Friday, January 21, 2011

Alfa Romeo 75 Milano

In 1985, Alfa Romeo replaced the Giulietta Nuova with the 75, otherwise known as the Milano in America. This car was named the 75 to commemorate the 75th birthday of the marque. When it ceased production in 1992, around 187, 000 units had been produced.

On the outside, the changes were nice. The overall shape is given a more boxy-wedge design. Panels have been smoothed out. The front fascia is most fascinating. Centred is the signature Alfa grille, surrounded by a trapezoidal inlet and flanked by parallelogram headlamps. The lower skirt has been lowered to give the car extra sportiness, and feature rectangular fog lights. The rear end has been cleaned up and the tail lights form one homologous unit.

The interior is brand new. Gone is the interior made up up many different parts. Behold, the interior of the 80's: angularism!!! The 75 comes with a dramatically redesigned interior, made up of a melange of angular facets. New sports seats grace the front, while all occupants will enjoy the new upholstery. A dramatically redesigned centre console is ergonomic and driver-friendly. It's organization is neat, even by modern day standards. The instrument display has also been redesigned, with gauges which are much easier to read. The front passenger will surely appreciate the increased space made available by the asymmetrical dashboard. Draw your attention to the handbrake lever. Fascinating, huh?

Those who loved the Giulietta further loved the 75. A variety of sporty features were updated, including upgraded brakes, suspension, gear box, and perfect weight distributions. V6 models even had a limited slip differential!

Basically, throughout its career, these were the engines used:

1.8L Turbo
2.0L Turbodiesel
2.4L Turbodiesel
2.5L V6
3.0L V6

And yes, the pedals came from Heaven itself!

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Alfa Romeo Giulietta

Released in 1977, the Giulietta, named after the original Giulietta, was Alfa Romeo's answer to the compact executive car sector. While a radical change from traditional designs, the Giulietta '77 was rather successful, selling 380,000 units in total, before production ended in 1985. The Giulietta was well powered, light in weight, and equipped with state-of-the-art brakes and suspensions, and proved to be a pleasure to drive.

The exterior of the car was heavily influenced by aerodynamic performance. While "boxy" by modern day standards, the low, flat front fascia with rectangular headlamps, and the squared off rear is classically iconic of the 80's. Meanwhile, many artistic nuances may be observed. The gradual slope of the bonnet shows great elegance. Meanwhile, the car has been detailed with the classic, triangular Alfa Romeo grille, trimmed in chrome. The door handles also show quite a unique design. The side crease is worth noting. We see a smooth, continuous line, softly broken by the front wheel arch. Very tasteful, and indeed, emulated by many modern designers. The gentle wheel arches are also a nice, subtle touch.

To the modern eye, the interior is bittersweet. At first glance, it's ugly. Once you look carefully though, it's quite nice. The vibrant red contrasts with the black. Meanwhile, the red sports seats are a welcome addition. While the sumptuous wood in the older cars have been eliminated, the new car is also better lined. All the frames and panels have been neatly covered up. By the way, look at that armrest and door handle, how cool does that look? Meanwhile, the centre console and tunnel are very neat and tidy. The instrument cluster is perhaps the most fascinating. The Giulietta possessed the classic 80's anti-clockwise tachometer as well as horizontally moving needles for the liquid stats. A series of openings to the right of the cluster are for indicator lights. Cool touch.

Oh, and look at those brake pedals. How posh! I don't see those on an entry level C-Class!

In 1982, a special edition, tuned in-house by Autodelta was made. This was known as the Turbodelta model. This model was equipped with improved brakes, suspension, as well as a turbocharged engine, powering the car from 0-100km/h in only 7.5 seconds! This is sporty even by modern day standards. With only 361 units produced, this was an extremely rare collectible.

Model Lines:

1.3L I4
1.6L I4
1.8L I4
2.0L I4
Turbodelta 2.0L Turbocharged I4
Turbodiesel 2.0L I4

Photos: Courtesy of

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

R-Class Facelift

It has finally arrived!!! The 2011 Facelifted R-Class has been released. Gone are the curvy lines. The new R-Class greets us with a huge upright grille, modern angular headlamps and a brand new bumper with LED's embedded inside. All around the car, the lines and creases have been cleaned up to give a clean, crisp appearance. The rear end is also completely remodelled.

That's it?? No way!!! Mercedes-Benz have put on some new wheel options. as well, the interior has been refreshed. A new, smooth nappa leather steering wheel graces the cockpit. Passengers may indulge in the newly sculpted leather thrones with comfort headrests. Equipment has been enhanced for the new decade. An upgraded COMAND System, as well as a new climate control system graces the front console. The Harman/Kardon sound system has been further improved. Rear passengers are in for a treat. Gone are the old 6.5" Screens with the wired headphones. Bring forth some brand new 8" Screens matched with state of the art, wireless AKG headsets!!

Indeed, the R-Class has been given some exciting updates. Looks elegant and poised, don't you think?

Friday, May 9, 2008

Mercedes-Benz 190E Avantgarde Rosso/Azzurro/Verde

Three Avantgarde(Sport) models of the 190 were produced, the Rosso(Red), the Verde(Green) and the Azzurro(Blue).
The Avantgarde Rosso was a sport model painted in a special red. This model uses the 1.8Litre engine producing 108hp. As an Avantgarde model, the car also features a special interior. The carpets are red. The rest of the interior is black along with a special fabric insert. This fabric is checkered blue, red, green and yellow. The seats are upholstered in black cloth/special fabric. The Avantgarde Rosso was the cheapest of the Avantgarde models. It was priced at 49,875DM($30,787 US) at the time.
The Avantgarde Verde featured green paint. This uses a 2.5Litre Inline-5 Diesel engine capable of producing 94hp. Apart from the slick green paint, the interior was also different. The interior features black/green cloth along with green carpets and green door inserts. The fabric had a special pattern; increasing the uniqueness of the car. The Avantgarde Verde was more expensive than the Avantgarde Rosso. It was priced at 54,500DM($33,732 US) at the time.
The Avantgarde Azzurro was the top-of-the-line model. It uses a 2.3Litre Inline-4 engine capable of producing 134hp. The exterior is painted in a special pearlescent blue. The interior arrives standard with black leather upholstery. Instead of the usual driver seat + passenger seat + rear bench, the Avantgarde Azzurro features 4 individual sport seats. Every surface is black including the carpets. The unique part of this car's interior is that every passenger has his/her own colour. Each seat has a different colour trim of Red/Yellow/Blue/Green. This is matched with a colour strip in the door panel and carpets. However, the Avantgarde Azzurro was very expensive. It cost 65,500DM($40,540 US) at the time.
The Avantgarde models remain a classic. Each one a masterpiece.

Mercedes-Benz 190E Evolution II

The Evo 2 was a radical improvement. It had the Power Pack standardly built in. Also, a full exterior modification designed by Professor Richard Epplar. This gave the vehicle aerodynamic skirts, wheel arches, a rear window spoiler and even an adjustable rear spoiler. The most spectacular is the huge rear spoiler. A high-ranking BMW officer once said,"if that spoiler works, we will have to redesign our wind tunnel." In the end, the BMW wind tunnel was redesigned. The extensively reworked aerodynamics lowered the coefficient of drag to 0.29 and significantly increased downforce. A total of 502 of these high-performance vehicles were produced.

Mercedes-Benz 190E Evolution I

The Evo 1 was the first of the 190s to counter the BMW M3s. The Evo 1 had a 2.5Litre 16Valve engine. However, with the engine sport tuned, it had a power output of 202hp. The exterior was given larger wheel flares, skirts and spoilers to make the vehicle sportier. Also, brakes and suspensions were tuned to make the car able to race. An AMG Power Pack was also available to give the car an extra 30hp. A total of 502 were produced in compliance with DTM rules.

190E 3.2 AMG

The 190E 3.2 AMG is the first Mercedes-Benz vehicle tuned by AMG. Back then, AMG was still an individual company. People always wanted their Mercedes-Benz vehicles tuned by AMG. They wanted high performance vehicles with sumptuous leather interiors. After AMG's victory at DTM racing in 1991, Mercedes-Benz decided to buy the firm. AMG built 200 tuned 190E vehicles. These cars were very expensive, about($90,000). Apart from the 200 produced, AMG also sold body kits and their tuned 3.2Litre engines separately. The 190E 3.2 AMG enjoyed higher sales than the BMW M3 despite being more expensive. The 190E 3.2 AMG is truly a legend and the last of the over-engineered Mercedes-Benz vehicles.