The 147 was launched at the 2000 Turin Motor Show as a replacement for the aging 145 / 146 hatchbacks, and is based on the running gear of the larger 156 saloon. It is available with 1.6- and 2.0-litre inline four-cylinder petrol engines and a 1.9-litre diesel engine.
The entire 147 range was revamped in 2004, with the exterior styling changed considerably to be more reminiscent of the new 159 and Brera models, most notably for its "angrier" look. In 2006 was launched 147 1.9 JTD Q2 version, which features a front Torsen limited slip differential.
The hot hatch 147 GTA model was launched in 2002. The GTA used a 3.2 V6 engine, produced 250 bhp and could exceed 150 mph. Its competitors in Europe include the Audi S3, BMW 130i, Volkswagen Golf R32 and the Renault Sport Clio V-6 (a car that pioneered the concept of the powerful V6 hot hatch in 2001).
Alfa Romeo together with Autodelta have produced a "bored out" version of the GTA sporting a 3.7-litre V6, producing 328 bhp, and a split-axle differential gear for the front wheels. This car has famously been road tested by Jeremy Clarkson, and featured on television show Top Gear with a power-lap around the track by The Stig. In his review of this car for The Sunday Times, Clarkson described the acceleration as "...Ferrari throttle? Forget it. When you stamp on the accelerator it’s like you’ve hit the Millennium Falcon’s hyperdrive. Suddenly all the stars are fluorescent tubes. ..." and the handling as ".A corner was coming. And then it was a distant speck in my rear-view mirror. I vaguely remember turning the wheel and I have a dim recollection of being astounded by the grip . . . and then the moment was gone. No, really, the damn things a barnacle."
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