Alfa Romeo Alfasud

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Alfa Romeo
Alfa Romeo Alfasud (1972-1980)
Alfa Romeo Alfasud (1972-1980)
Production period: 1972-1983
Class : Compact class
Body versions : Sedan , hatchback , station wagon , Combi Coupé
Engines: Otto engine :
1.2–1.7 liters
(46–87 kW)
Length: 3890 mm
Width: 1590 mm
Height: 1370 mm
Wheelbase : 2455 mm
Empty weight : 810-865 kg
successor Alfa Romeo 33

The Alfasud is a compact class vehicle manufactured by the Italian company Alfa Romeo between spring 1972 and mid-1983. It was first presented to the public in November 1971 at the Turin Motor Show. The Alfasud featured a number of technical innovations and was received with great interest.


The Alfasud was the first front-wheel drive model to be mass-produced by Alfa Romeo .

As early as 1960, the company had developed the Tipo 103, a compact sedan with a transverse engine and front-wheel drive. Regardless of the supposedly convincing results of numerous test drives, Alfa Romeo decided against series production of the Tipo 103 at the time because, according to expectations at the time, larger profits could be achieved with models in the middle and upper middle class. Some sources also point to an informal division of the Italian automobile market between Fiat and Alfa Romeo, which would have become obsolete if the 103 had been mass-produced.

The Alfa Romeo factory in Pomigliano d'Arco near Naples was fundamentally rebuilt and significantly expanded for production. The location in the south of Italy was the godfather for the name "Alfasud". The development of the entire project, including factory planning, was in the hands of the Austrian Rudolf Hruska , who had previously worked for Porsche and Fiat. The design comes from Giorgio Giugiaro , who founded his company Italdesign especially for this project . This is also where the unique Alfa Romeo Caimano was made . The sports car study was constructed on the basis of the Alfasud and was intended to emphasize the sporting properties of the Alfasud technology at automobile exhibitions. The two-seater with the eye-catching Plexiglas roof was never built in series.


The engine of the Alfasud is a longitudinally mounted and water-cooled Boxer - petrol engine with four cylinders. It was newly developed for the Alfasud and has one overhead camshaft per cylinder bank. The combustion chambers are depressions in the piston heads, the cylinder heads "below" are flat ( Heron combustion chamber ). The setting of the valve clearance was new. Each valve was actuated with two closely spaced cams, between which the camshaft was pierced transversely. Screws in the bucket tappets with which the valve clearance could be adjusted were accessible through these holes .

It was initially available with a displacement of 1.2 liters and 46 kW (63 hp) at 6000 rpm. Since this version was only equipped with a four-speed gearbox, the engine was often turned well over 6000 rpm, which it coped with without complaint. Later extensions followed up to 1.5 (sedan) and 1.7 liters (Sprint). The particular advantages of the boxer engine are the short, flat design, smoothness and low center of gravity.

The fully synchronized transmission has four or five gears. The front disc brakes are internal, this design has a lower unsprung mass. The front wheels are suspended from wishbones and MacPherson struts and are provided with rack and pinion steering. A light rigid axle is installed at the rear, which is guided lengthways on two watt rods and across by a Panhard rod . It also has disc brakes. The handbrake worked on the discs on the front wheels. A second bulkhead increases the stability of the front end and dampens the engine noise towards the interior. The Alfasud offered sporty performance and a generous amount of space despite its compact exterior dimensions at a time when the term “golf class” did not yet exist. The Alfasud was also popular in motorsport.

Production time

Series production began in April 1972. At first, only the hatchback sedan with four doors and a small trunk lid was available. The two-door variant shown in the first brochures and press releases was not taken over into series production. Only the most powerful model variant ti , introduced in October 1973 , was (always) available as a two-door model.
In February 1975 Alfa launched a three-door station wagon with the type designation Giardinetta . The three-door Alfasud Sprint coupé followed in September 1976 .


In March 1980 the Alfasud was given a facelift . Among other things, the radiator grille, headlights, bumpers, taillights and the dashboard were changed.

The version with a large tailgate, which has long been in demand by the market, did not appear until December 1981 (five-door: June 1982). At the same time as this innovation, production of the station wagon was discontinued. There were model variants with three doors (large flap), four doors (small trunk flap) and five doors (large flap). The ti variants were always two or three-door, the less powerful variants were supplied in all body variants.

The production of the sedan was stopped in June 1983 after 906,824 copies (additionally: Giardinetta with 5899 pieces). The coupé was built as a Sprint (without the addition of Alfasud) until December 1989. 121,434 pieces were made by him.

With a total of over a million units, the Alfasud series has achieved the highest production figures of any type series in the history of Alfa Romeo to date.

Technical specifications

Alfasud Alfasud ti
[Alfasud ti 1.2]
Alfasud ti 1.3 Alfasud Super 1.3 Alfasud 1.3
[Alfasud TI 1.3]
Alfasud Super 1.5
Alfasud ti 1.5
Alfasud 1.5 Alfasud TI 1.5
[TI 1.5 QV]
Construction period: 1971–1973
1980-1983 1978-1980 1980-1983 1980-1983
Engine: Four-cylinder boxer engine (four-stroke)
Displacement: 1186 cc 1286 cm³
[1351 cm³]
1351 cc 1490 cc
Bore × stroke: 80.0 x 59.0 mm 80.0 × 64.0 mm
[80.0 × 67.2 mm]
80.0 x 67.2 mm 84.0 x 67.2 mm
Max. Power
at 1 / min:
46 kW (63 hp)
at 6000
50 kW (68 hp)
at 6000
52 kW (71 PS)
at 5800
[58 kW (79 PS)
at 6000]
50 kW (68 PS)
at 6000
[55 kW (75 PS)
at 6000]
58 kW (79 PS)
at 6000
[63 kW (86 PS)
at 5800]
62 kW (84 PS)
at 5800
70 kW (95 PS)
at 5800
[77 kW (105 PS)
at 6000]
Max. Torque
at 1 / min:
83 Nm at 3500
[88 Nm
at 3200]
90 Nm
at 3200
103 Nm
at 3500
[111 Nm
at 3500]
100 Nm
at 3500
[105 Nm
at 3000]
111 Nm
at 3500
119 Nm
at 4000
121 Nm
at 3500
130 Nm
at 4000
[133 Nm
at 4000]
Valve control: 2-valve technology, one camshaft per cylinder bank controlled by a toothed belt
Dimensions L × W × H: 3890 × 1590 × 1370 mm
3935 × 1590 × 1370 mm (Giardinetta)
Wheelbase 2455 mm
Top speed: 153 km / h
[155 km / h]
161 km / h
[153 km / h]
169 km / h
[168 km / h]
159 km / h 164 km / h
[173 km / h]
171 km / h 166 km / h over 175 km / h
sprint Sprint 1.3 Sprint 1.3
[Sprint 1.3 Veloce]
Sprint 1.5
[Sprint 1.5 Veloce]
Sprint 1.5 Sprint 1.7 QV
[Sprint 1.7 QV ie]
Construction period: 1977-1988 1978-1979 1979-1983
1983-1987 1987–1988
Engine: Four-cylinder boxer engine (four-stroke)
Displacement: 1286 cc 1351 cc 1490 cc 1712 cc
Bore × stroke: 80.0 x 64.0 mm 80.0 x 67.2 mm 84.0 x 67.2 mm 87.0 x 72.0 mm
Max. Power
at 1 / min:
55 kW (75 PS)
at 6000
58 kW (79 PS)
at 6000
63 kW (86 PS)
at 5800
62 kW (84 PS)
at 5800
[70 kW (95 PS)
at 5800]
77 kW (105 PS)
at 6000
87 kW (118 PS)
at 5800
[77 kW (105 PS)
at 5500]
Max. Torque
at 1 / min:
103 Nm
at 3200
111 Nm
at 3500
119 Nm
at 4000
121 Nm
at 3500
Nm at 4000]
133 Nm
at 4000
148 Nm
at 3500
Nm at 4500]
Valve control: 2-valve technology, one camshaft per cylinder bank controlled by a toothed belt 4-valve technology, 2 camshafts per cylinder bank
Dimensions L × W × H: 4019 × 1620 × 1305 mm
Wheelbase : 2455 mm
Top speed: 165 km / h 168 km / h 173 km / h 170 km / h
[over 175 km / h]
186 km / h 202 km / h
[188 km / h]


In the 1970s, Italian cars were considered aesthetically pleasing, especially in English-speaking countries, but poor in durability. In addition, the quality of the Alfasud did not correspond to its advanced technical conception. Inferior metals, lack of rust prevention, poor workmanship, construction defects, operating errors by the holder and susceptibility to repairs made it difficult for him. For example, cavities in the car body were filled with foam at the factory to reduce noise, but this led to permanent moisture penetration in these areas due to capillary action . It is reported that individual vehicles have already failed the first general inspection due to rust perforation, some other models are said to have been damaged by rust, e.g. B. have reached the dealers at the door edges. The reason for this were u. a. the inferior recycled metal sheets (from compensation deals with the Soviet Union ) with their rust-promoting content of non-ferrous metals .

A six-year-old Alfasud already had significant rust spots on the doors and fenders.

The plant in Pomigliano d'Arco was hit more than 700 times in the twelve years of production. The mostly unskilled workers, who not infrequently came to the plant from the surrounding farms under difficult circumstances, did not take the assembly and storage very seriously either. Often, entire sheet metal rolls are said to have been lying in the open rusting for weeks. The notorious “white series” achieved a special “reputation”. Due to a long-lasting strike and production interruption, many hundreds of body shells were stored untreated on the site around the factory and, after production resumed, were quickly painted white, completed and sold. These vehicles were already standing at the dealer's with flash rust and were completely unusable and ready for scrap after a single winter in Central European countries.

Customers often found it difficult to cope with susceptible carburetors and poorly adjusted chokes and other little things. The factory rectification of the defects was too slow. Other manufacturers offered a better standard of vehicle reliability and service life. These problems damaged Alfa Romeo's reputation considerably and even led to jokes like “Alfasud - they're rusting in the brochure” or mock names like “Alfa Rosteo”.


  • Stefan Heins: Southern fruits. 30 years of Alfa Romeo Alfasud . In: Oldtimer Markt, issue 10/2002, pp. 188 ff.

Web links

Commons : Alfa Romeo Alfasud  - collection of pictures, videos and audio files

Individual evidence

  1. Stefan Heins: Southern fruits. 30 years of Alfa Romeo Alfasud . In: Oldtimer Markt, issue 10/2002, p. 192.
  2. ^ Jan Baedeker: Alfa Romeo Visconti . Classic Driver. Retrieved September 4, 2009.
  3. - ( Memento of the original from January 24, 2012 in the Internet Archive ) Info: The archive link was automatically inserted and not yet checked. Please check the original and archive link according to the instructions and then remove this notice. @1@ 2Template: Webachiv / IABot /
  4. Alfa Romeo type manual, all models from 1910 to today ISBN 3-89880-114-4
  5. ^ Jörg Walz: Alfa Romeo type manual. All models from 1910 to today. Heel Verlag, Königswinter 2002, ISBN 3-89880-114-4 , pp. 77-78.
  6. Alfasud: Rostet in the brochure Kleine Zeitung , July 29, 2014
Timeline of Alfa Romeo models from 1945 to today
Type Independent until 1933, then state-owned from 1986 part of Fiat
1940s 1950s 1960s 1970s 1980s 1990s 2000s 2010s 2020s
5 6th 7th 8th 9 0 1 2 3 4th 5 6th 7th 8th 9 0 1 2 3 4th 5 6th 7th 8th 9 0 1 2 3 4th 5 6th 7th 8th 9 0 1 2 3 4th 5 6th 7th 8th 9 0 1 2 3 4th 5 6th 7th 8th 9 0 1 2 3 4th 5 6th 7th 8th 9 0 1 2 3 4th 5 6th 7th 8th 9 0
Small car MiTo (955)
Compact class Arna
Alfasud 33 145 , 146 (930) 147 (937) Giulietta (940)
Middle class Giulietta Berlina Giulia Giulietta (type 116) 75 155 156 (932) 159 (939) Giulia (952)
upper middle class Alfetta 90 164 166 (936)
... 6C 2500 1900 Berlina 2000 Berlina 2600 Berlina 1750/2000 Berlina Alfa 6
Coupe Giulietta Sprint Giulia Sprint GT Alfasud Sprint GT (937)
1900C sprint / super sprint 2000 sprint 2600 sprint 1750/2000 GT Veloce Alfetta GT / GTV GTV (916) Brera (939)
Cabriolet Giulietta Spider Giulia Spider Spider ("Duetto") Spider (916) Spider (939)
2000 spider 2600 spider
Sports car Disco Volante Tipo 33 Montreal SZ / RZ 8C Competizione 4C
Off-road vehicle and SUV Matta Stelvio (949)
Vans Romeo F12 / A12 AR6
  • of joint venture with Nissan
  • Cooperation between Fiat and Saab: identical parts with Fiat, Lancia and Saab models
  • Identical to Fiat or Iveco