Alfa Romeo has added Selespeed versions of the new Alfa Romeo Spider and Brera to its range at the Geneva International Motor Show. However unlike 80% of cars at the Geneva motorshow, the Selespeed versions are actually going to make it to Australia later this year.
You might be wondering what Selespeed actually is, its Alfa’s new robotised electro-hydraulic system for manual sequential and automatic gear changes. The system allows the driver to decide how he wants to drive. In manual sequential mode, he changes up by ‘pushing’ the shift in the opposite direction to the direction of the car, and he reverses the action to change down.
This functioning logic is typical of sporty gear changes in which it is the inertia of the motion of the car and the driver that intuitively suggests how to use the gearbox. In automatic mode, the gearbox acts like any other auto gearbox by selecting the best ratio to engage.
Nonetheless, the best addition is the ability to change gears using the ‘paddles’ on the steering wheel, which are standard equipment with the Selespeed transmission. The Selespeed gearbox also has a Sport button that can be activated with manual or automatic operation.
In the first case, Sport mode reduces gear change times by about 20 per cent by compressing the torque reduction and reinstatement stages. With automatic operation, engaging Sport mode raises the gear change points to higher engine speeds.
“The arrival of these cars in Australia is highly significant for Alfa Romeo, given the bias of our market towards self-shifting gearboxes, they mean that we will have a self-shifting gearbox for every version of the new-generation Alfa Romeos, the 159, the 159 Sportwagon, the Brera and Spider, and, even more than that, they are all six speed state-of-the-art gearboxes, enhancing performance and fuel economy like no unit before them. This range-wide availability will transform our sales in Australia.”
David Stone, General Manager for Alfa Romeo in Australia.
Fitted with the Selespeed gearbox, the Alfa Romeo Brera & Spider perform the dash from 0-100 km/h in 8.6 seconds with a top speed of 222 kmh for both cars. The Selespeed versions will be available third quarter of 2007, matched to the 2.2 litre 136 kW JTS engine, but in the mean time this month sees the arrival of the Alfa Romeo 159 and 159 Sportwagon with the 1.9 JTD Turbo Diesel engine mated to the Q-Tronic six speed automatic gearbox.
The same Q-Tronic unit is now available with the 2.4 JTD Turbo Diesel in 159 and Sportwagon, along with the 3.2 litre V6 JTS engine in 159, Sportwagon, Brera and Spider. The new six speed Selespeed debuts in the 159 and 159 Sportwagon before arriving in Selespeed versions.
Pricing and equipment specifications for the Brera and Spider Selespeed will be announced closer to the release date.