Alfa Romeo Alfasud Classic Cars for Sale
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Alfa Romeo Alfasud
The Alfa Romeo Alfasud was a compact car built by the Italian company Alfa Romeo between 1971 and 1989. The manufacturer was better known for its luxury sports cars, but the Alfasud nevertheless became a success. Three styles were produced, starting with the Series I being replaced by the Series II in 1977. The Series III Alfasud was launched in 1980, and was sold until Alfa Romeo discontinued the model in 1983.
The birth of the Alfa Romeo Alfasud
Rudolf Hruska, an Austrian engineer, was hired by Alfa Romeo in 1967 to oversee the Alfasud project. The car was to slot in below the more expensive models that formed the Alfa Romeo range at the time. In a departure for the marque, the Alfasud was also a front-wheel-drive car. Partly for political reasons, Alfa Romeo decided to build the Alfasud in southern Italy – "sud" is Italian for "south" – at a new factory near Naples. The engine Hruska chose for the Alfasud was a flat-four, water-cooled unit. Alfa Romeo realised that a front-mounted engine gave the best compromise between handling and interior space. The Alfasud was light when compared with similar cars, and was praised by journalists for its good handling. Alfa Romeo officially launched the model at the Turin Motor Show in 1971.
The Alfa Romeo Alfasud in production
The first Alfasuds appeared in 1971, and the car was an immediate success. The Alfasud's top speed of around 90 mph was good for the era, while Alfa Romeo managed to eke considerable performance from the 63-horsepower engine. The Alfasud was quickly introduced to other markets, across Europe and beyond. Among the most significant was the UK, where Alfa Romeo first sold it in 1973; the car later became a cult classic in Britain. Six years after its introduction, the original Alfasud was beginning to struggle against newer models. The Series II car had very similar looks to its predecessor, but offered a wider range of engines and new interior trim. The 1980 move to the Series III was more significant: Alfa Romeo gave the car a completely new look. It was not enough to save the Alfasud from seeming old-fashioned, and the final car was produced in 1983.
Special editions of the Alfa Romeo Alfasud
The first limited-edition Alfasud was the "ti" model of 1973, which could reach 100 mph thanks to its lightweight bodywork. However, perhaps the most fondly remembered special edition was the Sprint Coupé, a 1976 model with low-slung bodywork designed by Georgio Giugaro. The Alfasud also enjoyed success in motorsport: it was competitive in the British Saloon Car Championship and the Australian Bathurst 1000 endurance race in the early 1980s.