The Alfa Romeo GTV6 was first released in 1981, as an updated version of the previously successful Alfetta GT which first rolled off the production line in 1976. GTV stands for Gran Turismo Veloce, which translated literally means "Fast grand touring". Translated by equivalent, GTV stands for "Quick racing car". Aesthetically, the Alfetta GT and subsequently the GTV and GTV6 were designed by Italian Giorgetto Giugaro, who has since designed many European supercars, including various Ferraris (Those not designed by Pininfarina were a product of Giugaro's marvellous imagination). The GTV6 can be identified easily from its GTV bretheren by the large bulge on the bonnet(hood). This was added to accomodate the larger intake plenum of the V6, and as luck would have it, became one of the most subsequently referred to parts of car-design ever.
The Alfa Romeo GTV6 features as its source of power a stunning all-alloy 2.5 litre V6 engine, which is in turn coupled with a rear mounted, five speed trans-axle. The engine itself is extremely efficient, and manages to produce a not insignificant 159hp (horse power) in it's unabated European form. A Bosch L-Jetronic Fuel Injection system provides fuel and ignition to the engine, which is consequently both smooth and free-revving. This is often discussed as the best aspect of the Alfa GTV6.
The five-speed transaxle includes the clutch unit, and is linked to the engine by a central drive-shaft. Miraculously, this results in a perfect 50/50 balance between the front and rear wheels, which adds immensely to the cars impeccable handling.
The suspension consists of double-wishbones, utilising torsion bars instead of springs. Anti-roll bars, and telescopic dampers in the front and the rear also contribute to the marvellous design of the suspension. Specifically, the deDion rear suspension is one of the highlights of the car itself. It handles itself in such a way, so that both rear wheels (which provide the power) are kept perpendicular to the road surface at all times. This means that the car can accelerate blisteringly away from heavy corners, and on uneven surfaces-- something that many newer cars lack.
The front brakes consist in the newer Alfa GTV6's (1984-1987) of large ventilated discs with Brembo calipers. Prior to this, though, the included brake discs were slightly smaller and gripped by ATE Calipers. The brakes provide a wonderful feel, and are easy to modulate. In something of a design stroke of genius, the rear discs on an Alfa GTV6 are inboard. This means that the discs, instead of being positioned near the wheels, are actually positioned closer to the center of the car. This effectively reduces the mass that the suspension has to support, and thusly provides better grip and acceleration.