Despite the obvious, AR does not stand for Alfa Romeo, but rather Autovettura da Ricognizione, or reconnaissance vehicle. Based on a formula devised by Italy’s Ministry of Defense , Alfa Romeo took to the challenge to design a vehicle that could overcome all obstacles. Somewhat irreverently, it was also called the Alfa Matta , which translates to Mad Alfa, the forebear of the modern sport utility vehicle. Alfa delivered 2,000 to the Italian government, along with another 50 for civilian use. It was produced from 1952 to 1954, when it became known as the AR52.
Specifications issued by the Italian military for a reconnaissance vehicle referenced the ubiquitous Willys Jeep , of which there were many in Italy following World War II. The first step of Alfa’s design team, headed by Giuseppe Busso , was to acquire a Land Rover , a vehicle considered superior by the design chief in comparison to the American Jeep . By April of 1951, a prototype based on the Land Rover, with a new front end and a 65-horsepower, 1,900-cubic centimetre twin-cam engine, took to the road, driven by Consalvo Sanesi.
Only a few days later, the army’s representative, Colonel Garbani, identified a number of problems to be addressed. A brand new prototype appeared on 5 October. Fitted with independent front suspension and a rigid rear axle, four-wheel drum brakes, and a torpedo-shaped body that could be covered with a canvas top for all-weather protection, it weighed just 1,250 kilograms. This time, Colonel Garbani reported favorable results, and the vehicle was put in production. Engineer Antonio Alessio, then managing director of Alfa, saw the vehicle in action, and it is he who is credited with nicknaming it the “Matta.”
The Alfa Romeo 33 was a compact car built between by Alfa Romeo between 1983 and 1994.The Alfa Romeo 33 road car was essentially an evolution of its predecessor, the Alfa Romeo Alfasud, which was based on the same floorplan, chassis and mechanicals albeit with some minor modifications. Launched in 1983 as a 5-door hatchback, and a station wagon version (initially badged Giardinetta, later badged SportWagon) was introduced the following year as the same time as a 4x4 version of the hatchback. The hatchback (Berlina) was styled by the Centro Stile Alfa Romeo, Ermano Cressoni, and station wagon was restyled by Pininfarina.
Alfa Romeo 155 Q4, Quadrifoglio which used a drivetrain derived from the Lancia Delta Integrale which meant turbocharged engine and permanent four-wheel drive. The Q4 also incorporated three differential gears (normal at the front, epicyclic at the centre (including a Ferguson viscous coupling) and torsen self-locking at the rear).
Alfa Romeo 164 Q4 .In 1993 Alfa introduced a four wheel drive variant called the Q4 (short for Quadrifoglio 4) , which was equipped with an even more powerful version of the 3.0L V6 engine. The Q4 four-wheel-drive system (Viscomatic) was co-developed with the Austrian company Steyr-Puch. The system was very advanced when compared to other 4WD systems at that time. The system consisted of a viscous coupling unit, central epicyclic differential and Torsen differential in the rear. The whole system is connected to ABS and Motronic units. The power driven to the rear axle is continuously variable from 0 to 100%, so the car can be fully front- or rear-wheel-drive as conditions require. Torque is distributed between axles depending on the speed, turning radius, engine rpms, throttle position and ABS parametrics. This model was equipped with a Getrag 6-speed manual gearbox.
Alfa Romeo 38 with its 6.3 tons full load, was available with several chassis (including a shielded autotelaio and a bus chassis), which were characterized by having different steps. It was also available in an all-wheel drive variant.
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