Alfa Romeo 159 | Part Two

Alfa Romeo 159

Alfa Romeo 159

In other words, sleek but solid, dynamic but robust: only outstanding stylistic balance can combine such different characteristics. For example the ‘muscular’ wing which, next to the generous wheels, marks the widest point of the car, unequivocally conveying the ideal of a car that is firmly ‘anchored to the ground’.

In spite of its capacious size, the rear end, with its beautifully balanced form, blends perfectly with the front, setting off its unique personality, and has a horizontal design, underlined by a chromed double exhaust tail-pipe on the more powerful versions. And it is topped off by a small spoiler which combines styling and practicality, right above the logo which is positioned where it is immediately visible, and the elongated lights, divided by the slit of the boot, which include cylindrical shapes derived from the styling of the front headlights. And finally, the new model offers a choice of 14 different colours.

The spacious, functional interior of an outstanding saloon

The new model is roomier than the 156, and more comfortable, a strong point that is confirmed by its generous dimensions: it is 4,660 mm long, 1,828 mm wide and 1,417 mm high, with a wheelbase of 2,700 millimetres.

Like the external styling, the interior of the Alfa Romeo 159 also represents an evolved expression of the sportiness and elegance embodied by Alfa. It was defined around the driving position, focusing attention on the driver: excellent ratios for the distances between pedals, seat, steering wheel and gearbox give him a sense of total control over the car, which produces the enjoyable driving so typical of Alfa Romeo. The facia and wrapround centre console incorporate all the driving instruments and are turned ergonomically towards the driver. The speedometer, rev counter and other instruments, all strictly analogue, are circular with clear, refined, extremely legible graphics. The anti-glare lip accentuates the ‘boat’ shape of the main instruments, confirming a feature peculiar to Alfa Romeo design that is based on a deep-rooted attention to volumes and mature treatment of surfaces.

To underline the functional continuity between the facia and the console, the designers aimed to achieve stylistic continuity between them: the console, which is raised as if stretching towards the facia, has a sporty gearlever with short, precise movements, and a comfortable armrest that incorporates a large insulated storage compartment. The interior achieves a perfect balance between elegance and sportiness, an equation that Alfa Romeo translates into refined colour combinations, quality fabrics, precious fine grain leather and luxurious materials (like the aluminium mouldings).

The range includes three specification levels, each featuring specific ‘natural’ interior upholstery. The sophisticated ‘slush moulding’ technology with which the facia was made, guarantees a refined opaque effect and a surface that is soft to the touch. The customer will appreciate the wrapround, finely modelled seats, which are made with carefully selected materials paying great attention to the details.

continues... | Part Three
Published 22 February 2005 Melanie Carter

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