Alfa Romeo History

Alfa Romeo is one of the oldest manufacturers in the world, having been founded in 1906. Curiously, even though it is one of the instantly-recognised Italian brands, it was actually started by a French automobile firm, albeit in Naples, Italy. The company has a rich motorsports history, having competed and won several Grands Prix especially in the post- World War II era. Some of their drivers were the legends Juan Manuel Fangio and Tazio Nuvolari, as well Ferrari founder Enzo Ferrari. It is currently part of the Fiat Group, whose stable includes other marques like Fiat and Maserati.

The company is also well-known for its insistence on producing beautiful yet practical cars that have ‘soul’. Alfa Romeo has collaborated several times with Italy’s most celebrated design houses like Pininfarina and Bertone. A prominent feature in its cars is the Alfa badge that sits dead square in the centre of the front grille, usually necessitating shifting of the front license plate off to one side. Also well-known are the Alfa Romeo owners clubs that are found in many, many countries. An Alfa Romeo owner is known in Italy as an “Alfista”.

Alfa Romeo Models

The Alfa 156, introduced in 1997, was a significant commercial success, and won the coveted European ‘Car of the Year’ award in 1998. The title was won again by the Alfa 147 in 2001. Current models in New Zealand are: the 156’s successor the 159, which is a front-wheel drive midsize saloon launched in 2005; the 147, a hatchback that also won the ‘Car of the Year’ in 2001; the GT, a gorgeous, Bertone-designed coupe introduced in 2004; the Brera, a 2+2 coupe by Pininfarina in 2005; the Spider, a convertible version of the Brera that is also available exclusively with the 3.2 litre engine just like the Brera; and lastly the Mito, a sporty supermini introduced in 2008 and aimed squarely at the Mini Cooper

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