The New Alfa 159 Sportwagon

Alfa 159 Sportwagon

Alfa Romeo 159 Sportwagon

The new Alfa 159 Sportwagon, a sporting estate in the best Alfa Romeo tradition, has just gone on sale in the UK, along with 260 bhp V6 Q4 versions of the Alfa Brera, Alfa 159 and 159 Sportwagon.

Designed by Giorgetto Giugiaro in collaboration with Alfa Romeo Centro Stile at Arese, Milan, the stylish new Alfa Sportwagon combines genuine estate car practicality with superlative engineering, along with outstanding performance, and handling characteristics appropriate to the pedigree of one of the world’s most famous sporting marques.

The new Alfa Sportwagon shares its platform, as well as both frontal and passenger compartment bodyshell structure with the Alfa 159 saloon - the latter having recently been awarded a maximum 5-star safety rating from Euro NCAP, as well as four stars for child occupant protection - placing the vehicle at the top of its category in terms of passive safety.

The Alfa 159 Sportwagon features an all-new, Alfa Romeo engineered premium floorpan, which incorporates high performance materials, multi-ply sheet metal and laser welding. With an impressive torsional rigidity figure of 135,000 daNm/rad, the bodyshell also benefits from the use of box elements that are rigidly connected 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.

As well as promoting high performance driving dynamics, this new generation chassis also assures optimum strength and safety, thanks to the use of cutting edge technology, innovative materials and the use of a high percentage of both high-strength and dual phase steels. 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 resist compression, even in high impact, head-on collisions.

Seven versions of the new Alfa 159 Sportwagon, priced from £21,095 to £29,350 on-the-road will be available from launch, with a choice of five powerplants. Three petrol engines - 1.9 litre 160bhp and 2.2 litre 185bhp 4-cylinder units, and a 3.2 litre 260bhp V6 - combine Alfa Romeo’s JTS (Jet Thrust Stoichiometric) direct injection technology with continuously variable valve timing.

With specific power outputs of between 81 and 85 bhp/litre, and almost 90% of maximum torque available at just 2000rpm, all three JTS units boast outstanding performance, yet offer significant fuel savings and readily comply with stringent Euro Stage 4 exhaust emission limits.

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Published 1 June 2006 Melanie Carter

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