Alfa Romeo Giulietta
Introduced in 1977, the Giulietta (Tipo 116) was effectively an Alfetta with a new four door wedge shaped body, a bit smaller and lighter than the latter car, but with identical running gear and mechanicals. It was designed for those Alfa drivers who did not want the size (and cost) of the Alfetta and for those who wanted a smaller Alfa Romeo but were not convinced by the front wheel drive Alfasud.
The 'modern wedge shape' (as it was described at the time) was a combination of aesthetics and, aerodynamics and practicality. Most early designs had been two-volume (hatchbacks), unlike the final car with its pronounced boot, necessary for the storage of sufficient luggage. The compactness, relative to the Alfetta, was promoted as making it easier to drive and using up less space in the garage ! As well as build quality - the brochure had several pages showing the construction and treatment of the bodyshell - safety featured heavily in the promotional literature, with details including crumple zones, inertia-reel seatbelts, a perforation-proof plastic fuel tank, and the optimised structure of the shell.
Initially offered with only two engines, the 1357cc (95bhp) and 1570cc (109bhp) units, in 1979 the 1779cc (122bhp) and in 1980 the 1962cc (130bhp) units were added. The latter was introduced with various changes, including different alloy wheels, limited body colours, a stripe along the side and new interior colours.
1981 saw the second series launched with numerous small changes to the design, both internally and externally, such as the plastic protection around the lower body, the small air vent on the C-pillar etc. Internally modifications included the steering wheel, the seats, the instruments and the centre armrest. At the Paris Motorshow in 1982 Alfa revealed the Giulietta 2.0 Turbo Autodelta with a 1962cc turbocharged engine generating 175bhp, ventilated disc brakes all round, extra oil cooler and modified suspension. A small number were built before the production version (now simply the 'Giulietta Turbodelta') was introduced in July 1983. This had 170bhp and around 200 were built.
1982 also saw a small number of the Giulietta 2.0 Ti produced, differing mainly visually from the standard 2.0-litre car. A 1995cc (82bhp) diesel engine (made by VM) was also offered from 1983, with additional air intakes and different tyres the main visual differences (the additional soundproofing not being seen !).
Shortly afterwards the range was again revised with a number of small design and detail changes. Visually, the bumpers were revised and lost the over-riders, whilst the side-rubbing strips changed. Inside, the dashboard was significantly re-designed, the instruments changed slightly and the rear seat in some versions changed its form. Mechanically almost everything remained the same, with the brake booster and inlet manifold being slightly modified on some engines.
Production stopped in 1985. Production figures are shown below.
1300 50,890 1600 187,064 1800 87,468 2000 36,767 2000 turbo (all) 361 2000 turbo diesel 17,141
Driveline longitudinal engine at front with gearbox at rear and rear wheel drive Engine 1357cc dohc 4 cyl with 95bhp @ 5,800rpm
1570cc dohc 4 cyl with 109bhp @ 5,600rpm
1779cc (80x88.5mm) dohc 4 cyl with 122bhp @ 5,300rpm
1962cc dohc 4 cyl with 130bhp @ 5,400rpm
1962cc dohc turbocharged 4 cyl with 170bhp
Suspension front : double wishbone with torsion bars and telescopic dampers plus anti-roll bar
rear : de Dion with transverse link, coil springs and telescopic dampers plus anti-roll bar
wheelbase : 2510mm
track (front/rear) : 1360mm/1358mm
Brakes front : discs
rear : discs (inboard)
handbrake operating the rear callipers via cable
dual hydraulic circuit with servo assistance
Gearbox 5 speed manual
Steering Rack and pinion Kerb weight 1.3 & 1.6 : 1070kg
1.8 & 2.0 : 1100kg
2.0 TurboDiesel : 1230kg
2.0 Turbodelta : 1140kg
model max speed 0-100km/h Standing km 1300 165 km/h 12.7 sec 34.7 sec 1600 176 km/h 11.3 sec 32.9 sec 1800 181 km/h 9.6 sec 31.7 sec 2000 185 km/h 9.4 sec 30.7 sec
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. Depending on the carburettors fitted as standard, twin 45DCOEs will give a good output, better if combined with a change of camshafts.
The brakes can be improved by using a higher specification fluid, fitting drilled and grooved discs, using a superior pad compound and fitting stainless steel braided flexible hoses.
Improved dampers and springs can be fitted which will improve the handling, and strut braces can be fitted at the front and rear to increase the stiffness of the bodyshell. The rubber bushes can be replaced with items made from a less compliant material.
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 mayonaise), 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.
The Giulietta had the type number 116. The original 1.6 (AR01600) car was the 116.50, the 1.3 (AR01644) the 116.44. Upon its arrival in 1979, the 1.8 (AR01678) engined version became the 116A, whilst the 2-litre (AR01655) Giulietta Super was the 116A1 from 1980.
The revised range in 1981 saw changes to the 1.3 (116.44), 1.6 (116.50B) and 1.8 (116AA). The Giulietta 2.0ti (116A1A) arrived in 1982, followed by the 2.0 Tirbodiesel (116A2, engine 4HT/2) in 1983.
The final revision to the range in 1983 saw no changes to the designations, the only further changes being the introduction of the 2.0 Turbodelta, the 116A1B and, in 1984, the revised 2.0 car becoming the 116A1A.
A personal Giulietta website
For books on Alfa Romeo see our Online Bookstore
There is also a list of all our picture galleries (including museums, motorshows and various events).
Wallpapers/Desktop Backgrounds of numerous Alfa Romeo's also available to download.
There are also various statistics regarding production and sales.
Giulietta comment form
I enjoyed my Giulietta 1.8 (1979 model). Of the numerous Alfas I`ve owned this and my Sud Ti are the favourites. A well balanced car not as agile as the Sud but brilliant in long sweepers and ultra trustworthy in the wet because of the transaxle layout. As a bit overweight 6`plus I also found the driving position particularly comfortable. Synthetic oil(Amsoil) in the transaxle and cutting the long gearshift down about 4 inches made the gearshift quite acceptable and after owning all the variants of the twin cam four I`d certainly agree that the 1.8 is arguably the best version-I,m currently about to take possession of a 1.8 version of the 75 but the shape is not as appealing as the Guilietta. (Richard J, New Zealand)
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