The GTV TURBODELTA was produced only in ’79 and ’80 in just 400 specimens, all marked by the abbreviation on the booklet: “factory – Alfa Romeo type – Auto Delta 116 36” even if the main distinctive feature at first glance, certainly remains the iconic rainbow – colored band, located at the bottom of the side.
Alfa Romeo Alfetta GTV Turbodelta: in search of power
BY PAUL CLÉMENT-COLLINOCT 23, 2019
To replace the Giulia Sprint GT (the famous ‘Bertone coupé’), Alfa Romeo decided to turn to its recently introduced sedan, the Alfetta, to seek inspiration for a GT version which would become the 2-litre powered GTV (‘V’ for Veloce) in 1976. Designed by Giugiaro (who had created Ital Design, branching out on his own), this elegant coupé was a contrast to its predecessor: more rectangular, it was completely inline with the styling of the 1970s. Continuing with an ‘Italian’ engine, it gained better equilibrium of masses thanks to the adoption of a transaxle system. However, it lacked a bit of peps with only 130 horsepower from the 2 litre DOHC 4 cylindre. Alfa Romeo would undertake a more powerful solution: the Alfetta GTV Turbodelta.
Initially, the 116 project begun in 1967 was meant to include amongst its power-train options a V8 that ultimately did not make the development cut for the presentation of the GTV in 1974. At its launch, it only came in the 1.8 litre, 122 horsepower, version. The range would be modified in 1976 with the disappearance of the 1,800 cc, giving way to a 1,600 cc producing a measly 109 hp at the bottom of the range (an astonishing proposition that would only sell less than 2,000 units in total), and to a 122 hp 2.0 litre (which would increase to 130 hp in 1978). The car was satisfactory in performance with the two litre but more power would be necessary considering the quality of the GTV’s chassis and balance.
The Autodelta team did eventually find a solution that was quite innovative at the time: to stick a Turbo KKK on the 2 litre in order to gain power and torque. Thus they achieved gross power of 150 hp and torque of 23.5 mkg. The maximum speed, meanwhile, reached 205 km/h. Not bad. Originally, the idea was to develop this version, called the Turbodelta, as a kit to be sold through dealers. Finally, the cars were produced by Autodelta beginning in 1979, of which eventually 400 units were produced in order to comply with the group 4 homologation rules.
Competing with Porsche and Saab
When it came out, the GTV Turbodelta was not cheap: it cost 15 million lire, 50% more expensive than a standard GTV 2000. Its only two competitors equipped with a turbo at the time were called Porsche 924 Turbo and Saab 900 Turbo: the turbo phenomena was just starting and wouldn’t reach its peak before the mid 80s. Compared to a simple 2000, the Turbodelta differed mainly by its coloured side panels, as well as by its Autodelta badges. Side striping sometimes disappears over the years, so today sometimes only the Autodelta logo will tell you if you’re looking at one of the authentic and rare ones.
Alfetta GTV Turbodelta Group 4 is part of those cars that were transformed into Gr.4 by Autodelta, under the guidance of Carlo Chiti, as “experimental cars” that is, were modified to test their efficiency and to try new technical solutions, which would then be adopted in racing. The car has always been in rally configuration and some modifications on it are unique, precisely because of the experimentation to improve performances. Additional Intercooling by the tried and proven Air to Liquid method considerably reduces inlet air temperatures allowing for more boost and power safely.
Alfa Romeo have produced some beautiful and performance oriented vehicles over the past decades as illustrated below.