GT: The Last Alfa by Bertone

The combination of Bertone's style and Alfa Romeo's performance has produced a long streak of unforgettable cars revered by collectors worldwide. Some were great commercial successes while others remained unique masterpieces, but each left an indelible mark on the automobile's evolution.



And, like the best marriages, it lasted until death.

As Bertone filed for bankruptcy in 2014, there will be no more Bertone Alfas, and here's the story of the very last one.

As its project code and appearance suggest, the GT was a 147 derivative. However, the 156 Sport Wagon platform was actually used because of its longer wheelbase, making the GT a comfortable four-seater despite its sporty appearance. Bertone designers successfully lobbied against Fiat's beancounters to let the GT have its own specific windshield, crucial to the swoopy side profile we know and love.

The GT was well received by the market, thanks to its combination of attractive appearance, practicality, and lusty engines.

Bertone as a whole would lose a much more significant battle, though.

As most of the firm's revenue came from vehicle manufacturing at its Grugliasco factory, landing a contract to make the GT there was crucial to its future.

But it was not to be.

The GT debuted in March 2003 at the Geneva motor show, with series production starting in November the same year at the ex-Alfasud factory near Naples, where its sister models were produced.

The GT was well received by the market, thanks to its combination of attractive appearance, practicality, and lusty engines.

While the 1.9 Turbodiesel took the lion's share of sales, the GT could also be had with the 1.8 Twin Spark, 3.2 V6, and the innovative 2 liters JTS direct-injection unit.

the GT has been the very last Alfa Romeo model available with the legendary "Busso" V6

On the production side, the most significant technical update in the GT's life came in October 2006, when a Torsen limited-slip differential called "Q2" became available with the 1.9 JTD engine, improving traction out of tight bends and slippery conditions.

From 2008 on, GT sales dropped sharply, despite the many attractive limited edition models offered in this period. Production of the GT ended in June 2010, with the very last cars shipped to Japan.

Interestingly, the GT has been the very last Alfa Romeo model available with the legendary "Busso" V6: cars equipped with the 3.2 V6 have reportedly been made all the way to 2010, even though the engine's production at Arese ceased in December 2005.

While Bertone is no more, its former factory in Grugliasco, near Turin, exists to this day. Purchased by Fiat in 2009, it's been completely overhauled and began producing the Maserati Ghibli and Quattroporte in 2013.

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