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GTV6 vs. GTV on the track: cornering, weight distribution, engine sound, twin turbo?

6019 Views 27 Replies 13 Participants Last post by  Greg Gordon
I recently became intrigued by 80's GTV6's when I learned about the rear transaxle design and almost 50-50 weight distribution. It seems that also the 2.5L aluminum V6 was very successful and the baseline for many Alfa motors to follow, including the 3.0L twin cam from the Milano that, as far as I understand, can be dropped into a GTV6 fairly easily.

All this comes at a time when I am about ready to attempt to drive my 69 GTV on a track... or certainly thinking about it...

I was wondering what vintage Alfa GT people thought about how a GTV6 would compare to an older GT both on the road and on the track. The feeling I get right now is that the GTV6 might be very fun to drive, in particular with the heavy US spec bumpers removed. A 69 GTV is probably still considerably lighter, and a 74 close behind. I am of course, a fan of the older, more beautiful cars, but there is some raw intrigue with it's younger and more square sibling. The engine sound is supposed to be very aggressive sounding (this may seem obvious to some, but I'm really not very familiar with these cars). To express that point and show a little on the extreme side, here's an interesting video I found showing a GTV6 with twin turbos. I imagine these are aftermarket, and not the callaway setup, but I could be wrong...

What's your thought on the matter? How does the weight distribution of my 69 serie-1 GTV compare? thanks! Andre
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I think the GTV's are more sexy, but the 6 is more aggressively styled. As for weight distribution, I think suspension tuning can all but make up for the heavier nose in the 6. It seems that those who have driven both enjoy the increase in horsepower more than they complain about the front being so heavy. In my opinion, the GTV would be amazing with forced induction. You would have the power of a 6 without the weight, and weight offset (the main complaints of 6 owners).
GTV6 front heavy?

5yearplan, I'm surprised you say the GTV6 is more front-heavy, I thought the whole point of the rear transaxle was to balance the weight better... I've read a number of your posts and I do understand that you are quite serious about GTV6, so.. maybe you could explain in more detail? Everything I've heard and read up to this point would indicate that the GTV6, slightly lowered, should corner like a demon....
A lightened GTV6 measured here with corner weights. This shows that the GTV6 is a little bit front heavy, just as everybody can feel when driving it. But no problem.

And then the eternal question of what is faster. Not so interesting question because normally a newer construction is the fastest. I would consider the 116 chassis to be faster than the 105, just as the 916 should be expected to be faster than than the 116. There a decades of evolution between these generations!
well, technically the weight dist. is 51/49 so its close to perfect, but from everyone I've talked to the 6 is noticeably front heavy on the stock suspension and ride height.
I think suspension tuning can all but make up for the heavier nose in the 6.
I should elaborate... On the stock sway bars the front end isn't given a big enough front sway, also the front on the American cars is too high, and that disrupts cornering ability. With these things resolved it behaves alot better. That being said, I haven't driven a GTV so I can't compare the two myself, I am merely regurgitating various opinions I have read from those who have. Here is an interesting post about the differences between the Alfetta GTV and 6: As I said earlier I like the GT GTV better as it is smaller and sexy in my opinion, and I think more Hp would make it amazing!
Hi Meganerd. My experience with transaxle alfas is not that they are front heavy, but do tend to understeer a little bit with stock suspension. With some minor suspension changes, the cars can be made extremely neutral and will tend to be more "tossable" and more predictable at the limit. All in all, while I am more passionate about 105/115s, my experience is that the transaxle cars are sweeter handling.

I believe you will be very happy with GTV6
engine growl

Another thing I found really interesting is that people seem to really like the sound of a GTV6. The audio files I heard sound excellent, but I've never heard one on the track. I think the early GT/GTV cars sound great at high RPM, but with a high-flow exhaust system sound a bit like a lawnmower at idle.

As for cornering, examples of well balanced cars around 50-50 being Porsche Boxter, Mazda Miata... a GTV6 should be at this level unless it is top-heavy? The hardtop should give better rigidity.... unless it is just too tall? The GTV6 looks quite a bit larger and heavier than an early GTV.... I'm surprised Alfa did not setup the anti-sway bars very well after going through all the trouble with the transaxle setup!
My opinion on the light front swaybar is this: it was sufficient when the car was new. Tyres back then had less grip - try Michelin TRXs for example!

With a modern tyre, the front suspension deflects big-time - instead of the tyre skidding, as in the case of the TRX. At large angles of deflection, the GTV6 front suspension (loaded wheel) goes positive camber and hence oversteers like a pig.

Usually the solution is easy though: add throttle before things start to plough. Now, mid-corner surface irregularities are another matter....
As long as you deal with the brakes the GTV-6 is a great track car.
engine power... and turbo?

How much power can I get out of an older GTV vs. GTV6 while staying reliable? My guess is that an older GTV with a 2L can be tuned and running well at 150hp. For track can crank to 200hp but not for daily driver. I think with an older GTV there is the option to drop in a 2.4L TS engine and maybe hit 200hp reliably?

A GTV6 with a 3.0L transplant should be able to run 200hp+ reliably(??), minus a few emissions...? Also I suspect aftermarket turbo kits might actually be available for the GTV6 which are similar to the Callaway mods (which were tested for reliability at Alfa..)

To member 5yearplan, hahaha, not going to put a BMW engine, sorry! :p (no doubt it could be fast!)

Needless to say, I'm thinking of picking up a GTV6, but really have no intent on selling my 69 GTV either! :D Greedy! Anyway, so far this has been a very interesting discussion and I've learned a lot, I'm sure others will refer to this as well in the future, in particular if or when the GTV6 ever gains a little more popularity!
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To me there is no comparison between the GTV body and the Alfetta GT/GTV6 body in the looks dept, with the 116 body being the better - that's my opinion of course. Power delivery (torque) and the shear feeling of the v6 also puts it up in my book ... even over a screaming 2 liter, but again my opinion ... as to which is faster on the track, I think it comes down to the driver in the case of the hobbiest.

One BIG consideration is that here in CA (and some other states too), you can't do squat to the v6 if you plan to drive it on the street thanks to smog laws which seem to be getting tougher. This is a real pain to have to deal with! Now with a GTV up to 74 you can do what you pretty well darn please and still drive it on the street. You don't have to worry if the guy doing the smog knows to rev it up and get the cat hot so the o2 sensor works and keeps the emissions where they are supposed to be, etc. ... that's a BIG difference to consider with how you plan to use the car.

Not a vintage GTV owner ... just had to chime in
cheers :)

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That's a really good point. No chance a 3.0L might slip through califonia smog? Might be difficult if the car is supposed to be 2.5L.... but if running as 3.0L milano stock setup?
That's a really good point. No chance a 3.0L might slip through califonia smog? Might be difficult if the car is supposed to be 2.5L.... but if running as 3.0L milano stock setup?
That should fly ... just no big cams, no high compression pistons, etc.

With a Milano 3L it would come in at 183hp (according to some random web page).. not too bad.. hmm... but better start looking for that clip-on twin turbo kit if I want to really move ;)

Web says:
Horsepower 183.00 BHP (134.7 KW) @ 5800.00 RPM
Torque 181.00 Ft-Lbs (245.4 NM) @ 3000.00 RPM

Alternative solution, save my money and invest instead a nicely built out TS from an alfa 75 and drop into my currently-stinking '74 GTV engine compartment? hmmmm..... food for thought...
easy decision - take both !

I was facing the same decision, and took the above option ... could'nt face selling the gtv but was intrigued by the gtv6. A 2 litre gtv with suspension and brake upgrades is a great trackday car, very light and great handling. The gtv6 has a fabulous engine, sounds great, feels much more powerful, but also need suspension and brakes done. It is heavier and feels it. From my experience, I would say start at the bottom and work up ; tyres, suspension, brakes -you can have alot of fun before you do expensive engine stuff. The gtv6 is in many ways more practical i.e. comfortable and very undervalued at the moment. Unfortunately that means theres a lot of bad ones around, and they are harder to fix up than a bertone.
ppth99, I think you are absolutely correct - both is probably the best option. The only problem with that is I also really like the late 50's early 60's Giulietta Sprint 2-door Coupes! But yes, GTV6 very undervalued... most likely I'll have one in less than a week :) Perhaps next forum discussion I will be involved in will be "how to remove GTV6 from tree I wrapped it around" hahaha! thanks for the advice! Andre
A forced induction Alfa V6 is pretty tough to beat. For those of you who have not seen it:

Pause the video and wait for it to load.

This Chevy Cobalt has 226 front wheel horsepower (stock it does 0-60 in 6.1). The GTV6 has 10 pounds of boost, L-Jetronic with various things from my my bag of tricks, no intercooler and water injection. It doesn't have any problem beating RX8s, WRXs or 350Zs.
Great vid, Greg! Especially because that GTV6 has stock wheels and looks like it is straight out of the box....a 'Q' ship!

My opinion? Both GTVs are great as street and/or track cars at the hobby level. A nicely modified 2L Bertone coupe is a blast to drive on street or track and can be highly competitive against the GTV6 because of lighter weight and a more easily-tuned suspension system. The GTV6 can be made into a great street/ track car as well, and has the advantage of a larger displacement engine with a couple more cylinders and a more modern fuel and ignition management system (we're talking about mostly stock street engines, right?) and a pretty good chassis (if modified slightly).

There are easy modifications available to tune the suspensions of both vehicles (and any 105/115 or Milano too, for that matter). There is still lots of debate about how to best modify the suspension of a GTV6/Milano (see numerous threads here on the BB), whereas the 105/115 suspension set-up has been well-researched and street/track solutions are easy to buy and a bit less expensive. The 105/115 engine is, as was pointed out, more easy to modify and still drive on the street, while the GTV6 is subject to your tough CA emissions laws. Additionally, the GTV6 isn't yet eligible for vintage racing (but it will be soon!).

Having said all of that, I believe that NOW is the time to buy and start preparing a nice GTV6 for the track. Soon, they will be vintage racers, but the cars and parts are still plentiful and inexpensive. Starting out with a good GTV6 now would prepare you for when it gets really expensive later. Of course, regardless of your choice of car, you should work on the "loose nut behind the wheel" first.

Bottom line? I think the GTV6 can be faster around the track on all but the shortest and 'twisty-est' of tracks (both cars being comparably prepared). I believe that you should keep your Bertone coupe as stock as possible and use it on the street. Get yourself a nice, cheap GTV6 and get that one ready for the track.
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Thanks Alex, I like the stock look for the GTV6. Plus the stock wheels are very good quality.

Either a GTV or GTV6 can be really fast around the track. In a performance per dollar equation the GTV6 is probably quite a bit better because of the much lower acquisition cost of the base vehicle. This leaves cash for the many upgrades that are out there. The GTV6 also has an advantage in long distance touring. It's a really nice car to take a long trip in. Of course so is the GTV in it's own way, but it's just not as comfy.

At the moment I think the most fully race prepped GTVs probably set faster lap times, but there have been so many new products for the GTV6/Milano recently that the gap is probably closing.

Greg Gordon,
NOT a Callaway!

As I'm sure you've determined by now, the car in the video is not a Callaway.

And, just for giggles, you might be interested to know that the shop drawings for the components of the Callaway conversion are still out there, so the exact pieces could be fabricated, if one were so inclined. The turbos were off-the-shelf Japanese units, the throttle bodies were BMW, etc. Might be better than trying to reinvent the wheel?

Have fun.

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