Alfa Romeo 159 - Passive Safety Features | Part Three

Alfa Romeo 159

Alfa Romeo 159

Class-beating passive safety

With the new Alfa 159 project, Alfa Romeo aims to position itself at the top of the class for passive safety. The Alfa Romeo engineers have designed and developed a new ‘premium’ floorpan which adopts high performance materials, multiply sheet metal and laser welding. From the viewpoint of the architecture, the bodyshell also benefits from numerous measures such as the use of boxed elements that are rigidly connected 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: over 180,000 daNm/rad.

The Alfa Romeo 159 boasts as many as eight airbags (including special bags to protect the knees and sidebags that extend all along the windows area); innovative restraint systems (pretensioners on the clasp, and decreasing load limiters on the seat-belts), and front seats with an ‘anti-whiplash’ device which brings the head-restraint nearer to the occupants’ necks in the event of a rear impact.

Powerful, elastic engines that respect the environment

This striking aesthetic styling is set off by 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, a particular combustion system known as JTS: Jet Thrust Stoichiometric. For the customer, this means brilliant engine performance, which increases 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.

Those are the petrol engines. But Alfa Romeo has always been on the leading edge in the field of diesel engines too, epitomised by the 2.4 JTDM 5-cylinder 20v engine (147 kW - 200 bhp at 4000 rpm) and torque of 400 Nm (40.8 kgm at 2000 rpm), and the two 1.9 JTDM: the first is a ‘16v’ delivering 110 kW (150 bhp at 4000 rpm) and torque of 320 Nm (32.6 kgm at 2000 rpm), the second is an ‘8v’ delivering 88 kW (120 bhp at 4000 rpm) and torque of 280 Nm (28.6 kgm at 2000 rpm).

On the latest generation of ‘Common Rail’ engines, the JTD units with Multijet technology, turbocharging is entrusted to a variable geometry turbo and intercooler. The 1.9 JTDM exploits a specific turbine developed by Alfa Romeo while the 2.4 JTDM has a new cylinder head and new conrods in ‘fractured’ steel. The three engines all meet Euro 4 requirements, and incorporate a particulate trap (DPF) which eliminates particulate almost entirely, in line with the latest Euro 5 indications (it is a ‘for life’ system that does not need to be regenerated with additives).

And finally, the range includes new mechanical gearboxes, all with six speeds and featuring short strokes, precise engagement and limited loads. Automatic transmissions and a robotised Selespeed gearbox will also be available, all with six speeds.

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

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