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Alfa Romeo Brera Now With Automatic



26th April, 2007

Alfa Romeo Brera

The Alfa Romeo Brera has gained an automatic transmission option, with the coupe now available with the all-new Alfa Romeo Q-Tronic automatic gearbox.

“Alfa Romeo has traditionally believed that sports cars could only have a manual gearbox as this was the only way that they could fully deliver their sporting prowess,” explains David Stone, General Manager for Alfa Romeo in Australia. “And, therefore, it has taken a self-shifting gearbox of exceptional ability to change minds in favour of an automatic. Thus the Q-Tronic gearbox minimises performance loss, indeed, at 240 km/h; the automatic Brera V6 has the same top speed as its manual counterpart. The ‘Sport’ mode enables automatic shifting with real aggression and decisiveness and, when the driver calls for it, there is full manual override available with Tiptronic style gear selection.”

“This new gearbox really enables the driver of the Brera 3.2 V6 to have the maximum driving excitement, plus the convenience of a self-shifting gearbox,” says Mr Stone.

Supplied by Asien, but adapted to its application in the Alfa Romeo Brera, the Q-Tronic gearbox is an all-new design and is available with the range-topping 3.2 litre JTS V6 engine. It enables the Brera to be driven in automatic mode with all the functions typical of an automatic transmission (parking, reverse, neutral and drive) or in sequential mode by simply moving the gear selector in a Tiptronic-style mode.

The ‘Q-Tronic’ name continues the Alfa Romeo tradition of using the letter ‘Q‘ to indicate the most sophisticated technology developed by the company: from the famous Quadrifoglio to the ‘Q4’ of the permanent four wheel drive. The term Tronic, on the other hand, adds that the system is controlled by a smart electronic control unit that governs optimum gear shifts.

The automatic transmission ensures more effective use of engine performance and greater comfort, particularly around town. The Q-Tronic backs these advantages with very comfortable gear shifts. The innovative system also allows those who do not wish to renounce the pleasure of a sporty drive to use the system in sequential manner in the same way as a gearbox with fixed ratios controlled in sequence: when the gearbox is pushed up (‘+’ sign), the gearbox shifts to the next gear up while when it is pushed down (‘-’ sign), the gearbox shifts down a gear. In this mode too, the system ensures the driver is able to maintain a sporty drive because, unlike sequential gearboxes offered by rival cars, the Q-Tronic does not force gear shifts at high engine speeds and the change may be made when the driver wishes.

The Q-Tronic also offers a Sport – Winter function that allows the driver to choose between two operating modes (Sport and Winter) in addition to the default setting. In detail, the Comfort mode active when the car is started with the lever in position D facilitates smooth gear shifts and balanced management of fuel consumption because gears are engaged at relatively low engine speeds. When the button beside the lever is pressed, the system changes to Sport mode. This lays the stress on performance and ensures a lively, entertaining drive because the gear shifts are set at higher engine speeds for a more sporty performance. When the same button is held down for longer, the system switches to Winter mode. This ensures maximum grip when the road surface is particularly hazardous, for example when the roads are snow-covered.

Designed by Giorgetto Giugiaro in collaboration with Alfa Romeo Centro Stile, and built by Pininfarina, the road-going Alfa Brera remains remarkably true to the stunning, multi-award winning coupe concept first shown at the 2002 Geneva Motor Show.

There are now three versions of the Alfa Brera, starting with a recommended retail price of $62,990 for the a Brera 2.2 litre JTS 136 kW and the Brera 3.2 litre JTS 191 kW V6 is now $87,990 in manual form and $90,990 with the Q-Tronic gearbox.

With specific power outputs of up to 62 kW/litre, and almost 90 per cent of maximum torque available at 2,000 rpm, both petrol JTS (Jet Thrust Stoichiometric) units boast outstanding performance, yet offer significant fuel savings and readily comply with the stringent Euro Stage 4 exhaust emission limits. Both these advanced direct injection engines feature continuously variable valve timing governing both inlet and exhaust camshafts.

Both Brera versions are fitted with 6-speed manual gearboxes, whilst the 3.2 V6 JTS is equipped with, as standard, with Alfa Romeo’s Q4 permanent four-wheel drive system. Q4 employs three differentials, with a self-locking Torsen C unit at the centre of the system which in normal conditions divides drive torque by a ratio of 57 per cent to the rear wheels and 43 per cent to the front.

Torque split between front and rear axles is constantly modulated by the central Torsen differential on the basis of available grip, with a bias towards the rear axle promoting handling characteristics appropriate to an Alfa Romeo coupe.

Sharing an all-new platform and components with the Alfa 159, albeit on a 175 mm shorter wheelbase optimised for appropriate handling responses, the chassis of the new Alfa Brera combines a proven high double wishbone front suspension system with a new, sophisticated multilink rear configuration. The combination generates smooth, accurate steering response, exceptional stability and controllability – even when close to adhesion limits, and first class body control allied to remarkable comfort over all road surface conditions.

The 2.2 JTS Alfa Brera’s braking system comprises powerful, 305 mm ventilated front discs and 278 mm solid discs at the rear. When powered by the 3.2 JTS V6, the Brera features larger, 330 mm ventilated discs with Brembo four piston monobloc aluminium callipers at the front, and 292 mm ventilated discs at the rear for even greater, fade-free stopping power.

The Alfa Brera offers direct, lively and responsive speed-sensitive power assisted steering, with a rack requiring 2.25 turns lock-to-lock. The turning circle is just 10.7 m between kerbs.

Both passive and active safety features are represented in the new Brera. In addition to seven standard equipment airbags, seatbelt pre-tensioners and a fully integrated Fire Prevention System, the new car comes with a range of state-of-the-art electronic braking, traction control and stability systems fitted as standard. ABS anti-lock braking is combined with Electronic Brakeforce Distribution over all four wheels and a sophisticated switchable Vehicle Dynamic Control unit enhances cornering stability. VDC is further augmented by ASR to limit wheelspin during acceleration, MSR to modulate braking torque when changing down through the gears and a unique Hill Holder function to facilitate smooth hill starts.

As with all Alfa Romeo models, driver orientated ergonomics, superior passenger comfort and lavish standard equipment levels are fundamental to the interior design of the new sports car. The Brera boasts a notably generous standard equipment specification, offering, even at entry level, many features only available as expensive options on rival models, including automatic Dual Zone climate control, full length Sky View glass roof, cruise control, a multi-function display and trip computer, fog lights, 18 inch spoked alloy wheels and an RDS 6-speaker stereo radio with CD player.

In addition, the Brera 3.2 JTS V6 is equipped with premium Pieno Fiore Sports Leather, electrically adjustable and heated front seats, Xenon headlights with headlight washers, Bose audio system and Bluetooth telephone connection system. The alloy wheels are also a different style for the V6.

Options are metallic paint and the SkyView panoramic sunroof and on the 2.2 JTS Brera, the electrically adjustable seats and Bluetooth system.

Other Alfa Romeo content: here.

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