Alfa Romeo at the 80th Geneva Motor Show

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Giulietta World Preview & MiTo technological innovations

The Giulietta is the undisputed hero on the Alfa Romeo stand at this year’s Geneva Motor Show. A five-door hatchback, but with Alfa Romeo’s unmistakable architecture, the new Giulietta pay’s homage to the time-honoured history of the brand while at the same time, providing a new benchmark in the overcrowded and highly competitive C segment.

This is thanks in part to the refined technical solutions employed for the suspension, the dual pinion active steering, the fine materials used as well as the manufacturing technologies implemented. From May* this year, the model will go on sale progressively in all the markets, but visitors to the show will be able to admire five different models: two Quadrifoglio Verde versions fitted with the 235 HP / 173 kW 1750 TBi petrol engine, two Distinctive versions with the 170 HP / 125 kW 2.0 JTDM diesel unit and a Distinctive version fitted with the 170 HP / 125 kW 1.4 MultiAir Turbo petrol engine.

The name of the new car is an obvious tribute to the mythical Giulietta which, in the Fifties, caught the imagination of generations of car enthusiasts, making the dream of owning an Alfa Romeo and enjoying the high level of comfort and technical excellence accessible for the first time.

*Exact timing for right-hand drive production is still not known, but expect the new Giulietta to reach SA shores by the 4th quarter of 2010.

The spotlight will also be on the Alfa Romeo MiTo which will be showing off two highly interesting novelties in Geneva: the “Alfa TCT” and “Blue&Me–TomTom”. The first new feature is an automatic dual dry clutch transmission which guarantees driving comfort and a sporty feeling well above those offered by conventional automatic transmissions, but improved efficiency and lower consumption levels. On the Alfa Mito, the new device is combined with the Start&Stop system in order to minimise consumption levels and CO2 emissions. In addition, the technological qualities of the Alfa Romeo MiTo are further enhanced by the second novelty to be presented namely, “Blue&Me–TomTom”, the latest version of the Blue&Me system. It is a fully integrated infotainment system with a practical colour touch-screen which allows you to manage phone calls, satellite navigation and all the driving information you need. The device is the result of a partnership between Fiat Group Automobiles and TomTom, the European leader in portable navigation systems, and integrates with the other car’s systems thanks to the Blue&Me system developed with Magneti Marelli.

The MiTo is shown in two versions at the show: a Distinctive 135 HP / 99 kW 1.4 MultiAir Turbo petrol (fitted with the “Alfa TCT” automatic transmission and the “Blue&Me–TomTom” portable satellite navigation system) and an exclusive MiTo Quadrifoglio Verde fitted with the powerful 170 HP / 125 kW 1.4 MultiAir Turbo petrol, an historical symbol of the brand, which now represents a new kind of sportiness that combines maximum driving pleasure with improved environmental qualities. Such as the outstanding weight/power ratio (6.7 kg/HP), guaranteeing record-breaking agility, plus an exceptional specific power of 124 HP/litre, a real first for this category. In addition, as far as the typical reduction in emissions and fuel consumption of downsizing is concerned, the 170 HP / 125 kW 1.4 MultiAir Turbo petrol records 139 g/km of CO2 and 4.8 l/100 km in the extra-urban cycle: figures you might expect from an economy car rather than a compact sports car that goes from 0 to 100 km/h in just over seven seconds.

IN DETAIL:
Alfa Romeo Giulietta World Preview
The Geneva International Motor Show sees the world debut of the new Alfa Romeo Giulietta which, from May* this year, will be progressively on sale on all the major markets, thus relaunching the brand in one of the most important segments in Europe.

*Exact timing for right-hand drive production is still not known, but expect the new Giulietta to reach SA shores by the 4th quarter of 2010.

In the Centenary year, the name is a tribute to an automobile myth and Alfa Romeo. In the Fifties, the Giulietta caught the imagination of car enthusiasts throughout the world, making the dream of owning an Alfa Romeo and enjoying the high level of comfort and technical excellence accessible for the first time. In South Africa the name “Giulietta” is equally admired for its newer 80’s successor.

And now in 2010, the Alfa Romeo Style Centre has produced a new Giulietta, a sports car capable of expressing great agility on the most demanding routes and providing comfort on everyday roads.

The Giulietta introduces an entirely new architecture – referred to as “compact” – designed to satisfy the most demanding customers in terms of road-holding, agility and safety. It ensures both exceptional dynamic performance and high comfort levels, thanks to the refined technical solutions employed for the suspension, a new-generation steering system, a light and rigid structure created from materials such as aluminium and high-strength steels and avant-garde manufacturing techniques.

This new architecture will allow the Giulietta to accommodate the needs of all customers in this category, teaming on-board comfort with functional interiors and boot, while offering the typical dynamic qualities associated with Alfa Romeo.

Driving satisfaction and comfort can be adapted to meet every customer’s specific needs thanks to the Alfa DNA selector, a device that customises the vehicle’s behaviour to suit different road conditions and driving styles. The new architecture of the Alfa Giulietta was in fact designed to integrate the vehicle’s different systems and exploit them to the full, thus emphasising the three set-up functions (Dynamic, Normal and All Weather) available through the Alfa DNA selector. This device, fitted as standard on the entire range, is designed to modify the operating parameters of the engine, gearbox, steering system and Q2 electronic differential, in addition to the behaviour logic of the Vehicle Dynamic Control system (VDC).

Sporty and comfortable Italian style:
The perfect blend of sportiness and style, the Alfa Giulietta redefines the brand’s technological standards and emotional values.

The front is a development of Alfa’s trademark triangular grille, with a brand new interpretation of the classic shield embedded in the front bumper and suspended between the air vents. This is the point of origin for the design of the entire car, which teams an energetic personality with marked stylish shapes. The front headlights feature LED technology and a daytime function for maximum active safety. Even the profile of the Alfa Romeo Giulietta is brimming with personality, making the model appear to be an agile and sturdy car. This is mostly due to the side windows which recall the appearance of a coupé, emphasising the dynamism and fluidity of the shapes, thanks also to the concealed rear door handles. The ribs on the vehicle sides elongate the car while the clean lines which end at the rear, accentuate the angular shape of the car body.

The rear, like the front and side, features marked styling which emphasises the feeling of a muscular car, decidedly gripped onto the road surface. In addition, like the headlights, the innovative rear lights also use LED technology which serves not only a stylish purpose but is also a preventive safety measure.

Lastly, the measurements of the new car make for a compact and dynamic shape, while at the same time guaranteeing excellent comfort and a spacious boot (350 litres): in fact, it is 4.35 metres long, 1.46 metres high and 1.80 metres wide, with a wheelbase of 2.63 metres.

Innovative features for maximum in-car wellbeing:
Attention to detail and high quality materials used for the interiors are the most evolved expression of Italian style. More specifically, the dominant concept in the interiors of the new model is lightness. The lines are taut and the dashboard develops horizontally. The seats are wraparound and, at the same time, their shape was designed to ensure maximum comfort even during long journeys.

Thanks to the enhanced ergonomics in the interior design, every command is ideally located: the main ones are grouped together at the centre of the dashboard and feature the same design as the commands on the 8C Competizione. In addition, the navigation system with pop-up display allows the driver to see maps or to display the mechanical operating parameters set on the Alfa DNA device without having to take the eyes off the road.

There are practical open storage compartments situated in various parts of the passenger compartment: in front of the gear lever, on the centre console and on the door interior covers. There are closed storage compartments – depending on the chosen version – on the top of the dashboard, under the dashboard opposite the front passenger (cooled with dual zone climate control), in the front and rear armrests.

Innovative engines for a thrilling yet environmentally-friendly drive:
The Alfa Romeo Giulietta guarantees the highest levels of performance and technology through a range of engines that are purely state of the art in terms of technology, performance levels and environmental-friendliness. At the time of its commercial launch, 4 Turbo engines will be available, all with Euro 5 type-approval and fitted with the “Start&Stop” system to reduce consumption levels and emissions fitted as standard: two petrol versions (120 HP / 88 kW 1.4TB and 170 HP / 125 kW 1.4TB MultiAir) and two diesels (105 HP / 77 kW 1.6 JTDM and 170 HP / 125 kW 2.0 JTDM, both second-generation MultiJet engines). Lastly, the range is completed by the astounding 235 HP / 173 kW 1750 TBi teamed with the exclusive Quadrifoglio Verde interiors.

More specifically, the new model equipped with the 235 HP / 173 kW 1750 TBi engine is a true representative of the way in which Alfa Romeo interprets the high end of this segment offer. Not just a means of transport, but a vehicle that can really connect with the customer. There is muscular acceleration thanks to plenty of torque even at low revs, a smooth response that minimises gearbox use thanks to the extension typical of modern petrol engines, and an engine noise that is engaging without ever becoming intrusive. In detail, the 1750 Turbo petrol engine boasts advanced technical solutions including direct fuel injection, two continuously variable valve timing units, a turbocharger and a revolutionary scavenging control system that gets rid of any “turbolag”. The resulting performance is comparable to – or better than – that of many 3 litre engines while still delivering fuel consumption typical of a compact four cylinder unit. It should be noted that the specific power of 134 HP/litre is the highest in the world for a 4-cylinder unit fitted on this category of vehicles, as well as being the highest ever achieved by an Alfa Romeo engine. The specific torque too, totalling 194 Nm/litre, is the highest of all petrol engines in this category, while the maximum torque of 340 Nm, reached at 1,900 revs alone, is an absolute best.
The range of engines available can accommodate the needs of all customers. First of all the 120 HP / 88 kW 1.4TB is the ideal engine for those in search of a car that can handle city traffic effortlessly while keeping running costs to a minimum. The turbo engine guarantees prompt response even at low revs (the maximum torque is achieved at just 1,750 revs) while the Start&Stop, in the city, makes it possible to cut consumption and harmful emission levels drastically, without compromising comfort and on-board safety.

The 170 HP / 125 kW 1.4 TB MultiAir engine is an amalgam of technology, which blends high performance levels with the lowest emissions and fuel consumption levels in its class for petrol engines of this power rating. It is a powerful and flexible engine, with a maximum torque of a generous 250 Nm (when set to Dynamic), fitted with the Start&Stop system and with fuel consumption and emission levels resembling more a diesel engine than a petrol one of this power rating (4.6 l/100 km in the extra-urban cycle and 134 g/km of CO2 emissions). The teaming of this engine with the new architecture ranks the Giulietta at the top of its class both for its dynamic qualities as well as comfort and practicality during everyday use.

The 105 HP / 77 kW 1.6 JTDM is a flexible and economical diesel engine that will surprise customers due to its prompt response (in Dynamic mode, the max. torque is a generous 320 Nm at just 1,750 revs) combined with extremely low fuel consumption (in the extra-urban cycle, it is just 3.7 l/100 km). This is possible thanks to the combination of second-generation MultiJet technology and Start&Stop system. Consequently, it is an engine dedicated to all those in search of a car with character and a distinctive style, affording the typical agility and handling of an Alfa Romeo, yet able to combine them with limited running costs.

For customers who use the car mostly on the motorway or who demand the maximum performance levels from a diesel engine, Alfa Romeo suggests the 170 HP / 125 kW 2.0 JTDM. Again, it is an amalgam of technology which combines second-generation MultiJet technology with the Start&Stop system. The result is a vehicle with best-in-class performance levels, extremely flexible driving (with the DNA selector set to Dynamic mode, the available torque at 1,750 revs is a generous 350 Nm), among the lowest fuel consumption and emission levels in its class for cars with this power rating (124 g/km of CO2 and 4.1 l/100 km in the extra-urban cycle). Thanks to the exceptional qualities of the new “compact” architecture, this version is able to blend fantastic dynamic and motoring performance levels with best-in-class comfort and practicality.

All the engines are teamed with a state-of-the-art manual 6-speed gearbox from the three axle transmission family, which can withstand and transmit high maximum torque values. Going forward, the MultiAir and 170 HP / 125 kW 2.0 JTDM engines will also be available with the innovative dual-clutch automatic transmission.

Segment-beating safety, comfort and dynamic control:
The Alfa Romeo Giulietta was designed to achieve the highest Euro NCAP rating to offer total protection for both driver and passengers. In addition, the new architecture was devised to guarantee the utmost interaction of the systems in charge of controlling the vehicle dynamics.

All this is controlled by the real “brain” of the vehicle, namely the Alfa DNA device, in charge of all the sophisticated electronic devices for dynamic vehicle control: VDC (Vehicle Dynamic Control), Dual Pinion Active Steering, the Q2 electronic differential, the response and torque curve of the engine, the braking system with pre-fill function.

All these systems guarantee genuine Alfa Romeo driving safety, vehicle traction and performance. The new “compact” architecture, thanks to the refined technical solutions employed for the suspension and the materials used (high-strength steels, aluminium, magnesium, xenoy, etc.), can accommodate the needs of the most demanding customers in terms of on-board comfort and noiseless running, ranking the Giulietta at the top of its class even for the everyday practicality of the vehicle.

Extensive and diverse range:
Intended for a dynamic customer who will not compromise when it comes to on-board comfort and safety, the Alfa Romeo Giulietta is available in two versions (Progression and Distinctive), along with two custom packs (Sport Pack and Premium Pack).

All the devices linked to active and passive safety are fitted as standard on the entire range. Indeed, the Progression version comes standard with the Alfa D.N.A. system (with Q2 electronic differential and DST), VDC (including ASR and hill holder), 6 airbags, front seat belts with dual pretensioners and front seats with anti-whiplash system. The standard equipment also includes manual climate control, 16’’ wheels, front electric windows and the trip computer. The Distinctive versions tops up with dual-zone automatic climate control, leather steering wheel with radio controls, cruise control, radio with CD and MP3 player and dual-tuner function, fog lights, reconfigurable instrument panel, seats upholstered in “Competizione” fabric and the stylish chromed insert (chrome line) framing the side windows. The dashboard on the Distinctive version also stands out thanks to the stylish insert painted in magnesium grey or, alternatively, in Ghiaccio white, Alfa Red as well as in brushed burnished aluminium.

As on the MiTo, customers can further customise their Giulietta with two specific Packs (Sport and Premium). The first pack is designed to enhance the sporty soul of the vehicle with specific features which improve the already excellent handling of the car and includes 17’’or 18’’ alloy wheels, side skirts, sports pedals, wraparound seats with leather and microfibre fabric upholstery, brushed burnished aluminium dashboard insert and burnished headlight frames.

For customers in search of even more technological and complete on-board equipment, the Premium Pack includes bi-xenon lights with AFS function, the Blue&Me system with bluetooth function, USB port and MP3 player, rear parking sensors, electrically folding door mirrors and electrochromic rear-view mirror.

To customise their Giulietta, customers can also choose from the list of options available, including the large panoramic sunroof, the navigation system with maps and pop-up display with European maps on SD card and TMC Pro (service available for Italy, France, Germany, the United Kingdom and Spain) and Bose® Hi-Fi system. In addition, the Blue&Me® MAP system is also available, which adds to the functions of the Blue&Me® (hands-free function with Bluetooth® interface and advanced voice recognition, USB port, MP3 player and SMS interpreter) navigation functions thanks to the TomTom portable navigation system which is perfectly integrated with the vehicle’s existing systems thanks to the Bluetooth® interface. Note that the portable navigation system is embedded into the dashboard thanks to a purpose-devised interface, designed to blend in seamlessly with the ergonomics of the passenger compartment and to guarantee maximum safety in the event of a crash.
Lastly, the range is completed by the 235 HP / 173 kW Giulietta 1750 TBi Quadrifoglio Verde (four-leafed clover), a legendary symbol which has competed on tracks all over the world. Equipped solely with the highest-performing engine in the range, this version stands out for its thoroughbred sports styling, teamed with 17’’ (18’’ as optional) wheels, guaranteeing best-in-class driving pleasure and surprisingly reduced fuel consumption for this power rating. The “Quadrifoglio Verde” is thus reinterpreted with a modern touch, combining the utmost driving pleasure with greater environmental awareness for an environmentally-friendly sportiness.

IN DETAIL:
The latest new features of the Alfa Romeo MiTo
A desire to be ahead of its time is encoded in the DNA of the Alfa Romeo MiTo. After being the first car to offer the revolutionary MultiAir engine, it is now the first car on the market to offer an innovative dual dry clutch automatic transmission (DDCT) teamed with Start&Stop, the system that temporarily switches off the engine when the car is stationary. In addition, still focusing on the theme of technological innovation, the MiTo model introduces the brand new “Blue&Me–TomTom”, the latest version of the Blue&Me system.

“Alfa TCT”:
The innovative “Alfa TCT” – the latest automatic dual dry clutch 6-speed transmission – will be debuting in Geneva on the Alfa Romeo MiTo. Developed and produced by FPT, Fiat Powertrain Technologies, this new device is part of a modern family of 6-speed gearboxes (C635) that was launched – in the mechanical version – on the 170 HP / 125 kW MiTo 1.4 MultiAir Turbo petrol. Now it’s the turn of the “Alfa TCT” teamed with MultiAir engines with Start&Stop system fitted as standard: indeed, the Alfa Romeo MiTo is the first car on the market to combine these three innovative technologies. Available from next spring (Europe), visitors to the show will be able to admire a 135 HP / 99 kW MiTo 1.4 MultiAir Turbo petrol with “Alfa TCT” and gear levers incorporated into the steering wheel (optional).

The new device, conceptually, consists of two gearboxes in parallel, each with its own clutch, which allows the selection and engagement of the subsequent gear while the previous one is still engaged. The gear is therefore changed with a simple gradual switch of the corresponding clutches, guaranteeing continuous torque delivery and therefore traction. The result is a driving comfort and sporty feeling well above those offered by conventional automatic transmissions (with torque converter), as proven by greater speed of gear shift, the possibility of selecting between manual or automatic mode and a near-zero power loss during the gear change. In addition, the purchasing, servicing and running costs are limited, while fuel consumption is reduced, thanks also to the implementation of the Start&Stop system, up to 10% less than a traditional automatic hydraulic transmission with torque converter.

Specifically, the “Alfa TCT” features the largest number of interactions with the vehicle’s systems available on the market. Indeed, its operation interacts with the steering wheel, the brake and accelerator controls, the Alfa DNA selector, the Start&Stop system, the ABS, the engine and the inclinometer (slope detector to engage the Hill Holder and disable Start&Stop on activation).

Other peculiar features of the new “Alfa TCT” are its flexibility of application, thanks to the compact size of its components, and the fact that it is a dual dry clutch (the type of clutch that guarantees the highest degree of efficiency in terms of fuel consumption among all automatic transmissions). If we compare “Dry” clutches with oil bath (“Wet”) ones, we can safely say that the former dissipate energy only during the actual slipping phase of the gear change and on pick-up, whereas wet clutches, which always operate in an oil bath, introduce losses due to viscous friction such as those of conventional automatic transmissions even when they are not in operation. What’s more, they require forced cooling with oil and therefore continuous energy expenditure to drive the dedicated oil pump (absent in the case of “Dry” clutches). Moreover, a “Wet” automatic transmission requires approximately 4.8 litres more oil than the “Dry” version, again for reasons of clutch cooling (in this way, weight is added and losses due to splashing increase). When all these effects are added together, a “Alfa TCT” is found to be approximately 6% more efficient than the corresponding “Wet” one in terms of consumption. Last but not least, the advantages of the “Dry” clutch include the lower cost and the increased ease of installation.

Lastly, it should be remembered that the new “Alfa TCT” boasts a generous 23 public patents split into 3 areas: gearbox control, gearbox mechanics and gearbox actuator.

“Blue&Me–TomTom”:
The “Blue&Me–TomTom” is much more than a portable satellite navigation device. It is a genuine infotelematic system which combines practical use with the complete integration with the vehicle’s existing systems. It is the result of a partnership between Fiat Group Automobiles and TomTom, the European leader in portable navigation systems, and integrates with the other systems in the car thanks to the versatility of the Blue&Me system, developed in conjunction with Magneti Marelli.

Thanks to a practical 4.3” colour touch-screen and a simple and intuitive graphic interface, you can control the navigation functions, your telephone and the information typically displayed only on the trip computer, such as fuel consumption levels and autonomy.

The complete integration of the Blue&Me-TomTom is also a valid support for safety: the control of the features via the controls on the steering wheel and voice commands, the position at the centre of the dashboard which is easy to reach and visible, the electricity supply integrated into the support.

Moreover, it can be transferred for other uses like any other portable device. The “Blue&Me–TomTom” on the Alfa Romeo MiTo also offers “IQ route” technology, to find the best route considering the date and time of travel, calculated on a database that contains traffic information on a statistical basis.

Thanks to the TomTom Home web application customised for Alfa Romeo, further features will readily become available. These include the on-line updating of maps and “MapShare”, the large internet community with over 5 million registered users who can share the information on maps in real time.

Compared to a normal portable satellite navigation system, the “Blue&Me-TomTom” also incorporates the exclusive “Car Menu” to let you display information on the car and all connected devices:

  • “Fuel Efficiency”: real-time information on your driving style and suggestions for reducing environmental impact and optimising consumption by changing gear and accelerating appropriately to suit the nature of the route;
  • All trip information on a single screen: distance travelled, consumption and range;
  • Fuel reserve warning and directions to the nearest filling station;
  • Places of interest, Alfa Romeo service centres and LPG filling stations;
  • Management of the mobile phone connected to Blue&Me: dialling the number on the touch screen, call management, information, contacts and last call log.

Blue&Me-TomTom for the Alfa Romeo Mito is, in short, a genuine “window of communication with the vehicle” to allow the exploitation of its full potential and to improve your driving style in complete safety and maximum comfort.