Alfa Romeo Alfasud 12

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Description: The Alfa Romeo Alfasud was a compact car made by Alfa Romeo of Italy from 1971 to 1989. It was considered one of Alfa Romeo's most successful models. A...

The Alfa Romeo Alfasud was a compact car made by Alfa Romeo of Italy from 1971 to 1989. It was considered one of Alfa Romeo's most successful models. A common nickname for the car is 'Sud.

It was built at a new factory at Pomigliano d'Arco in southern Italy, hence the car's name, Alfa Sud (Alfa South) and developed by Austrian Rudolf Hruschka.

It was shown at the Turin Motor Show in 1971 and was immediately praised by journalists for its styling (by Giorgetto Giugiaro of ItalDesign) and handling. It featured a 1,186 cc Flat-4 engine.

Despite its two-box shape, it did not initially have a hatchback. The first production Alfa Romeo Alfasud were four-door sedans, with a sporty two-door TI (Turismo Internazionale, or Touring International) model following at the end of 1973.

In 1974, Alfa Romeo launched a more luxurious model the Alfa Romeo Alfasud SE. The SE was replaced by the 'L' (Lusso) model in 1975. The Lusso model was produced until 1976, by then it was replaced with the new '5M' model, the first four-door Alfasud with a 5 speed gearbox. A three-door station wagon model called the Giardinetta was introduced for the 1975 model year.

In 1976, the Alfa Romeo Alfasud Sprint was launched. On the same platform, it was a lower, more angular sports model. The Sprint did feature a hatchback, a more powerful 1,286 cc 75 hp (56 kW) engine and a five-speed gearbox. The engine was later fitted into the standard Alfasuds, creating the 1300 TI models, and the five-speed gearbox found its way into the basic Alfasud, creating the 5M (5 Marce) model.

A 1,490 cc engine was soon made available to all body shapes, originally developing 85 hp (63 kW). By the end of the Alfa Romeo Alfasud's life, there was a tuned version of the engine developing 105 hp (78 kW) in the Green Cloverleaf model.

Despite strong engineering, Alfasud's (especially the early ones) had a strong reputation for suffering from rust, possibly due to sub-standard steel traded with the Soviet Union and/or the storage conditions of the bodies at the plant. The car was also imfamous for overheating easily in tropical climates. This was further worsened by the need for air conditioning systems in these environments.

A hatchback was added to the original shape in 1981. The Giardinetta was deleted from most markets around this time.

The Alfa Romeo Alfasud sedans were replaced by the Alfa Romeo Arna and Alfa Romeo 33 models in 1983. The 33 was an evolution of the Alfasud's floorpan and running gear, including minor suspension changes and a change from four-wheel disc brakes to rear drum brakes in an effort to reduce costs. The Alfa Romeo Alfasud Sprint was renamed into Alfa Sprint, this model was continued until 1989 by sharing the 33's running gear.

  • 1971-1983 1.2 L (1186 cc) Alfa H4
  • 1977-1983 1.3 L (1286 cc) Alfa H4, 75 hp (56 kW)
  • 1978-1983 1.4 L (1350 cc) Alfa H4
  • 1978-1983 1.5 L (1490 cc) Alfa H4, 85-105 hp (63-78 kW)
  • 1987-1989 1.7 L (1712 cc) Alfa H4, 118 hp

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