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IT'S definitely one for the `Alfistas' -- the last chance to snap up a design classic.

Alfa Romeo has just 80 examples of its two-seater Spider up for grabs before the axe falls on a line that dates back 50 years.

The cars are available in three colours -- Alfa Red, Lightning Blue and Light Grey metallic -- and feature 17-inch spoked alloy wheels and black leather interior.

Based on the Lusso trim level, the Spider comes with choice of 2. 0 JTS or 3. 2 V6 24v engines, electric roof, leather steering wheel, heated electric door mirrors and automatic climate control.

Prices are pounds 23, 510 for the 165 bhp 2. 0 JTS and pounds 28, 300 for the 240 bhp 3. 2 V6 24v.

THE MINI Cooper S is to get a new adaptive auto transmission.

There will be several product revisions in 2005 -- including a self-shifting box in the Cooper S and its convertible stablemate.

But unlike the auto option in other MINI models, which have a CVT system, this new development has fixed gear ratios resulting in quicker changes and more dynamic driving experience.

And Adaptive Transmission Control builds the revs for longer before changing gear if it `knows' the driver enjoys driving to the car's limits. The auto transmission is priced at pounds 1, 050.

COMMERCIAL vehicle sales soared last month, as businesses invested in new vehicles to ensure their products are delivered in time for Christmas.

Some 33, 672 commercials were sold in October -- a figure 10. 4% up on 2003 -- the bulk of which were LCVs.

Alan Pulham of the Retail Motor Industry Federation says: ``The popularity of internet shopping means more and more businesses need vehicles so that orders get through. ''
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Title Annotation:Features
Publication:Liverpool Echo (Liverpool, England)
Date:Nov 12, 2004
Words:286
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