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Alfa Romeo puts 159 on show

22 February 2005

A handsome new compact executive is on the way from Alfa .

The 159, shown here for the first time, will be unveiled next week at the Geneva Motor Show and go on sale in the UK late this year or in early 2006. Prices are likely to be very similar to the current range of around £15,000 to £28,000.

It replaces the 156 and, thanks to designer Giorgetto Giugiaro, continues to place an emphasis on style, one of Alfa’s core strengths.

Alfa said reliability, which the company acknowledges is not a forte of the current model, and safety have been put at the top of the agenda. The company reckons the 159 will offer class-leading crash protection with as many as eight airbags to minimise passenger injuries.

With a longer wheelbase than the current car, the 159 stretches the tape measure an extra 22cm from nose to tail. Extra width should also help to improve rear-seat accommodation, although a lower roofline might restrict headroom.

A wide range of engines will be on offer, the most powerful of which will come with the option of Alfa’s Q4 four-wheel drive in place of the standard front-wheel-drive set-up. Three petrol engines include a 160bhp 1.9-litre, a 185bhp 2.2-litre and an all-new 260bhp 3.2-litre V6.

Buyers can choose between two 1.9-litre diesel engines, capable of either 120bhp or 150bhp, or a 200bhp 2.4-litre unit.

The new 159 will use a six-speed manual gearbox as standard, and a six-speed automatic ’box will be an option.

  • Whatcar.com has new pictures of the new Alfa Brera coupe online today, as well as the first look inside the Fiat Croma family car. Follow the links to see more of these two cars, both of which go on sale in the UK in 2006.

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