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Future models - Alfa Romeo - 159

Alfa 159 launched in Europe

All-paw Alfa: 159 will be Australia's first new-gen Alfa AWD next year.

Alfa 159 replaces 156 sedan in Europe, but it's still 12 months away from Australia

15 Jun 2005

ALFA Romeo Australia has confirmed it will introduce three model variants of its all-new 159 medium sedan, launched in Europe this week.

Due here in mid-2006, the 156 replacement will be available with a 2.4-litre five-cylinder turbo-diesel, a 2.2-litre JTS four-cylinder petrol or a Holden-built 191kW/322Nm 3.2-litre JTS V6.

All bar the V6 will drive the front wheels through either a six-speed manual or auto gearbox. The V6? The pairing here will be auto and AWD.

Styled by Giorgetto Giugiaro and reveal at this year's Geneva motor show, the new mid-sized Alfa sedan features a powerful new shoulder line and a much more muscular overall stance, however, the 156's hallmark concealed rear door handles have vanished.

26 center imageThe 159 is substantially bigger than the 156, measuring 219mm longer, 85mm wider, 13mm lower and a wheelbase that's a big 105mm longer than the 156's - presumably delivering substantial interior space and comfort gains.

Stiffer and safer, 159 will also offer up to eight airbags (including knee and large side bags) and anti-whiplash head restraints.

Suspension upgrades include ‘high’ double wishbones up front and, at rear, a multi-link arrangement, leading Alfa to promise better rough-road ride and handling.

While brakes also receive an unpgrade, the most significant addition is permanent all-wheel drive technology, bringing the 159 into a different league from the front-drive 156.

Dubbed ‘Alfa Romeo Q4 four-wheel drive’, the system splits torque constantly and dynamically between all four wheels via a Torsen C self-locking centre differential that sends about 57 per cent of power to the rear wheels in normal conditions.

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