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The long history of Alfa Romeo is full of wonderful technical and engineering prowess, beautiful Italian design, racing pedigree and enthusiastic, passionate owners. It’s also filled with crazy external challenges (see WW2), Italian politics, recurring financial crises ( that ultimately led to the sale to Fiat), and questionable management decisions under Alfa, FCA and we’ll see under Stellantis.

The biggest and ongoing fail was and is a lack of quality dealer support and sufficient, long term brand and marketing support in the US.

Alfa could have been Porsche, or BMW, or Audi. FCA let Ferrari keep Alfa down, and tried to make Fiats into Alfas. The analogy to Audi I resonate with, Audi sold less than 10,000 cars annually in the US before the A4. Hyundai was a joke but kept at it. Land Rover/Jaguar waxes and wanes. Mazda continues to survive.

I just sold my Stelvio. Loved it, sold it once before and bought it back. Will probably buy a Guilia or Stelvio Quad before the model is terminated. Still have the 4C (an amazing car), the GTV6 (technical tour de force when the transaxle chassis was first introduced in the early 1970’s and then later fitted with the Busso v6), the iconic ‘74 Spider which captures the essence of the 1960’s, and the ‘88 Milano for now my daily driver. Ripping down a back road in any of these very different cars reminds me of the Alfa design and heritage in the new cars.

Don’t know if Alfa will survive the next round, maybe it will. I waited a long time between the 164 and 4C. Probably be in the dirt by the next evolution. My brother and I will go to the Alfa Museum and see the awesome heritage next year. Stellantis hasn’t taken that yet. Alfa’s heritage towers over Maserati, but it seems that Maserati is the flagship Italian brand that Stellantis is taking forward for the US.

Stellantis please don’t turn it into the joke that Lancia became under FCA.
 

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So... I was unfamiliar with Maserati,

Until the Chrysler TC, by Maserati.


When it was relaunched as this super sport lux brand.... I thought WTF? Why? Eew. :ROFLMAO:

Educated myself since and have a lot of respect for the new Masers. 100% agree with @Peter A though, Alfa should be placed above or at least equal but different Maser. Let Maser take Benz/Audi/BMW while Alfa takes Porsche/ BMW M division.

Chrysler takes Tesla, Lexus and the rest.

Jeep and the other brands ... Stellantis wins the industry for a little while.

I genuinely think with right product planning and badge engineering off the Giorgio platform it can be done. Just gotta downsize it into a RWD/AWD economy car/hot hatch.

That market is a lot bigger then realized, no one really makes that car and hasn't for a long, long time... The market for affordable, practical, RWD family cars might be gigantic. Small economical ones. Downsize the Giorgio and own the market for a cycle.

I do have an amount of hope that the STLArge platform will basically be this, and IF the next Stelvio has the acceleration of the top batch of current EVs and a platform as good or better then the current one...


I may pee myself with joy. The sequel of glee will be heard around the world. Then.. probably resume arguing that Alfa is better then any brand.
 

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2022 Veloce Ocra GT with Active Assist Plus
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No intent to upset or offend anyone, not even really talking about people, talking about concepts the people and even execution are tangential. Understand the concept first.... Then deal with the rest is where I come from. Best way to avoid missing the forest for the trees is to not get wrapped up in the specifics till the generality is understood.

Make more money when you sell more cars. I get all the business school talk about profit, and alot more it isn't worth going into. Dad owns an Auto shop. Mom wasn't a homemaker, she was a corporate CFO who led international expansion of her company. I get that side to a degree.

If you don't think Alfa makes a better vehicle than Porsche in every way other then luxury, you don't have enough belief in the product. Actions speak louder than words, understanding given for when words are all there is and they won't be listened to. Regardless, justifying BS doesn't make it ok. The BS might be required, might be non negotiable. It's still BS and I won't call it anything else, even as I do it when required. No argument this isn't the friendliest way of living.

Only thing I care about in this regard is my personal ability to have really, really enjoyable cars to drive and it pisses me off deeply I see it going back to how it was before this Stelvio. Or anyone justifying it, consumers should not just shut up and be grateful for what they can get. Justifications and conjecture work both ways, the proof is in the pudding and so far the only proof here is Stellantis ain't selling many Alfa's despite it being the best vehicle in it's class, and instead of believing in thier product and doubling down they are dumping on it as a corporation.

Before the Stelvio I drove a Jetta. Pretty base one.

Not because I couldn't afford anything else, or because it was anything other then it was bland BS that was cheap to own, reliable enough, practical and at least had a manual transmission, wasn't totally gutless and went around corners competently. I won't pay over $40k on something that won't be enjoyed for more then a few months. Before the Stelvio .. there wasn't a car on the market the fit that description, even above $40k, the fun ones weren't practical. Drove them all.. many times. I will fight to the pain to keep from having to do that again. Unfortunately all I can do is type BS, so I do that. Maybe it will resonate and things will change, probably it won't. Don't care one way or the other, all I can do is determine what I do. Other's reactions are up to them.

Yeah Alfa has been a **** show for a while, before FCA, unfortunately outside of studying it to not repeat the mistakes of it, I don't believe the past has to define the future or present. That's more a result of not learning then predetermination. (This is why I bought an Alfa in 2018.... Marchionne for his doubtless many failings seemed to understand that when setting up this generation of Alfa's. These cars aren't built like the old ones, they did/do not determine it's reliability.)

The only thing I like about auto repair ... Is the repair part. Which I love.

Making things better then they were before is really cool. Letting them stay the same and giving reasons for it is against my personality. It isn't anything personal, I am as infuriating in real life for sure. Maybe worse actually, tend to raise my voice without realizing it and get really deep, my wife calls it barking. Trying to stop.. but seriously.... You should meet the guys I learned this from ... Could be worse.


I'll try to let it lay with this.

Even Toyota is pushing the fun to drive factor now. Maybe because that actually matters to people as much as reliability. The issue is there are a lot of people like me who have checked out because they don't believe anything is both reliable and fun to drive.

Alfa has that.. already, they do t have to tease the upcoming models that will be that way like Toyota.

They have it.

They should use it.

10 year warranty. Sales through the roof.

Without.... also ran to Dodge.
One point about Alfa vs. Porsche. It’s kinda hard to compare the two since the only segment overlap is with the Stelvio vs. Macan.

Porsche products are at a different price point and compete in completely different segments.They have phenomenal global brand awareness, probably on par with Jeep if we’re being honest. Alfa has more untapped potential and upside than any brand out there. Potential doesn’t pay the bills, unfortunately.

On a related note, I’m probably one of very few people who ever switched from a Macan to a Stelvio. And yes, the Stelvio drives much better, tracks straighter, has quicker steering, better chassis balance, arguably more sophisticated AWD, has a better base engine, and does it for a lot less money.

Of course, nothing I’m saying is news to Stelvio owners on this forum. If only the general driving public knew what we know.
 

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I know, that's part of my argument which I think you agree with.

The Stelvio and Giulia should be the volume models, really...they should be the affordable Alfas.

Then there should be all kinds of niche sports cars. Boxster and 911 embarrassers. Focused, limited edition track models dropping multiple times a year.

Crazy, expensive and with every customization known to man. Targa, convertible... All of it.

The world would literally be a more beautiful place if Alfa had as many models as Porsche. Probably happier if more people drove them too. I bet even Alfisti would argue less!
 

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Not trying to be insulting but I won't address the reverse Haldex remarks.

That is so wrong.. it isn't worth addressing. That like saying a light bulb is reverse engineered fire. No. While they do both shine light and one gave the idea for the other, but they aren't the same. Not at all.

However I'll address the actual point. Again not trying to be jerk, it just isn't practical to conduct an engineering class here and I'm tired of trying/don't have the time today.

#1 It is fastest responding part time AWD system in the industry with full power shift avalible in 100-200ms, BMW takes 200-300ms. Audi takes 200 milliseconds but only in the "ultra" version of quattro, the others are alot slower. Alfa's system is better then Haldex, faster, lighter, more tolerant of internal heat.. better in every way but how it's marketed. It is very similar to BMWs system as it uses the same basic center differential, however Alfa modified and patented that differential making it faster and lighter then what BMW has avalible to them.

(BTW, Alfa doesn't brag about it like others, but yes the Alfa system is fully predictive with as much forward thinking reaction time as anyone. )

#2 Alfa has a different gear ratio between the front and rear axles. The front axle has a lower ratio. This allows Alfa to do what no other part time AWD system (sorta we'll get to that) does.... Have a low range similar to a "real 4x4".

More than shifting percentages of power front or rear or even to individual wheels having a lower gear avalible allows the car to gain traction in bad situations like a mountain goat. BMW, Audi, the rest... They don't even play on this field.

My name is literal BTW, I off-road my Stelvio regularly, pretty much daily for years. I would have broken a BMW or Audi by now and a non-full time 4x4 Jeep would get stuck where the Alfa doesn't
.. the Alfa is basically new still and I drive it places other people only take dune buggies and off road with a local club where everyone else has full time systems and dedicated tires. If the Stelvio had the same ground clearance and articulation as a Grand Cherokee I would take it anywhere, as-is....on 20" street tires. It's that good. Yeah it would be smart to have real tires off road, but it's so much fun to blow people's heads up this way.

The car is limited by overhang, ground clearance and other angles, never traction.

(Reason I say sorta.. Toyota's newest AWD system in the Gazoo Racing models use axle ratios like Alfa but not for off road traction though I suspect those cars will do very well on the rally circuit because of the axles.)


#3 Magneti Marelli (now just Marelli). The company that handled all the algorithms that make up the fuzzy logic of Alfa's AWD system. The most winning company to ever exist in the rally racing world, their algorithms are so good the governing body made traction control illegal. Nobody could/can compete with Magneti, the Magneti equipped cars won then people waited a half hour for the next car, not really exaggerating.

Alfa has an ancient relationship with Magneti Marelli and got some of the algorithms... No one else gets them. They are amazing and still the best in the world. Digital cheat code for traction other companies can't match, and Jeep doesn't use, opting for their own more off-road focused algorithms. Magneti's aren't for rock hopping and mud bogging, they are for going fast with compromised traction.

Magneti.. is Ferrari's secret sauce that keeps them ahead of Porsche. Invented the sequential gearbox, VW pays royalties to make their DSG. There isn't a company that builds cars that doesn't pay patent royalties to Magneti. Magneti Marelli is the auto industry's most unknown 600lb gorilla and nobody has a better relationship with them then Ferrari/Alfa Romeo/FIAT. Up till 2018 when they sold to Calsonic Kansei, Magneti was owned by FCA/Stellantis. However till Alfa, they were used for Ferrari and F1, rally racing, and other motorsports primarily. Involved in F1 since 1920, and racing before F1 existed, was creating race technology before Ferdinand Porsche made his own cars. IMO the REAL reason VW wanted to buy Alfa so bad was to get an inside track to Magneti. Magneti makes Audi look like a child. (also why Alfa was never under threat of actually being sold to VW, if VW got an inside line to Magneti that would end Ferrari's advantage over Lamborghini. End.)




#3 The components are overbuilt in a ridiculous way. The base has the same stuff as the Quad, and the Quad stuff is overbuilt even for that. Our system can take something like 5000 newton meters (over 3000 ft/lb) of torque from the factory. Other companies make multiple AWD systems some better then others... Alfa makes one and it's the best they can, period.

#4 Electric brakes. They operate faster and with finer control then what is on most other vehicle's still. An Alfa without LSD does arguably as well as other cars with. Because of the brakes.

I could go on but have work and think this covers it.

Alfa's AWD is in a class of its own and it's a crime Alfa doesn't brag about it because they aren't allowed to show up Jeep. Automotive version of a kid who gets straight A's but can't talk about it at home because their sibling fights for passing grades and the parents don't want them to feel stupid.
 

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Maybe you could edify some of us laymen, I think of Haldex, as a clutch pack in front of the rear diff, they were first just hydraulic, but now use more electronics to engage faster, and engages the pinion on the rear diff, (which may or may not have lsd) and most of the time is FWD, with little RWD bias, they used to be completely reactive. (illustration on far right for example)

Quatro in my limited understanding is just a mechanical torsen center diff, usually right in front of the prop shaft which may or may not be equipped with a LSD in the rear diff or front. It can be weighted slightly, and is typically RWD biased a bit.

Complicating the comparison a bit, is that any front or rear diff could have mechanical or electrical LSD, brake Anti spin, or torque vectoring added to the rear differential.

The Stelvio and BMW 5 is more like the center image below, and can be 100% rear biased, until the TC is engaged.
Here's a pic of our transfer case for reference.

Font Line Engineering Parallel Auto part
Toy Lego Military robot Machine Engineering
 

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I couldn't find anything newer online unfortunately so there is no analysis of the current Alfa system, but, it does cover BMW's system and Audi's which shows how very, very different they are. Just know Alfa's is improved from BMW.

If you are more interested in the variation between part-time FWD based AWD and RWD based it also covers that.. it's amazingly complete actually. Great report.


....anyone really interested in the meat of this, here's an analysis paid for by the Canadian gov. that covers it far better while being easier to read/understand if you print it out.

Audi doesn't make a RWD car. They basically invented FWD (it was first introduced by one of the 4 companies that went on to form Audi) it is a massive part of their DNA. While the system can send more to the rear then the front - depending on the system - they are FWD. The same car, sold without AWD is FWD, it's a FWD AWD even if it can send 60% to the rear. There are always exceptions, but not many here. Ever. True Audi has cars that aren't available except as AWD and they have a power bias to the rear, this study covers that for the most part. It came out before the Ultra system but mentions it as Audi had announced it. The Ultra system isn't that different and it's still based on the Quattro architecture which is originally FWD.

Warning: it's 250 something pages.

Also.. not insulting Haldex. It's a good system just very different.
 

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It just works so seamlessly together. It’s more than just the AWD, it’s the CF driveshaft, the innovation in the suspension design. The integration of the ZF. It all works so well. Yeah the components deliver capability but the way it was engineered together, awesome.
 

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I think Alfa used a Haldex system in the AWD 164 Q4, which of course is FWD architecture. They also introduced AWD into their DTM winning 155/56 cars in the mid-1990’s so were not starting from scratch in understanding how to build an AWD car. The overall innovation and technology in the DTM cars was F1 level. That AWD technology was from Lancia which of course was FCA and the Lancia Delta Integrale was a WRC winner. Audi had similar experience building from their racing programs for the WRC championship cars.

it’s pretty amazing what FCA built when given the opportunity and accessing Ferrari engineering expertise as well. The development time was really short although that ended up with balky software especially in the v6 turbo cars. If it was a Ferrari or a new Porsche nobody would care, they would just fix it. The Multi-Air technology is pretty cool as well in the 2.0 motors.
 

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So... I was unfamiliar with Maserati,

Until the Chrysler TC, by Maserati.


When it was relaunched as this super sport lux brand.... I thought WTF? Why? Eew. :ROFLMAO:

Educated myself since and have a lot of respect for the new Masers. 100% agree with @Peter A though, Alfa should be placed above or at least equal but different Maser. Let Maser take Benz/Audi/BMW while Alfa takes Porsche/ BMW M division.

Chrysler takes Tesla, Lexus and the rest.

Jeep and the other brands ... Stellantis wins the industry for a little while.

I genuinely think with right product planning and badge engineering off the Giorgio platform it can be done. Just gotta downsize it into a RWD/AWD economy car/hot hatch.

That market is a lot bigger then realized, no one really makes that car and hasn't for a long, long time... The market for affordable, practical, RWD family cars might be gigantic. Small economical ones. Downsize the Giorgio and own the market for a cycle.

I do have an amount of hope that the STLArge platform will basically be this, and IF the next Stelvio has the acceleration of the top batch of current EVs and a platform as good or better then the current one...


I may pee myself with joy. The sequel of glee will be heard around the world. Then.. probably resume arguing that Alfa is better then any brand.
I should be clear that Maserati has built some crazy beautiful and successful racing and road cars. The recently ended GT that spawned the Alfa 8C is a gorgeous car. A GT car. Have to say that for me, there are a lot of Maserati buyers who just want a luxury brand. Maybe I am wrong.

My comment on Alfa’s heritage over Maserati is based on the history over a very long time across many distinct era building road and racing Cars, and doing an amazing number of one-offs and specials like the Montreal, the SZ, TZ, 8c and yes the 4C. Can’t really count the 33 Stradale, they only made 20. LOL
 

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I should be clear that Maserati has built some crazy beautiful and successful racing and road cars. The recently ended GT that spawned the Alfa 8C is a gorgeous car. A GT car. Have to say that for me, there are a lot of Maserati buyers who just want a luxury brand. Maybe I am wrong.

My comment on Alfa’s heritage over Maserati is based on the history over a very long time across many distinct era building road and racing Cars, and doing an amazing number of one-offs and specials like the Montreal, the SZ, TZ, 8c and yes the 4C. Can’t really count the 33 Stradale, they only made 20. LOL
quick link for anyone interested in seeing some Alfa Romeo 8C / 4C / GTA / Montreal / Giulietta / Zagato - Davide Cironi Drive Experience - YouTube
 

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Magneti Marelli is who programed the systems and integrated the components. Most of the components themselves are from Magna Steyr/Magna International. Not all though.

Some of the early software issues were due to Magneti not altering the codes as much as required for grocery duty I believe. Things like smoothness aren't concerns in a focused racer.. and there is more race DNA in the Stelvio then the rest of the SUV market combined IMO.
 
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