03-11-2002, 06:26 PM
The 156 was introduced in 1997 and won the Car of the Year award in 1998. The 156 was a huge project for Alfa, failure would mean disaster. I instantly loved the looks, but waited eagerly to see how it would fare in its first road test against its competitors, namely the BMW 3-series. Thankfully the car was a success dynamically and became a big success for Alfa, reviving the brand from a long period of poor health. Based on the 155, the 156 is a FWD 4-door saloon but the concealed rear door handles keep the lines pure and clean, making the car look sleek and coupé-like.
The suspension features double wishbones at the front, and a development of the 164 suspension with McPherson struts at the rear. Aluminium alloys were employed for several components in both the front and rear suspension in order to reduce the weight.
Originally, a variety of petrol engines were available: 120bhp 1.6 shared across the Alfa range (145 & 146), 140bhp 1.8 (145 & 146) 2l Twin-spark with 155bhp (Cloverleaf), and finally a 2.5 V6 developing 190bhp reaching 60 in little over 7s and topping out at 140mph. Common rail diesel was also an option, a 1.9 diesel turbo developing 106bhp and a 2.4l five cylinder turbo producing 137bhp. Transmission was five-speed manual or six speed in the 2.5 V6, as well as the Selespeed version, which uses a five speed manual gearbox operated electro-hydraulically and controlled by buttons on the steering wheel - technology directly transfered from Ferrari. The shift speed depends on driving parameters, with over 5000rpm and 60% throttle the shift takes 0.4 seconds, below these parameters and it slows to 1.5 seconds. A 'city' mode can also be selected, giving a fully automatic shift. The automatic also has a conventional H-pattern shift for manually selecting the four ratios, rather than the now more popular sequential type.

The beautiful Sportwagon was introduced in 2000, mechanically very similar to the 4-door model.
Last year (2001) saw the introduction of the 156 GTA, which has a 3.2 V6 developing 250bhp, revised suspension, uprated brakes, and an aggressive bodykit.

I love the 156, while not quite at BMW standards for driving pleasure or engineering excellence, it offers a very attractive alternative to the more "standard" family saloons out there, like the Passat or Mondeo. Unlike most of its competitors, the car is a joy to look at and drive, it has soul in abundance, and last but not least the interior is a joy to behold.




04-09-2002, 05:02 PM
I thibk those GTA's are so damn sweet, it is a pity the Japanese press couldn't handle them along the mountan roads of Sicily and consequently destroyed most of the press cars

04-11-2002, 09:41 AM
:hehehe: are you serious?

10-20-2002, 03:02 AM
its that true?:eek:

10-20-2002, 01:16 PM
The only other incident of journo's crashing new cars that i know of is the following one:

The car in question is the Mercedes CLK GTR. The AMG engineers were pleading with all drivers to be extremely careful as the power delivery of the car was savage, and this belgian journo (i cant remember his name), being the most respected press driver (and ex-racer) was told to go first so he could set an example to everyone. Within minutes he'd smashed it into the barriers (at Hockenheim i think). Its in last month's issue of CAR, made me laugh my ass off as id completely forgotten about it :hehe:

10-20-2002, 08:22 PM

11-19-2002, 01:41 AM
Moss is right, it was hilarious, we had one of the crashed GTA's in the repairs department when I came here:hehehe:

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