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If you haven't seen an Alfa Romeo 159 rolling down the boulevard at night, you haven't seen how good a four-door sport sedan (or five-door sportwagon) can look. Fortunately, Alfa wants to keep its volume model on the sales track to success, and is launching a slightly revised version at next week's show in Geneva.

The updates largely mirror those of its equally gorgeous stablemates, the Brera and Spider, details of which we brought you earlier. That means an interior with revised ergonomics featuring more supportive seats, and a new sat-nav screen and climate control. By fitting lighter wheels, brake calipers and suspension components made from aluminum, Alfa has also cut about 100 unsprung pounds off the curb weight, which should improve driving dynamics. But in case it hasn't enough, Alfa is also offering its Q2 advanced traction/stability control system, in addition to the available Q4 all-wheel-drive system, mated to a range of smooth-running gasoline and diesel engines producing 140-260 and 120-210 horsepower, respectively. With the new improvements, a 159 would make a perfect daily driver to accompany an 8C Spider for the weekends. Check out the images in the gallery below, and all the details in the press release after the jump.

[Source: Alfa Romeo]


Alfa 159 MY 08, berlina and Sportwagon

Widely appreciated by critics and the European clientele, the 159 model (berlina and Sportwagon) is refreshed proposing some aesthetic re-touches, a widening of the range available, and numerous changes in the field of comfort and mechanics. The spirit of the car, obviously though, remains unchanged: in fact the Alfa 159 is an exclusive berlina which combines refined Italian "style" with the "sporty elegance" of Alfa Romeo.
The Alfa 159 Sportwagon MY 08, instead re-interprets the concepts of Italian style, performance and sporty handling, adding flexibility and versatility in the use of the prestige station wagon space.

Renewed design and widening of the range

As regards to the style, the most noticeable differences have been the changes to the cockpit. The Centro Stile Alfa Romeo has been involved in the interior design, from the dashes (Titanium coloured) to the upholstery, which in the Sport and TI versions is a striking black. The instrument display has new graphics, whilst another change is the multifunctional "user-friendly" satellite navigator at the centre of the dashboard. The "dual-zone" automatic climate control is today even more ergonomic and easy to use.
Not to be forgotten, the new wraparound ergonomic seats (rear and front) in their sporty set-up guarantee increased comfort and are perfect for long journeys. These winning characteristics are even more evident in the TI model with the sporty seats, now available in leather as well as black, and adorned with the Alfa Romeo logo woven into the headrests.
Further news in the Alfa 159 MY 08 and 159 Sportwagon MY 08 range, is the introduction of the rear logo, fitted with a "push" system, for immediate and safe opening of the boot. The upholstery is also available in the exclusive "Alfatex" fabric (for the Distinctive version). Lastly, exclusive to the Sportwagon model, is the introduction of the Fix&Fold system, which allows total use of the baggage space by quickly and simply, folding down the rear seats.
The new Sport set-up broadens the range of the 159 model (berlina and Sportwagon). The Sporty connotation, is helped on the exterior, by the exclusive 17" alloy wheels, with a specific 5-spoke design (combined to 225/50 tyres). The interior, instead, boasts the sporty driving-wheel replete with radio controls, the gear stick lined in leather with black stitching, the new sports seats swaddled in black Alfatex fabric along the sides and Floccato textile on the seat, available either in black or red. For further sportiness, the roof, luggage rack and panneling are in black whilst the dashes are in "brushed aluminium". The display panel has new sporty graphics. Lastly, the rich range of features which come as standard include: dual-zone climate control, fog-lights, VDC and the innovative Blue&MeTM system which allows phone-calls and listening to music as you drive, safely and simply, thanks to the Bluetooth voice recognition technology.
Lastly, the new range introduces three new tints (Ice White, Crystal Blue and Grey Indigo) and three not-seen-before alloys (16" or 17", in a sporty or elegant design).

Changes in the field of propulsion and mechanics

On the new versions of the Alfa 159 MY 08, two changes have taken place: firstly, in the field of safety, the new "electronic Q2" system now comes as standard. Second is the introduction of the 3.2 V6 260 CV with front traction (up to now only available with the Q4) which allows a top speed of 250 km/h.
Furthermore, the Alfa 159 MY 08 and 159 Sportwagon MY 08 guarantee a road handling with no compromises, thanks to the precise steering and supensions used on both vehicles. In the front, a high wishbone solution enables maximum side handling, great efficiency and response in the handling with superb movement. In the rear, a multiple bracket suspension makes the vehicle extremely stable in high-speed manoeuvres and very agile in "tight-driving" conditions like all true sport cars. Furthermore, the 3.2 V6 has a Q4 traction control that operates permanently, with three differentials. A maximum 57% torque can be driven to the rear wheels with the self-locking Torsen C that manages the engine power transfer, leaving 43% traction to to the front wheels.
A further change made to the 2008 range, is the optimization applied to structure of the model. In fact, the technicians, have revisited the technological process for the realization of some details in the two cars (berlina e Sportwagon), with the aim of improving comfort, dynamism, and actual consumption as perceived by the client in different driving conditions. For example, the alloy wheels, which are lighter in comparison to previous solutions, are made via the optimization of the mechanical properties of the alloys. Using "flow-forming" technology for the larger dimensions. At the same time, the front suspension brackets are made in aluminium. In the same manner, the stabilizing bar is "tubular", and the front brake calipers (on the 4 cylinder versions) are in single-body aluminium. These modifications, united to some aerodynamic refining, have led to a 45 kilo reduction in the vehicle's total weight.

First class security

Obviously, the Alfa 159 MY 08 confirms the extraordinary attention made to all aspects which involve safety. A care which allowed the preceding model to obtain 5 prestigious Euro NCAP stars. The vehicles include: ABS complete with EBD, the sophisticated VDC (Vehicle Dynamic Control), the ASR (Anti Slip Regulation) system, and HBA (Hydraulic Brake Assistance) which comes into use in case of an emergency brake. When HBA is in use the emergency lights automatically switch on. Lastly, the Hill Holder system facilitates sloped starts. It's in the field of passive security though that the Alfa 159 MY 08 and 159 Sportwagon MY 08 have their major strength. The most important features are the mountings (pre-tensioner buckle and inertia-reel safety-belts) front seats with anti-whiplash head restraints, and the availability of 8 airbags (worth noting the knee airbag airbag and side airbags that run alongside the glass surfaces). In addition to all this, we add superb torsional rigidity in the frame placing the model at the top of their range.
This is thanks to the new "premium" floorpan that utilises the latest dual-phase steels, multiple sheet metal and precision welding, as well as the numerous interventions Alfa Romeo engineers carried out on the body and architecture.

A precise response to every request

The 2008 range hosts a wide array of engines and transmission. On offer the 1.8 with 140 CV, three engine JTS with variable valve timing on both inlet and exhaust camshaft: the 3.2 V6 24v with 260 CV, the 2.2 with 185 CV and the 1.9 with 160 CV a power range between 81 e 85 CV/l. All are high-performance propulsions that respect the environment, and use the JTS (Jet Thrust Stoichiometric) combustion system. Furthermore, the diesel set-up is made up by the 2.4 JTDM 5-cylinder 20v with 210 CV and the two 1.9 JTDM (with 150 CV and a 120 CV), all fitted with a particulate filter. Concluding the offer, depending on the model version, is the automatic 6-speed gearshift, automatic Q-Tronic gears and sequential self-shifting Selespeed gears.
Lastly, depending on the model, the accessories range include a long list of systems and applications offered as standard or on request. Including: the unique Frau® floral print upholstery, the tri-zone climate control, electronic seats, Cruise Control, 7 airbags, VDCror system with hill holder, parking sensors, and voice controlled satellite navigator with mobile communications. Furthermore, available as optionals, is TMPS (warning sensor in case of insufficient tyre pressure) and new seats in a sporty configuration, upholstered in Tibet fabric.

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    • 1 Second Ago
      • 7 Years Ago
      If it had 2 cup holders (there are none) I'd be clamoring for a Wagon with 200 or so HP.
      Guess I just have to save my penny's for that WRX Wagon. Even though it doesn't look nearly as nice as the Alfa.
        • 7 Years Ago
        "If it had 2 cup holders (there are none) I'd be clamoring for a Wagon with 200 or so HP."

        That's an extremely depressing comment. I really hope you're joking and I just missed it.
        • 7 Years Ago
        What's wrong with cup holders? They're very convenient. I'm sure that you use yours. No cup holders in this day and age is a pretty big omission for our market.
          • 7 Years Ago
          "What's wrong with cup holders? They're very convenient. I'm sure that you use yours. No cup holders in this day and age is a pretty big omission for our market."

          It's depressing to me that anybody regards the lack of cup holders as a deal-breaker, especially in a car like this one. That the omission would hurt U.S. sales reflects poorly on the market, not the car.

          For the record, no, I don't use mine.
        • 7 Years Ago
        I'm not one of these customers http://www.autoblog.com/2008/02/20/report-consumers-want-cup-holders-not-fuel-economy/ but I do like to have at least 2 cup holders, one for me and one for the person in the passenger seat.
        It's a moot point anyway, because Alfa won't be selling these cars in the States anytime soon anyway.
      • 7 Years Ago
      I love the sedan. I love the wagon. Stunning. No other words but absolutely stunning.
      • 7 Years Ago
      That's a really good looking wagon. Cup holders be damned!
      • 7 Years Ago
      I believe Alfa is working on incorporating some novel high strength and lighter steel into the body to further reduce weight - before the US launch. Oh, and I think there are cup holders, near the handbrake. I was looking at one in the showroom last week, but I forgot to check....how silly of me.
      • 7 Years Ago
      Now if we could just get more decent wagon choices like these in NA...sigh...
      • 7 Years Ago
      Does anyone know anythign on pricing yet???? I liek the sportwagen as well. I'm getting old.
      • 7 Years Ago
      That wagon is beyond merely desirable . . . .
      • 7 Years Ago
      Ok, 100lbs of unsprung weight is certainly a lot, but I find it a little appalling that there was that much excess in the suspension in the first place, what the hell were the hubs made out of? Never the less, this represents a move in the right direction, although I think they could have cut even more weight by deleting the Sat-Nav screen instead of revising it.
      • 7 Years Ago
      The 159 Sportwagon looks awesome. I would love to run down to the local Alfa Romeo dealer and put my money down on one. I know where i'll be visiting once Alfa makes the return to the US of A.
        • 7 Years Ago
        not the only car for petrolheads. More like a rite of passage for petrolheads, owing to the passionate character of Alfas combined with their frustrating affinity for reliability problems.
      • 7 Years Ago
      Please God, let them bring it to the United States.

      Alfa can't make it here on one car alone. If they really intend to compete here in the U.S., models like the 159 will be essential - because actual people can afford them.

      You can't bet on it without driving it, but if the thing was of good quality and performed comparably to an A4 or 328, I'd certainly consider it.
        • 7 Years Ago
        Sorry Mike,

        But history shows that the word quality and alfa cannot be used in the same sentance unless it states " the alfa lacks quality" Americans will not buy them because they will not be willing to put up with the hassle, yeah already complain about vw so I can only imagine what would be said about a bos alfa. It hurts me to write this as alfa are one of the best drivers cars you can get.
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