Alfa Romeo GT 3.2 V6 (type 937): used test drive

The Alfa Romeo GT is a design created on the drawing boards of the Bertone studio. The name also refers to the old “Bertonka” Giulia GT (GTV) and is undoubtedly the biggest attraction of this Alfa. If a week ago I admired the timeless shapes and ease of movement of the Alfa Romeo 156, I was definitely not disappointed when I moved to the “ghetto”. It’s newer, different when driving, my friend says it’s better, sharper. On the contrary, I prefer the elegance and lightness of the older AR 156, but I recognize that the GT has many attractive assets.

A coupe with sharp hatchback features

One thing the Alfa Romeo GT can’t deny. The car is beautiful and, paradoxically, very spacious with the whole tailgate. If someone is hesitant about buying an Alfa Romeo GT, because they just can’t fit in with the whole family, they don’t have to worry. It’s a three door so access to the rear seats isn’t that easy but a lot of stuff can fit in the trunk and you can fit two small children in the back no problem you can also install car seats.

Photo: Petr Jeřabek

The Alfa Romeo GT has an exceptionally large luggage compartment; I only mention it because no one would expect the Italian three-door to be practical

Technically the GT is based on the 147 and just like the 156 it has a very similar axle suspension design. There are trapezoids at the front, a MacPherson strut multi-link axle at the rear and extremely fast steering in the six-cylinder Busso version, very similar to that of the 147 GTA. I had the opportunity to drive it the year before last, so there is some time lag, but the basic impressions behind the wheel of the GT 3.2 V6 were virtually identical to the 147 GTA. Both cars have less than two turns of the wheel from stop to stop and a remarkably lousy turning circle. But this is not a negative point, on the contrary, I really like the fast driving of the Alfa Romeo.

Photo: Petr Jeřabek

The Alfa Romeo GT still has a “Busso” V6 engine and the last cars consisted only of the engines left on the shelf…

The main role of the engine

It will sound like deja vu after last Sunday’s article on the six-cylinder one hundred and sixty-six, but just like in the previous case, the central motif here is the six-cylinder under the front bonnet. The specific Alfa Romeo GT was in absolutely standard condition, only with a tuned tailpipe from Novitec, Italy. Alfa Romeo with a “bus” just needs a slightly tuned exhaust, but you should not overdo it. The novice obviously knows how to do it, and thanks to this no unpleasant rumble is transmitted to the cabin at medium speed. On the contrary, the exhaust nicely and decently underlines the atmosphere of the car.

The “Busso” six-cylinder, which is in its latest modification, has DOHC cylinder heads, four valves per cylinder and hydraulic clearance limitation. With the volume increased to 3.2 litres, a different characteristic than you would find in the old two and a half or three liters has been achieved. The engine has a good twenty, thirty newton meters of higher torque at medium speeds and pulls more linearly on the tachometer. The old Bussa, or a modified Bussa with sharper cams, can pull from the four-thousand-rpm limit and fly to the seven-thousand-rev limiter just as frenetically. In contrast, these latest 3.2-liter engines are more linear in series, significantly more powerful in the range of two to four thousand revolutions. Many drivers will appreciate it.

Photo: Petr Jeřabek

The interior is a combination of precious leather, ergonomic seats, but also ordinary plastic instruments – the same as you found in the much cheaper AR 147 model

Precise control, but also worse processing

The engine is the basic element of a car. The Italians have been doing it for decades and the strategy still works very well. The six-cylinder Busso is the main attraction of this Alfa Romeo, the rest of the car is built around the engine. This is exactly what was said in antiquity at Ferrari itself. At the time, the Alfa was also very expensive, with a powerful 177 kW (240 hp) V6 engine costing well over a million crowns and not all of the car’s controls looked like it. It was spent on technology under the hood.

If I criticize anything after getting into the ergonomic GT leather seats, it will be the materials of the dashboard, door panels and some control buttons. But you have to be able to look at things over time. The first GT (937) left the doors of Alfa Romeo in Pomigliano d’Arco (near Naples) in the spring of 2003, and what was produced then? When I look at the interior, the materials used and their durability in the then very popular One Focus or Four Golf, I see that it was not a hit parade either, I prefer to keep quiet about cars from Korea.

However, the Alfa Romeo GT was built for another seven years, and by the end of the production run, things like the rubberized plastic, the red backlighting of the dashboard graphics, or the 90s buttons weren’t in place. It’s fair to admit, after all, the wear and feel of those buttons came soon enough. On the other hand, when I change to my Mini Cooper from the same era, I immediately tell myself how happy I am not to have the optional buttons on the steering wheel at the time, which also touched very quickly for all Minis. . By this I mean that Alfa Romeo was actually no worse than the competition at the time.

Photo: Petr Jeřabek

I like the side view of the GT the most, I personally like the elongated narrow lamp shapes and the side profile of the body.

Advice before purchase

If you choose the beautiful Alfa Romeo GT (937), you will certainly not go wrong. The car has enormous charisma and it still costs a lot of money for what it still looks like. Many customers bought the car with a 1.9 JTD diesel, which in its most powerful version (125 kW) could also be combined with a mechanical self-locking differential in the front, called Q2. It will be very useful for the owner as an additional installation (technically it can be done) even for the three-bust six-cylinder Busso, which, surprisingly, did not have it.

Otherwise, the GT was sold with a Twinspark engine with a displacement of 1,742 cc and an output of 103 kW and then with a two-litre JTS with direct injection and an output of 121 kW. With its output of 177 kW, the Busso six-cylinder with a displacement of 3,179 cc is absolutely sovereign in its expression and completely changes the impressions of the entire car. If you can afford it, you want a GT with just this engine. Moreover, very few of them were produced, only 4,244, and they will become increasingly rare. Of course the JTD diesel is much more economical, you probably won’t drive less than twelve liters with a six-cylinder, but the experience is worth it and the six-cylinder car may one day have an interesting value in the future.

The Alfa Romeo GT is quite reliable. Technically, it has a lot in common with other Alphas of the era, and if you find anything more expensive, it will be chassis and corrosion repair work. And this is the first point you need to look for when choosing the right used one. These cars already have a very cropped chassis, often rotting the MacPherson strut shock absorbers at the rear and also the subframe, where the lower arms of the front trapezoidal suspension are stored. The rear axle has a pair of transverse arms on each side and one longitudinal. And, of course, the clearance will build up over time, the bolts will cut out, and the car will need to be refurbished. There is a lot of work to be done, so few people will have the chassis of these cars repaired completely and with quality. Be careful when servicing and Alfa will reward you with a great ride. Unfortunately, most of them drive half dead.

Engines and gearboxes are very good. Provided with regular and problem-free maintenance, they will cover hundreds of thousands of kilometres, especially the diesels. For a six-cylinder, of course, one must take into account the higher costs and do not forget to replace the adjusted timing belt every 60,000 kilometers at the latest. The Selespeed robotic gearbox, which first appeared on the 156 model in 1999, then on the 147, including the Sharp GTA, is also specific. In GT, it can only be found associated with the JTS engine. In addition to the clutch, the hydraulic pump in the system can sometimes leave it.

When I sum up the impressions of the Alfa Romeo GT 3.2 V6, enthusiasm prevails. Personally, I prefer the hair of the slightly older Alfa Romeo 156, I really admire the shapes of the GTV (916) and would also prefer it to the newer GT (937). But only if I consider this car a weekend toy. On the contrary, the GT is much more practical than its predecessor. And with a fast ride, stiffer body, it delivers a sporty ride with the song of the amazing Buss. The six-cylinder version will most likely be a distinctive sports version in the future, and their prices will only increase slightly. Don’t underestimate the careful selection and feel free to pay extra for the best-maintained part you’ll find on the market.

Alfa Romeo GT 3.2 V6 (2004-2007)
Engine V6 with 60° opening, DOHC 24V, front through
Cylinder capacity 3179 cc
Performance 177 kW (240 hp) at 6,200 rpm
Couple 300 Nm at 4,800 rpm
Gearbox and drive wheels 6° manual, front wheel drive
Dimensions 4489mm x 1763mm x 1355mm
Standby weight 1,410 kilograms
Acceleration 0–100 km/h 6.7 seconds
Maximum speed 243 km/h
Fuel consumption 12.4 l/100km (combined, according to manufacturer)
Market price From CZK 150,000 for cars requiring more maintenance up to CZK 300,000 for absolutely perfect condition, the average price is around CZK 200-250,000 for relatively nice cars with a 3.2 V6 engine

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