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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
156 GTA in comparison to TS/V6

I have to say that in a way i feel i little stupid. For the past years I've been praising the TS for it's excellent balance and precise steering. Back when i bought the TS, I actually went for the TS because it felt so much sharper then the V6 i also test drove. Since then, i've assumed that a GTA would also feel very noseheavy, or handle much like the V6 i tested.

Later on i bought a 156 V6, and after driving the TS for so long, the V6 felt horrible. That heavy nose pulling you in straight line when you were trying to make a turn. So naturally i started improving the handling best i knew how, and actually managed to get a V6 which handles really really well. Didn't come cheap, as it required expensive KW II coilovers, strutbars 17", and basically a complete new suspension with wishbones, bushes, trailing arms, droplinks, wheel bearings, GTA suspension uprights and 330mm brakes. Also the 3.2 engine and a LSD to boot. The car now handles beatifully, but at a very big cost:eek:

Then i went and got a GTA. I still kept the other two cars mind you, so that means i currently drive all three types on a regular basis. Now after a months time of GTA ownership, i gotta admit that the GTA really is in a class if its own when it comes to handling. Ok the dampers and springs could be better, and ok you can still get a lot of understeer if you go into a tight corner too fast, but as far as the front end and steering goes.. V6 or not.. the GTA handles soooo much better then the other two! Cudos to Alfa for being able to engineer their way out of the noseheavy V6 feeling, and create a car which handles this way! :cool: Also the bucket seats are just excellent compared to stock Momo's:D
 

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Peter K said:
I have to say that in a way i feel i little stupid. For the past years I've been praising the TS for it's excellent balance and precise steering. Back when i bought the TS, I actually went for the TS because it felt so much sharper then the V6 i also test drove. Since then, i've assumed that a GTA would also feel very noseheavy, or handle much like the V6 i tested.

Later on i bought a 156 V6, and after driving the TS for so long, the V6 felt horrible. That heavy nose pulling you in straight line when you were trying to make a turn. So naturally i started improving the handling best i knew how, and actually managed to get a V6 which handles really really well. Didn't come cheap, as it required expensive KW II coilovers, strutbars 17", and basically a complete new suspension with wishbones, bushes, trailing arms, droplinks, wheel bearings, GTA suspension uprights and 330mm brakes. Also the 3.2 engine and a LSD to boot. The car now handles beatifully, but at a very big cost:eek:

Then i went and got a GTA. I still kept the other two cars mind you, so that means i currently drive all three types on a regular basis. Now after a months time of GTA ownership, i gotta admit that the GTA really is in a class if its own when it comes to handling. Ok the dampers and springs could be better, and ok you can still get a lot of understeer if you go into a tight corner too fast, but as far as the front end and steering goes.. V6 or not.. the GTA handles soooo much better then the other two! Cudos to Alfa for being able to engineer their way out of the noseheavy V6 feeling, and create a car which handles this way! :cool: Also the bucket seats are just excellent compared to stock Momo's:D
Nice comments, interesting to see how the three compare. im currently looking for a way to improve the dampning. if on a nice flat road with no undulations the GTA is a beast. the problem is that in bonny scotland they are quite rare :D out of all the reviews of the GTA the same thing seems to crop up, the alfa techies made a killr suspension setup, but the dampers and the springs let it down a little!!

Good Info!!!

Kev
 

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Does the GTA V6 have different block to the 2.5 V6?

I thought I read somewhere that the GTA engine has an aluminium block. Is this significantly lighter than the iron block of the 2.5 V6? Would this make the difference in the handling?
 

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Are you saying that a standard GTA handles better than the V6 that you have spent all the time and money sorting out?
 
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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Pascs said:
Are you saying that a standard GTA handles better than the V6 that you have spent all the time and money sorting out?
Yes and no. The KW coilovers are way better then the stock GTA dampers and springs, but the steering of the GTA is so much more responsive and precise then the other 156's. The difference is in the basic Geometry of the steering and the suspension setup, so it is not something which can be modified on the TS/JTD/V6's to GTA standard unless you change some vital components.

Would be interesting to know exactly which components are involved. IMO this mod would bring a lot to any V6/JTD with sporting aspirations.
 
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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Yes, the geometry of the GTA is modified. Also, and importantly, the GTA has a quicker steering rack, more akin to the widebody 155. I still miss this as I used to have a 155.
 

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I agree with the Vicky Butler Henderson/Top Gear clip that people have posted links to on here before. She said that before she tried the GTA, she thought the 4 cylinder models were the best handling 156's, but the GTA "is in a different league".

I've previously owned a 2.5, and driven a 2.0 and a 2.4JTD, and it is true that of those three the 2.0 feels noticeably lighter and more nimble, under braking and on bumpy roads it was better than the 2.5. I was fond of my 2.5 with the original super-stiff sport pack setup on smooth roads though, it handled well.

The GTA is better across the board. The damping and body control are much improved, and while they seem tiresome at low speeds on bad roads, if you press on then things improve markedly. Turn-in is very neutral, and power can be applied without terrible understeer as long as you keep things smooth. The brakes, and the car under braking, are vastly better. The steering is also much improved, for me it has plenty of feel and I love alfa-esque fast steering.

All of which is no doubt down to the fact that the GTA is substantially reworked from the standard car - wider track, different suspension/steering pickups, etc - not just new engine, dampers, and brakes! All of which makes me even more annoyed that the UK press gave the car such a panning :(
 

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I have Bilstein dampers, Novitec ARB's, front strut brace, wider track and Brembo calipers on my Selespeed and feel it handles pretty well.

When I jump into my standard V6 it feels very poor in comparison :(
 

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The biggest difference that I noticed with the GTA vs my previous 156 2.0L SP3 was that the GTAs handling felt much more fluent and accessible - it positively encouraged you to grow horns.

Also I thought, you had a much better idea of what the GTA was actually thinking about doing on challenging corners - the T-spark would get knocked off-line mid corner very easily and could get untidy quicker. The GTA certainly handled undulations better, albeit it needs firmer damper settings.

The biggest difference though was that while the game little T-Spark made me smile regularly - the GTA raised the hairs on the back of my neck for some magic moments :)

TB
 
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