|1983 - Facelift for the
In 1983, the successor of the Alfasud is born. It is the brand new Alfa 33 which shall free Alfa Romeo from the rusty desaster named Alfasud. So the Alfasud range is reduced to one version, the Alfasud Ti 1.5 QV with 105 bhp. This version survives because there is still no sportive version of the Alfa 33. The production of all other versions of the Alfasud ends step by step during the year. The Alfasud Sprint is called Sprint from now on. Alfa Romeo gives it a facelift. It now has dim black plastic bumpers and a new radiator grille made of plastic. Lateral protection panels and a new mirror are added to the body. Two different versions are available: the Sprint 1.3 with 85 bhp and the Sprint 1.5 Quadrifoglio Verde (Golden Cloverleaf) with 105 bhp. The Sprint 1.5 QV is only available with the short transmission ratio. Both Sprints (1.3 and 1.5 QV) have two Weber 36 IDF 44 / 45 twin-choke downdraft carburettors. In some countries, one can order the Sprint 1.5 QV with a catalyst (e.g. Switzerland, the Netherlands). The Sprint 1.3 has a red stripe running along the bumpers and the lateral protection panels, the Sprint 1.5 QV has a green stripe. The scudetto of the 1.3 is dim black, the 1.5 QV is painted in green. The Sprint 1.5 QV is equipped witha green floor carpet. It is the same green as on the seats where Alfa Romeo uses a black fabric with lots of little green points. In addition, the 1.5 QV has new bucket seats. The dashboard is also modified. New, round switches for the fog lights and the rear window washer / wiper are installed in the middle of the dashboard. The Sprint 1.5 QV offers a rear wiper /washer and 14 " Speedline alloy wheels with 190/55 HR 340 or 185/60 HR 14 tires as standard equipment. The 1.3 is delivered with 13" steel rims and 165/70 SR 13 tires.
For a short period, the Sprint
Speciale is offered in the UK. Some racing Sprints are built by Autodelta
for the Sprint-Cup. The production of the Alfa Romeo ARNA starts in
Pratola Serra near Pomigliano d' Arco. This new Alfa which is positioned below
the 33-range uses the body of the Datsun / Nissan Cherry and combines it with
the engine, gearbox and front axle of the Alfasud.
** 2 twin choke down draft carburettors (1) normal transmission ratio (2) long transmission ratio
1984 - Launch of the Sprint 1.5
production of the Sprint 1.5 starts. It has the trim of the 1.3 with grey
fabrics in the interior and can be recognized by the wooden steering wherel and
by the grey stripes on the bumpers and lateral protecion panels. The Sprint 1.5
stands on 165/70 SR 13 tyres with steel rims and can only be ordered with the
long transmission ratio gearbox.
Meanwhile the Sprint has become aged and the Alfa Romeo importers lanuch several special editions in order to keep the production running. The Sprint 1.5 Grand Prix special edition is sold sold in some countries (i.e. Germany). It is based on the 1.5 QV. In France, one can buy the Sprint Balocco which also bases on the 1.5 QV.
At the end of the 1984, Alfa Romeo adapts the floorplan of the Alfa 33 to the chassis of every new Sprint. From then on, all Sprints have a modified front suspension with outboardly mounted disc brakes and the rigid rear beam axle of the 33 with brake drums.
The last Alfasuds are built.
No changes. Alfa Romeo is sold to Fiat and loses its
1987 to 1989 - the Sprint profits by the Alfa 33
The production of the Sprint 1.5 Quadrifoglio Verde ends. Parallel to the brand new Alfa 33 1.7 QV Alfa Romeo offers a Sprint with 1712 cm³. It is called the Sprint 1.7 Quadrifoglio Verde. Its engine has hydraulic tappets and two Weber 40 IDF 69/68 twin-choke downdraft carburettors. The new engine develops 114 bhp. The Sprint 1.7 QV's front brakes were upgraded in order to cope with the increased power of the engine. Alfa Romeo installs the new vented front discs of the Alfa 33 1.7 QV.
With the facelift the big
lateral protection panels with the colourful lining disappear. Alloy wheels with
a new design and a colour-coded mirror enter the production. The door handle
push-buttons are now kept in black and the sills are now hidden by a black
plastic cover. The scudetto is again chromed. The Sprint 1.7 QV comes with a
small, colour-coded rear spoiler. It is stated with a top speed of 202 kph.
makes it the fastest Alfasud / Sprint ever built. Compared to the interior of
its predecessor Sprint 1.5 QV, the interior looks rather plain. A rough grey
fabric with grey leather inlays replaces the black fabric with green points
which was used in the Sprint 1.5 QV. The dashboard is now kept in a light grey.
In some countries (e.g. the Netherlands and Switzerland) Alfa Romeo offers the
1.7 QV with the 105bhp engine of the recently launched Alfa 33 1.7 ie.
It is called the Sprint 1.7 ie Quadrifoglio Verde and has a Bosch LE 3.1
Jetronic system. A three-way catalyst (Euro-1 emission standarts) is standard.
In Austria Alfa Romeo relaunches the Sprint in 1988 (as 1.7 ie QV version) -
after they had to stop selling it some time before because the old Sprints with
carburettor-equipped engines could not cope with the the more severe emission
standarts. In Great Britain Alfa Romeo offers the Sprint 1.7 Veloce which is
infact a Sprint 1.7 QV with a Zender spoiler-kit. Five-spoke alloy wheels can be
ordered as option. The Sprint 1.3 is still produced besides the 1.7 QV. In 1989
the production of the Sprint ends. 18 years after the launch of the first
Alfasud in 1971, the long and sometimes sad story of the series 901 / 902 / 904
ends silently. The superb idea of Rudolf Hruska has been copied by many other
companies. Meanwhile it can not cope with the raised standards in passive safety
and luxury equipment. The old Alfa 33 (series 905) which has delivered a lot of
parts for the last Sprints will be replaced in 1990 by the Nuova Alfa 33 (series
Last Update: November, 6th 2005 Created: January 2000
© Layout and text by Tim Rauen. The photos of this page are published with the permission of Alfa Romeo S.p.a.