The Alfa 159 has been awarded the prestigious five-star rating from Euro NCAP, which puts it ahead of the field for its segment where safety is concerned. It is an important achievement, which underlines yet again the great attention that Fiat Auto pays to all aspects of the protection of its drivers and passengers. The Alfa Romeo 159 was designed and built to embody uncompromising quality, a concept that guided the entire process of the car’s development, starting with the endless tests that the model was subjected to, right down to the manufacturing process. For the Alfa 159, quality also means class-beating dynamism, obtained by careful calibration of the sophisticated suspension and the outstanding torsional rigidity of the bodyshell.
With the new “Alfa 159” project, the Italian carmaker intends to take the lead in passive safety. The Alfa Romeo engineers have designed a specific new “premium” floorpan which adopts high performance materials, multiply sheet metal and laser welding. The architecture of the bodyshell also benefits from numerous measures such as: the use of boxed elements that are connected rigidly both transversely and vertically, three load lines in the front, longitudinals that run the whole length of the car, built-in structures and a larger number of spot welds around structural nodes. The result is the excellent torsional rigidity of the bodyshell, the best in its segment at over 180,000 daNm/rad. The Alfa 159 also boasts as many as eight airbags (including special bags to protect the knees and sidebags that extend all along the window area), innovative restraint systems (pretensioners on the clasps and decreasing load limiters on the seat belts), and front seats with an “anti-whiplash” device that brings the head restraint nearer to the occupant’s neck in the event of a rear impact.
The Alfa 159 guarantees the extraordinary roadholding that is innate in all Alfa Romeo models. The merit goes to the new suspension (high double wishbones at the front and Multilink at the rear) and extremely precise steering (the most direct of the standard saloons, with a small turning circle). This prestigious new saloon also features numerous electronic systems that control the car’s dynamic behaviour, including a sophisticated Vehicle Dynamic Control system (VDC), Anti Slip Regulation (ASR), Hydraulic Brake Assistance (HBA) which cuts in during emergency braking, ABS complete with EBD, and a Hill Holder to simplify hill starts.
Altogether, these features make the Alfa 159 the new benchmark for its segment in terms of safety, certified by the five-star Euro NCAP rating which acknowledges that the car has sailed through the most difficult tests simulating all types of accident (head-on, side-on, overturning, rear impact and fire), taking into account the various speeds at which impact may occur, the different types of obstacles, and the need to protect occupants with very different physical characteristics.Published 14 January 2006