Alfa Romeo 33

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This article is about the family car in 1980s. For the sports car, see Alfa Romeo 33 Stradale. For the racing car, see Alfa Romeo Tipo 33.
Alfa Romeo 33
Alfa Romeo 33 1.3 VL 1991.jpg
Overview
Manufacturer Alfa Romeo
Production 1983–1995
Assembly Pomigliano d'Arco, Italy[1]
Designer Ermanno Cressoni (Centro Stile Alfa Romeo)[2]
Pininfarina (estate)
Body and chassis
Class Small family car
Body style 5-door hatchback
5-door station wagon
Layout Front-engine, front-wheel-drive / four-wheel-drive
Related Alfa Romeo Alfasud
Alfa Romeo Sprint
Powertrain
Engine 1.2 Flat-4 H4 (petrol)
1.3 Flat-4 H4 (petrol)
1.4 Flat-4 H4 (petrol)
1.5 Flat-4 H4 (petrol)
1.7 Flat-4 H4 (petrol)
1.8 L HRT 392 I3 (VM) (diesel)[3]
Dimensions
Wheelbase 2,475 mm (97.4 in)
2,470 mm (97.2 in) (4x4)[3]
Length 4,075 mm (160.4 in)
Width 1,615 mm (63.6 in)
Height 1,350–1,375 mm (53.1–54.1 in)
Curb weight 890–1,070 kg (1,960–2,360 lb)
Chronology
Predecessor Alfa Romeo Alfasud
Successor Alfa Romeo 145/146

The Alfa Romeo 33 (Type 905 and 907) is a small family car produced by the Italian automaker Alfa Romeo between 1983 and 1995. It was essentially an evolution of its predecessor, the Alfasud, which was based on the same floorplan, chassis and mechanicals albeit with some minor modifications. The Nissan-based Alfa Romeo Arna was launched shortly after, offering a similar size car but at a lower cost.

The 33 has a unique place in the Alfa Romeo history, as nearly 1 million of these cars were produced internationally.[citation needed] During its 11 year lifespan the 33 saw a light facelift in 1986 and a significant restyle in 1989. The 33 was discontinued in 1994 and replaced by the Alfa Romeo 145 and 146, which used the same boxer engines but built around an entirely new platform based on the Fiat Tipo.

First series (1983–1986)[edit]

Initially known as the Alfa 33 (Type 905), the 5-door hatchback was launched in 1983 and a station wagon version (initially badged Giardinetta, later badged SportWagon) was introduced the following year at the same time as a four-wheel drive version of the hatchback. The hatchback was styled by Ermanno Cressoni at the Centro Stile Alfa Romeo,[4] while the station wagon was designed by Pininfarina. Unlike the Alfasud, 3-door or coupe versions were not available.

It carried over the 1186cc, 1350cc and 1490cc boxer Engines from the Alfasud along with its 5-speed gearbox. Top of the range was either the luxurious Gold Cloverleaf or sporting Green Cloverleaf models.

The 33 became renowned for its nimble handling and powerful boxer engines, but also became equally well known for its unreliable electronics and tendencies to rust (a frequent complaint on Italian cars in general at the time). Another issue was its braking and increased unsprung weight — the Alfasud's inboard front disc brakes (mounted on the gearbox) had been moved to the more common outboard discs (mounted on the wheel hubs). The rear discs of the Sud's four-wheel disc arrangement had also been replaced with drums.

The car featured numerous innovations for the company, including an instrument binnacle that moved up and down with the adjustable steering wheel, and a plastic bonnet. The UK launch promoted the sleek design,[5] and the Daily Mail noted its low drag coefficient of 0.36,[6] and very impressive in 1983 with only bigger cars such as the Ford Sierra and Audi 100 able to better it.

Engines[edit]

Engine Type Displacement Fuel system Power Torque
1.2 flat-4 1,186 cc (72.4 cu in) Single carburettor 50 kW (68 PS; 67 bhp) at 6,000 rpm 92 N·m (68 lb·ft) at 3,200 rpm
1.3 flat-4 1,351 cc (82.4 cu in) Single carburettor 58 kW (79 PS; 78 bhp) at 6,000 rpm 113 N·m (83 lb·ft) at 3,500 rpm
1.3 flat-4 1,351 cc (82.4 cu in) Twin carburettor 63 kW (86 PS; 84 bhp) at 5,800 rpm 121 N·m (89 ft·lbf) at 4,000 rpm
1.5 flat-4 1,490 cc (91 cu in) 62 kW (84 PS; 83 bhp) at 5,800 rpm 123 N·m (91 lb·ft) at 3,500 rpm
1.5 flat-4 1,490 cc (91 cu in) Twin carburettor 70 kW (95 PS; 94 bhp) at 5,750 rpm 133 N·m (98 lb·ft) at 4,000 rpm
1.5 flat-4 1,490 cc (91 cu in) Two-Twin carburettor 77 kW (105 PS; 103 bhp) at 6,000 rpm 136 N·m (100 lb·ft) at 4,000 rpm

Facelift (1986–1989)[edit]

Alfa Romeo 33 1.7 Green Cloverleaf (facelift)
Alfa Romeo 33 (facelift) estate

A mild facelift in autumn 1986 resulted in a revised range when the 1.7 litre engine was introduced and a new interior which simplified the dashboard, and lost the innovative moveable instrument binnacle. Exterior alterations were limited to indicator lens colour changes and minor amendments to grill and bumpers. A 1.8 litre diesel engine was also introduced in some markets.

Engines[edit]

Engine Type Displacement Fuel system Power Torque
1.3 flat-4 1,351 cc (82.4 cu in) Single carburettor 58 kW (79 PS; 78 bhp)
1.3 flat-4 1,351 cc (82.4 cu in) Twin carburettor 63 kW (86 PS; 84 bhp)
1.5 flat-4 1,490 cc (91 cu in) Twin carburettor 77 kW (105 PS; 103 bhp)
1.5 i.e. flat-4 1,490 cc (91 cu in) EFI 72 kW (98 PS; 97 bhp)
1.7 flat-4 1,712 cc (104.5 cu in) Twin carburettor 87 kW (118 PS; 117 bhp)
Diesel engines
1.8 TD straight-3 1,779 cc (108.6 cu in) KKK 14 turbocharger 54 kW (73 PS; 72 bhp) [7]

Second series (1990–1995)[edit]

Alfa Romeo 33 (Series II)

The 33 was given a more extensive facelift in the end of 1989, the Series II or 'Nuova' 33 (Type 907), which went on sale in January 1990. This featured a revised interior, the introduction of fuel injection, the 1.7 litre engine upgraded to include a 137 PS (101 kW; 135 hp) 16 valve version, and a heavily restyled front and rear ends, in line with the new Alfa "family look" established by the flagship 164. Also new four wheel drive version was introduced called the Permanent 4, which was renamed to Q4 starting from 1992. Late production 33s also do not suffer from the rust problems of their ancestors, as their frames are galvanized in the manner Alfa Romeo introduced with the 164.

Engines[edit]

Engine Type Displacement Fuel system Power Torque
1.2 flat-4 1,186 cc (72.4 cu in) twin carburettors 57 kW (77 PS; 76 bhp) at 6,000 rpm 95 N·m (70 lb·ft) at 4,500 rpm[8]
1.3 flat-4 1,351 cc (82.4 cu in) twin Weber carburettors 63–66 kW (86–90 PS; 84–89 bhp) at 6,000 rpm 119–122 N·m (88–90 lb·ft) at 4,500 rpm[8]
1.3 IE flat-4 1,351 cc (82.4 cu in) Marelli IAW, on some markets Bosch Jetronic before April 1992 64–66 kW (87–90 PS; 86–89 bhp) at 6,000 rpm 109 N·m (80 lb·ft) at 4,500 rpm[8]
1.5 flat-4 1,490 cc (91 cu in) twin DRLA40 carburettors 77 kW (105 PS; 103 bhp)
1.5 IE flat-4 1,490 cc (91 cu in) Bosch L3-1 Jetronic 77 kW (105 PS; 103 bhp) at 6,000 rpm 126 N·m (93 lb·ft) at 4,500 rpm[8]
1.5 IE cat flat-4 1,490 cc (91 cu in) Bosch LE3 Jetronic before April 1992, Bosch Motronic MP3.1 after 70 kW (95 PS; 94 bhp) at 6,000 rpm 125 N·m (92 lb·ft) at 4,500 rpm[8]
1.7 IE flat-4 1,712 cc (104.5 cu in) Bosch LE3 Jetronic before April 1992, Bosch Motronic MP3.1 from April 1992 81 kW (110 PS; 109 bhp) at 5,800 rpm 153 N·m (113 lb·ft) at 4,500 rpm
1.7 IE cat flat-4 1,712 cc (104.5 cu in) Bosch LE3 Jetronic before April 1992, Bosch Motronic MP3.1 from April 1992 79 kW (107 PS; 106 bhp) at 5,800 rpm 149 N·m (110 lb·ft) at 4,500 rpm[9]
1.7 IE 16V flat-4 1,712 cc (104.5 cu in) Bosch Motronic ML4.1 98–101 kW (133–137 PS; 131–135 bhp) at 6,500 rpm 157–161 N·m (116–119 lb·ft) at 4,600 rpm[9]
1.7 IE 16V cat flat-4 1,712 cc (104.5 cu in) Bosch Motronic ML4.1 95–97 kW (129–132 PS; 127–130 bhp) at 6,500 rpm 151–155 N·m (111–114 lb·ft) at 4,600 rpm[9]
Diesel engines
1.8 TD i straight-3 1,779 cc (108.6 cu in) turbocharged with Intercooler (VM HRT 392) 62 kW (84 PS; 83 bhp) at 4,200 rpm 178 N·m (131 lbf·ft) at 2,400 rpm[3]

Z33 Free Time prototype[edit]

Zagato made a tall-bodied three-door prototype, a Compact MPV anticipating the Renault Scénic by over a decade. Called the "Z33 Free Time" this was shown at the 1984 Geneva Motor Show, but the project remained a single prototype. The "Free Time" was no longer than the regular "33" at just under 4 metres (157 in) and retained most of its driving characteristics, but with greatly increased interior space.[10] The tiny six-seater was based on the chassis of the 33 but was visually more related to the Giulietta.[11]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "History/Alfa 33". alfaromeo.com. Retrieved 2007-07-16. 
  2. ^ "Designer". ajovalo.net. Retrieved 2012-02-08. 
  3. ^ a b c Büschi, Hans U., ed. (March 1991). Automobil Revue 1991 (in German/French) 86. Berne, Switzerland: Hallwag AG. p. 153. ISBN 3-444-00514-8. 
  4. ^ "Car Design News 6 July 2005". Archive.cardesignnews.com. 2005-07-06. Retrieved 2012-11-21. 
  5. ^ The Glasgow Herald - June 16, 1983
  6. ^ Daily Mail Motor Review 1984
  7. ^ "Automotive/Past vehicles". vmmotori.it. Retrieved 2007-07-16. 
  8. ^ a b c d e Quattroruote: Tutte le Auto del Mondo 1992. Milano: Editoriale Domus S.p.A. 1992. pp. 8–9. 
  9. ^ a b c Automobil Revue 1991, pp. 152–153
  10. ^ Brida, Bruno (April 1984). "Autonotizie: Alla Conquista Dello Spazio" [Car news: Conquering Space]. Quattroruote (in Italian) (Milan, Italy: Editoriale Domus) 29 (342): 92–93. 
  11. ^ "Zagato Z33 Freetime". Zagato brochure. Zagato. Retrieved 25 January 2012. 

External links[edit]