People who thought their Alfasud ti 1.5 to have not enough power could buy a turbo-kit made by Gian Franco Mantavoni-Wainer at Corsico Ville near Milan. After the instalation of a lot of modifications, the 1.5 litre engine of the ti developped 130 hp. Mantavoni-Wainer, owner of an Alfa Romeo workshop, already worked for Autodelta. In the beginning of the eighties he started to set the Alfasud under (turbo-) pressure. Even Porsche drivers must have got affraid when they saw this rocket in their mirrors on a curvy road. An engine-oil-cooler below the front bumper and the air-intake on the bonnet spoke a clear language... The stripes along the bottom of the doors and side panels, whose design was inspirated by the ones of the Alfetta GTV Turbodelta had only one mission: to tell other drivers what was behind them. Every Alfista could notice what car was running there.
Road testers of that decade were fascinated by the homogenity of this very special Alfasud ti. The fun which automatically came up when using the 130 cavalli made them enthusiastic. They were surprised how well the suspensions could cope with that enormous increase in power. Having just changed gears, the rev counter was already speeding up to 7000 revs per minute. Roadholding and balance were as superb as the brakes.
The technical facts: the turbocharger produced by Alfa Romeo Avio did not only deliever more power (130 hp at 6000 rpm) but also a huge increase in torque. The Turbowainer achieved 19,3 mkg at 4000 rpm. That made a weight / power relation of 7,03 hp per kg at kerb weight of 915 kg (20 kg more than the serial Alfasud ti 1.5) compared with the 9,4 hp per kg of a non-turbo Alfasud ti. So 1000 cm³ produced 87 hp instead of the 64 hp of the usual ti 1.5. It was able to run at a topspeed of 201 kph (at 6750 rpm). Impossible to cope with the 181 kph of an un-tuned ti 1.5. The acceleration from 0 to 100 kph was finished in 9 seconds (compared to 11,5 seconds for the serial ti). A kilometre (standing start) was reached in 29,4 seconds. 3.3 seconds less than the usual ti needed. Because of the increased torque, the elasticity could be improved. After the turbo had set the combustion chambers under pressure, one was "shot" from 90 kph to 140 kph in only 11,5 seconds (fifth gear). Compared to the 20,6 seconds of the seral ti that was a superb improvement.
To install all the turbo-related parts under the bonnet, many parts had to placed somewhere else. The air cleaner box had to move from the top of the engine to the left of the engine compartment. The whole ensemble makes a very tidy impression. Esspecially when you compare it to the chaos which rules the engine compartment of a Turbo-Alfasud by Bell & Colvill (GB). To integrate a turbocharger into the engine bay of a boxer engine is surely not the simplest thing. The place where Wainer fixed the turbo had the disadvantage that it could be damaged if the car grounded.
To let the power on the ground, Mantavoni-Wainer made use of the largest tires (185/60 R 14), which fitted into the wheelarches without enlarging them. The alloy wheels were taken out of the Alfa Romeo catalogue and could be found on nearly every Alfa of the seventies. For the amount of 75000 French Francs one could buy that "rocket-ti" in 1982. That was 23000 Francs more than the a usual Alfasud ti 1.5 would cost. Laurent who made this pictures available to me, supposes that there was no unit in France.
There was also a turbo kit for the third series Alfasud Ti. That time,
the oil cooler hid in the engine compartment. Because of the long transmission
ratio it couldn't be as fast as the second series ti. It took 0,2 seconds
longer to accelerate it up to100 kph, a kilometre was reached in 30,12
seconds (standing start) and elasticity from 90 kph to 140 kph in fifth
gear took nearly twice the time (21,6 seconds). It could only run at a
topspeed of 191 kph (at 5500 revs per minute).
Last Update: November, 18th 2003 Created: August, 26th 2000
© by Tim Rauen. The photos on this page are out of the French car magazine Auto-hebdo (N°332). Laurent from France emailed them to me.