The attractive Giugaro-penned Alfetta GTV coupe became the GTV-6 in 1981 when Alfa Romeo equipped it with a Bosch fuel-injected version of their SOHC 2.5-liter V-6 engine. A corresponding hood bulge was incoproated to make room underhood for this new powerplant. The motor consisted of an aluminum head and block, and was rated at 154 hp in U.S. trim. The new Alfa Romeo GTV-6 was praised in the press for its greater performance when compared to its four-cylinder predecessor (0-60 in 8.3 seconds, 1/4 mile in 16.2 seconds), as well as for the sound it produced at high rpm.
Like the 2.0-liter GTV that it replaced, the GTV-6's driveline consisted of a five-speed transaxle and differential at the rear of the car, with rear inboard disc brakes, all of which lessened unsprung mass. Suspension was typical for Alfa Romeo at the time: double wishbones up front and a deDion axle in the rear. This arrangement, coupled with the weight distribution offered by its front engine/rear transaxle, made for a very balanced and pleasant handling car.
Just over 22,000 Alfa Romeo GTV-6s were produced from 1981 to 1986, which included several limited edition models for the U.S. The Balocco was limited to a run of 350 cars in 1982, all of which were painted red with black leather interior and a sunroof. The Maratona came two years later in 1984, with add-on flares, silver paint, and a unique see-through panel in the hood. Finally, approximately 35 cars were modified by Callaway with twin IHI turbochargers, and these fantastic performers used their 230 hp to good effect with 0-60 times below 6 seconds, and a top speed in excess of 130 mph. The regular production cars received subtle interior changes in 1984 as well as new gear ratios, and any example that exhibits minimal-to-no rust and a good maintenance history will be an entertaining drive.