Another letter I wrote them a couple of years ago that they didn't publish!! .... maybe I should make them shorter......
What a cheap parting shot at the Alfa GTV!(CAR, September 2005). “Mega Engines, horrible everything else”, and awarded 1 measly star. From 4 1/2 stars to 1 star in less than a year? Has the GTV really become so bad so fast? The GTV has always been well represented in CAR, so why the sudden change of heart? Indeed, flicking through some older issues of the magazine, I could find only compliments for it:
“The great Alfa renaissance started with these two. Fabulous looks, lovely detailing, great engines and superb handling”.
“Special. The GTV and Spider can inspire something akin to real passion. The front-drive chassis is responsive and assured, aided by the sophisticated rear suspension”.
“New GTV V6 is nectar on wheels, so the GTV’s flaws are easy to forgive”.
“Very good residuals, as you would expect”.
“Fabulous object that deserves more design praise than the Audi TT”.
“The GTV is a fine car”.
“Chattery ride but huge grip”.
“If you want real passion you wont mind”.
“Spider huge fun”.
“Alfa’s mistress, risky but rewarding”.
“An effective substitute for the default choice Audi TT”.
“A total immersion driving experience”.
3 stars awarded.
“Getting old gracefully”.
“Still one hell of a car”.
“Lovely engines make for warbling progress, whether four or six cylinder, and the build quality seems sorted”.
“You still would, wouldn’t you”.
“This is one fine if geriatric sportster”.
3 stars awarded.
“A classic hit”.
4 ½ stars awarded (v6 Spider and GTV).
“New nose, same smiles”.
4 ½ stars awarded (v6 Spider).
I could go on....
It seems to me that all of the above comments are the words of enthusiasts, people that are truly passionate about cars, while “Mega engines, horrible everything else” are the words of a cynical, miserable soundbite-chasing moron. I suppose Car’s opinion of the GTV for the last 10 years just didn’t fall into line with the current “German good- everything else crap” policy of the magazine. How can you as editor justify such inconsistency though?
I get the impression that the British motoring press will do everything in its power to drive Alfa out of Britain. No doubt if Alfa was to go the same way as Lancia you’d all say how unfortunate it was- yet you would be the greatest contributing factor! I’m not saying that Alfa deserves special treatment; I am saying that the base 147s deserves a lot more than 2 stars it gets at the back of your magazine and the GTV deserves a graceful goodbye and not the stab in the back you have given it. The Brera is on the way, after all.
I work in an Italian car design studio. My boss recently asked me what British monthly we should subscribe to. I automatically said Car. Having read the pathetically superficial and willfully negative review of the 159 and then seeing this pointless attack on the (already out of production) GTV I wish now that I hadn’t. With the recent dumbing-down of this once great magazine and its evolution into a sort of motoring equivalent of “Loaded”, there really is only one choice for the enthusiast in search of serious, passionate, balanced motoring journalism: Evo.