Designed by Bertone and introduced at the 1984 Turin Motor Show, the 90 was pitched between the Alfa Romeo Giulietta (nuova) and the Alfa Romeo Alfa 6, both of which were soon discontinued after the 90's launch. The car used the Alfetta chassis (including its rear mounted transaxle) and took its engines from the larger Alfa 6. The bodywork was similar to both, albeit modernised. One notable feature of the 90's design was small chin spoiler which extended above a certain speed to aid engine cooling. Its angular lines with integrated bumpers gave the car a neat look consistent with the period, however the aerodynamics suffered with a drag coefficient of Cd=0.37.
The 90 was well equipped, including electric front windows and electrically adjustable seats as standard. The luxurious Gold Cloverleaf (Quadrifoglio Oro) model had electric rear windows, a trip computer, power steering, central locking, metallic paint and a digital instrument panel as standard.
The 90 was revamped in 1986 with many minor changes throughout, the most obvious exterior change being a new grille with smaller horizontal slants. Total 56,428 cars were sold within 4 years.
The 90 was made only as sedan but in 1985 Carrozzeria Marazzi developed an Alfa 90 Station Wagon prototype, only two cars were made.
The Alfa 90 has longitudinal front engine, rear mounted gearbox with differential lock, independent front suspension wishbones with torsion bar springs and rear De Dion tube. It has disc brakes on all four wheels, the rear brakes are mounted inboard.
The 2.0 V6 version was dedicated to the Italian market, where up to 1993 cars with engines over 2.0-litres were subjected to a doubled 38% VAT. It was equipped with an innovative engine control unit and electronic injection system named CEM (Controllo Elettronico del Motore), developed by Alfa Romeo subsidiary SPICA. It manages the opening time of the injectors and the ignition depending on the angle of the butterfly valves, with one throttle body per cylinder unlike on the Bosch Jetronic used on the 2.5 V6.
Practical Classics, a well-known classic car magazine, reported that only 10 Alfa Romeo 90s remain on British roads. As of June 2014, only one, a Gold Cloverleaf, is licensed with the DVLA, with a further eight on SORN.
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