1,500 mile Nurburgring road trip in V6 Q4 Brera - Alfa Romeo Forum
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(Post Link) post #1 of 12 Old 23-09-17 Thread Starter
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1,500 mile Nurburgring road trip in V6 Q4 Brera

hey all.... we recently bought our Brera privately (risky I know!) as a replacement for my partners Abarth (which is for sale on e-bay!) , and every year we take a road trip with our friends to Germany and the Nurburgring.... we usually go in my octavia vRS, which has many mods to make it a capable track car (more power, better brakes, racing suspension, track tyres, anti roll bars, bracing from the audi TT etc etc) now the vRS has had and unidentifiable issue, causing a misfire, and I have NOT been able to track down why , even though I have spent a lot of money and time on the lead up to this years trip, the solution has eluded me, we cannot risk taking it, and braking down....

soooo.... we went in the Brera! an unknown quantity, even though it has a full service history.... needless to say I bought short term European breakdown cover

anyway, here she is, when she first came to us about 3 weeks ago... I will do a photo story and review!

https://s25.postimg.org/m4rsnlhnz/IMG_1137.jpg

first and only mod so far was HID's as the standard headlights were rubbish....

https://s25.postimg.org/bcvni5tin/IMG_1159.jpg

we stopped at the F1 circuit in Belgium (Spa) on the way ... some of our group.... first impressions... the brakes were a bit soft... the discs a little corroded from lack of use (only a few thousand miles were put on it in the last year) and pitted discs were an advisory on the MOT, I decided the track would probably sort this out .. its a lovely long distance cruiser, love the cruise control, and comfy ride, at UK motorway speeds a GPS 70mph gave a very respectable 29.6 mpg! (I thought these were supposed to be bad! lol... my octy, modded to 250bhp , would only have given 30 mpg anyway...) at faster european speeds we still made 25 mpg... not bad for a big heavy V6! the car makes a lovely noise.... the clutch is light, but the gearbox is "notchy" maybe they are all like that, I don't know.. no crunching or problems engaging, just a notchy feel...

https://s25.postimg.org/gq9rhvd0v/IMG_1175.jpg

My baby daughter wants to drive already ....

https://s25.postimg.org/89a96y8bz/IMG_1205.jpg

Got to Germany safe... the car feels very stable at high speed, very "planted" and confidence inspiring.... the ubiquitous ring shot!

https://s25.postimg.org/fqjgm5xv3/IMG_1386.jpg

I love the area up in the mountains by the ring rolling shot!

https://s25.postimg.org/s6g6fwr73/IMG_3247.jpg

right... onto the track! Now bear in mind the vRS was built to do this, and the Brera is totally unmodified, but there has to be a comparison!
power is ok.... its not as fast as the octy, having about the same power and weighing in at at least 1600kg with 4wd to drag the power down too, against the octy's 1200kg and 2wd, it was bound to be slower.... but it was still fun, easily getting up to 130mph...... first few corners, showed a suprising amount of grip, with the 4wd able to really get the power down on early exit of the corners,(TC off) even getting onto the throttle in the middle of corners to push the levels of grip, impressive system! Steering felt nice and precise, accurate and well weighted.... unfortunately I expected what was going to happen next, as the car was shod with uniroyal rainsports (This is why the octy wears track tyres) the RS3's may be great on an Autumn day in the UK, but on a drying nurburgring, with a track temp of 20C , they melted after about 4 corners, and grip significantly reduced.... but I pushed on, its a great track! unfortunatly , next thing to go was the brakes... i figured with the big discs, and 4 pot calipers they would be up to the job, and to be fair, its wasnt the brakes that went, as much as the brake fluid boiled, and I lost all feel (the octy has race fluid in, able to stand the high temps!) so although I was easily ahead of the following JCW mini, at this point, I slowed down and let him through! You cant push in this situation, as if you go too fast into a corner, and need more brakes, you havent got that when the pedals gone! lol...

https://s25.postimg.org/c9hej6ysv/IMG_1408.jpg

I took it much easier after this, stopped pushing the car, but still tried to give those rusty brakes a good cleaning! The clutch also started to feel odd when the brake fluid got hot... I assume it uses the same fluid for the clutch as the brakes? because this cured itself when the car cooled down again...the ubiquitous Karousel shot! (It did 15 mpg the day we went on track! :O)

https://s25.postimg.org/xx6ctmz73/IMG_1409.jpg

Last picture, up at the castle in Nurburg!

https://s25.postimg.org/5yc72rxkf/IMG_1387.jpg

after the holiday, it got us home safe, stopping in Brugge on the way back! Then to the ferry, then back home to North Cumbria, 1500 miles in all! It didn't set on fire once, I did not have to open the bonnet (Although the electronic oil level indicator, would go down sometimes, then decide it was full again.... a physical check when we were home, confirmed none used lol...). The brakes now feel MUCH better, as they have been significantly cleaned up now... Need to change that brake fluid though! Oddly the engine feels better too, seems to have loosened up a bit, maybe it needed a good blast!

to sum up, what a lovely car, absolutely perfect for a long distance road trip, comfy, fast, and safe.... and been totally reliable so far! (oh, and its just beautiful!)

BUT apart from changing the brake fluid, I'm not going to mess with it, it will now just be our "family" car, to take my partner to work, and take us out at the weekends.... I will be fixing the octy before our trip next year, and we will abuse something that can take that sort of treatment! lol... The brera can be happy cruising the UK roads at sensible speeds
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1,500 mile Nurburgring road trip in V6 Q4 Brera

I enjoyed reading that post. Probably a poetic thing that the VRS was misfiring because you'd probably would of left the Brera at home and not be able to enjoy that pleasure and joy that these cars can bring to their owners. I don't care about their weight they just have that charisma that brings a whole hearted smile to your face, with an adorable sense of feeling every time you see it park. They're so special, I doubt I'll ever part with mine


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I enjoyed reading that post. Probably a poetic thing that the VRS was misfiring because you'd probably would of left the Brera at home and not be able to enjoy that pleasure and joy that these cars can bring to their owners. I don't care about their weight they just have that charisma that brings a whole hearted smile to your face, with an adorable sense of feeling every time you see it park. They're so special, I doubt I'll ever part with mine


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It is a beautiful car thats for sure, my partner has always wanted one, and we can't seriously call ourselves petrolheads if we haven't owned an Alfa! We will be keeping this long term, we will look after it (going to get the underside and subframe "treated" and protected next)

I think the weight though is one of the things that adds to the high speed stability (not that you can drive high speed in the UK) and contributes to how good it feels as a long distance cruiser.... (I should have bought a car with cruise control a long time ago, makes the UK motorways so much more tolerable!) We are very happy with it so far
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It is a beautiful car thats for sure, my partner has always wanted one, and we can't seriously call ourselves petrolheads if we haven't owned an Alfa! We will be keeping this long term, we will look after it (going to get the underside and subframe "treated" and protected next)

I think the weight though is one of the things that adds to the high speed stability (not that you can drive high speed in the UK) and contributes to how good it feels as a long distance cruiser.... (I should have bought a car with cruise control a long time ago, makes the UK motorways so much more tolerable!) We are very happy with it so far
I enjoyed reading that. As as a current brera 2.2 and a past 916 gtv v6 owner, i need a bit more power so i am on the look out for a Q4 brera.

I am off on a tour of Northern Italy next May so was happy to read around 29mpg.
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I enjoyed reading that. As as a current brera 2.2 and a past 916 gtv v6 owner, i need a bit more power so i am on the look out for a Q4 brera.

I am off on a tour of Northern Italy next May so was happy to read around 29mpg.
Its a great , and effortless long distance tourer.... surprisingly comfy too... 29mpg with the cruise set on British motorways at GPS 70 mph ..... can't complain really (super unleaded in the tank) , even on the faster German autobahns (we didn't really travel at more than 100mph, even on the de-restricted parts...) it gave about 25 mpg at about 90 mph....

good luck with the search... not many around to be fair... the one we wanted was sold the day before we were going to see it, then we found another as a private sale, and managed to get £1,000 off it, so happy with that ... a couple of dodgy looking ones on e-bay (one starting at £3,000! i wonder whats wrong with that one! :O) Hard to find!
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Some nice pics there

What engine is in your VRS, is it the 1.8 20vt or 2.0 tfsi?
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Some nice pics there

What engine is in your VRS, is it the 1.8 20vt or 2.0 tfsi?
the mk1 1.8 20v , pushed as far as it will go on the K03s, it has run perfectly for 30k in its current state of tune.... now, only if driven a long way (hours) it starts to misfire, and becomes almost undrivable.... I have changed all the obvious things (coil packs, plugs, coolant temp sensor etc etc) but still does it... drives my commute to work perfectly without misbehaving.... its a fantastic car, but its currently driving me mad, because I don't know whats wrong with it! short journeys (less than 2 hours or so) are fine... being intermittent, my local mechanic can't find anything wrong, because when I give it him it works! :O I need some proper diagnostics, or a 1.8t specialist.... going to change the wiring loom for the coil packs next ..

https://s25.postimg.org/p6o9u8jzj/IMG_0691.jpg

https://s25.postimg.org/jnhs4sshb/IMG_0577.jpg

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Some nice pics there

What engine is in your VRS, is it the 1.8 20vt or 2.0 tfsi?
you are in Cumbria (so am I) you can't help my 1.8t can you ?! lol..
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Interesting read. Surprised to hear how well you thought it coped round the track, too. Looked great in the photos!
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you are in Cumbria (so am I) you can't help my 1.8t can you ?! lol..
I could have a look at it, but I've not done much on those engines before. Not really my thing to be honest, never been into VAG stuff. Although I do have a half share in a Mk2 Golf GTI at the moment and we're weighing up whether to fit a 2.0 16v ABF engine or 1.8T of some kind. If you ever need the Alfa looking at thats more up my street

Have you tried a compression test? They are known for sludging up a bit too. Does it use any oil or coolant?
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I could have a look at it, but I've not done much on those engines before. Not really my thing to be honest, never been into VAG stuff. Although I do have a half share in a Mk2 Golf GTI at the moment and we're weighing up whether to fit a 2.0 16v ABF engine or 1.8T of some kind. If you ever need the Alfa looking at thats more up my street

Have you tried a compression test? They are known for sludging up a bit too. Does it use any oil or coolant?
worth a try, I'm looking for some proper diagnostics... (I know quite a lot about the 1.8t!) Yes I have done every test possible, and the car appears to be fine, reporting no fault codes, very fast, no boost leaks, I have changed all the obvious stuff, I'm just throwing parts at it at the moment, problem is I can't take it to someone with a "fault" its not showing! *ggrrrrr but I know if I drive it for a long distance, 2 hours down the motorway it will stop the 1.8t is very tunable, and would be easy to buy and get in your golf a K04 conversion while you are at it, and a "safe" map to just under 300bhp would be fun! or if you do the rods, go higher! I may just bite the bullet and try and find a forged engine , and replace the lot! lol...

Appreciate the offer to look at the Alfa, thankfully that all seems to be going well at the moment, no issues to report, other than the drivers sun visor broke! :O

Cheers
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I enjoyed reading that. As as a current brera 2.2 and a past 916 gtv v6 owner, i need a bit more power so i am on the look out for a Q4 brera.

I am off on a tour of Northern Italy next May so was happy to read around 29mpg.
Its a great , and effortless long distance tourer.... surprisingly comfy too... 29mpg with the cruise set on British motorways at GPS 70 mph ..... can't complain really (super unleaded in the tank) , even on the faster German autobahns (we didn't really travel at more than 100mph, even on the de-restricted parts...) it gave about 25 mpg at about 90 mph....

good luck with the search... not many around to be fair... the one we wanted was sold the day before we were going to see it, then we found another as a private sale, and managed to get £1,000 off it, so happy with that ... a couple of dodgy looking ones on e-bay (one starting at £3,000! i wonder whats wrong with that one! :O) Hard to find!
I will look forward to test driving the v6 breras as I've never driven one. I've owned the 2.4 and currently have the 2.2. When i sold my gtv v6 I should have got the v6 brera, but got the 2.2 instead. I just want a bit more power now, and I'm looking forward also to the 4 wheel drive, have not had that since my integrale was on the road
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