The all-new Alfa 159, a true sporting saloon in the classic Alfa Romeo tradition, goes on sale in the UK on Saturday 25 February.
Designed by Giorgetto Giugiaro in collaboration with Alfa Romeo Centro Stile at Arese, Milan, the new Alfa 159 combines superlative engineering with outstanding performance and handling characteristics appropriate to the pedigree of one of the world’s most famous sporting marques.
The Alfa 159 is built on a brand new platform, making it one of the toughest cars around, with a best-in-class torsional rigidity of over 180,000 daNm/rad. In terms of safety, it has nothing to fear from the competition, and has recently been awarded the prestigious five-star safety rating from Euro NCAP, which puts it ahead of the field for its segment with regard to crash safety performance.
One of the Italian sporting car manufacturer’s aims with the Alfa 159 project was to take the lead in the field of automotive passive safety. An Alfa Romeo engineered all-new premium floorpan, which incorporates high performance materials, multi-ply sheet metal, and laser welding, was the starting point.
The construction 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, longitudinal beams that run the entire length of the car, built-in deformable structures, and a large number of spot welds around structural nodes.
The result is impressive and class-leading torsional rigidity of the bodyshell. The Alfa 159 also boasts as many as eight airbags, seven of which are standard equipment on UK cars, including special bags to protect the knees, and sidebags that extend all along the complete window area. In addition, there are innovative restraint systems (pre-tensioners and load limiters on the seatbelts), and front seats with an anti-whiplash system that automatically brings the head restraint closer to the occupant’s neck in the event of a rear impact.
The torsional rigidity of this new generation chassis also assures optimum roadholding, and superb strength and safety even in the event of a high-speed collision. This is achieved by using cutting edge technology, innovative materials, and the use of high-strength steels (58% of the total), and dual-phase steels (7%).
The central (B) pillar has three reinforcement levels to protect passengers from side-on collisions, whilst the high-strength steel floor has been designed with three load lines to prevent it from folding even in high speed head-on collisions.