Revised Alfa 166 In The UK | Part Four

TI Sports Pack

A TI pack will become available on Lusso versions of the revised Alfa 166. This sports-orientated pack includes a 15 mm lower ride height with revised spring and damper settings, bespoke 18" TI spoked alloy wheels, a black sports interior featuring black leather sports seats imprinted with the Alfa Romeo logo, and TI badging to aluminium door sill plates and the rear of the car.

Three Renowned Engines

The revised Alfa 166 model range offers a choice of three outstanding petrol engines: a 2.0 litre Twin Spark 16-valve unit mated to a 6-speed manual transmission, a 3.0 litre 24-valve V6 allied to 4-speed Sportronic automatic transmission, and Alfa Romeo’s flagship, 3.2 litre 24-valve V6 powerplant also employing a 6-speed manual gearbox.

Improved Driving Dynamics

Further refinement of Alfa Romeo's proven double wishbone front and multilink rear suspension system has been aimed at achieving the optimum balance between roadholding and comfort in the revised 166. Alfa's double wishbone front suspension combines the outstanding control typical of front wheel drive with appropriately sporting performance and exceptional precision. It ensures impressive lateral grip, secure high speed turn-in and effective and precise steering response, wedding these features to a road surface absorption and damping ability typical of the most comfortable cars in this class. Such comfort is further accentuated by the multilink rear suspension layout. This innovative, Alfa Romeo patented system allows independent control of comfort and handling parameters, reducing the need for compromise between these ostensibly disparate requirements.

The particularly sensitive and reactive multilink system mirrors front suspension movements to ensure great high speed stability, and outstanding driving satisfaction in the best Alfa tradition. Modifications to the revised Alfa 166 chassis include revised spring and damping rates, effecting an alteration in the balance between spring action and anti-roll bar reaction to reduce roll on cornering, pitching on braking and body movement on longitudinal oscillations. Additionally, rear wheel toe-in has been modified to achieve a greater variation during the transfer of weight, both towards the front when braking and towards the rear under acceleration. Hence, when the suspension is stretched or compressed, the rear wheels toe-in much earlier.

This has the effect of a significant increase in both stability and driveability, as well as considerably enhanced active safety, even before electronic intervention from the Vehicle Dynamic Control system which, itself, gives a further increase in safety margins and performance. The reduction of pitching through suspension modifications has also elicited a significant improvement to the revised Alfa 166's braking performance. Indeed, a standard 62-0 mph brake test demonstrates a dramatic 38 metre reduction in stopping distance.

continues... | Part Five
Published 23 March 2004 Melanie Carter

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