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Right Alfisti, if there's one thing I love it's my Q4 Brera, the one thing I'm less keen on is that it's not as sharp to drive as it should be. That is about to change, but first some analysis, I've heard it said a few times that the Brera, 3.2 V6 Q4 especially is heavy, and there's no doubting it's no Lotus Exige, but is it widely heavier than its rivals? And how much weight can be lost by a lightening exercise?

I know the exact weight of some cars is debated so I've tried to use the same source:

Alfa Brera

Pre 2008 V6 Q4 1605kgs
V6 Non Q4 1540kgs
V6 S. 1505kgs
2.2. 1445kgs
2.2S 1410kgs
1750 1430kgs

Golf R32 1617kgs
(not saying it's the same but a 3.2 V6 that's 4WD)

And when weight saving how much do supercar manufacturers save?

Lamborghini Gallardo 1570kgs, Superleggera was '100kgs lighter'
Ferrari 430 1450kgs, 'Challange' variant '100kgs lighter', there's a theme here.

Ok so as a starting point there's about 195kgs between Brera models, mine being the heaviest. Secondly, people that make v fast cars save about 100kgs with their Lightweight versions.

Two things remain, how much does my car actually weight? I'll have to wait for a bit for that as I don't have a weight station nearby.

And finally, how the hell can I lose weight, preferably over the front axle, in spades, all while hopefully not taking all of the GT element of our lovely Breras. Let's see....
 

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I started this thread under model type:

http://www.alfaowner.com/Forum/alfa-159-brera-andamp-946-spider/957482-project-alleggerita.html

But have moved it here to start a build thread. Upgrades so far are:

-Bilstein B16 three way adjustable PSS10 coil overs. These are excellent and the best mod I've done, in soft they are much softer than OEM, in hard they are really firm. Oddly one of the biggest differences I noticed was the brakes felt a lot sharper. A lot have commented on the Brera's mushy brakes, seems to me a lot of this is nod rather than the brakes directly.

-Autolusso braided hoses
-Power flex bushes
-Autolusso PF pads, again excellent, taken to Alps four times and thrashed the brakes and they worked great.
-Wizard Backboxes
-Pipercross Venom enclosed cold air intake with fog light cold air feed
-Halos, don't make it go quicker but do look awesome. plus HIDs
-iPad mini dash, use tomtom app and have larger screen, it's good but soon to be replaced by Apple TV so it's all wireless and I can remove iPad.
-Carbon fibre battery tray and ECU holder
-Battery swapped to spare wheel well
-Rear seat delete, fire retardant foam covered in speaker cloth, with Sony single din mount, drives iPad.
-Planned Parts:

-Carbon fibre roof panel to replace skyview, moulding complete, due to make carbon version in next week.
-Carbon fibre bonnet, second hand bonnet bought to mould
-Rear seat delete in carbon, bolt in semi structural panel. I've made the former and gelcoated it ready to mould.
-Carbon single piece bucket seats, bought but not fitted yet.
-Rear windscreen washer bottle, bought, fitted, but not plumbed in yet.
-Full interior cosmetic carbon skinning, as per Italia Independent, including dash, gear surround, front bonnet badge wings, door inserts, door A pillar triangles. All coated in real carbon and epoxy coated, flatted and awaiting final clear coat.
-Lightweight wheels, most likely OZ Alleggritas, in 17", calculate 4.5kgs per wheel weight saved over 18" OEM teledials.
-Lightweight brake discs.

Grateful for any comments or advice, I'm not a forum guru so please bear with me, I'm just trying to make the best of a great car!
 

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Go for alloy uprights from the pre 2007 modells (WAY lighter than steel).
Go for a lighter Battery - you realy don't need 60AMPS to start that Engine i guess - there are small starter Batterys that will start your car but wight about 50% less (less capacity to play music when the engine is off...) - if you like it extreme you can go Ballistic -> those lithium Batterys are verry verry light (aprox 10% of the Stock battery)....jet expensive.
You can gain a lot from the Seats too (if yours are with electric motors and stuff they are verry heavy).

i would not touch the dash. As this thing is complicated and a "plain" carbon dash will most likely cause reflections.

would you do a wight comparison between the parts you exchanged? (Stock Sunroof vs Carbon roof, Seats and stuff?).

Don't go with 17" wheels on a Car that big - they will just look wrong (but are expensive). Go 18 - as on the 17s you'll have more tire (as needed to archive the same wheel-size), this will even out the 400g you can save going from 18 to 17" OZ....
You could alsow look to BBS Wheels, Enkei,Volk Racing, Weed Sport....

I got a set of WedSport TC105N - Forged Wheel in 8.5x17" one Wheel wights 7 kg. I Saved about 6kg per Wheel compared to the old Wheel - but i could feel absolutely no difference during driving..... (this is an already light car and the suspension is verry stiff.... might be the reason)

Great Project :)
 

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It would be awesome to see a totally carbon fibre intake.... Something like this:

Six tapered intakes with flared ends like those, with a length 1" longer than the gm manifolds, which is a fair bit shorter than the oem alfa intake, would make more power and sound awesome. The tapered and flared intake tracts could possibly even boost or at least match the bottom end power of the oem alfa manifold. With the top half of the plenum screwed on it would be more like this! (i imagine making it one piece would be much more difficult) no need for aluminium at the ends of the tracts, too heavy lol

These manifolds have a massive plenum, there would be websites out there with formulas for calculating ideal plenum volumes and intake tracts.

And how about carbon valve covers?
 

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I hes gonna make that carbon plenum then I'm gonna be on it like white on rice! need one in my life so bad!
 

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-Carbon single piece bucket seats, bought but not fitted yet.
You bought ebay-straight-outta-china carbon seats?

Not sure if you've lived with fixed buckets in a daily but they're a huge compromise - I dailyed a 968CS for two years and was very glad to get back into a normal seat.

I do applaud your weight savings goals, just have a feeling the brera is so compromised to begin with - most of the body is double and triple wall construction and combined with the heavy drivetrain it will never be a light car. If you do take 150+ kgs out of it you will feel a difference though I'm sure.

Me, I daily my Brera 3.2 and appreciate the comfort and quietness and style, and I have an early 911 and a track MX5 that are both built for serious light weight and are under 900kg's.

Cheers.
 

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Hey, AlfaBreraQ4, nice project.
As to weight, I believe Alfa understated the official weights. For example my 2.4 one is stated as 1630Kg. I had mine weighed last year at a professional weighing station. Came up at 1670Kg (with half a fuel tank, if you take into account the weight of 35l of Diesel then it's about 40kg, so around 1630 Kg empty). Problem is I had a complete cat back straight through system installed, so that's a lot of weight taken off. Also I had a Bilstein B14 kit installed and my car runs on 19" TIs which are 14kg each (had them weighed as well).

Currently mine is in the garage for a new head (old one cracked) and taking the time to tinker a bit. I rooted a 2AWG cable underneath the car parallel to the brake lines and moved the battery to the spare wheel well. Planning to get a repair kit to fit in the remaining space. I also plan to completely remove the EGR cooling circuit (not applicable to you).

Have you moved your battery yet?
 

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Discussion Starter #8
-Carbon single piece bucket seats, bought but not fitted yet.
You bought ebay-straight-outta-china carbon seats?

Not sure if you've lived with fixed buckets in a daily but they're a huge compromise - I dailyed a 968CS for two years and was very glad to get back into a normal seat.

I do applaud your weight savings goals, just have a feeling the brera is so compromised to begin with - most of the body is double and triple wall construction and combined with the heavy drivetrain it will never be a light car. If you do take 150+ kgs out of it you will feel a difference though I'm sure.

Me, I daily my Brera 3.2 and appreciate the comfort and quietness and style, and I have an early 911 and a track MX5 that are both built for serious light weight and are under 900kg's.

Cheers.
We'll se about the comfort but the seats aren't eBay jobs from China, they were special order from the States actually. I'm keeping the old ones so it's not irreversible. So far I've removed about 120kgs. And moved about 35kgs from under the bonnet. We'll see it's only fun!
 

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Hey, AlfaBreraQ4, nice project.
As to weight, I believe Alfa understated the official weights. For example my 2.4 one is stated as 1630Kg. I had mine weighed last year at a professional weighing station. Came up at 1670Kg (with half a fuel tank, if you take into account the weight of 35l of Diesel then it's about 40kg, so around 1630 Kg empty). Problem is I had a complete cat back straight through system installed, so that's a lot of weight taken off. Also I had a Bilstein B14 kit installed and my car runs on 19" TIs which are 14kg each (had them weighed as well).

Currently mine is in the garage for a new head (old one cracked) and taking the time to tinker a bit. I rooted a 2AWG cable underneath the car parallel to the brake lines and moved the battery to the spare wheel well. Planning to get a repair kit to fit in the remaining space. I also plan to completely remove the EGR cooling circuit (not applicable to you).

Have you moved your battery yet?
Totally agree on claimed weights versus reality. That's why I've used 3rd party sources like Parkers guide. Maybe they are not true but hopefully they are equal to other brands. I think the Brera has a slightly unfair rep for being heavy, you don't hear people critiquing the R32 for the same problem and there's little difference. Anyway less is definitely more!

Yes moved the battery and water bottle, I went through the bulkhead behind the glove box, then down the central tunnel to the boot. Everything sheathed and protected, cable glands etc. I used a waterproof box and marine 12v busbar to connect up under the bonnet. And made a carbon tray to mount the ECU to. Not had any hiccups yet and had everything checked by an electrician.
 

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Wow this looks stunning ! Would you do one for my delta too? (i got that heavy glass thing on top too...)

i just realized that you got a Q4.... i guess you could get some free HP if you disable the rear drivetrain. (getting rid of the Propshaft and the center+rear differential will eliminate about half of your drivetrain losses and you could save a lot of weight too). Rule of thumb says that you loss about 15-20% power per driven axis.

It would be nice to eliminate the FWD part of the drivetrain, but as that engine is on an FWD mounting you cant gain anything there - basicly because you need the front diff to drive the propshaft and the center-diff (assuming there is one on a Q4 AWD) to drive the rear wheels.... but maybe if you know a propshaft shop you could get (a carbon propshaft) eliminate the center diff (propshaft directly to rear diff).... you might only save a few %in drivetrain loss, but could still lose some weight (diffs are heavy, the std. propshafts are heavy, as are the driveshafts on the front.) It would alsow improve the steering and suspension up front (-drivetrain influence on the wheels).
 

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Awesome thread! :)
Relative of mine has also Brera 3.2 Q4 and he is going to swap out his low end for 3.6l GM LY7.
In goes the GM LLT Camaro (11:3 pressure) original pistons etc, but Alfa heads stay. That engine from Camaro should do 230kw but if he gets near 220kw, he is satisfied.
Your lightening mod with increased power in Brera, would make it a true beast!
It is not straight 1:1 engine swap. One engine is 90 deg other way vs the other. Also you have to make a new place to put generator with that conversion. But crossing Camaro parts with Alfa parts, it can be done.
 

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Awesome thread! :)
Relative of mine has also Brera 3.2 Q4 and he is going to swap out his low end for 3.6l GM LY7.
In goes the GM LLT Camaro (11:3 pressure) original pistons etc, but Alfa heads stay. That engine from Camaro should do 230kw but if he gets near 220kw, he is satisfied.
Your lightening mod with increased power in Brera, would make it a true beast!
It is not straight 1:1 engine swap. One engine is 90 deg other way vs the other. Also you have to make a new place to put generator with that conversion. But crossing Camaro parts with Alfa parts, it can be done.
You can buy and fit the the 3.6 sleeve-and-piston kit and the 3.6 crank.... It is not cheap, but it can be done
 

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There were a couple of threads on 3.6 conversions, it's major and risky surgery to rebore the alloy v6, so buying a GM LLT 3.6 v6 and fitting the alfa heads, manifolds and sump is an easy and possibly cheapest option. The earlier LY7 gm 3.6 v6 had slighty different rods and pistons which give a tad less compression, and the newer LFX gm 3.6 has a composite intake and integrated exhaust manifolds which give something like a 20kg+ weight saving, that would be nice!

The carbon looks perfect btw, I can't wait to see the new panels on the car, and find out how much the parts and the car ends up weighing. It would also be awesome to see some testing and suspension tuning to see what gforces you can generate!
 

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Discussion Starter #17
Thanks Guys,

The roof is out of the mould and trimmed and should be fitted soon. The weight saving is about 10-15kgs, which so high up is significant I think.

The rear seat delete and bonnet are next, the bonnet is V heavy so I hope I can really make a difference here.

I'm experimenting with different techniques and composites also. For instance I intend to do the undertray in a type of Kevlar, which is better able to withstand impacts. The roof has a foam core to make it the correct thickness to be flush but as light as possible. The bonnet I can make thinner and with no core because it's a two part mould so the X structure inside will be made in carbon too, that means the top skin doesn't have to be as rigid as if it was on its own.

I've seen the bonnet on the new M4 GTS that uses a different form of carbon for instance. I'm sure it has a little effect on the properties but can't help thinking some of its bling too!
 

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I tried to search a good place to buy those exact things you are building here from carbon and I found exactly zero places!
If You have the moulds already for the roof and bonnet and etc.
You could make some extra cash producing them. :thumbup:
 

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Yes I do have the moulds, so if people want carbon parts them just PM me. Carbon fibre suits panels best because they tend not to be structural and you can save a lot of weight there.

As a basic rule of thumb the carbon panels are coming out about 1/4 to 1/6 the weight of the original steel, I could make them lighter but then they'd be quite floppy. Either way I can make them to suit, something like a bumper could be quite thin/light as that way it would have more give, where you don't want your bonnet curling at motorway speeds I suspect!

The roof for the Brera was a good start because glass is the best surface to mould as the finish is great, I've now moulded the bonnet (two peice) and a rear seat delete that bolts in with carbon bracing where the back of the back seat goes in the Brera. Next is wings, bumpers and slam panel. Annoyingly the slam panel is the hardest of the lot as its such an un-symmetrical fiddly shape.

Appreciate the advice about engine changes on here, the main reason for going for weight saving is insurance, if I have one peice of carbon or make the whole car out of it my insurance company count that as 'composite panels' which adds about 20 pounds to my annual premium, any engine change at all, ever a remap is an 'engine modification' and adds hundreds of pounds on immediately. Ultimately you can change either end of the power to weight ratio and I'm starting with reducing the weight rather than upping the power. Yet that is ;)
 
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