Alfa Romeo 145 and 146
Alfa Romeo 145 Quadrifoglio
|Assembly||Italy: Pomigliano d'Arco plant, Campania|
|Body and chassis|
|Class||Small family car (C)|
|Wheelbase||2,540 mm (100.0 in)|
|Width||1,712 mm (67.4 in)|
|Height||1,426 mm (56.1 in)|
|Kerb weight||1,140–1,275 kg (2,513–2,811 lb)|
|Predecessor||Alfa Romeo 33|
|Successor||Alfa Romeo 147|
The Alfa Romeo 145 (Tipo 930A) and the Alfa Romeo 146 (930B) are small family cars produced by Italian automobile manufacturer Alfa Romeo in Pomigliano d'Arco, Italy between 1994 and 2000. The 145 is a three-door hatchback and was launched at the 1994 Turin Motor Show, while the 146 is a five-door hatchback, launched in 1995 to replace the Alfa Romeo 33.
Development of Tipo 930, the replacement for the ageing 33 in the competitive family hatchback market, lasted four years. The first offspring of the project, the three door 145, made its début on static display at the April 1994 Turin Motor Show and then at the Paris Motor Show in July; a simultaneous European commercial launch was planned for 9 September, but it was delayed until October.
It was only in April 1992 that work had begun on a second car, the 146 or Tipo 930B, derived from and to be sold alongside the 145; with its more traditionally Alfa Romeo style it was aimed at a different clientele, that of the outgoing Alfa Romeo 33. The 146 premiéred in November 1994 at the Bologna Motor Show and went on sale in May 1995.
At launch, the engine line up for both cars comprised a 1.9 litre inline four turbo diesel and the boxer petrol engines from the 33, in 1.3[a] 8 valve, 1.6 8 valve and range topping 1.7 16 valve forms. Depending on the market, the engines were available in either or both base and better equipped L (for "Lusso") trim levels; L trim standard equipment was richer on larger engined cars.
Quadrifoglio and ti
Flagship sport models with the two litre 16 valve Twin Spark inline four engine from the Alfa Romeo 155 arrived a year after the début: the 145 Quadrifoglio and 146 ti. Each of the two litre versions had a unique trim level; both included richer standard equipment than L trims, like ABS, leather wrapped steering wheel and shifter knob and available Recaro sport seats.
The 145 Quadrifoglio (145 Cloverleaf in the United Kingdom), launched at the September 1995 Frankfurt Motor Show and on sale from October, had deep body colour side skirts with "green cloverleaf" badges and five hole alloy wheels.
The 146 ti[b] went on sale in February 1996. It came with painted side skirts, a boot spoiler and twelve hole alloy wheels. Two litre cars were equipped with stiffer suspension, uprated all disk braking system, ABS, wider, lower profile tires and 'quick rack' direct steering (also seen on the 155, GTV and Spider) which improved responsiveness, but also compromised the turning circle.
The sporty suspension set up was harsher than many others in its category at the time, but this was in line with the Fiat Group's marketing of Alfa Romeo as a sporting brand, and it is said to have resulted in class leading handling.
From January 1997, all the boxers were phased out in favour of 1.4, 1.6 and 1.8 versions of the Twin Spark 16 valve engine. 1.8 litre cars adopted the sport chassis, steering and brakes of the Quadrifoglio/ti, and also offered some of their optional equipment such as the sport seats. At the same time, the interior was updated: a new air conditioning system, a redesigned dashboard an upholstered insert were fitted for left-hand drive cars. Right-hand drive cars retained the previous dashboard design. Outside changes were minor: new wheel covers and alloy wheels and a wider choice of paint colours.
In September 1997, Alfa Romeo introduced the Junior, a trim level targeted at young buyers that combined the sport styling and chassis setup of the range topping models, with the affordable entry level 1.4 powertrain, later with 1.6 engine too. Based on the 1.4 L, Junior cars were distinguished by the Quadrifoglio's side skirts with "Junior" badges, specific 15 inch alloy wheels, and by the stainless steel exhaust tip (as well as, on the 146, the boot spoiler) from the ti.
By March 1998, 1.8 and 2.0 Twin Spark engines received the updates first introduced on the Alfa Romeo 156; thanks to variable length intake manifolds the two powertrains gained 4 to 5 PS and reached peak torque at engine speeds some 500 rpm lower.
The main changes outside were new, body colour bumpers with round fog lights and narrow protection strips; the interior got new upholstery and detail trim changes such as chrome vent surrounds. Optional side airbags complemented the already available passenger and standard driver airbags.
The Junior trim level was discontinued, in favour of "pack sport" option package that included side skirts, rear spoiler, alloy wheels, leather wrapped steering wheel and sport seats, all standard features on the two litre models. A second "pack lusso" package offered leather steering wheel, velour upholstery and mahogany wood trim.
In September of the next year, at the Paris Motor Show the all new Alfa Romeo 147 was officially launched. Eventually, in 2000, the cars were superseded by the all new 147, which was a far bigger commercial success, with its acclaimed styling front end and improved quality. Still, many enthusiasts feel that it lost a little of the special feel and Alfa Romeo that the 145 had.
Based, as they were, on the Fiat Group's Tipo Due (Type Two) platform, the 145 and 146 had a unibody structure, front MacPherson strut and rear trailing arm suspensions. A peculiarity of these cars is that they were designed to be fitted with both longitudinal engines (the older Boxers) and with transverse engines (the diesels and the Twin Spark).
The former were mounted in the same configuration as on the 33 or Alfasud, that is longitudinally overhanging the front axle with the gearbox towards the cabin; the latter in the conventional transverse position with the gearbox to the left side. All engines were coupled to a five speed manual transmissions. Steering was rack and pinion, with standard hydraulic power assistance.
Bore x stroke
|Valvetrain||Fuel and intake systems||Peak power||Peak torque||Production period|
80.0 x 67.2 mm
|SOHC 8v||Weber-Marelli MPI||90 PS (66 kW; 89 bhp) at 6,000 rpm||115 N⋅m (85 lb⋅ft) at 4,400 rpm||1994–1997|
|1.4 T.Spark 16V**||I4 TS||1,370 cc
82.0 x 64.9 mm
|DOHC 16v, VVT||Motronic MPI||103 PS (76 kW; 102 bhp) at 6,300 rpm||124 N⋅m (91 lb⋅ft) at 4,600 rpm||01/1997–2000|
84.0 x 72.0 mm
|SOHC 8v||Motronic or Rochester MPI||103 PS (76 kW; 102 bhp) at 6,000 rpm||135 N⋅m (100 lb⋅ft) at 4,500 rpm||1994–1997|
|1.6 T.Spark 16V||I4 TS||1,598 cc
82.0 x 75.6 mm
|DOHC 16v, VVT||Motronic MPI||120 PS (88 kW; 118 bhp) at 6,300 rpm||144 N⋅m (106 lb⋅ft) at 4,500 rpm||01/1997–2000|
|1.7 16V||H4||1,712 cc
87.0 x 72.0 mm
|DOHC 16v||Motronic MPI||129 PS (95 kW; 127 bhp) at 6,500 rpm||149 N⋅m (110 lb⋅ft) at 4,300 rpm||1994–1997|
|1.8 T.Spark 16V||I4 TS||1,747 cc
82.0 x 82.7 mm
|DOHC 16v, VVT||Motronic MPI||140 PS (103 kW; 138 bhp) at 6,300 rpm||169 N⋅m (125 lb⋅ft) at 4,000 rpm||01/1997–03/1998|
|Motronic MPI, VLIM||144 PS (106 kW; 142 bhp) at 6,500 rpm||169 N⋅m (125 lb⋅ft) at 3,500 rpm||03/1998–2000|
|2.0 T.Spark 16V||I4 TS, 2 BS||1,970 cc
83.0 x 91.0 mm
|DOHC 16v, VVT||Motronic MPI||150 PS (110 kW; 148 bhp) at 6,200 rpm||187 N⋅m (138 lb⋅ft) at 4,000 rpm||10/1995–03/1998|
|Motronic MPI, VLIM||155 PS (114 kW; 153 bhp) at 6,400 rpm||187 N⋅m (138 lb⋅ft) at 3,500 rpm||03/1998–2000|
|1.9 TD*||I4||1,929 cc
82.6 x 90.0 mm
|SOHC 8v||Injection pump, turbo intercooler||90 PS (66 kW; 89 bhp) at 4,100 rpm||191 N⋅m (141 lb⋅ft) at 2,400 rpm||1994–1997|
|1.9 JTD||I4||1,910 cc
82.0 x 90.4 mm
|SOHC 8v||Common rail DI, turbo intercooler||105 PS (77 kW; 104 bhp) at 4,000 rpm||255 N⋅m (188 lb⋅ft) at 2,000 rpm||1997–2000|
|* Continental European markets only. ** Continental Europe and Ireland only.|
|Alfa Romeo 145|
|Model||1.4||1.4 TS 16V||1.6||1.6 TS 16V||1.7 16V||1.8 TS 16V||2.0 Quadrifoglio||1.9 TD||1.9 JTD|
|140 PS||144 PS||150 PS||155 PS|
|178 ||185 ||185 ||195 ||200 ||205 ||207 ||210 ||211 ||178 ||185 |
0–100 km/h (0–62 mph)
|12.5 s||11.2 s||11.0 s||10.2||9.8 s||9.2 s||9.1 s||8.4 s||8.3 s||12.0 s||10.4 s|
|Alfa Romeo 146|
|Model||1.4||1.4 TS 16V||1.6||1.6 TS 16V||1.7 16V||1.8 TS 16V||2.0 ti||1.9 TD||1.9 JTD|
|140 PS||144 PS||150 PS||155 PS|
|179 ||187 ||187 ||197 ||201 ||207 ||209 ||215 ||216 ||179 ||187 |
0–100 km/h (0–62 mph)
|12.8 s||11.5 s||11.5 s||10.5 s||10.2 s||9.4 s||9.3 s||8.5 s||8.4 s||12.5 s||10.5 s|
Reception and legacy
Styling themes introduced in the Alfa Romeo 164 were continued on these two models. A spacious and uniquely Italian interior was presented to the press at the 1994 launch, and by all accounts well received. The oddly shaped, cut away dashboard attracted much attention, but in fact the design was for safety and practicality rather than aesthetics. The cars were widely praised for their handling, particularly their sharp, responsive steering.
The more conservatively styled 146 proved a bigger sales success than the edgy design of the 145, which in retrospect appears too avant-garde for mainstream sales success. The 145 has a strong following, particularly in top specification Cloverleaf guise; it is seen, along with the 146 as not only the last old school hot hatch built by Alfa but, arguably, by any car company. While the volume of 145s and 146s sold was moderately low, parts availability remains good, in most cases direct from Alfa Romeo. Owners clubs can often advise on multiple sources of parts or workarounds.
The 145 and 146 are prized by performance minded Alfisti as a source of performance upgrades for the earlier Sprint. As these cars were initially designed for use with the Alfasud boxer engines, and later updates with Twinspark units, it is technically feasible to take a late 16v boxer engine from these cars and directly transplant it into a Sprint, giving the car a tremendous performance upgrade in the process.
- The same 1,351 cc engine was badged 1.4 on some markets, e.g. on the German one.
- The acronym, standing for turismo internazionale–international touring, evoked the sport versions of the first Alfa Romeo Giulietta.
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