Excess weight is the enemy of every automobile. Extra pounds will make a car slower at the top end, more sluggish off the line, wobblier in the corners, more lethargic under braking, guzzle more gas and expel more toxic fumes...among other problems. It can render an otherwise great car imperfect. Case in point: the US-bound Italian beauty, the Alfa Romeo 159.

The 159 is, as we've said time and time again, one of – if not the – most beautiful sedans on the market. Unfortunately its performance has not been quite up to par with its drop-dead gorgeous looks. And the more powerful V6-powered all-wheel-drive Q4 version only adds another 200kg to the problem. But Alfa's working on it, announcing a two-stage weight-loss program for the 159. The first stage will take some extra pounds off the body, chassis and suspension using lightweight construction materials such as aluminum. The second stage will be marked in 2008 with the introduction of a new lightweight five-cylinder turbodiesel.

Of course the same problems plague the 159's sisters, the Brera and Spider, but while the lightweight diesel is almost certain to find its way into the shapely two-doors, there's no word yet on whether the first stage weight loss will hit them, too. Now, nobody wanted to resort to taking the 159 off of pasta and pizza, so next time, Alfa, just watch the weight from the start, alright?

[Source: Motor Authority]