New Alfa 156 And Alfa Sportwagon | Part Five

The array of engines on the New Alfa 156 and Sportwagon is complemented by the tried and tested 85 kW (115 bhp) 1.9 JTD turbodiesel engine and the dependable petrol-driven 88 kW (120 bhp) 1.6 T. Spark, 103 kW (140 bhp) 1.8 T. Spark and 141 kW (192 bhp) 2.5 V6 24v units (with manual gearbox or automatic Q-System transmission).

The latter is Alfa Romeo's version of an automatic transmission, i.e. a device created to assure the greatest comfort under all conditions yet able to offer the same driving satisfaction as a manual gearbox if the customer chooses.

All in all, a range of power units that accentuates the effervescent temperament of both cars in perfect harmony with Alfa's illustrious sporting tradition. Italian style coupled with searing performance. On this model, this magical combination of qualities underpins an inimitable personality that immediately singles out a car bearing the Alfa Romeo shield from all others on the road. Now the New Alfa 156 and Alfa Sportwagon bring their exclusive world ever closer to their potential customers. For example, the product range has been extended to include an Impression specification as well the Progression and Distinctive versions to increase the buying opportunities. The new models also offer TI (Turismo Internazionale) versions, a description that Alfa Romeo once assigned only to the cars with the most sports equipment.

Nowadays those two simple yet glorious letters reappear on a special range that may be requested on 147, 156 and Sportwagon models.

And more. Alfa Romeo is much more than performance alone. It also stands for driving and travelling comfort, class-topping safety and exclusive equipment. Examples include the suspension layout (the front is a high double-wishbone configuration, the rear is MacPherson strut type) that assures the car peak dynamic performance and also outstanding comfort. And also: a dual zone automatic climate control system that allows the driver and front passenger to adjust air temperature separately as if each had their own personal heater or air conditioner. Interior microclimate quality is also controlled by an Air Quality Sensor that automatically activates air recirculation when the car is travelling around town, in tunnels or in traffic jams.

Comfort also means automatic devices that reduce the demands of driving on the motorist. Or Cruise Control, so useful on motorway trips because it automatically maintains a cruising speed set by the driver. Or a rain sensor that automatically activates the windscreen wipers at the first drops of rain. Or a sensor that makes parking manoeuvres easier.

Safety is also top-level on the New Alfa 156 and Sportwagon. Active safety is assured by the model's extraordinary roadholding and driving precision backed by a VDC (Vehicle Dynamic Control). This electronic device controls the car's dynamic stability and cuts in under near-limit conditions to help the driver control the car for greater driving satisfaction. When the driver changes down suddenly under conditions of poor grip, the MSR (Motor Schleppmoment Regelung) cuts in to restore torque to the engine and prevent slip due to wheel lock. The Alfa Romeo VDC has also been praised by the international motoring press due to its ability to ensure driving satisfaction even under sporting conditions.

The best possible visibility under all driving and weather conditions is assured by Xenon headlights (optional). These offer a lighting intensity and duration twice that of normal halogen headlights and are also more efficient (85 instead of 25 lumen per Watt).

As far as passive safety is concerned, the New Alfa 156 and Alfa Sportwagon are now fitted - as standard on all versions - with window bags that drop down along the windows in the case of side impact to safeguard the heads of front and rear occupants. Isofix attachments to the left and right of the rear seat also secure child seats easily and safely. All the state-of-the-art computerised and telematic devices you could want are also available as options: pictogram navigation system, remote control with handsfree set, CONNECT all-in-one system and a Hi-Fi system by Bose.
continues... | Part Six
Published 9 June 2003 Melanie Carter

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