC (standard on SA models), the intervention of the driving assistance systems takes power from the engine, acting on the throttle valve and the braking system, so that it becomes impossible to modulate the accelerator, producing the unpleasant sensation of a drop in power.
In both cases, the result is that as the car comes out of the bend, the driver has the feeling that it is ‘stationary’.
What happens when the ‘Q2’ system is present? When the inside wheel starts to lose grip, torque is partially transferred to the outside wheel, producing less understeer, greater stability, and increasing cornering speed.
The improved mechanical efficiency of the ‘Q2’ transmission delays the intervention of the vehicle control systems, guaranteeing better traction as the car exits the bend, which makes driving more enjoyable and maintains complete control of the vehicle.
Case no. 2: surfaces with poor grip
On surfaces with poor grip, it is quite common for the drive wheels to have different degrees of grip. For example, grip under the two wheels can differ on snow-covered or wet roads.
In these conditions, starting off or accelerating sharply could cause the wheels to slip, generating critical friction conditions, a strong reaction on the steering wheel, and inadequate take-off, making it necessary to correct the steering-wheel continuously to maintain the trajectory.
What happens when the ‘Q2’ system is present? The negative effects are attenuated by the gradual transfer of torque to the wheel that can exploit the best friction coefficient i.e. the wheel with the most grip, simplifying a hill start, for example, and making driving on all roads with changing surface conditions safer and more comfortable.
Some key technical GT Q2 specs at a glance:
1910 cc Multijet direct injection diesel with turbo and intercooler. Bosch EDC 16 electronic control system
Power – 110 kW @ 4000 rpm
Torque – 305 Nm @ 2000 rpm
C02 emissions – 178 g/km
0 to 100 km/h in 9,6 seconds
Maximum speed of 209 km/h
Fuel consumption – 8,7 L (urban) / 5,4 L (extra-urban) / 6,7 L (combined)
Some key standard equipment features of the GT Q2 at a glance:
Q2 exclusive features comprising 18” alloys; lowered suspension; satin finish grille, front ‘whiskers, gear lever and mirror housings; Q2 scuff plates and badging, aluminium pedals; sports leather seats and steering wheel with red stitching; and unique instrumentation
Six airbags – front, side and window
ABS with EBD, ASR (Traction Control) and VDC (Stability Control)
Electric windows/mirrors & central locking
Steering wheel audio controls
Bose Hi-Fi system
Dual-zone climate control
Split-folding rear seat (60/40)
Pricing, maintenance plan and warranty
Alfa Romeo GT 1.9 JTDm – R286 000
Alfa Romeo GT 1.9 JTDm Q2 – R299 000
Alfa Romeo GT 3.2 V6 – R 342 000
Enhancing the ownership prospect, the new Alfa GT Q2 has 20 000 km service intervals and enjoys full after-sales support in South Africa thanks to a comprehensive parts inventory (housed and distributed in an all-new, state-of-the-art facility) and the back-up of trained technicians at Alfa Romeo dealerships countrywide.
A three-year 100 000 km Warranty (three years on paintwork and five years on rust anti-perforation) as well as a three-year 60 000 km maintenance plan.
The new models are covered by the AA Fleetcare roadside assistance for 12 months. The service is active 24 hours a day, 365 days a year and is available by calling the dedicated toll-free number 0800 223 727.