Image credits: © Alfa Romeo.

2004 Alfa Romeo 147

Metropolitan, sporty and elegant, the Alfa 147 is a true representation of Alfa Romeo's rich tradition of car manufacturing. With a bold profile, the 147 was fully refurbished with lavish accoutrements and slender, compact lines. The Alfa 147 featured a low grille and elongated headlamps. Renowned for its distinctiveness, the Alfa 147 is regarded as a masterpiece of both design and desirability. Uniquely ‘Alfa Romeo', the Alfa 147 is available with either three or five doors.

A small family vehicle produced by Italian automobile manufacturer Alfa Romeo, the Alfa Romeo 147 has been produced since 2000 and was voted European Car of the Year for 2001. Introduced at the 2000 Turin Motor Show as the replacement for the old 145/14 hatchbacks, the 147 was based on the running gear of the impressive, larger 156 saloon. The 147 is available with either the 1.6- or 2.0-liter inline four-cylinder petrol engines or a 1.9-liter diesel engine.

Designed and styled by Wolfgang Egger and Walter de'Silva, the Alfa 147 received great acclaim following its introduction and later was awarded various styling awards. In 2004 the whole 147 range was restyled with various exterior updates and a body style that was more in line with the new 159 and Brera models.

The only downside of the Alfa 147 was the sensitive steering, which made drivers feel less involved, though the handling was exceptional. Compared to its rivals, the Alfa 147 faced some criticism in the area that the vehicle had a clumsy gearshift, seats that were considered ‘unsupportive' and the lack of interior space.

In 2002 the hot hatch 147 GTA model was introduced with a 3.2 V6 engine that produced 250 Ps. The GTA model could reach a top speed of 153 mph (246 km/h) and had a widened body to accommodate the 225/45R17 tires. The European competitors of the GTA included the BMW 130i, Volkswagen Golf R32, AudiS3 and the Renault Megane RS.

At the end of 2004, the Alfa 147 was updated with a brand new front grille, near rear lights and headlights along with a new interior. Suspension was revamped along with a brand new more impressive diesel engine.

Two years later the Alfa Romeo launched a 1.9 JTD Q2 version which showcased a front Torsen limited slip differential. The Ducati Corse, a limited edition version was also featured at the 2007 Bologna Motor Show. With a front Torsen limited slip differential, the Ducati Corse came with 170 PS JTD diesel engine and Q2.

In 2009 the new Alfa 149, the successor of the 147 is scheduled to enter the ring.

By Jessica Donaldson

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