Alfa Romeo Alfasud

Infobox Automobile

name=Alfa Romeo Alfasud
manufacturer=Alfa Romeo
assembly= Pomigliano d'Arco, Italy
successor=Alfa Romeo Arna
Alfa Romeo 33
body_style=2-door saloon (Alfasud ti)
4-door saloon
3-door hatchback
5-door hatchback
3-door coupe (Alfasud Sprint)
3-door estate (Giardinetta)
layout=FF layout
class=Small family car
length=Auto mm|3890
height=Auto mm|1370
width=Auto mm|1590
transmission=4 and 5-speed manual
similar=Austin Allegro
Citroën GS
Fiat Ritmo
Renault 14
engine=1.2 L "Flat-4"
1.3 L "Flat-4"
1.4 L "Flat-4"
1.5 L "Flat-4"
1.7 L "Flat-4"
related = Alfa Romeo Sprint
designer=ItalDesign's Giorgetto Giugiaro

The Alfa Romeo Alfasud is a compact car made by Alfa Romeo of Italy from 1971 to 1989. It was considered one of Alfa Romeo's most successful models, sold 893,719 examples from 1972 to 1983 plus 121,434 Sprint versions from 1976 to 1989.Cite web|url=|title=Alfasud|accessdate=2007-08-13|] A common nickname for the car is "’Sud".


It was built at a new factory at Pomigliano d'Arco in southern Italy, hence the car's name, "Alfa Sud" (Alfa South) and developed by Austrian Rudolf Hruska.

It was shown at the Turin Motor Show in 1971 and was immediately praised by journalists for its styling (by Giorgetto Giugiaro of ItalDesign) and handling. It featured a 1186 cc flat-4 engine.

Despite its two-box shape, it did not initially have a hatchback. The first production Alfasuds were four-door sedans, with a sporty two-door TI (Turismo Internazionale, or Touring International) model following at the end of 1973.

In 1974, Alfa Romeo launched a more luxurious model the Alfasud SE. The SE was replaced by the 'L' (Lusso) model in 1975. The Lusso model was produced until 1976, by then it was replaced with the new '5M' model, the first four-door Alfasud with a 5 speed gearbox. A three-door station wagon model called the Giardinetta was introduced for the 1975 model year.

In 1976, the Alfasud Sprint was launched. On the same platform, it was a lower, more angular sports model. The Sprint did feature a hatchback, a more powerful 1286 cc 75 PS (55 kW) engine and a five-speed gearbox. The engine was later fitted into the standard Alfasuds, creating the 1300 TI models, and the five-speed gearbox found its way into the basic Alfasud, creating the 5M (5 Marce) model.

A 1490 cc engine was soon made available to all body shapes, originally developing 85 PS (63 kW). By the end of the Alfasud's life, there was a tuned version of the engine developing 105 PS (77 kW) in the Quadrifoglio Verde (Green Cloverleaf) model.

Despite strong engineering, Alfasuds (especially the early ones) had a strong reputation for suffering from rust, possibly due to the storage conditions of the bodies at the plant.Cite web|url=|title=The Project|accessdate=2007-12-05|]

All Alfasuds were upgraded in 1980 with plastic bumpers and other revisions.

A hatchback was added to the original shape in 1981. The Giardinetta was deleted from most markets around this time. By now, most of its competitors were producing a hatchback of this size, although many of them were producing a saloon alternative.

The Alfasud sedans were replaced by the Alfa Romeo Arna and 33 models in 1983. The 33 was an evolution of the Alfasud's floorpan and running gear, including minor suspension changes and a change from four-wheel disc brakes to rear drum brakes in an effort to reduce costs. The Alfasud Sprint was renamed into Alfa Romeo Sprint in 1983, this model was continued until 1989 by sharing the 33's running gear.


* 1971-1983 1.2 L (1186 cc) "Alfa" H4, 63–68 hp
* 1977-1983 1.3 L (1286 cc) "Alfa" H4, 75 hp (56 kW)
* 1978-1983 1.4 L (1350 cc) "Alfa" H4, 79 hp
* 1978-1983 1.5 L (1490 cc) "Alfa" H4, 85–105 hp (63–78 kW)
* 1987-1989 1.7 L (1712 cc) "Alfa" H4, 118 hp

Alfasud in motorsport

From 1975 was arranged a one-car racing series for Alfasuds. One year later was started Alfasud trophy in Italy and Austria. Later France and Germany got their own competitions. In 1977 was time for "Trofeo Europa Alfasud" where best drivers from each country competed. The Trofeo Alfasud was with 1286 cc engine with Autodelta kit. Gerhard Berger is probably best known driver who participated Alfasud Trofeo. An Alfasud also made an appearance at the Bathurst 1000 in the late 1970s/early 1980s.Cite web|url=|title=The Trofeo Alfasud|accessdate=2007-12-10|]

Famous Alfasud conversions

* Gian Franco Mantovani Wainer produced a one-off Bimotore version, with two 1186 cc engines and four-wheel drive for rallying. Wainer also produced a turbocharged Turbowainer model in 1983.
* The Alfasud was the basis of the Minari kit car designed by Andy Borrowman and Sean Prendergast. Approximately 120 cars were sold throughout the 1990s.Cite web|url=|title=More About the Minari Kitcar|accessdate=2007-06-29|]

Body rust

As with other Alfa Romeo models of the period (not alone amongst Italian makers), the cars suffered from bodyshell rust when used in climates less dry than that Southern Italy. This was conspicuously bad for the Alfsud, owing to foam-filled sections of compound curvature around the front inner wheelarches and suspension mounts. These were not only prone to rust, they are almost difficult to repair by welding, owing to the fire risk of the foam.

See also

*Alfa Romeo Sprint


External links

* [ Rody's Alfasud collecting website]
* [ Alfasud bibliography, which usefully gives a model list]
* [ The World Wide Alfasud Register, also with a comprehensive model list]
* [ Alfasud web site]
* [ Alfa Romeo Alfasud (and Sprint) parts catalogs downloads site]

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