Alfa Romeo 75

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Alfa Romeo 75 / Milano
Alfa Romeo MIlano (America).jpg
1988 Alfa Romeo Milano Gold (US model)
Overview
Manufacturer Alfa Romeo
Also called Alfa Romeo Milano
Production 1985-1992
Assembly Arese, Milan, Italy
Designer Ermanno Cressoni at Centro Stile Alfa Romeo[1]
Body and chassis
Class Compact executive car
Body style 4-door saloon
Layout Front-engine, rear-wheel-drive
Related Alfa Romeo Alfetta
Alfa Romeo GTV6
Alfa Romeo SZ
Powertrain
Engine 1.6 L I4 (petrol)
1.8 L I4 (petrol)
1.8 L I4 (t/c petrol)
2.0 L I4 (petrol)
2.5 V6 (petrol)
3.0 V6 (petrol)
2.0 L I4 (turbodiesel)
2.4 L I4 (turbodiesel)
Transmission 5-speed manual[2]
3-speed automatic[2]
Dimensions
Wheelbase 2,510 mm (98.8 in)
Length 4,331 mm (170.5 in)
Width 1,631 mm (64.2 in)
Height 1,349 mm (53.1 in)
Curb weight 1,100–1,300 kg (2,400–2,900 lb)
Chronology
Predecessor Alfa Romeo Giulietta
Successor Alfa Romeo 155

The Alfa Romeo 75 (Tipo 161, 162B), sold in North America as the Milano, is a compact executive car produced by the Italian automaker Alfa Romeo between 1985 and 1992. The 75 was commercially quite successful: in only three years, 236,907 cars were produced,[3] and by the end of production in 1992, around 386,767 had been built.[4]

The Alfa Romeo 75 was the last model released before Alfa Romeo was acquired by Fiat. (The Alfa Romeo 164 was the last model developed independently.)

Overview[edit]

The 75 was introduced in May 1985[5] to replace the Giulietta (with which it shared many components), and was named to celebrate Alfa's 75th year of production. The body, designed by head of Alfa Romeo Centro Stile Ermanno Cressoni, was styled in a striking wedge shape, tapering at the front with square headlights and a matching grille (similar features were applied to the Cressoni-designed 33).

At the 1986 Turin Auto Salon, a prototype 75 estate was to be seen, an attractive forerunner of the later 156 Sportwagon. This version was, however, never listed for sale, being cancelled after Fiat took control of Alfa Romeo. The car, dubbed the 75 Turbo Wagon, was made by Italian coachbuilder Rayton Fissore using a 75 Turbo as the basis.[6] Two estate versions were to be found at the later 1987 Geneva Motor Show; one was this Turbo Wagon and the other was a 2.0 litre version named the Sportwagon.[7]

Technical features[edit]

The 75 featured some unusual technical features, most notably the fact that it was almost perfectly balanced from front to rear.[8] This was achieved by using transaxle schema — mounting the standard five-speed gearbox in the rear connected to the rear differential (rear-wheel drive). The front suspension was a torsion bar and shock absorber combination and the rear an expensive de Dion tube assembled with shock absorbers; these designs were intended to optimize the car's handling; moreover the rear brake discs were fitted at the centre of the rear axle, near the gearbox-differential group. The engine crankshaft was bolted directly to the two-segment driveshaft which ran the length of the underside from the engine block to the gearbox, and rotated at the speed of the engine. The shaft segments were joined with elastomeric 'doughnuts' to prevent vibration and engine/gearbox damage. The 2.0 L Twin Spark and the 3.0 Litre V6 were equipped with limited slip differential.[9]

The 75 featured a then advanced dashboard-mounted diagnostic computer, called Alfa Romeo Control, capable of monitoring the engine systems and alerting the drivers of potential faults.

The 75 engine range at launch featured four-cylinder 1.6, 1.8 and 2.0 litre petrol carbureted engines, a 2.0 litre intercooled turbodiesel made by VM Motori,[10] and a 2.5 litre fuel injected V6. In 1986, the 75 Turbo was introduced, which featured a fuel-injected 1779 cc twin-cam engine using Garrett T3 turbocharger, intercooler and oil cooler.[11]

US-market Milano Quadrifoglio Verde, with the 3-litre V6
Rear view of Alfa Romeo 75

In 1987, a 3.0 litre V6 was added to the range and the 2.0 L Alfa Romeo Twin Cam engine was redesigned to have now two spark plugs per cylinder, the engine was named as Twin Spark. With fuel injection and variable valve timing this engine produced 148 PS (109 kW; 146 hp). This was the first production engine to use variable valve timing.[11] In North America, where the car was known as the Milano, only the 2.5 and 3.0 V6s were available, from 1987 to 1989.

The North American 2.5-litres were fundamentally different from their European counterparts. Due to federal regulations, some modifications were required. Most noticeable from the outside were the 'America' bumpers, with the typical rubber accordions in them. Furthermore, these bumpers had thick (and heavy) shock-absorbing material inside them and in addition, they were mounted to the vehicle on shock absorbers. To accommodate these shock absorbers, the 'America'-bodies were slightly different from the European ones. Other changes relative to the European model were:

  • A 67-litre fuel tank which was located behind the rear seats, reducing the boot capacity from 500 L (18 cu ft) to 300 L (11 cu ft).
  • Side-markers in the bumpers
  • Exhaust silencer sticking out from under the bumper at the r/h side of the vehicle instead of the centre
  • Reinforcements in the doors and boot lid
  • Hooks underneath the bonnet, to keep the bonnet in position in a crash

The North American cars also had different equipment levels (depending on the version: Milano Silver, Milano Gold or Milano Platinum). L/h and r/h electrically adjustable outside mirrors, electrically reclining seats and cruise control were usually optional in Europe. The car was also available with a 3-speed ZF automatic gearbox option for the 2.5 V6. Other, more common options such as electrically operated rear windows and an A/C system were standard in the USA. The USA-cars also had different upholstery styles and of course different dashboard panels also indicating speed in mph, oil pressure in psi and coolant temperature in degrees F, and as a final touch the AR control was different, including a seat belt warning light.

The European-spec 2.5 V6 (2.5 6V Iniezione or 2.5QV) was officially sold only between 1985 and 1987, although some of them were not registered until 1989. Relatively few of them were sold (about 2800 units), especially when the 155 PS (114 kW; 153 hp) 1.8 Turbo got launched, which in some countries was cheaper in taxes because of its lower displacement. To create a bigger space between the V6 and the inline fours, the 2.5 was bored out to 2959 cc's to deliver 188 PS (138 kW; 185 hp) and this new engine was introduced as the 3.0 America in 1987. As its type designation suggests, the 3.0 only came in the US-specification, with the impact-bumpers and in-boot fuel tank. However, the European 'America's' were not equipped with side-markers or the door, bonnet and boot lid fortifications. Depending on the country of delivery, the 3.0 America could be equipped with a catalytic converter.

In 1988 engines were updated again, the 1.8 L carburetor version was replaced with fuel injected 1.8 i.e. and new bigger diesel engine was added to the range. In the end of 1989 the 1.6 L carburetor version was updated to have fuel injection and 1990 the 1.8 L turbo and 3.0i V6 got some more power and updated suspension. The 3.0 V6 was now equipped with a Motronic system instead of an L-Jetronic. The 1.8L turbo was now also available in 'America'-spec, but strangely enough not available for the USA market. The 3.0 V6 did make it to the United States, and was sold as Milano Verde.[11]

Model Units produced
1.6 99.522
1.6 IE 27.989
1.8 45.138
1.8 IE 48.270
1.8 Turbo/America/Q.V. 6.536
2.0 18.971
2.0 Twin Spark 57.084
2.5 6v Q.V/Milano 12.611
3.0 V6/America/Q.V./ 6.753
2.0 TD 46.273
2.4 TD 6.110
Total 375.257

Turbo Evoluzione[edit]

Front of the Alfa Romeo 75 Turbo Evoluzione.
Alfa Romeo 75 2.0 with Turbo Evoluzione-style wingkit

500 examples of the Turbo Evoluzione were produced in spring 1987 to meet Group A requirements.[12] The car had many modifications compared to the normal turbo model. The engine was down-sleeved to 1,762 cc (normally 1,779 cc) and while the claimed power is the same as in the standard turbo, this engine is better suited for power upgrades than the standard 75 Turbo engine.[13]

Engines[edit]

Last facelift version 75 (Italy)
Model Engine Displacement Fuel system Power Torque Note
Launch, May 1985
1.6 I4 1,570 cc Carb 110 PS (81 kW) at 5,800 rpm 146 N·m (108 lb·ft) at 4,000 rpm -
1.8 I4 1,779 cc Carb 120 PS (88 kW) at 5,300 rpm 170 N·m (125 lb·ft) at 4,000 rpm -
2.0 I4 1,962 cc Carb 128 PS (94 kW) at 5,400 rpm 183 N·m (135 lb·ft) at 4,000 rpm -
2.0 TD I4 1,995 cc Turbodiesel 95 PS (70 kW) at 4,300 rpm 192 N·m (142 lb·ft) at 2,300 rpm left hand drive markets only
2.5 V6 2,492 cc Injected V6 156 PS (115 kW) at 5,600 rpm 206 N·m (152 lb·ft) at 3,200 rpm -
1986
1.8 Turbo I4 1,779 cc Injected Turbo 155 PS (114 kW) at 5,800 rpm 226 N·m (167 lb·ft) at 2,600 rpm -
1987
1.8 Turbo EVOLUZIONE I4 1.762 cc Injected Turbo 155 PS (114 kW) at 5,800 rpm 226 N·m (167 lb·ft) 2600 rpm -
2.0 TS I4 1,962 cc Injected 148 PS (109 kW) at 5,800 rpm 186 N·m (137 lb·ft) at 4,000 rpm upgrade of existing 2.0 engine
3.0 V6 2,959 cc Injected 188 PS (138 kW) at 5,800 rpm 250 N·m (184 lb·ft) at 3,000 rpm in North American market "Milano Verde" only
1988
1.6 catalytic I4 1,570 cc Injected 105 PS (77 kW) at 6,000 rpm 132 N·m (97 lb·ft) 4000 rpm -
1.8 i.e. I4 1,779 cc Injected 122 PS (90 kW) at 5,500 rpm 157 N·m (116 lb·ft) at 4,000 rpm replacing existing 1.8
2.4 TD I4 2,393 cc Turbodiesel 112 PS (82 kW) at 4,200 rpm 235 N·m (173 lb·ft) at 2,400 rpm -
3.0 V6 America catalytic V6 2,959 cc Injected 188 PS (138 kW) at 5,800 rpm 250 N·m (184 lb·ft) at 3,000 rpm Europe market only
1990
1.6 i.e. I4 1,570 cc Injected 107 PS (79 kW) at 6,000 rpm 137 N·m (101 lb·ft) at 4,000 rpm -
1.8 Turbo Quadrifoglio Verde I4 1,779 cc Injected 165 PS (121 kW) at 5,800 rpm 226 N·m (167 lb·ft) 2600 rpm -
2.0 TS catalytic I4 1,962 cc Injected 148 PS (109 kW) at 5,800 rpm 186 N·m (137 lb·ft) 4000 rpm replacing existing 2.0
3.0 V6 QV V6 2,959 cc Injected 192 PS (141 kW) at 5,800 rpm 250 N·m (184 lb·ft) at 3,000 rpm replacing the existing 3.0, this motor from the 164 featuring a Motronic system as opposed to the earlier L-Jetronic. This model was known as the "Potenziata"

Motorsports[edit]

Michael Kopf with Alfa 75 Turbo in Nürburgring 1986 DTM.

Alfa Romeo and its racing department Alfa Corse raced the 75 Turbo Group A in the World Touring Car Championship in 1987 season. Team drivers included Formula One drivers such as Nicola Larini, Gabriele Tarquini, Alessandro Nannini, Jacques Laffite and Mario Andretti.[14] A Class 2 car with enough power (approximately 320 bhp (239 kW; 324 PS)) which should have seen the cars on par with the new and more track focused BMW M3s, the Alfa's had very little success in the WTCC, and with the whole season descending into a political farce, Alfa Romeo team boss Cesare Fiorio shut down the team before the overseas races.[15]

Australian driver Colin Bond, winner of the 1975 Australian Touring Car Championship and 1969 Hardie-Ferodo 500, stayed loyal to Alfa Romeo and ran a Caltex sponsored Alfa 75 in the 1987 Australian Touring Car Championship to replace the GTV6 he ran from 1984 to 1986. Bond's new 75 was built by the Italian Luigi team, but Bond found the engine it came with only produced about 200 bhp (149 kW; 203 PS) instead of the 320 bhp it should have. This saw him finish a distant 9th place in the championship while the team's engine builder, Melbourne based Alfa expert tuner Joe Benica, tried to claw back the extra power. This was achieved after the car was converted to right hand drive which allowed an exhaust system to be fitted which didn't wind its way around the steering rack.

Bond also drove the end of season endurance races which included the Bathurst round of the WTCC. After qualifying 21st, co-driver Lucio Cesario destroyed the front of the 75 in a crash at the top of the mountain on lap 34 of the race which forced the cars withdrawal from the Calder Park and Wellington rounds of the WTCC. The car was repaired in time for the Australian Grand Prix support races in Adelaide where Bond qualified a fine second and finished 5th in the race in the cars 'down under' swansong as Bond, the only driver to embrace the 75 in Australia, switched to race the all-conquering Ford Sierra RS500 from 1988 in a bid to return to the winners circle.

Gianfranco Brancatelli won the 1988 ITC serie with Alfa 75 Turbo and Giorgio Francia placed second in the 1991 ITC.[16] The 9th Giro d'Italia in 1988 was won by the team of Miki Biasion, Tiziano Siviero and Riccardo Patrese with a 75 Turbo Evoluzione IMSA.[17]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Designer". ajovalo.net. Retrieved 2012-02-08. 
  2. ^ a b "Alfa Romeo 75". carsfromitaly.net. Archived from the original on 31 July 2007. Retrieved 2007-08-07. 
  3. ^ "The 75". www.alfaromeo75.it. Retrieved 2007-08-04.  (Italian)
  4. ^ "Alfa Romeo 75". www.alfaromeo75.it. Retrieved 2007-08-04. 
  5. ^ "Alfa Romeo 75". www.omniauto.it. Archived from the original on 5 August 2007. Retrieved 2007-08-04.  (Italian)
  6. ^ "Production Specials". alfa75.info. Archived from the original on 2007-04-02. Retrieved 2007-06-25. 
  7. ^ "Giardinetta, Promiscua e Sportwagon". alfisti.ru. Archived from the original on 8 June 2007. Retrieved 2007-06-25.  (Russian)
  8. ^ "1985 Alfa Romeo 75". conceptcarz.com. Archived from the original on 18 August 2007. Retrieved 2007-08-07. 
  9. ^ "Alfa Romeo 75". alfaworkshop.co.uk. Archived from the original on 8 August 2007. Retrieved 2007-08-07. 
  10. ^ "Automotive/Past Vehicles/Alfa Romeo". vmmotori.it. Retrieved 2007-08-07. 
  11. ^ a b c "News 17.10.2005". italiaspeed.com. Archived from the original on 8 August 2007. Retrieved 2007-08-07. 
  12. ^ "Alfa Romeo 75 Turbo Evoluzione". alfisti.net. Retrieved 2007-06-25. 
  13. ^ "Alfa 75 Evoluzione". alfaromeo75.it. Retrieved 13 October 2012.  (Italian)
  14. ^ "T H E R A C I N G". homdrum.net. Retrieved 2007-08-07. 
  15. ^ "World Touring Car Championship". homepage.mac.com. Archived from the original on 18 April 2009. Retrieved 2009-04-21. 
  16. ^ "Alfa75 ITC Competition History". www.alfa75.info. Archived from the original on 2007-06-23. Retrieved 2007-08-07. 
  17. ^ "Miki Biasion". worldrally.altervista.org. Retrieved 2010-10-01.  (Italian)

External links[edit]