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"This car is absolutely phenomenal. It has character like no other new car I've driven. It is a handful, supernaturally fast, tactile, dangerous, beautiful, and yet still practical. It is without doubt the best performance hatchback available today." -Adam Jefferson, CarEnthusiast.com
The 147 proved it was popular even before its official launch date!
The Alfa Romeo 147 has won the world's most prestigious automotive award, the European Car of the Year, with no less than 51 of the 56 judges across the whole of Europe putting the Alfa 147 amongst their favourites.
To take the 2001 title, the new Alfa Romeo beat some of the most advanced cars ever seen in the world, including the Audi A2, the Toyota Prius, the Mercedes C Class, the new GM/Holden Corsa, the Volvo S60/V70 and the Citroën Picasso.
For the Alfa Romeo and the Fiat Group, it adds to their status as one of the most successful award winning companies in the world. The Alfa 147 brings the Fiat Group's total wins to ten, with seven for Fiat, two for Alfa Romeo and one for Lancia. This is, in total, nearly double the number of awards won by the second and third placed companies. The Alfa 147 victory is the second win for Alfa Romeo in three years, following hard on the heals of Alfa 156's victory in 1998.
The Alfa Romeo 147 was introduced to the international media in October and it immediately aroused great interest and very favourable comments from more than 860 journalists from 62 countries who gathered in Monte Carlo for the new Alfa's début.
This critical acclaim was immediately confirmed by customer enthusiasm. Alfa Romeo dealers gathered more than 20,000 orders in Europe during the first week following the launch (October 28 - November 4).
New levels of performance, safety, equipment and comfort have made this possible, equivalent to those of higher sector models. The Alfa 147 has been developed for people who are looking for a sporty car with a big personality and category-topping driving attributes.
The Alfa 147 also reveals a natural relationship with its predecessors in its styling because the Alfa Romeo Style Centre designers deliberately added reworked versions of many motifs typical of recent Alfas to the new car.
These traits are joined by traditional Alfa styling cues; examples include the three-part pattern formed from the two horizontal air intakes and vertical badge - and a V-shaped bonnet that blends in below the headlamps and is reminiscent of the fabulous 6C 2500 Villa d'Este of 1949.
The new Alfa Romeo is equipped for the European market with three Twin Spark 16v engines; a 77 kW 1.6 unit, a higher-powered 88 kW 1.6 unit and a 110 kW 2.0 unit. The latter comes with a manual gearbox or a Selespeed automatic transmission with robotised gearshifts and clutch control.
These power units are joined by a common rail diesel engine with a variable geometry turbine, the 81 kW 1.9 JTD. This is due to go on sale in spring of 2001 together with the 2.0 manual gearbox and five door versions.
These four power units all share one common feature, i.e. the ability to ensure outstanding performance; a high top speed and excellent flexibility in all gears and in all situations.
The chassis is right up to the standard of the car's decidedly sporty performance and personality. The chassis is derived from the acclaimed Alfa 156. The 147's torsional rigidity is the same as that of its big sister, as is its suspension layout, double wishbones at the front and MacPherson struts at the rear.
The Alfa 147 also offers maximum active and passive safety. A powerful, easily-modulated braking system is complemented by an ABS and also sophisticated electronic devices that distribute brake force between front and rear wheels (EBD), regulate wheel slip during acceleration (ASR), modulate braking torque while changing down through the gears (MSR) and control dynamic stability on corners (VDC).
The car is also equipped with all the systems currently available on Alfa Romeo cars to protect passengers in case of impact. These include six airbags fitted as standard, two at the front, two at the sides and two window bags.
The new compact Alfa also comes with a comprehensive array of on-board equipment. It offers an automatic dual zone climate control system that allows the driver and front passenger to adjust air temperature to different settings. It is fitted with sensors that detect solar radiation, the sensation of heat experienced by the occupants and pollution. All this, plus a combination air filter with particulate capture and activated carbon to stop odours.
The control panel comes with a multifunctional display that provides a host of information; time, date, outdoor temperature, check control, speed limit warning, fault indicator and trip computer.
The standard sound system comes with eight speakers. The car can also be optionally fitted with a sophisticated Bose? hi-fi system with a six-channel amplifier and active subwoofer specially designed for the Alfa 147.
The car can also be outfitted with a full array of on-line instruments that include a phone, navigation system, voice controls and a TFT colour screen.
The luggage compartment is highly functional. It features a luggage retaining net and comes with a base that can be turned over to form a washable, waterproof tray for wet windsurfer sails or ski boots.
Car of the Year 2001
The Car of the Year award was first introduced in 1964 and the jury is currently made up of 56 motoring journalists representing 21 European countries.
To gain entry to the competition, new cars must have gone on sale in at least five different European markets during the year. Scores are awarded for design, comfort, safety, running economy, handling, performance, practicality, respect for the environment, price and value for money.
An initial selection of ten cars is made from all the new models that go on sale during the year. These are included in the final vote.
Each jury member is given 25 points to distribute among the ten finalists, with a maximum of 10 going to the first choice. 2001 classification
Alfa 147 (238 points)
Mercedes Class C
GM Opel/Holden Corsa
Fiat Group Cars of the Year
The Fiat Group has won the prize with the following cars:
FIAT 124 (1967)
FIAT 128 (1970)
FIAT 127 (1972)
LANCIA DELTA (1980)
FIAT UNO (1984)
FIAT TIPO (1989)
FIAT PUNTO (1995)
FIAT BRAVO/BRAVA (1996)
ALFA 156 (1998)
ALFA 147 (2001)
The Newly-Launched 5-Door Alfa 147
Built upon the same platform as the highly acclaimed 156, the 147 takes this set-up a stage further with an even more refined, tauter, yet more comfortable ride.
The 147 also boasts superior safety levels with features such as six airbags (front, side and window 'curtain' airbags), active sensor ABS with electronic brake force distributor (EBD), anti-slip regulation (ASR), pre-tensioners and load limiters for the front seatbelts, and a fire prevention system all as standard !
Other 147 key features include:
Automatic Dual-Zone Climate Control
Dual Zone Climate Control makes it possible for the driver and front seat passenger to set different temperatures in their individual ?zones? (up to 7 degrees difference). So, for instance, if a husband and wife are on their way to a formal evening -him in a dinner jacket, her in a sleeveless dress -both can feel comfortable since they can set different temperatures for their individual zones. Multi-Functional Display
At the bottom of the central instrument binnacle, right in front of the driver?s eyes is the multi-functional display. Whilst some Audi A3, BMW 3-Series Compact and VW Golf models feature certain of these functions (usually as optional extras) none of them provide such a comprehensive range:
* Time * Date
* Trip Computer * Outside Temperature
* Ice Warning * Check function ?with words?
* Pre-Set Speed Limit* Radio Station Frequency
* Traffic Messages * CD Disk/Track Playing
* Service Indicator * Buzzer Alerts
* Name/Number of Incoming/Outgoing Phone Call
* Current Gear Selection (Selespeed)
* Satellite Navigation Information On-Route
When the driver wants to make a note of something whilst on the move, the voice recorder allows him or her to record up to 30 seconds of speech.
All 147 models feature ?Follow-Me-Home? headlights, which stay on for up to 3 minutes after the driver exits the car-thus providing reassuring illumination as he or she walks up to the house.
Radio Controls on the Steering Wheel
All models from the 1.6 T.Spark Lusso and above feature radio controls for volume, mute, track, mode and pre-set channel change on the steering wheel.
Rain-Sensor Windscreen Wipers
If it starts to rain, the system automatically turns on the windscreen wipers and increases their speed according to the intensity of the rain.
Pollution & Condensation Sensors
A pollution sensor automatically turns on the air recirculation function if air quality falls below a certain level. Should the windscreen mist up, sensors detect this and automatically activate the climate control system to clear the screen.
Bose? Sound System
The Bose? Corporation produces the best hi-fi systems in the world. The 147 can be specified with a uniquely tailored system, specially designed to suit the car?s acoustics, with a six-channel amplifier and subwoofer housed in the boot. This is standard on the 2.0 Selespeed and optional on other models.