From 26 to 30 March, Essen (Germany) hosts the 'Techno Classica 2014', the show dedicated to collectors' cars and motorcycles, a constantly growing sector which pervades many areas of contemporary society, adding value to the modern automotive sector. The German show has become one of the most important in the world, and hosts approximately 1,200 exhibitors every year, plus more than 180,000 visitors and fans of historic cars, motorcycles, spare parts and sports cars.
To welcome enthusiasts and experts, Alfa Romeo is on hand with an eye-catching display area that stresses the most authentic passion for the motoring of today and yesteryear. In particular, visitors can see the new 'Quadrifoglio Verde' versions of the Giulietta and MiTo up close. These high-performance versions ensure essential style, compact and powerful engines, the right weight-to-power ratio and technical content "made in Alfa Romeo", dedicated to driving pleasure.
Five precious historic cars from the Alfa Romeo Museum's Collection set off the two new models: RL Targa Florio (1923), P2 Gran Premio (1925), 8C 2300 "tipo Monza" (1931), Giulietta Spider America prototype (1955) and Giulietta saloon (1955).
The Alfa Romeo team for the German show is completed by a TZ2 from 1965 displayed on the central stand of the organisation that pays homage to the "Zagato" studio and two examples from private clients in the Alfa Romeo display area: a Giulietta Sprint from 1954 and a Giulietta Turbodelta from 1983.
Precious exhibits from the Alfa Romeo Historic Collection
The five historic cars from the Alfa Romeo Museum that are on display in Essen create the ideal setting for the new Giulietta and MiTo Quadrifoglio Verdes. They assert the unique position of the brand in the international automotive scene, a heritage made up of cars and designers, races and engines, style and innovation that have marked the technological progress and sports events of the 20th century.
Spotlights are trained on the Alfa Romeo RL Targa Florio (1923) that on the one hand calls to mind Alfa Romeo's first victory at the legendary Targa Florio in Sicily, and on the other marks the birth of the Quadrifoglio Verde as the symbol inextricably linked to the sporting success of Alfa Romeo. As a good luck charm, a four-leaf clover ("quadrifoglio") was painted to counter the racing number 13 assigned to Ugo Sivocci on the bonnet of the car he drove to victory. The Museum's car has the original engine used in the competition in 1923: a 6 cylinder in line with 3154 cc and 95 HP, propelling the car to a top speed of 160 km/h.
At the side of the RL Targa Florio is an enthralling P2 Gran Premio (1925), the first Alfa Romeo with an 8-cylinder engine, the first designed by Vittorio Jano and the first Alfa Romeo to win a World Title in 1925 with Brilli-Peri. The P2's victories propelled Alfa Romeo into the pantheon of the most prestigious manufacturers, resulting in huge worldwide fame and inaugurating its epic sporting period, a prelude to the success of the 1930s. The P2's eight cylinders in line result in a displacement of 1987 cc and power of 155 HP (175 in the last version), taking the car to 225 km/h. The P2 made its début on the Cremona Circuit in 1924, a race which immediately demonstrated its superiority.
The stand also features a 8C 2300 "tipo Monza" (1931), a model designed by Vittorio Jano that boasts an 8 cylinder in line engine - two 4-cylinder blocks united by a central gear train - supercharged via a lobed compressor (two in the subsequent version). An expression of Alfa's technical superiority in the first half of the 1930s, this power unit allowed the Quadrifoglio cars to acquire countless victories: 24 Hours of Le Mans, Targa Florio, Mille Miglia, Spa-Francorchamps 24 Hours, international Grands Prix. The 8C 2300 won on its début at Monza - hence the name "tipo Monza" - and it is with just such a car that Tazio Nuvolari won the 1932 Monaco Grand Prix. The "8C" engine concludes its sporting career with success at the 1947 Mille Miglia (8C 2900B Lungo).
The public at Essen can also see two examples of the Giulietta model up close, in berlina and spider versions, both from 1955. In the wake of the 1900's success, in 1954 Alfa Romeo presented the Giulietta Sprint at the Turin Motor Show. This agile, compact coupé with superior performance marked Alfa Romeo's entry to the "small" category, with power units featuring displacement of less than 1,500 cubic centimetres.
Next year it's the turn of the saloon version, a car which even in this configuration doesn't sacrifice performance and top-flight driving dynamics: Alfa Romeo's "sports saloon" tradition is consolidated, having begun with the "1900", famous as "the family saloon that wins races". In the hands of champions, the Giulietta racks up the most coveted successes despite the fact that - as a slogan of the time sums it up - "even Mum drives it". It's the dawning of a new era, and Alfa Romeo is a forerunner in making "the pleasure of sports driving within the reach of all".
In October of the same year, it's the turn of the Giulietta Spider, affectionately termed "the young lady" by Giovanni Battista "Pinin" Farina, who designed its sleek lines, thus creating its great personality. Built on the Sprint's floor panel, but with reduced wheelbase, the Giulietta Spider meets with international success. It is welcomed enthusiastically in the United States and the specialist press defines it as "a splendid continuity of the Italian tradition of good taste that means you can pick out an Alfa Romeo from a thousand other cars at a glance". On show in Essen is the Giulietta Spider America prototype (1955) itself, one of the most beautiful cars ever made and a symbol of the fifties, boasting the same performance as the Sprint and the same level of technical excellence, to the extent of immediately making the spiders of rival manufacturers seem obsolete. The "fast" version of the spider reaches 180 km/h as well, an extremely high speed for a compact convertible of the 1950s.
The 'Quadrifoglio Verde' returns on the new Giulietta and MiTo
After débuting a few days ago at the Geneva Motor Show, the two new 'Quadrifoglio Verde' versions of the MiTo and Giulietta are back at the Essen 'Techno Classica 2014'. These two recently renewed models will continue to leave a mark in their respective market segments with a perfect alchemy of essential style, compact and powerful engines, the right power-to-weight ratio and technical content "made in Alfa Romeo", dedicated to driving pleasure. At the same time, the two new cars pay tribute to the legendary history of the 'Quadrifoglio Verde', the symbol that has identified the most high-performance vehicles made by Alfa Romeo since 1923, not only cars competing on the world's racetracks, but also certain special production versions.
To celebrate its 60th anniversary, Giulietta is also available in a new Quadrifoglio Verde version, a true expression of Alfa Romeo's DNA. With respect to the other versions in this range, the new Giulietta Quadrifoglio Verde is characterised by a decisive look and a strong personality. In addition, it features the exclusive engine inherited from the Alfa Romeo 4C supercar: the new 240 HP direct injection 1750 Turbo Petrol aluminium-block engine combined with 'Alfa TCT' 6-speed twin dry clutch transmission.
In particular, the Giulietta on show in Essen is characterised by the 'QV Line Pack', which can lend 'Quadrifoglio Verde' spirit to the Distinctive and Exclusive trim levels fitted with other engines in the range (with the exception of the 105 HP 1.4 Turbo Petrol and the 120 HP 1.4 Turbo Petrol LPG engines). The car is equipped with the new 175 HP 2.0 JTDM, associated with the Alfa TCT. This solution offers the typical advantages of a turbodiesel engine as well as the comfort that an automatic transmission alone can offer.
There's also the new MiTo Quadrifoglio Verde, the dynamic soul of the compact sports car that has won over European customers attentive to Italian style and to technical excellence aimed at providing driving satisfaction in complete safety. The car is equipped with the brand-new 1.4 MultiAir Turbo Petrol - combined with the state-of-the-art 'Alfa TCT' 6-speed twin dry clutch transmission - developing a maximum power of 170 HP at 5,500 rpm and a maximum torque of 230 Nm at 2,500 rpm (in Sport mode this rises to 250 Nm at 2,500 rpm). The pièce de résistance of this engine version is its exceptional weight-to-power ratio (6.7 kg/HP), which has always been one of the key factors behind the success of Alfa Romeo cars - in addition to a segment-leading specific power (124 HP/litre).