Alfa Romeo Tipo 103 history
|Vehicle technical details|
|Body and chassis|
|Body styles:||Berlina (saloon)|
|Engine and Powertrain|
|Drive:||Front wheel drive|
|Displacement:||0.9 liter (896 cc)|
|Engine power:||52 hp|
|Weights and Dimensions|
Under the project name Tipo 103 , the Italian car manufacturer Alfa Romeo developed a small car in the late 1950s , which was to establish the company as a mass-produced manufacturer.
The Tipo 103 had some very innovative design features at the time, such as a transversely mounted engine and front-wheel drive. Mass production ultimately did not materialize for economic reasons.
Alfa Romeo was until the outbreak of World War II, a manufacturer of high-priced sports cars, which served the market segment of the luxury class. After the war, management decided to reposition the brand, which began in 1950 with the Alfa Romeo 1900 , a sporty upper middle class sedan that had a standard self-supporting body in the factory and was only half as expensive as the exclusive pre-war vehicles. in 1954 appeared with the Giulietta , the first Alfa Romeo, which was designed directly as a mid-range model. Under the impression of success, the even smaller Fiat 600 In particular, in the Italian market, Alfa Romeo considered, in the late 1950s, following the fashion of the time, the Giulietta a sporty small car with rear engine to the side. Then, in 1958, under the direction of Rudolf Hruska and Giuseppe Busso, a rear-engined small car (Tipo 13-61) was built. After the first prototype of this model was built in 1958, the management decided against the continuation of the project 13-61. This decision was related to the presentation of the mini developed by Alec Issigonis, whose space-saving combination of transverse front engine and front-wheel drive represented a milestone in automotive design and was perceived as a concept of the future. From 1959, Alfa Romeo engineers then developed a small car that followed the design principles of the Mini.
In 1960, the first prototype of this Tipo 103 model, which followed, according to some sources 1962, a second. Alfa Romeo made numerous test runs with the Tipo 103 until 1962. Despite the allegedly convincing results of these tests, Alfa Romeo ultimately decided against mass production of the Tipo 103 for economic reasons, since it was reportedly possible to achieve greater profits with models of the more middle and upper middle classes.
The concept of the compact front-wheel drive car was taken up again only a decade later with the Alfasud, whose development and production was considerably promoted by the state. Regardless of this, the bodywork of the 103 series vehicles, which later presented, had an impact.The Tipo 103 was a 3.6 m long small car with self-supporting body. The drive was a four-cylinder inline engine with 0.9 liters displacement provided, the front was installed transversely. His performance was given as 52 hp. The power was transmitted to the front wheels via a fully synchronized four-speed gearbox. As maximum speed resulted in test drives a value of 139 km / h.
The body was designed as a four-door notchback sedan. The structure was rectilinear, the rear doors ended in front of the wheel wells. Renault took over the basic concept of the bodywork for the 1962 introduced R 8 , which, however, had a rear-mounted engine. The rear end of the Tipo 103 had a trunk lid lowered in the middle and taillights arranged transversely underneath. This design concept took Alfa Romeo with only minor changes for the Giulietta successor Giulia , which came in 1962 on the market.The vehicle empty weight was 725 kg.