Despite the encouragement provided by the arrival of the 164, Alfa’s progress as a maker of fine cars spluttered badly, but somewhat predictably with the introduction of the lackluster mid size 155 and the Golf rivaling 145/6. Once again it was left to an Alfa sports to give the famous marque a lift. The much meeded boost came in the form of the hard top GTV and its sister cabriolet, the Spider, two startling looking cars that demanded attention, inspired the imagination and succeed in generating a great deal of comment in both the motoring industry and the press. However, both vehicles were based on the ubiquitous Tipo structure, which also spawned the 155, 145, Lancia Dedra and numerous others. This inevitably led by the GTV being subject to some damaging compromises for a car in its class. Perhaps the worst fault was in the structure, which was unable to stay properly rigid without a roof. Despite this, the Spider was still an immensely desirable and attractive car; even it was not as good to drive as its sister, the GTV. The other compromise was the disappearance of the boot, because of the adoption of multi link rear suspension. However, the enhanced performance of the chassis made it a worthwhile sacrifice that balanced out the loss of carrying capacity. The well respected 2.0 liter, Twin Spark engine was the main powerplant, but Alfa’s 3.0 V6 units soon became an option.
Dramatic styling was again the mark of a big step forward for Alfa, and this was undoubtedly one of the main reasons that the GTV earned itself so many fans. The aggressive wedge shape, broken by a deep swage running around body was, like its SZ predecessor, a real shock for a lot of people when the vehicle was launched. The four lamp nose was something of a trick, however. Behind the four holes in the bonnet were two large, squared off headlights units.