1981 Alfa Romeo Alfasud Ti 2-Door Sedan
|Engine||Flat 4-cylinder, 1490cc|
Designed by Austrian engineer Rudolf Hruska, Alfa Romeo’s Alfasud revolutionized the small car scene in the 1970s, a radical new design that combined practicality with fabulous road holding and sparkling performance. Known as the Alfasud due to the fact the factory was based in Southern Italy, the new model was launched in 1972 and lasted in production a remarkable 17 years, its longevity testimony to the inherent qualities of the original design. Originally powered by a free-revving ‘boxer’ motor of varying capacities, from 1.2-litres through 1.3, 1.5 and 1.7 litres, early Suds ran a four-speed gearbox, switching to a five-speed with the introduction of the Ti in 1974, which also featured a twin-choke Weber carburettor, front and rear spoilers and quad headlamps. Alfa continued to expand the Sud range, adding the luxury Special Equipment (SE) version in May 1974 and basic L in January the following year, while the Giugiaro-penned Sprint of 1976 was a sporting variant designed to compete head to head with Volkswagen’s Scirocco. Right-hand drive production commenced in August 1973 and were sold in both two and foor-door saloons, eventually joined by three and five door hatchbacks in the early 1980s. By the late 1970s, the 1.5 Ti was powered by a gutsy 95 horsepower 1490cc engine (in either single or twin carburettor guises) and Alfa had at long last begun tackling the dreaded rust issues that plagued earlier models, using better quality undersealing, phosphate coating and zinc-chrome treatments to protect the body shell from corrosion. From 1980 the bodywork was updated with matt black plastic bumpers, reshaped lamp and indicator clusters and a revised Alfa grille, plus modern wheel rims. Few Alfasuds escaped the ravages of time and those that have make wonderfully usable, affordable Italian classics.