Alfa Romeo 8C Competizione for Sydney Motor Show
10th October, 2006
Just weeks after it is revealed at the Paris Motor Show, Alfa Romeo’s new 8C Competizione, will be displayed in Sydney at the Sydney Motor Show from (Thursday 26th October 2006).
“This isn’t the first time the Alfa Romeo 8C Competizione has been seen in Sydney,” says David Stone, General Manager for Alfa Romeo in Australia. “But back in 2004 it was a dream car. The Alfa Romeo 8C Competizione we will unveil at this year’s Sydney Motor Show is the production car, a real super car, available for a lucky few to buy. One thing that hasn’t changed, though is that the Alfa Romeo 8C Competizione is the epitome of everything Alfa Romeo. It is born from a genuine sporting heritage, designed with a passion for style and engineered with an obsession for performance.”
Based on the show car first seen in 2003 at the Frankfurt International Motor Show and in Australia at the 2004 Sydney International Motor Show, the Alfa Romeo 8C Competizione is inspired by Alfa Romeo’s past, projecting its brand values of technology and emotion into the future. The historical allusions begin with the name, recalling the sporting tradition of Alfa Romeo. The 8C code was used to identify cars (racing and on-road) of the Thirties and Forties equipped with the eight cylinder engine produced by the famous designer Vittorio Jano. The term ‘Competizione’ is intended as a homage to the ‘6C 2500 Competizione’, a sports coupé driven in 1950 by the duo, Fangio and Zanardi, in the Mille Miglia race.
The name, ‘8C Competizione’ is not an arbitrary invention but a mark of Alfa Romeo’s own sporting history. A legend that has arisen out of victories won on circuits throughout the world through the skill of men and their passion for racing, engine research and advanced technology and a reawakened taste for new challenges.
This link with the values of Alfa Romeo’s history adds extra poignancy to the term ‘Competizione’; when projected into the future it represents the sense of dynamism that distinguishes a brand engaged in a quest for excellence, increased competitiveness and technological innovation. This is the explanation behind the role of the new car, which is not a point of arrival but a point of departure designed to reaffirm Alfa Romeo’s place in the world: its ability to match a shape to driving satisfaction.
STYLING AND AERODYNAMICS: TRADITION AND INNOVATION
The solutions introduced on the Alfa 8C to achieve the highest levels of aerodynamic efficiency are not limited to the shape. Air wraps around the car and follows its natural course, unhindered by corners and unevenness. All the pillar and glass surfaces and profiles together with the door mirror shape and position have been optimised by mathematical modelling and also by wind tunnel tests and tests on actual models. Much attention has been devoted to the development of a ground effect that has allowed a negative Cz (lift coefficient) to help increase stability at high speed, as on racing cars.
The compact dimensions concentrate the aggression of a car designed to ensure maximum driving efficiency.
The car surfaces are sculpted and skilfully moulded. In detail, the body is given extra dynamism by the horizontal furrow cut into the side above the front wheel arch.
The big wheels and powerful musculature of the rear guards emphasise the model’s personality and strength without detracting from the lines that flow smoothly, almost as though to underscore the looks of the individual exterior details: the drop-shaped headlights embedded, gem-like, in the front guards, the led tail lights that are a blend of technology and rationalism, the spare door handle. The front end still displays the distinctive Alfa Romeo traits, with a new interpretation of the ‘whiskers’ and shield.
The innovative shape heralds the details and proportions of future Alfa Romeo cars but is also redolent with past thrills and historical allusions: the 33 Coupé Stradale, the Giulia TZ and many other names of motoring history. The Alfa Romeo style centre also developed new colours to emphasise the shape of the 8C Competizione that match the car’s sinuous shape while also suggesting modernity and a hint of technology.
4.7 LITRE V8 ENGINE: ITALIAN ‘BELCANTO’
The top engine performance figures may be summarised as a maximum power output of 450 bhp at 7,000 rpm, a peak torque of 470 Nm at 4,750 rpm and a top speed of 7,500 rpm.
The layout of internal fluid movements and the cylinder head cooling system is designed to achieve high duct permeability and effective intake load cooling to maximise volumetric efficiency and engine performance.
Harmonisation of the intake and exhaust geometry together with the introduction of continuous variable valve timing on the intake camshafts and optimisation of the combustion chamber and engine calibration means that 80% of torque is available from 2,000 rpm.
In sporty driving conditions over mixed routes, the power unit offers impressively short response times due to the high permeability of the intake duct and the low inertia of the flywheel-twin plate clutch system. The crankshaft with counterweights at 90°, is fully balanced through careful selection of connecting rods and pistons, ensuring the engine runs with low vibration levels.
The engine block and base assembly is in aluminium with 5 main bearings to ensure the structure is very rigid with little loss due to friction. The cylinder heads are also in aluminium alloy.
All the ducts (water, oil, secondary air) are cast directly into the engine to produce a system with great rigidity, low dimensions and guarantees of safe installation, i.e. great reliability.
Casting accessory systems into the main engine casting and the use of very rigid, thick-walled components ensures that little noise radiates from the engine and the components are very reliable.
Longitudinal engine packaging has also received particular attention, as evidenced by the introduction of a single chain timing system that guarantees exceptional lifetime dependability.
Special attention has also been devoted to the acoustic definition and tuning of the intake and exhaust in the quest for a sound timbre that enhances the car’s character and makes it unmistakable. The result is a full, distinctive sound, emphasised by the permeable intake system and an exhaust system with electronically controlled valves that enhance the car’s sound without infringing any type-approval or environmental constraints.
TRANSMISSION, ROBOTISED GEARBOX AND SELF-LOCKING DIFFERENTIAL
The engine-gearbox unit is designed in accordance with a transaxle configuration that ensures the weight distribution is very effective for vehicle handling. Due to the small axial engine size and the integration with frame components from the drawing board, the entire power unit can be housed well back to ensure the required sporty configuration.
The 6–speed gearbox with computerised speed selection by means of levers behind the steering wheel is designed to ensure ultra-slick gear shifts and may be used in Manual-Normal; Manual-Sport; Automatic-Normal; Automatic-Sport and Ice modes. The self-locking differential allows acceleration and stability to be managed with extraordinary efficiency in all situations.
SUSPENSION, WHEELS AND BRAKING SYSTEM
The braking system offers perforated, ventilated discs with aluminium brake callipers to ensure prompt, effective braking even with heavy use. To ensure the car stays glued to the road, it is fitted with 20” tyres specially developed to ensure outstanding performance: 245/35 at the front and 285/35 at the rear, fitted on perforated rims in fluid moulded aluminium to ensure lightness and maximum brake ventilation efficiency.
To ensure the car is entertaining and safe in any driving condition, the 8C Competizione comes with the latest Alfa Romeo VDC, an advanced stability and traction control system to ensure the driver feels at one with his car.
RIGID, LIGHT STRUCTURE
INTERIORS: PERSONALITY AND TECHNOLOGY
Everything is designed and produced to ensure the greatest user-friendliness for the driver and whoever is lucky enough to share the thrill: relaxed driving position, intuitive instruments that are always visible, robotised gear levers secured to the steering column and easy to reach without removing your hands from the sporty steering wheel.
The carefully-crafted and detailed finish naturally allows the car to be customised to the driver’s taste and a choice of different interior environments is available.
THE ABSOLUTE SATISFACTION OF A SPORTY DRIVE
The new Alfa 8C Competizione is self-avowedly an Alfa in its uncompromising sense of control and driving satisfaction. Driving comfort and dynamic behaviour have always been specific features of Alfa Romeo cars: on this car, they amount to a real strength.
ALFA 8C COMPETIZIONE: A LEGENDARY NAME FOR A UNIQUE CAR
The key to Alfa Romeo’s engineering prominence was the 8 cylinder engine developed during the first half of the Twenties by a young engineer named Vittorio Jano. His original brief was to revise the 6 cylinder engine to meet the needs of standard production model buyers and also to stand up to the competition offered by rival manufacturers in races.
The first 8C was tested in 1923, with the P1, already fitted with a compressor and twin spark ignition, and then the P2. Its debut could not have gone better: in 1925 the Alfa Romeo P2 won first place in the first World Championship. The positive effects of these innovations were not restricted to the engines of production cars but the glory of this result was included in the ‘Alfa Romeo – Milan’ badge in the form of the laurel crown that was to adorn all Alfa Romeo cars from that day on.
At the beginning of the Thirties, the powerfully reliable 8 cylinder engines – now in light alloy – purred like cats under the bonnets of stylish cabriolets and coupes (whose bodies were built by the Milanese Zagato and Castagna) and roared like lions in the dust of races such as the Mille Miglia and Targa Florio, that added to the impressive list of victories. The thrilling wins achieved by the Alfa Romeo 8C in 1931, 1932, 1933 and 1934 at Le Mans deserve special attention (the car was later called the ‘Le Mans’ in the wake of these great successes).
The 8 cylinder engine achieved its technical peak in the Alfa Romeo Tipo B engine, known as the ‘P3’ to highlight its technological relationship with the P2. Campari, Nuvolari, Caracciola, Borzacchini, Marinoni, Guidotti and Fagioli were just some of the champions who owed their successes to the 1932 and 1934 versions of the 8C engine in the face of the challenges posed by the most prestigious circuits in the world.
The continual progress and consistent technical research culminated in the 8C 2900, the unbeaten star of racing from the Mille Miglia to the Le Mans 24 hour. The car, an extremely stylish 8C with its body built by Touring especially for Le Mans, was driven peerlessly by its driver Biondetti. This engine was exceptionally long-lived: an 8C 2900 B driven by Biondetti and Romano won the Mille Miglia again in 1947, proving yet again and over an exceptionally arduous route, that Alfa Romeo engines were possessed of truly extraordinary power and reliability.
World War II only halted the victorious progress of the 158 for a short period. The legendary ‘Alfetta’, a distillate of superlative automotive engineering qualities, first saw the light in 1946. In the words of Juan Manuel Fangio, driving this 8 cylinder car was like ‘holding the bow of a Stradivarius in your hands’. First the 158 and later the 159 brought Alfa Romeo laurels in the first two modern Formula 1 world championships, with Nino Farina in 1950 and with Fangio in 1951.
After the Formula 1 victories, Alfa Romeo decided to withdraw from racing to
devote itself to the demands put on it by its latest arrival, the 1900 and later
the Giulietta range. The year 1967 saw the return of the powerful 8 cylinder engine
fitted to racing 33 models and responsible for the attractive, resolute shape of the
road version of the 33. This car also enjoyed a very encouraging racing debut, with
Teodoro Zeccoli taking top position on the winners’ podium after the uphill race
in Fleron, Belgium, in a 33/2 Sport Prototype. Other 33 cars met with
considerable success on tracks and circuits throughout the world during the
Seventies. This technical perfection was transferred to standard production cars
such as the Montreal, a car of prestige and performance, whose 8 cylinder
engine was derived from the unit fitted to the 33 models used for racing. In
1977, the 8 cylinder engine was fitted to a limited series of the Alfetta GTV,
produced by Autodelta which thus continued the sporting tradition applied to
engine production. Now the legendary heart of that engine comes back to beat under the bonnet
of the new Alfa 8C Competizione.
After the Formula 1 victories, Alfa Romeo decided to withdraw from racing to devote itself to the demands put on it by its latest arrival, the 1900 and later the Giulietta range. The year 1967 saw the return of the powerful 8 cylinder engine fitted to racing 33 models and responsible for the attractive, resolute shape of the road version of the 33. This car also enjoyed a very encouraging racing debut, with Teodoro Zeccoli taking top position on the winners’ podium after the uphill race in Fleron, Belgium, in a 33/2 Sport Prototype.
Other 33 cars met with considerable success on tracks and circuits throughout the world during the Seventies. This technical perfection was transferred to standard production cars such as the Montreal, a car of prestige and performance, whose 8 cylinder engine was derived from the unit fitted to the 33 models used for racing. In 1977, the 8 cylinder engine was fitted to a limited series of the Alfetta GTV, produced by Autodelta which thus continued the sporting tradition applied to engine production.
Now the legendary heart of that engine comes back to beat under the bonnet of the new Alfa 8C Competizione.
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