The world can never have too many Italian sports cars as far as we are concerned. The Italians seem to have figured out exactly what enthusiasts want and Alfa is right up there with Ferrari and Maserati.
The company got its start in 1906 by a group of Italian investors who funded a French automobile company named, "Alexandre Darracq". As it turned out, Italiana Darracq was not selling the quantities as expected so three years later the investors hired a new designer; Giuseppe Merosi. On June 24, 1910, a new company was founded and was named A.L.F.A. which was the acronym for Anonima Lombarda Fabbrica Automobili, which simply means: Lombard Automobile Factory, Public Company. The company was still in business with Darracq, in part.
The first car manufactured by the newly-formed company was a 24 horsepower A.L.F.A. In 1915, the company was run by Nicola Romeo, who turned the factory into a military hardware manufacturer for the war. In 1920, the company was still being run by Romeo, so it changed its name to Alfa Romeo.
After years of having on and off financial difficulties, the company was sold to the Fiat Group in 1986. Considering the company's start which was intended to churn out high performance racing cars, it's not surprising that over the years the Alfa won several racing awards, including the Grand Prix motor racing, Formula One and many more. After all, they made their first racing car in 1913, so they have always had a great reputation and deep interest in the race car category.
In 1995, Alfas stopped being exported to the United States because of the low interest, but began again in 2006, with a wide variety of new models. The 8C Competizione was the first model to become popular again and although sales have not quite hit their mark in the past couple of years, the company is determined to sell 500,000 units during the course of this year.
Today, we're displaying the top ten most expensive and popular models-to-date. Although, according to Sergio Marchionne, we are to be on the lookout for more mainstream models that will be introduced in 2015. We can't wait as this brand is so outrageously James Bond-looking, we'd love to see a lot more of them on the road.
Believe it or not, their low-end models are affordable for anyone who normally buys a high-end, luxury car like the Lexus, Mercedes or Porsche. Take a look at these beauties and add one to your wish list for next year when all of the new models come out.
10 Alfa Romeo S-Z (162C): $70,000
The Sprint Zagato was built between 1989 and 1991 in partnership with Centro Stile Zagato, Centro Stile Alfa Romeo and Centro Stile Fiat. It was also called the ES-30 (Experimental Sportscar 3.0 liter). Fiat designer, Robert Opron, came up with the initial design. The model came as a 2-door coupe or convertible and has a front-engine, rear-wheel drive with a V6, 5-speed manual transmission. This model sort of resembles a Mercedes or BMW convertible.
9 Alfa Romeo Brera S: $80,000
Even though this model is not outrageously pricey, it has only sold a little over 20,000 units. It was originally designed as a concept car and was introduced at the 2002 Geneva Motor Show. The concept had a zippy Maserati V8 engine and was an instant success which allowed it to go into production in 2005. The production model premiered at the 2005 Geneva Motor Show and kept many of its original parts. It wasn't until 2008 when the Brea S (special edition) model was introduced and announced it's limited edition status.
8 Alfa Romeo Spider: $80,000
Similar to the Brea S, the Spider was introduced at the 2006 Geneva Motor Show and it received the "Cabrio of the Year" award. The model is based on the Brea coupe, but is sports car all the way; with two-seats, a convertible top and a roll bar, in the event the car flipped. The Spider was also produced in a limited edition quantity of 900 units. The three color options were Carbonio Black, Alfa Red and Ghiaccio White and it is still available. The updated Spider comes with the Fiat Group's Blue&Me hands-free system with voice recognition.
7 Alfa Romeo 2000 Sportiva Coupe: $180,000
This gorgeous 2-liter sports car was designed in the early 1950's by Franco Scaglione. Only two coupes and two roadsters were made in preparation for mass production. It never happened as another model got selected for having more mass appeal. The sports car can reach a top speed of 137 mph. It's appearance is like an old-fashioned version of what a sports car would look like in the future, isn't it? We love it.
6 Alfa Romeo 8C Competizione Wheelsandmore Stage II: $320,000
Wheelsandmore is a German aftermarket specialist that creates tuning packages and other items that makes the Competizione more sporty and customized. For starters, the black and red racing stripes that run from front bumper to back, the 21-inch 6 Sporz 2 forged alloy wheels, black tailpipes and a hand-made sports exhaust system are all part of the package. They also added a new coilover suspension and tweaked the V8 engine's software to rev up its performance.
5 Alfa Romeo Competizione: $360,000
Another spectacular-looking model that was built in the last ten years, between 2007 and 2010. It was introduced as a concept car at the Frankfurt Motor Show and mass produced in 2007, but only 500 were made. The lines of the car replicate the sleekness of the earlier Alfas. The model uses a Maserati 4200 GranTurismo platform and its performance shows. It sports a V8, 4.7 liter engine, which is assembled by Ferrari. From our standpoint, this car can do no wrong. It has everything one wants in a sports car and more and it's got a sexy-looking body.
4 Alfa Romeo TZ3 Stradale Zagato: $800,000
The Alfa Romeo TZ (Tubolare Zagato) was a smallish sports car that was made from 1963 to 1967. In April 2011, Zagato presented the TZ3 Stradale road version that resembled the Dodge Viper ACR-Z. In fact, it is powered by the Viper's V10 engine. However, only nine units were made of this sleek model. It was designed by Norihiko Harada.
3 Alfa Romeo Tipo 33 Stradale: $2 Million
Such a beautiful model and an iconic Alfa Romeo, the 33 Stradale is a mid-engined auto that was introduced at the Sports Car Show at Monza, Italy in 1967. Only 18 were ever made; the prototype was sold to a private gallery in Japan. Five of them are a part of the Alfa Romeo museum.
2 Alfa Romeo 6C 3000 CM Colli Spider: $2 Million
Alfa Romeo was smart to hide their competition cars and production molds before halting manufacturing during World War 2. Unlike other car manufacturers, when the war was over they were able to dig up everything and continue with business as usual even though finding quality parts was difficult. This 6C 3000 CM design dates back to pre-war times and is based on the 6C 2500 SS race cars, but has a 3.5 liter engine. Three to four coupes were made by Colli for the 1953 Mille Miglia, the annual celebration. This is a rare model since one was gifted to an Argentinian president and one was rebodied by Pininfarina.
1 Alfa Romeo 6C 2500 Competizione: $3.5 Million
This is another model that was hidden during the war and revived later. It was made between 1925 and 1954 and was originally introduced at the 1925 Salone dell'Automobile di Milano as the 6C 1500. Oscar Jankovits designed the sleek shape of this car and the prototype was hidden in his garage in Fiume during the war. As it turns out, the Jankovits brothers drove it into Italy and ended up having to sell it to an Anglo-American officer and that was the last anyone saw of it for 20 years. It was finally found in England and ten years later returned for restoration. This was a moment of celebration for the company, who had tried to purchase it after it's discovery.