Anonima Lombarda Fabbrica Automobili, as Alfa Romeo was originally entitled, used the 2005 Geneva Auto International Motor Show to present the so-called 159, a model designed to replace the popular 156 lineup that reached sales of more than 680,000 units since 1997. Given these numbers, Alfa 159's primary goal was to register at least the same success as its predecessor, with the range receiving several upgrades in the next few years.
The first and one of the most important additions to the lineup was unleashed a year later at the same auto show: a Sportwagon variant. Basically an estate model, the Sportwagon was actually a longer 159 aimed at consumers looking for more interior space and a larger trunk.
Getting back to the 159 sedan, the model was based on the Premium platform designed in collaboration by General Motors and Fiat and also used for the development of Brera, Spider and several concept cars such as Kamal and Visconti displayed at the Geneva Auto Show in 2003 and 2004, respectively.
With a special affinity for the Swiss event, Alfa Romeo brought at the 2009 edition the 1750 Turbo Benzina 200 CV unit, a brand new engine described as a major technological achievement. The Italian brand claimed the new powerplant could develop the same performance as a 3-liter unit while maintaining the fuel consumption ratings at the level of a four-cylinder.
The new engine gained worldwide fame extremely fast, with Alfa Romeo fans rushing into dealerships to give it a spin. As expected in Alfa Romeo's case, the generated feedback was mostly positive, despite some press reviews that raised concerns on a number of features.
We wanted to find out the hard way whether the engine deserves its praises so we took the Alfa Romeo 159 for a testdrive. The car was powered by the aforementioned 1.75 TBi engine with 200 horsepower and mated to a six-speed manual transmission. The version we tested was the top-of-the-range Distinctive (priced at around 30,000 Euros) with a few optional features.Continue reading