Standing up here on the edge of this windswept, remote Scottish valley, there are only two things on my mind. One: the Alfa Romeo GT I’ve just jumped out of which is now pinging gently after our first drive on UK roads. It’s a deceptively tasty-looking coupé, with a subtle but well-executed collage of traditional and contemporary Alfa styling cues. Two: the single-track road that threads its way across the valley floor, a never-ending succession of crests and compressions with the clearly visible scars of a thousand crunched sumps.
Just how worried would Alfa’s parts person in charge of sump procurement be were they standing here now? It’s been a recurring theme with Alfas of late: both the 147 GTA and 156 2.4 JTD were blighted by insufficient damping revealed in poor body control at speed and a fidgety ride. But the GT shows a rethink by Alfa’s engineers, with stiffer anti-roll bars, revised dampers and, interestingly, softer springs.Straight away, a suppleness to the GT’s ride is apparent: the car flows down the road in a far more relaxed fashion than its siblings. Smaller surface imperfections and transverse ridges still elicit the same under-floor tremor, but it’s markedly reduced over a 156. Body control is better, too. Up the pace and the GT makes a decent fist of being a driver’s coupé.
The usual over-quick Alfa steering (2.2 turns lock to lock) promotes a slightly false impression of agility – and it’s light with little genuine feel on offer – but the abrupt direction changes it can emphasise don’t upset the GT’s composure.