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Wednesday, September 09, 2009

Classic Car REVIEW: Alfa Romeo 33 1.7i 16v

In this blog entry, I'm covering a CLASSIC Alfa Romeo. It's no other than Alfa 33 Boxer 1.7 16v. This car was in the Market from 1983 to 1994. Only a HANDFUL units were imported to Malaysia. The 2nd hand value of the Alfa Romeo 33 in Malaysia is almost NON-EXISTENT. Hence, it's Buyer's market (ie. buyer determines the pricing of the car).

Due to the Rarity of the car, I don't have a unit to test and brag about it. All is not lost, I dished out a history of Alfa 33, 1 main review, Car specifications and LOTS of Owner's review (9 OF THEM).

Background of the Alfa Romeo 33

At the beginning of the '70s Alfa Romeo was thinking to design a medium-sized FWD car, quite a revolution for the Alfisti.

After many projects in 1971 the Alfasud was born, a medium-sized FWD with four disc brakes and a brand new 1186 cc boxer engine. The name Alfasud was motivated by the fact that these cars were produced at the new Pomigliano d'Arco A.R. plants near Naples, in the South (hence Sud) of Italy.

The Alfasud was a very original and brilliant idea and the success was almost immediate. It lasted for 12 years before it was replaced by the 33 back in 1983.
It is quite difficult to find old Alfasuds, Suds for short, in good conditions as rust was a serious problem for these cars.
Rather interesting collectible Suds are the Ti and the Sprints (Veloce, Quadrifoglio verde) which are quite easy to find.

The 33, that took its name from an ancient AR racing car named Model 33, has been produced in several versions though the real distinction has to be done between the pre-1990 and the after-1990 33s.

Indeed, in 1990 a major restyling was made which allowed to extend the production of this car until the first half of 1995.
The restyling was quite radical for the body of the car while the frame was similar to the previous series.

Alfa Romeo designers wanted to give to the new 33 a modern look so they made it quite 164-ish, especially the rear end where the tail lights were linked together with a long reflector-like red strip.

But, better than to describe it in words you should take a look at our gallery of photos.

The boxer engines used were: the 1351 cc, the 1490 cc, the 1712 cc, and a brand new 1712 twin-cam 16 valves. A 3-cylinders 1779cc Turbodiesel by VM was available too.
The smaller engines (1.3 and 1.5) had dual carburettors but later, between '91 and '92, they were equipped with fuel electronic injection and catalytic converter.
The 1.7 and 1.7 16V had electronic injection (Bosch Motronic) right from the start (though a 1.7 with carbs was available in the latest pre-'90 series).

These two engines were equipped with cat converters at the end of the 1990 but non-cat version were available till the end of '91.
The 1.7 16V was a piece of art: it delivered 133 bhp (129 with cat) giving an impressive, being a non-turbocharged engine, 78 bhp per litre ratio and 7.5 kg per bhp.

It equipped both the 16V and the 16V Quadrifoglio Verde (Green Cloverleaf), later it was introduced even a four wheel drive version, firstly named Permanent 4 and then, in May '92, Q4.

This was available also as Sportwagon (the compact station wagon body designed by Pininfarina).

End of SOurce 1.

SOURCE 2: "GoAuto Australia's review". => "OPINIONS".

Our Opinion

ANONIMA Lombardo Fabbrica Automobili started manufacturing cars in Milan, Italy, in 1910.

Nicola Romeo joined the firm five years later and the name Alfa Romeo was born.

The make has always been synonymous with high performance motoring, producing many classic sports models, winning the Le Mans 24 Hour race four times in succession and taking Dr Guiseppe Farina to victory in the first Formula One World Championship.

Although taken over by the giant government-owned Fiat company, Alfa has retained a high degree of character in its post-Fiat models.

The Alfa 33 was launched in 1984.

Powered by a 1490cc, flat four cylinder "boxer" engine (a la Volkswagen, but water cooled), the model was successively upgraded with the announcement of the 1.5 Super model in 1987 and the 1.7-litre, 16-valve QV in 1990.

The 33 is a sporting sedan, its performance and handling giving the high degree of driver satisfaction for which the marque is famous.

In its 16 QV form, the Alfa 33 is powered by a 1.7-litre, twin cam, 16-valve, electronically fuel-injected, flat four engine.

The 'boxer' design allows a lower bonnet height and lower centre of gravity for the front-mounted engine, resulting in improved handling. The transmission is five-speed manual, driving the front wheels.

Suspension is conventional front-wheel drive with MacPherson struts at the front and beam axle and trailing arms at the rear.

Attractive alloy wheels are standard, originally fitted with Pirelli high performance tyres.

The steering is rack and pinion with speed sensitive power assistance while the brakes are power-assisted discs at the front and drums at the rear.

Styling of the 33 QV is typically Italian with short, sloping bonnet and high boot line giving a wedge effect, enhanced by the colour coded grille with classic Alfa shield and aerodynamic additions to the front (airdam with light clusters), body sills and boot lid spoiler.

Inside, sports seats give plenty of lateral support and the rear seat backs are split into two assymetrical parts that can be folded down separately or together. Seatbelts are height adjustable.

Heater and ventilation controls are the rotating type, superseding the sliding type of previous models.

The high rear body line provides excellent boot space.

Standard equipment includes air-conditioning, alloy wheels, central locking, power steering, power windows and radio/cassette.

On the road, the 33QV is a lively performer, the upgraded 16-valve, fuel-injected engine providing impressive torque and giving genuine sports car performance. On its home Autostradas in Italy the car will top 200km/h but local motoring will require a little more restraint.

Handling and braking match the marque's high standard.

Alfas enjoy a reputation for great driver satisfaction but this has not always been matched by mechanical reliability.

Alfa drivers must also get accustomed to the unusual driving position of the 33. The pedals are close together and offset in relation to the steering wheel. Drivers used to more orthodox - and more comfortable - Japanese layouts may be bothered by this at first.

The Alfa 33, being a well developed design, does not have major faults but a few points are worth noting.

It is important that the cam drive belt is changed at or before the specified interval of 60,000km or three years. With a DOHC 16-valve engine, the financial consequences of a cam belt failure are most unpleasant.

Check for correct function of the gearbox syncromesh which can suffer from forceful use. Slow syncro operation with the gearbox cold is not unusual.

Alfas have been known to suffer from niggling electrical problems and brake pad wear can also be heavy if the car is driven vigorously - which it invites.

Earlier Alfas had a reputation for rusting prematurely but this problem seems to have been controlled with the 33.

Servicing costs are generally in line with other continental makes.

It would be wise to have a potential purchase checked over by an Alfa dealer or reputable specialist Alfa workshop before finally making a decision.

It is interesting to note the drop in new price from 1990 to 1992, a reflection of the market difficulties Alfa and its market rivals were experiencing at the time.

The Alfa 33 16 QV is a delightful sporting sedan with impressive performance from its fuel-injected engine.

An impressive list of standard equipment and practical five-door design coupled with Italian styling flair make it an excellent choice for the sporting/family enthusiast.

The Alfa 33QV is a classic sports sedan designed for driving satisfaction. It has some quirks but for those who derive pleasure out of exploring the upper limits of performance, it is an exciting car.


Let's proceed to the Specifications of this car:



Alfa 33 16V QV

No.of cylinders 4 Boxer
Capacity 1712 cc
Max. power output at rpm
133 bhp EC (98) kW-EC 6500
Peak torque at rpm 16 kgm-EC (157) Nm-EC

Fuel feed
Type Bosch Motronic ML4-1
Multipoint Bosch Motronic ML4-1
Multipoint Check Panel Alfa Control

Drive Front
Tires 185/60 HR 14
Rims BWA alloy 5.5 x 14
Steering Powered
steering Brakes (disc): Front 239 mm (ventilated). Rear 210 mm (QV discs)

Length/Width 4.075/1.614m
Height 1.350 m
Wheelbase 2.475m
Luggage compartment 400/1200 dm3
Fuel tank 50 litres
Weight DIN 1000 kgs
Top speed 210 km/h
Acceleration 0-100 kmh 8.1 secs
Acceleration 0-1000 m 29.2 secs
Consumption (l/100 km) at 90 km/h 5.9
Consumption (l/100 km) at 120 km/h 7.9
Consumption (l/100 km) urban cycle 10.4

THAT"S ALL FOLKS,Thanks for having the patience to read it...


1) SOURCE 1:
2) SOURCE 2:

3) SOURCE 3:
4) OTHER SOURCE: (for some photos, eg. Engine)


  1. awesome. good info. forza Alfa!

  2. fuiamadeira8:18 AM

    Hey there, im was zappin' gppgle and found your article!
    Im from Portugal and i own a 33 1.7 16v, awesome car, i still preffer it to my BMW, regardeless other powerful cars, this one still cracks me...

  3. fuiamadeira8:19 AM

    P.S: By the way mine is from 1994 and it has Recaro seats, from factory