The 116-series Alfetta coupe was introduced in 1974 as a replacement for the ageing but highly regarded 105 series Alfa coupes. Initially the coupe was available only as a 1.8 litre 'GT' whilst the final 105 series cars were withdrawn, but by 1976 105 production had ended and 1.6 and 2.0 litre versions of the 116 were made available, the 2.0 litre version known as the GTV (V for Veloce, fast in Italian), continuing the nameplate made famous by earlier Alfas.
In 1981 a facelift was given to the cars, the classic steel bumpers giving way to moulded plastic due to safety requirements. The Alfetta nameplate was dropped, along with the smaller engines; the 2.0 litre model now designated 'GTV 2.0'. This went from being the top model to the base model, as the 2.5 litre GTV6 debuted as the premier 116 later that same year.