Alfa Romeo 159 Review

The all-new Alfa 159, a true sporting saloon in the classic Alfa Romeo tradition, went on sale in the UK a few months ago.

Designed by Giorgetto Giugiaro in collaboration with Alfa Romeo Centro Stile at Arese, Milan, the new Alfa 159 combines superlative engineering with outstanding performance and handling characteristics appropriate to the pedigree of one of the world's most famous sporting marques.

The Alfa 159 is built on a brand new platform, making it one of the toughest cars around, with a best-in-class torsional rigidity. In terms of safety, it has nothing to fear from the competition, having been awarded a five-star safety rating from Euro NCAP, which puts it ahead of the field for its segment with regard to crash safety performance.

Nine versions of the new Alfa 159, priced from £19,995 to £28,195 on-the-road, with a choice of five power plants. Three new direct injection petrol engines - 1.9 litre 160bhp and 2.2 litre 185bhp 4-cylinder units, and a 3.2 litre 260bhp V6 - combine the JTS (Jet Thrust Stoichiometric) direct injection technology of Alfa Romeo with continuously variable valve timing, (both inlet and exhaust), for the first time.

The two diesel engine options which complete the launch range exemplify the company's on-going pre-eminence in the field of diesel technology: a 1.9 litre
16 valve 150bhp 4-cylinder unit, and a 2.4 litre 20 valve 200bhp 5-cylinder power plant, both of which feature the company's renowned JTD MultiJet common rail direct injection systems.

3.2 JTS engined versions of the new Alfa 159 are equipped, as standard, with Alfa Romeo's state-of-the-art Q4 permanent four-wheel drive system. Q4 employs three differentials, with a self-locking Torsen C unit at the centre of the system which divides drive torque by a ratio of 57% to the rear wheels and 43% to the front in normal driving conditions. Torque is split between front and rear axles and constantly modulated by the central Torsen differential on the basis of available grip, with a bias towards the rear axle promoting handling characteristics appropriate to an Alfa Romeo sports saloon.