Alfa Romeo 90
Introduced in 1984, the Alfa 90 was pitched between the Alfetta and the Alfa 6, both of which ceased production soon afterwards. The chassis was effectively that of the Alfetta, including the rear mounted transaxle, whilst the engines included that from the bigger 6. The suspension used torsion bars at the front and de Dion at the rear, whilst the braking also carried on the now established layout with outboard discs at the front and inboard units at the rear. The bodywork was really an Alfetta which had been reworked and modernised by Bertone, the resulting car had a drag coefficient of 0.37. It also included a small chin spoiler which extended above a certain speed to aid engine cooling.
The interior was more luxiourious then its predecessors, electric windows were standard at the front and optional (standard in the Gold Cloverleaf) at the rear, electrically adjustable seats, a check control, headrests and so on were standard on all models, whilst the Gold Cloverleaf also got a trip computer, central locking, power steering, metallic paint and more. Bertone also helped design the dashboard which was a conventional analogue unit except in the top-of-the-range Gold Cloverleaf version where a digital instrument panel was standard. It was available in four normal (white, blue, red and beige) and four metallic (grey, grey, champage and opale) colours with either grey or grey/blue interior trim of two different materials. Apart from small spot lights for each occupant the electric window controls were also mounted in the panel which ran the full length of the ceiling.
Five versions of the Alfa 90 were built, the entry level model was the 1800 (1779cc) with carburettors and 120bhp, next up was the 2000 (1962cc) injection with 128bhp (some carburettored 2-litre cars were built during early production), then the 2000 (1996cc) V6 with 132bhp. The range topper was the 2500 (2492cc) V6 injection with 156bhp and there was also a 2400 (2393cc) turbo diesel with 110bhp. Notable also the variable camshaft timing used on the 2.0ie which could vary the opening and closing position of the inlet valves by up to 14 degrees.
In 1986 the 90 Super was launched, the entire range getting minor changes, the most noticable being the new grille with more horizontal slats closer together. Interior trims, colours and seat designs were also improved whilst mechanically electronic ABS was offered for the first time on an Alfa Romeo and the turbodiesel got a smaller (and thus more responsive) turbocharger. Gear ratios were also changed and a catalysed version of the 2.5i V6 was offered in some markets. At this time, the 2.0-litre carburettor engine was dropped from the range.
Overall production was brief, lasting only until 1987.
Total volumes were 6,667 of the 1800, 27,447 of the 2000 models (both I4 and V6), 15,392 turbo diesels and 6,912 2.5i V6 cars.
Driveline longitudinal engine at front with rear wheel drive
rear transaxle incorporating clutch, gearbox and differential
Engines 1779cc (80x88.5mm) dohc in-line 4 cylinder with 120bhp @ 5,300rpm (carburettor)
1962cc (84x88.5mm) dohc in-line 4 cylinder with 128bhp @ 5,400rpm (both carburettor and Bosch injection versions)
2492cc (88x68.3mm) sohc (per bank) V6 with 156bhp @ 5,600rpm (Bosch injection)
1996cc (80x66.2mm) sohc (per bank) V6 with 132bhp @ 5,600rpm (Bosch injection)
2393cc (92x90mm) single cam 4 cylinder turbocharged diesel with 110bhp @ 4,200rpm
Suspension front : double wishbone with torsion bars plus anti-roll bar
rear : de Dion with telescopic dampers and coil springs
wheelbase : 2510mm
track (front/rear) : 1366mm/1358mm
Brakes front : discs (ventilated on the 2.5i V6)
rear : discs (inboard)
dual hydraulic circuit with servo assistance
Gearbox 5 speed manual Steering Rack and pinion (with ZF power assistance on some models) Kerb weight 1800 : 1080kg
2.0i : 1090kg
2.5 V6 : 1170kg
2.4 TD : 1250kg
model max speed 0-100km/h standing km braking dist from 100km/h 2.0i 190km/h 9.7 sec 31.2 sec 50.6 m 2.5 V6 205 km/h 8.9 sec 30.1 sec 54.2 m 2.4 TD 182 km/h 11.2 sec 32.8 sec 53.1 m
Easily carried out modifications include installation of a free-flow air filter (a cold air duct is also a worthy mod) and fitment of a less restrictive exhaust system to improve the driveability. The injected cars can be fitted wiith an aftermarket electronic control unit which can then be mapped to significantly improve both driveability and power/torque outputs.
The brakes can be improved by using a higher specification brake fluid, fitting drilled and grooved discs, using a superior pad compound and fitting stainless steel braided flexible hoses.
Improved dampers, combined with lowering the car (easy at the front, and springs can be purchased for the rear), will improve the handling and strut braces can be fitted at the front and rear to increase the stiffness of the bodyshell. Rubber bushes can also be replaced by items made from a less compliant material.
The commonality of many areas with the 75 allows tuning products aimed at the latter model to also be used on the 90.
The basic model type was 162. At launch the 1800 was Tipo 162A1 (engine AR06202), the 2000 was 162A2 (engine AR06212), the 2000 injection was 162A2A (engine AR01713), the 2.5 Gold Cloverleaf was 162A (engine AR01636) and finally the 2400 turbo diesel was 162A3 (engine 4HT/2.4).
In 1986 the 90 Super was launched, the carburettored 2-litre engine being dropped. The models were the 1800 (tipo 162A1A), the 2000 injection (tipo 162A2E), the 2500 (tipo 162AA), the 2400TD (tipo 162A3) and the 2000 V6 injection (tipo 162A2D). The engine numbers remained as before.
Buying / Selling
Some tips to do before selling : (they may seem obvious, but most people don't do them and thus are in a weaker bargaining position)
Tidy inside the car thoroughly : hoover the floor, empty all pockets, ashtrays (wash), glove compartment etc..., wipe the trim with a damp cloth, give the cockpit a good airing to get rid of any odours ! Reset the trip meter to 00000 - it is a pleasant (subconcious) surprise.
If the car has been standing give it a good run - this will clear out the engine (reduce exhaust smoke), put a shine on the brake discs and loosen up any joints that may otherwise make some noises.
Jetwash under the car, especially under the engine and in the wheelarches. The prospective buyer may be an enthusiast, and this makes it easier for them to see what they want to check.
Even if you don't have a service history, try to find any receipts, especially for the last timing belt change.
Obviously wash the car and clean the windows !
If you are going to buy a car always check the following :
Firstly check the bodywork. Check that there are no mismatching panels, large areas of discolouration or signs of fresh paint (compare inside the engine bay with the external body colour), all of which probably indicate accident damage.
Check the main electrical functions - wipers, windows, lights, etc... try putting the main beam and wipers on at the same time. Check the headlights for cracks and make sure that the air-conditioning unit works, if fitted.
Check the brake pedal does not go to the floor if pressed hard for a long time and if possible check the brake discs for wear (the front ones through the wheels). Check the gearchange for clean engagement.
The engine should be run up to temperature, check the exhaust for smoke, the condition of the breather (look for mayonnaise), the condition of the oil filler cap (again white deposits can indicate head gasket or other serious problems or the use of the car only on short journeys, another bad state of affairs) and the colour of the coolant (preferably not thick or dark brown!). Listen to the noise of the engine, then depress the clutch and engage first gear. Whatever noise has disappeared was coming from the gearbox, what remains is from the engine. Also check the condition of the engine oil on the dipstick.The lighter brown the better, if it is thick black then leave quickly.
Check tyre wear, uneven patterns could imply a bent chassis.
Always take it for a test drive. Check that the car tracks in a straight line with no steering input and also remains straight under braking. Find a large open area and complete several lock to lock turns (also in reverse), listening for any noises. Try the handbrake when moving - seized rear callipers will mean uneven braking or no braking.
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90 comment form
Very stylish! Smarter looks than the 75 and far more exclusive feel to it. Nearly bought one before I got my hands on the even more exclusive Argenta. But I´m sure I will have a 90 2.5 -87 one day.. (Per, Sweden)
Just bought one (Goldcloverleaf 2.5)in absolutely immaculate condition after owning just about every other model Alfa and think they are an undervalued car but overly gimmicky with the electronic dash, overhead console with disco type green lighting etc. It is different however and that I also like. Reminds me very much of the old 5 series BMW`s upright and with a solid feel. Ideally a bit high geared for around town but another fabulous car with a big boot and in my case, a towbar so is my "sensible/practical" family Alfa (have 4 others) (Richard J, New Zealand)
I have just bought a 90 2.5 -85 in perfect condition. It is been rebuild into a 3.2 and put some more power in it and has now 240 hp and it goes about 250 km/t. It now has servo steering and that makes it a lot easyer to drive it. It is a wonderful car to drive and now a lot more fun!! (Danny, Denmark)
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