You have to wonder what kind of special crack Alfa Romeo was smoking back in the early 1990s when their entire lineup went front-wheel drive. Sure, it probably saved money, but it was the fastest way possible to water down their legendary performance heritage.

Alfa is working on walking back from that mistake now. But their front-drive offerings weren't really all that bad; I've always been kind of partial to the 1990s Alfa Romeo GTV and Spider models, tested here in this episode of Old Humorless Top Gear Before It Was Fun To Watch.

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Could this front-drive roadster match the driving dynamics of the long-running old rear-wheel drive Spider? Probably not, but it had its own assets, like a quirky wedge shape, a premium interior and the option of a V6 later on.

In this test, Steve Berry finds a lot to like in the car's 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine. And he finds the handling to be worthy of the Alfa name. Good as it was, I don't think anyone will miss that drivetrain layout.