Just how good is the 147??? - Page 2 - Alfa Romeo Forum
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Re: Just how good is the 147???

So a firm that built 2 million cars a year got the hump, spent a fortune and then finally managed to "beat up" a firm that made about 1500 cars a year. How very admirable and ... so very "American"

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Re: Just how good is the 147???

The Focus is one of the best hanldling cars out there, even in standard form, Ford are these days where Peugeot were 15 years ago - making family cars that shame a lot of sportier models in pure handling!

However, that doesn't make them better cars - they are common, ugly, cheaply made, and dull. We've got a 2-litre example as our family car and both of us find it incredibly dull, and too slow to make the handling worth much. There is none of the "special" feeling of owning an Alfa. It's rather like my car vs a 330 - the 330 might outhandle it on a bumpy road but in a straight line 'm quicker, however overall one is a common repmobile and one has character.

It's also worth noting that our Focus has such bad rust on the bottom of the doors I'm about to try a warranty claim, none of my alfas has done that, yet who has the bad rep for rust?????????
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Re: Just how good is the 147???

Its a management failure really, its just a matter of being prepared to sign off on an appropriate period of selection, testing and refining for fine tuning of suspension components.

Apparently Porshe reckons it takes a year of incremental trial and error to get their damper and spring settings refined to perfection for a new model.

Alfa reckons it takes 10 minutes.

Originally Posted by Stori
Alfa Romeo suspension engineers (and I use the term enginner to describe them very, very loosely as if they made bridges, ithey would fall down)are essentially 'Lazy' , they go for elaborate suspesion sytem and then forget about the springs and dampers....
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Re: Just how good is the 147???

Originally Posted by Trailbraker
I have a 1.6 Focus Zetec (with the sports suspension) as my second car, and have to disagree with James (sort of )

The 147 technically has the superior suspension compared to the Focus, just the suspension settings aren't as finely tuned as the Focus. The normal poorly chosen Alfa springs and dampers..
The double wishbone front suspension in theory should allow the Alfa to gets its power down much better and really it should smack the Focuses ass, not the other way around.
Not so. The Focus in effect also has double wishbone front suspension. The link geometry on the Focus allows better control of the wheel through it's travel. In practice there's naff all in it and the springs / dampers make far more difference.

[QUOTE=Trailbraker]Amusingly I find the Focus actually struggles for traction off the line,
its a nightmare in slippy conditions on the standard rubbish p6000's[QUOTE]

Like i said the Focus is heavier and stuggles in a straight line. The 1.8 & 2.0 in particular have an ultra high inertia flywheel which kills effectively adds 250KG to the weight of the car in first gear. The TB is also set up for grannies to give a very gently response. BTW i fitted Conti Premium Contacts to my 1.8 and it was much better.

Originally Posted by Trailbraker
- I hate the Focus 1.6 (100 bhp phaaa!) engine and gearing. Its lifeless, the joy is in carrying speed.
Yep. Really thought Yamaha could have doner better with that engine design myself... OK mpg though. To be fair it's the practical engine rather than the performance version so you can't really complain.
I had a modded 1.8 (153bhp) which would do 1/4 mile in under 16s. That was quick enough...

Originally Posted by Trailbraker
The brakes are joyless, completely artifical, and have a completely non linear response which makes it very difficult to modulate the brakes for extreme braking.
oohhhh yeah! Frighteningly cr@p at times. Fortunately it's very easy and relatively cheap to fit the ST170 brakes which are stunningly good.

Originally Posted by Trailbraker
I prefer the steering speed, feel (and wheel) of the 147, but nonetheless the Focus still turns in more sportingly.. VDC won't interfere because it doesn't have it.
The 2.0 Zetec came as standard with stability control in the UK. I never had it on my 1.8. Never needed it. Could drift corners and steer on the throttle at will. The steering was much more direct on the ST with the low ratio rack.

Originally Posted by Trailbraker
Obviously the interior and exterior styling suck especially compared to the stylish 147.
Bit harsh. The exterior styling was very fresh when all the other cars on the market were bland euro boxes. Interior depends on the model. Better than a Golf but not as sexy as a 147 (which wasn't around when the Focus first arrived)

Originally Posted by Trailbraker
If I had to choose I would take the Alfa, but change the suspension..
Depends. The Focus is infinitely more reliable than any Alfa - fact - so if it's transporting your grannie about, who really doesn't give a stuff about vehicle dynamics, the Focus is the one to go for. Oh yes, not to mention it's massively cheaper to buy, insure, service and repair. Much more practical but perhaps not so staisfying to own?

Personally i'd do the same as you. Get the Alfa and iron out the foibles...

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