Alfa Romeo GT

There can be no denying that the Alfa Romeo GT is a beautiful-looking machine. With its sleek coupe body and wide, purposeful stance, it is arguably one of the most stylish motors on the road.

Alfa's excellent 3.2-litre V6 gives the fantastic-looking GT the power it deserves. The unit itself is full of character, and even though its 240bhp is fed through the front wheels, torque steer is kept to a minimum by the 156 GTA-derived sports suspension. This also helps improve handling over the standard model - but the trade-off is that the ride suffers on poor roads.

There can be no denying that the Alfa Romeo GT is a beautiful-looking machine. With its sleek coupe body and wide, purposeful stance, it is arguably one of the most stylish motors on the road.

It's a capable driver's car too -a fact that was confirmed to us when we sampled the 1.9 JTD and 2.0 JTS variants. But while the diesel version is punchy and economical, and the 2.0-litre petrol is responsive and free revving, neither engine really gives the sporty-looking GT the power it so obviously could handle.

Now a potent V6 has been added to the line-up for buyers who want the full Alfa experience. It's the same 3.2-litre unit that is found in the 156 GTA, but has been tuned to offer more low-down torque and 240bhp.

Alfa Romeo's V6 engines are legendary, and this motor is no exception. The moment you turn the key, it is obvious that the unit has bags of character. At idle there is a satisfying burble from the exhaust, which develops into an intoxicating Luciano Pavarotti-style tenor roar as the revs rise.

The engine pulls cleanly from low speeds, and the power builds steadily until 4,000rpm. At this point, the full benefit of the 24 valves comes into play, and the tacho needle races to the red line with even greater urgency.

Accelerating through the ratios, the Alfa GT 3.2-litre GT V6 can sprint from 0-60mph in 6.7 seconds and on to a top speed of 150mph-plus. It's just a shame that the sloppy six-speed box isn't in keeping with the sporty engine. However, with 289Nm of torque on tap, you don't really need to use it much anyway - simply select a gear and let the silky engine do the rest.

Normally, with all that power going through the front wheels, you would expect a tug of war with the steering wheel. Thankfully, the V6 model's 156 GTA-derived sports suspension does a decent job of keeping torque steer to a minimum. Although you can spin an inside wheel through corners, the Alfa feels stable in a straight line.

Overall, the car's handling is impressive, although it's not as polished as that of a BMW 3-Series Coupe. There is little body roll through corners, and the steering is sharp, if lacking in feel. There is a downside to this sporty set-up, however, as on poorly surfaced roads the ride can get a little harsh.

The Alfa GT 3.2 V6 costs £26,695, and comes with a leather interior as standard. This plus discreet badging, stylish 17-inch multi-spoke alloys and twin chrome exhausts are the only features which distinguish it from lesser models. But with a potent V6 under the bonnet, the GT now has the performance to match its seductive looks.

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