The Alfa 159 - Comfort and Handling | Part Three

The Alfa 159

Alfa Romeo 159

Comfort

The Alfa 159 surrounds the driver and passengers with technologies that guarantee a high level of dynamic, acoustic and climatic comfort. The efficient soundproofing and the high torsional and flexural rigidity of the bodyshell create a muted, enveloping vibration-free interior ambience. That is not all. The new model also features a generous luggage compartment and numerous storage units, plus exclusive equipment to enhance well-being on board. This includes Cruise Control, rain, dusk, and front and rear parking sensors, a satellite navigator with maps (also with a "Birdview" display), voice controls and a built-in GSM hands-free telephone, automatic climate system with dual or tri-zone air distribution and temperature control, radio with CD (and MP3 file) player and a 10-disc CD-changer, a BOSE Hi-fi Sound System with a central speaker on the facia for sharper acoustics, seats with electrical adjustment, a folding rear seat and pushbutton ignition control on the console.

Roadholding

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 intervenes during emergency braking, ABS complete with EBD, and a Hill Holder to simplify hill starts.

The front-wheel drive versions in the Alfa 159 range are joined by a version with Q4 permanent four-wheel drive, a system which guarantees excellent traction and enjoyable driving. The Alfa 159 4x4 system is permanent, with three differentials, and it splits drive constantly and dynamically over the 4 wheels, both when accelerating and on the release, maintaining the highest levels of active safety and sportiness. The Torsen C self-locking central differential manages the drive torque, splitting it 57% to the rear wheel and 43% to the front wheels, to produce a slight oversteer, particularly with a sporty driving style. The system also guarantees excellent traction in all grip conditions, by automatically checking slip.

Engines and gearboxes

The new model is equipped with a broad, comprehensive range of engines. First of all, the three new JTS engines with continuous dual variable valve timing (inlet and exhaust): the 3.2 V6 24v (191 kW - 260 bhp), the 2.2 (136 kW - 185 bhp) and the 1.9 (118 kW - 160 bhp), with a specific power output between 81 and 85 bhp/l. All the engines meet Euro 4 standards, exploiting the direct petrol injection in full thanks to a particular combustion system known as JTS: Jet Thrust Stoichiometric. For the customer, this means brilliant engine performance, which enhances the driving enjoyment and the performance of the car. The torque values of the three engines are equally outstanding, and 88% is already available at 2,000 rpm: 322 Nm (32.8 kgm) at 4,500 rpm for the 3.2 V6 JTS, 230 Nm (23.4 kgm) at 4,500 rpm for the 2.2 JTS, and 190 Nm (19.4 kgm) at 4,500 rpm for the 1.9 JTS. These are the petrol engines.

continues... | Part Four
Published 13 June 2005 Melanie Carter

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