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2009 Alfa Romeo 159 – Click above for high-res image gallery

The current Alfa Romeo 159 is a bit of a Jekyll-and-Hyde affair. Unspeakably gorgeous on the one hand, its aging, Saab-based platform means its dynamic performance doesn't come anywhere close to cashing the checks its aggressive styling writes out. So those enamored of its design will be happy, but those disappointed by its drive will be disappointed, to learn that the 159's replacement has reportedly been pushed back until 2012, thereby giving the current model a little longer to live.

This, according to Alfa's new boss Sergio Cravero – recently promoted after years as communications director following Luca de Meo's departure – in an interview with Italian daily La Stampa. The statement contradicts previous reports that the new sedan, dubbed Giulia in revival of the classic nameplate, was being rushed into development in light the current model's poor sales. Sources suggest – and by sources, we mean our own speculation – that the program has been postponed so that it can be integrated with a Chrysler platform, and could, like the replacement for the 166, be built in North America.



[Source: La Stampa]


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  • 24 Comments
      • 5 Years Ago
      I don't mean to offend anyone that likes this car... but is it just me or does this thing already look like a Chrysler? Except for the grille of course, it looks a lot like a Dodge Stratus/Sebring 4door to me. Again, no offense.
        • 5 Years Ago
        Well it has similar proportions to an Avenger, but nothing in common with a Sebring, thank God. They are both 4 door sedans, but there's where the similarity ends. If you saw one in person you would see the difference in the subtle muscular body sculpting and beautiful detailing. Also, even though it is mediocre in many aspects, I find the Avenger attractive, much more so then its bigger brother, theCharger.
      • 5 Years Ago
      If that means bringing the 159 to NA in the mean time, then I won't complain.
      • 5 Years Ago
      Man, the 159 still looks good.
      • 5 Years Ago
      Just to correct the article - the Alfa Romeo 159 is not, and never has been, based on a Saab platform.
      The chassis platform was launched for the 159 in 2006 with the intention of sharing it with other users (and for Saab to maybe replace the 9-5 series) but was judged by other companies as being too expensive - therefore Alfa carried on alone. It is therefore unique to this model, although the original petrol engines came from GM Opel - in return for GM Opel/Saab using Alfa/Fiat diesels.

        • 5 Years Ago
        Jamie,

        Audi has used 1.8 and 2.0 Turbos in similar sized cars in this market without a problem. Ultimately, most Americans don't know or care what size engine is under their hood, as long as it has enough power.
        • 5 Years Ago
        To correct the posts: >>

        The 1750Tbi (gasoline) engine is the one that develops 200 bhp

        The 2.0 JTDm (diesel) produces 170 bhp

        Both engines are in line with what the competition offers in Europe - the most popular BMW 3 series is the 320d and the Audi A4 2.0 Tdi
        The question of vehicle weight is again exaggerated - the Alfa 159 is currently lighter than many of its competitors

        * BMW 320i/E90 320i 170cv 1445kg
        * Alfa Romeo 159 1.8 TBi 200cv 1505kg
        * Audi A4/B8 2.0 TFSI 180cv 1505kg
        * BMW 325i/E90 325i 218cv 1505kg
        * Audi A4/B8 2.0 TFSI 211cv 1520kg
        * VW Passat/B6 2.0 TSI 200cv 1520kg
        * Mercedes C/W204 250 CDI 204cv 1530kg
        * Ford Mondeo/BA7 2.3 160cv 1541kg
        * Ford Mondeo/BA7 2.5 220cv 1567kg
        * Citroen C5 2.0 16V 140cv 1596kg
        * Opel Insignia 2.0 Turbo 220cv 1633kg

        I will accept that in USA they will need more power - there has always been a 3.2 V6 260 hp petrol in the range with either 2 or 4WD. And the replacement for the 159, which is likely to be the one launched Stateside is likely to have a 3.6 V6 engine derived from the Chrysler Pentastar.
        • 5 Years Ago
        Exactly. It was co-developed with Holden and Saab, but Alfa-Romeo was the single user. The platform is extremely adaptable, it was designed with conventional FWD layout and derived AWD in mind (transversally mounted engine) but is also capable of accepting longitudally mounted engines in classical RWD applications. The problem? It is too heavy and too expensive. Alfa-Romeo recently shaved of 200 pounds, but they are still not lucky.
      • 5 Years Ago
      I'm sorry, but Chrysler doesn't have until 2012 to survive. Do the math.

      ChryCo sales have plummeted 50% from around 2 million to about 1 million vehicles annually. You can't maintain this kind of company with lackluster sales of 1 million units without massive cash infusion.

      If you figure $1000 profit per vehicle, Chrysler will return about $1 billion this year. Half of that will go to servicing its debt to the American taxpayer. That only leaves about $500 million for product development (ie. just enough to refresh a few models which is what they are doing).

      There is no money in the kitty to fund any new models!!

      There is only one other solution to this dilemma. Import the 159 and a few other higher priced models to improve the sales picture. Perhaps draw even from the Lancia or (heaven forbid) Maserati marques.

      The Fiat 500 will help, but only marginally so. Dodge needs a replacement for the Sprinter which MB says is all theirs now. The Ducato might fit the bill, if they can work around the "chicken laws" like Ford Transit did.

      Fiat's line-up presents some major problems for America. Their cars and their engines are too small for American tastes.
      • 5 Years Ago
      I think you have no idea of what an excellent dynamic performance this car has.
      In Europe it's considered one of the best sedans, if you look at the driving dynamics, and even the germans have admitted it's better than a 3 series in an auto motor und sport tv test.
      • 5 Years Ago
      I'm almost positive this is Chrysler related, it brings up two possibilities:

      1. The replacement for the Alfa 159 will sit on the shortened LX platform along with the 200C.

      2. Fiat and Chrysler will co-design a new FWD platform for a Sebring/Avenger/159 replacement. The 200C will still go RWD, and the Sebring replacement will be named the 100.
      • 5 Years Ago
      It seems that the writer of this article didn't do his home work. The Alfa 159 isn't based on a Saab platform (Epsilon). It's based on the unique Premium platform.

      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/GM_Epsilon_platform

      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/GM/Fiat_Premium_platform
        • 5 Years Ago
        Funny that you post links to Wikipedia articles which prove you wrong.

        The guy who was writing this article was referring "GM/Fiat Premium platform" to be a "Saab platform" as according to the Wikipedia's article "The platform was mainly developed in Sweden by Saab".

        The platform that Saab is using on it's 9-3 model on the other hand is GM's Epsilon. This platform is not a "Saab platform", but a generic GM platform.
      • 5 Years Ago
      No. The Sebring name is tarnished. It must be renamed. 200 is a great name.
      • 5 Years Ago
      for American Market... 159 3.2 v6 260hp q4 (4x4) with q-tronik ( Automatic Transmissions)

      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=x5FCQMcmgio&feature=fvw
      ( manual transmission )
      • 5 Years Ago
      1.8L turbo 4 (170 bhp)
      2.0L JDTM (200 bhp)


      almost right ........

      1.8L turbo 4 (200 hp)
      2.0L JDTM (170 hp)
      and 2,.4 jtdm 210 hp..


      • 5 Years Ago
      Kind of funny how Chrysler is revamping/adding models with platforms brought over from Italy, a country that 20 years ago, nobody in the states would think of buying a car from unless it started with "F" and ended with "errari".
        • 5 Years Ago
        If you're going to approach it from an economic standpoint, then I too, as a blanket statement, think the US automotive market is too crowded already. But automotive history has handed us many curiosities...read on. I too laughed at the Hyundai Excel from the late 80's. Remember that one? But it did allow Hyundai to get a foothold in the US market, as terrible as that car was. If it wasn't for the current economic issues, I see no reason another company couldn't do the same from scratch, without the need to have an established enthusiast base.
        • 5 Years Ago
        @RickC- no doubt there are tons of Italian car clubs, and enthusiasts. I'd love to own an Alfa myself someday. But how many of those people do you think exist among the entire American population, and do you think that loyalty base can support various Italian marques returning to the United States for mass profit?
        • 5 Years Ago
        Totally off base. A simple google search will produce dozens of (physical) car clubs, marque-specific car shows, forums, parts vendors, restoration businesses and competition enthusiasts who are actively involved with Italian cars other than ones that start with an 'F' and end with a 'errari'.
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