Long known for bringing that special Italian flair to its automotive offerings, Alfa Romeo looked set to have another hit on its hands when it premiered the new 147 at the 2000 Turin Motor Show. Going into production for the 2001 model year, this replacement for the 145 and 146 possessed head-turning good looks and proved to be a big seller throughout Europe, winning the prestigious European Car of the Year Award for 2001 along the way.
The 147 was just as well received in Japan when it entered the Japanese market in 2001, despite its relatively high price tag. Part of the reason for its popularity was the "Selespeed" semi-automatic gearbox (adopted from the Alfa Romeo 156).
In 2004, the 147 received a minor facelift, carried out by Italdesign. Also, the 2.0 Twin Spark, the most popular Alfa 147 model, received an upgraded suspension as well. The Twin Spark utilized two spark plugs per cylinder, and when combined with a variable intake system, the 2.0-liter inline-4 produced 148 HP. Thanks to the new technology, this power plant possessed excellent combustion character that resulted in a very flexible power brand, producing peak torque at a low 2000 rpm.
In 2005, the model designation "Ti" that had traditionally graced the company's high-profile sports cars was added to the 2.0 Twin Spark. This Ti's suspension was specially tuned for improved handling and featured new gauges that set it apart from the standard Twin Spark model, thrilling enthusiasts all over Europe.