Fleet News

F1 technology comes to Alfa's everyday cars

FORMULA One-style gearchanges are to be brought to the UK car market by Alfa Romeo with the launch at the end of this month of the 156 Selespeed. With two buttons on the steering wheel, a sequential gear lever on the transmission tunnel, and a fully automatic transmission, the new 156 Selespeed brings Grand Prix-style technology to a conventional road-going car.

Once the vehicle is in motion, the manual five-speed transmission allows for gearchanges to be made without the driver's hands leaving the steering wheel. There is no clutch pedal and no need for the driver's foot to leave the accelerator. Operated by advanced computer software, Selespeed releases the clutch automatically, brings the engine and gears to the same speed and then re-engages the clutch in a fraction of a second.

The 156 Selespeed is based on the 155bhp 2.0 Twin Spark but has 16in alloy wheels, exclusive badging, unique leather steering wheel design featuring the integrated controls, a VDU set in the tachometer indicating which gear is engaged and a carbonfibre-coloured centre console. The car costs £21,993 on-the-road with specification further boosted by the choice of three sport packs taking prices to £22,612, £23,040 and £23,175.

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