Breathe deep, it’s time to Sprint

Herald Sun - Motoring - - NEWS - RICHARD BLACK­BURN CARS­GUIDE ED­I­TOR richard.black­burn@news.com.au

AIM­ING to breathe life into its flag­ging Aus­tralian line-up, Alfa Romeo is re­viv­ing the Sprint name.

The lim­ited edi­tion Gi­uli­etta Sprint sits above the cheap­est model and brings a power in­crease as well as discreet wheels, badg­ing and em­broi­dery.

The Sprint is based on the Pro­gres­sion model but gets a tweaked version of the 1.4-litre turbo petrol en­gine.

Power in­creases from 88kW to 110kW, while torque is up from 215Nm to 250Nm.

The new model is $31,000 plus on-roads, squeez­ing in be­tween the $29,000 Pro­gres­sion and the $33,000 Dis­tinc­tive, which gets a slightly more pow­er­ful version of the same 1.4-litre. The $39,000 Quad­i­foglio fills the role of hot-hatch at the top of the line-up.

Alfa says the Sprint goes from rest to 100km/h in 8.2 sec­onds and sips just 5.7L/100km.

The orig­i­nal Gi­uli­etta Sprint, penned by leg­endary de­sign house Ber­tone, was re­leased in 1954. The 1.3-litre two-door was built from light­weight com­po­nents and weighed just 800kg. It was dis­con­tin­ued in 1965 but the name was re­vived for the Al­fa­sud in the 1970s.

Be­ing Ital­ian, the lim­ited edi­tion fo­cuses as much on fash­ion as me­chan­i­cal changes, with new 17-inch al­loy wheels, dif­fer­ent rear bumper, tinted win­dows and spe­cial badg­ing on the front fender.

There are also car­bon-ef­fect high­lights on the door pan­els and dash­board sur­round and leather-wrapped steer­ing wheel with red stitch­ing.

The seats are a mix of cloth and Al­can­tara, with more red stitch­ing and a “Sprint” logo em­broi­dered into the head­rests.

Alfa is in des­per­ate need of a boost in the lo­cal mar­ket, with sales down by more than a third this year.

The Ital­ian brand re­launched the Gi­uli­etta in Fe­bru­ary, dis­con­tin­u­ing the cheap­est model and lifting equip­ment lev­els in a bid to re­po­si­tion up-mar­ket.

The get-in price for the car went from $25,000 drive-away to $29,000 plus on-road costs — a rise of roughly $7000.

As a re­sult sales have al­most halved in the past 12 months to just 1126, down from 2093 in the first 10 months of last year.

At the same time, sales of the age­ing Mito have slowed to a trickle and the 4C is a niche ve­hi­cle, with just 141 sales this year. The im­mi­nent 4C Spi­der is also ex­pected to do small vol­umes, while the all-new BMW 3 Se­ries ri­val, the Gi­u­lia, isn’t due un­til late next year.

Re­vival meet­ing: Gi­uli­etta Sprint with late-1950s name­sake

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Australia

© PressReader. All rights reserved.