So the car is great. It's everything you could hope for in a motor car - and then some.
The first and most important thing about this car (at least for me anyway) is the looks. There is no angle this red wedge doesn't look good from. A brand new baby Lambo parked outside my work the other day; it brought a broad smile to my face that however good that particular car may look, no matter how hard it tries, (and with exotic angles and aggressive looks it really is trying) it was no match for the regal, even aristocratic Alfa. It's often said by other owners of this coupe, but it is impossible to walk away from the car without looking back at it at least a few times.
As alluded to, mine is in racing red and although it wasn't my first choice when scanning the classifieds, I think that in the flesh it's the colour that suits the car best.
The interior of the car it very nice, though somewhat reserved in relation to exterior. Everything is where you would expect, and generally it's a nice place to be. One complaint though is the blandness (too harsh maybe) of the dash and centre console. It's a sea of black with no interruptions of any sort. The phase 2 models feature a smattering of silver, which seems to make all the difference. Anyhow, the black (black again huh!) seats look nice and are very comfortable. I've even had the pleasure of a 20 minute ride in the back of the car, which wasn't as bad as I thought it might be.
For those who don't know, the GTV claims to be a 2+2, but 2+1 would be more accurate. If you own one of these, then the chances are your friends will be the ones who have to put up with being concertinaed into the back - something they should be happy to do to experience a ride in this marvel.
Second best thing about the car? That has to be the noise. Owners of GTV's often recommend going for the 3.0 litre V6 on account of its rasping noise; as far as I can tell though the 2.0 makes plenty enough noise. When driven in in a relaxed matter, the engine is very quiet (apart from a faint Delorian in Back to the Future esqe whine). Ignore concerns about potentially frequent petrol station stops, and the noise you are greeted with is as addictive as fizzy drinks. Even a slight poke of the throttle results in instinctive turns of the the head of passing pedestrians. It's exciting just writing about it!
So what of the performance then? It's a sports car, and you would expect me to bang on and on about how it flies round roundabouts and how I had it upto 130. No. Am pretty certain that the car will do all these things, but in all honesty I don't really see the point. Being an old Italian, I expect that after a few aggressive drives the engine would reduce itself to it component parts, and anyway, how is the general public going to appreciate the styling if it's either a red blur, or in the garage.
I will say that the car pulls very cleanly in all gears, and will get to 60 as quickly as anybody could ever need, and in general driving the car feels well planted with very little roll.
In urban environments the car is as easy to drive as your standard supermini, and on the motorway and faster roads it's no trouble at all.
I should mention at this point though the stiffness of the suspension. Buy one of these and you will quickly adopt a driving style that avoids so much as a raised stone in the road. Pot holes and grids will be approached and avoided with the same trepidation as you would a skip or unexploded shell. It's so bad that I have actually had to construct wooden ramps to get the car over the speed bump at the entrance to my flat to avoid scraping off the entire underside.
So overall the car is ace. When it all starts to go wrong, I may have to revise that opinion - I half expect to come down every morning to find the cars red paint complimented by red flames on account of an Alfa electrical fault - but for now everything is good, the sun is shining and the lord, if he so chose to revisit his vile subjects - would drive one of these (probably).