Cabriolet version of Alfa Romeo GT is the car the firm should have built

Article by Christian Andrei, on April 24, 2011

The unveiling of Bertone’s cabriolet version of the Alfa Romeo GT coupe has been anticipated for nearly a decade. But it was only on April 6 at Bertone's first media event since its reorganization in late 2009 that the public finally got a view of the car that reminds us of what Bertone and Alfa could have achieved together. In 2003, Italian design house Bertone built this four-seat softtop concept for Alfa Romeo, Fiat's sporty subsidiary.

Bertone came up with the design and engineering of the Alfa GT coupe. Bertone took the front end of the Alfa 147 and combined it with the central portion and front seats of the 156 and the 159 wagon's reclining rear seats and rear end.

It wanted its carmaking arm, Carrozzeria Bertone, to build the GT coupe but Fiat instead chose to produce it at its Pomigliano, Italy plant, together with the 147 and 159. Bertone then made attempts to persuade Fiat to allow it to build the GT cabriolet.

Lilli Bertone, the chairman and widow of Nuccio Bertone, said that former Alfa CEO Daniele Bandiera had said that “they loved the car” and that Bertone will build it. But instead, Alfa chose to produce the Alfa Spider, which was based on the Brera coupe.

This loss prompted Carrozzeria Bertone to later seek bankruptcy protection. In late 2009, it was sold to Fiat, which changed its name to Officine Automobilistiche Grugliasco. Nonetheless, Bertone's design business continues to exist.

The new Alfa Romeo GT is not only a sporty car, but is also an elegant and comfortable vehicle. After all, the new Alfa Romeo GT is designed to provide a performance coupe-like pleasure without sacrificing comfort and practicality. In fact, the new Alfa Romeo GT offers up to 320 dm3 of practical cargo space. Of course, the sportiness of the Alfa Romeo GT is not limited to its exterior, but is also well-conveyed inside. For instance, the car features functional and easy-to-read, even at night, instruments.

The GT employs red lighting since this is easy for the eyes to focus on while adjusting from the darkness of the road to the bright dashboard. Moreover, the vehicle has a multifunction display that allows easy access to a number of menus -- each having its own submenus – that connects the driver to a large range of functions and the trip computer.

The center of the dashboard is home to all controls for the automatic dual zone climate control system and to a high-quality built-in radio – as complemented by a CD, a player or an optional MP3 player -- as an option -- designed and built for the passenger compartment.

This offers high quality audio from its eight speakers with a power output of 4x40 Watts. In addition, the new Alfa Romeo GT is specified with steering wheel, pedals and gearbox all designed for optimal vehicle control.

Furthermore, the Alfa Romeo GT features an array of sophisticated devices and systems like Xenon headlights, VDC, and up to six airbags (for safety); Cruise Control (for convenient driving); 16- and 17-inch alloy wheels (for personalization); and CONNECT Nav+ with radio and phone controls on the steering wheel, CD-changerand Bose Hi-Fi system (for infotainment). Customers could choose from two available interior specifications: a classic sports specification (with black facia and panels) and a brighter and more stylish specification (a two-tone black on grey color scheme).

The seats have been made specific to each version with both the facia and door panel trims featuring a special satin effect. Moreover, the pleasant-to-touch trims blend seamlessly with the extensive grosgrain surfaces. Alfa Romeo launched on the GT the new Alfatex, a new patented hi-tech cloth used on the seats and door panels. Alfatex is available in grey and black.

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