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Passion

The launch of the Alfa 156 (in September 1997) represents a key moment for the launch and repositioning of Alfa Romeo on a European level.
The Alfa 156 is voted Car of the Year 1998. On the 27th November 1997, 56 journalists from 21 European countries elected the Alfa 156 the Car of the Year 1998. The most prestigious award from the international car press. It is the first Alfa Romeo to win the prestigious title.
The Alfa 156 is a totally original car. It has a strong, muscular style, and is firmly stuck to the road. Special materials are used in its construction, such as magnesium and aluminum alloys, powerful, high-performance engines, a state-of-the art suspension system, and great active and passive safety features. The Alfa 156 is the result of an innovative, solid and reliable design, with handling and safety developed from the latest technological solutions

The Cars

Alfa 155

YEAR OF PRODUCTION: I series 1992/1995
II series 1995/98
ENGINE:  I series front transversal, 4 cylinders – 6 cylinders 60°-V (V6)
II series 4 cylinders front transversal
ENGINE CAPACITY: I series cc 1773 (1.8), 1995 (2.0 – Q4), 2492 (V6), 1748 (1.7), 1929 (1.9 JTD), 2499 (2.5 TD)   
II series cc 1970 (2.0), cc 1598 (1.6), cc 1747 (1.8)

POWER OUTPUT: I series 126 bhp at 6000 rpm. (1.8), 141 bhp at 6000 rpm. (2.0), 186 bhp at 6000 rpm. (Q4), 165 bhp at 5800 rpm. (V6), 116 bhp at 5800 rpm. (1.7), 90 bhp at 4100 rpm. (1.9 TD), 125 bhp at 4200 rpm. (2.5 TD)
II series 150 bhp at 6200 rpm. (2.0), 120 bhp at 6300 rpm. (1.6), 140 bhp at 6300 rpm. (1.8)
 
TOP SPEED: 180 - 225 Km/hr

The first medium saloon with front-wheel drive. The 155 replaces the 75, but has a completely new technical set-up, starting with the front-wheel drive and independent wheel suspension even at the rear. A construction choice that meets the more modern need for dynamic safety and drivability. An aggressive style and high performance make it the perfect heir to the Giulietta and the 75. The range includes three front-wheel drive versions and one permanent four-wheel drive version, the 155 Q4, which uses three differential gears. In 1993 the range is completed with a 1.7 petrol engine and the following year with two turbodiesels. In 1995 the 155 has a complete overhaul of range and versions, with the use of a multi-valve cylinder head in the Twin Spark engine, with wider front and rear wheel bases and a new front grille.

Hoping to revive the glorious sporting deeds of the legendary Giulia GTA, the 155 GTA is launched in 1992, with state-of-the-art mechanics, including permanent four-wheel drive, a 2-liter turbo engine with multi-valve cylinder head increasing power output to  400 bhp (compared to the 186 bhp on the production model), intercooler cooled by water mist jet, 6-speed gearbox, and Formula 1 braking system. The 155 V6 TI is the star of the German Speed Touring Championship in 1993. The main innovations are in its V6 engine, with an increased capacity thanks to the completely new, light-alloy single engine block with nikasil struts.


Alfa 145/146

YEAR OF PRODUCTION: I series Alfa 145 1994/1997
Alfa 146 1995/1997
II series Alfa 145 and 146 from 1997

ENGINE: front longitudinal, boxer 4 cylinders– front transversal 4 cylinders (1.9 TD)

ENGINE CAPACITY: I series cc 1351 (1.3) – 1596 (1.6) – 1712 (1.7 16v) – 1929 (1.9 TD) – 1969 (Q, Ti)
 II series cc 1371 (1.4 TS) - cc 1599 (1.6TS) - cc 1747 (1.8 TS) - cc 1969 (Quadr./Ti) – cc 1929 (1.9 TD)
POWER OUTPUT:  I series 90 bhp at 6000 rpm. (1.3), 103 bhp at 6000 rpm. (1.6), 129 bhp at 6500 rpm. (1.7 16v), 90 bhp at 4100 rpm. (1.9TD), 150 bhp at 6200 rpm. (Q, Ti),
II series 103 bhp at 6300 rpm. (1.4 TS), 120 bhp at 6300 rpm. (1.8 TS), 150 bhp at 6200 rpm. (Quadr. Ti), 90 bhp at 4100 rpm. (1.9 TD)

TOP SPEED: 178 - 216 Km/hr

A brand new, winning style. Launched at the 1994 Turin Motor Show, the 145 is the first production Alfa Romeo created at the 'Centro Stile' under the direction of Walter de’ Silva. With the 145, which replaces the 33 but keeps its range of boxer engines, the Arese company ushers in a completely new architectural formula: a compact two-box hatchback with an innovative style, but which doesn’t turn its back on the brand’s classic traditions. It has a drooping front, prominent radiator grill which is a continuation of the two grooves on the bonnet, and the steeply angled rear window. And particular attention is paid to safety, with a reinforced bodyshell, collapsible steering column, driver and passenger airbags, ABS and the FPS Fire Protection System. The range of engines remains the same as on the 33, with one novelty: the boxer 1.6 derived from the 8-valve 1.7 on the 33. The 1.9 JTD engine is the one on the 155. In 1996 the range is completed with the Quadrifoglio version, with a 2.0 Twin Spark 16 valve engine derived from the 155.
In 1995, using the same design platform used for the 145, a 5-door version is also created, the 146.
1997 sees a revolutionary change occur under the bonnet of both the 145 and 146: the boxer engines go out of production, to be replaced by the 4-cylinder in line 16 valve Twin Spark with phase transformer. The 1.4 is specially created for the two compact versions. The fittings on the “little Alfa” are also given a new look, with a new dashboard. In 1998 the 1.6, 1.8 and 2.0 Twin Spark 16 valve engines are updated for the Alfa 156 engine range. The interiors remain more or less unchanged.

Alfa GTV and Alfa Spider

YEAR OF PRODUCTION: 1995 - 1997 (GTV V6 24v) – 1998 (GTV/Spider 1.8 TS – Spider 2.0 V6 Turbo)
ENGINE: front transversal, 4 cylinders (1.8/2.0 TS 16v) – 6 cylinders 60°-V (3.0 V6 – 2.0 V6 Turbo)
ENGINE CAPACITY: cc 1970 (2.0 TS) – 1996 (V6 Turbo) – 2959 (3.0 V6 24v) – 1747 (1.8 TS)
POWER OUTPUT: kW 110 - 150 bhp at 6200 rpm. (2.0 TS), 200 bhp at 6000 rpm. (V6 Turbo), kW 160/162 - 220 bhp at 6300 rpm. (3.0 V6 24v), kW 103 - 144 bhp at 6500 rpm. (1.8 TS), kW 110 - 155 bhp at 6400 rpm. (2.0 TS ‘98)
TOP SPEED: 205 - 235 Km/hr

The Alfa GTV and Spider make their debuts at the 1995 Geneva Motor Show. Right from the start, design develops along two parallel yet different approaches, aimed at producing two distinct models: a coupé (GTV) and an open-top car (Spider). Created through collaboration between the Alfa Romeo «Centro Stile» and Pininfarina, the Alfa GTV flaunts an aggressive elegance, in keeping with the brand’s best traditions: stylistically, at the front and rear there are clear references to the Protéo concept car. On the Spider, some elements are clear references to the past, such as the drooping tail, which is a nod towards the legendary “cuttlefish bone” Duetto. Both models mount 155 range Twin Spark engines and the two 6-cylinder engines from the 164 range, and have independent wheel suspension. In 1997 a “top” version of the GTV is also produced, mounting a 3.0 V6 24v engine, while in 1998 both the GTV and Spider adopt the 1.8 Twin Spark engine and the Spider the 2.0 V6 Turbo.


Alfa 156

YEAR OF PRODUCTION: 1997
ENGINE:  4 cylinders in line, front transversal – 6 cylinders at 60°-V, front transversal (2.5 V6) – 5 cylinders in line, front transversal (2.4 JTD)
ENGINE CAPACITY: cc 1598 (1.6 TS)– 1747 (1.8 TS) – 1970 (2.0 TS) – 2492 (2.5 V6) – 1910 (1.9 JTD) – 2387 (2.4 JTD)
POWER OUTPUT: kW 88 - 120 bhp at 6300 rpm. (1.6 TS), kW 103 - 144 bhp at 6500 rpm. (1.8 TS), kW 110 - 155 bhp at 6400 rpm. (2.0 TS), kW 138/141 - 190 bhp at 6300 rpm. (2.5 V6), kW 81 - 115 bhp (in the catalogue “Alfa Romeo Detailed Catalogue 1910-2000” I found 105 bhp: is 115 the updated version of the engine? Is it correct?) at 4000 rpm. (1.9 JTD), kW 103 - 136 bhp at 4200 rpm. (2.4 JTD)
TOP SPEED: Alfa 156 saloon 188 - 230 Km/hr
Sportwagon 191 - 230 Km/hr

Style and technical expertise at the threshold of the third millennium. The 156 replaces the 155, retaining its range of Twin Spark petrol engines and much of the mechanical set-up. The car’s style, on the other hand, is completely new: designed by the Alfa Romeo «Centro Stile», it bears many suggestive references to the past, while moving away from the wedge shape style of the recent past,.
In terms of engines, the 1.8 and 2.0 Twin Spark, thanks to the variable geometry induction system, provide a slight increase in power. But there is a tremendous innovation for the turbodiesel: Alfa Romeo is the first manufacturer in the world to use the “common rail” direct injection system called Unijet. There are major improvements also in terms of mechanics, with a “dual high wishbone” front suspension assembly, a brand new system technique by the Alfa Romeo Design and Experimentation department in collaboration with the Alfa Romeo «Centro Stile». From 1999 the range is embellished by the addition of the “Selespeed” version, mounting a 2.0 Twin Spark engine combined with a sequential transmission, and the “Q-System” version, mounting a 2.5 V6 24v engine with 4-speed automatic clutch transmission.
In 1998 the “156 Group N” version of the 156 is produced for gentlemen drivers. For the same price as the road version, the company offers a 156 capable of going onto the track: everything not needed for competitive driving (carpets, seats, upholstery…) are done away with and are replaced with special safety devices for competitions.

Alfa 166

YEAR OF PRODUCTION: 1998
ENGINE: 4 cylinders in line (2.0 TS) - 6 cylinders at 60°-V (2.5 V6 24v, 2.0 V6 T, 3.0 V6 24v), 5 cylinders in line (2.4 JTD)
ENGINE CAPACITY: cc 1970 (2.0 TS) –2492 (2.5 V6 24v) - 1996 (2.0 V6 T) – 2959 (3.0 V6 24v) – 2387 (2.4 JTD)
POWER OUTPUT: kW 110 - 155 bhp at 6400 rpm. (2.0 TS), kW 138/141 - 190 bhp at 6200 rpm. (2.5 V6 24v); 205 bhp at 6000 rpm (2.0 V6 T), kW 160/162 - 226 bhp at 6200 rpm (3.0 V6 24v), kW 103 - 136 bhp at 4000 rpm. (2.4 JTD)
TOP SPEED: 202 - 243 Km/hr

The new sporting flagship. A changing of the guard at the top of the Alfa Romeo range. The 166 replaces the 164 in the light of new advanced technologies and in the expectations of the public. The aggressive but sober style is created at the 'Centro Stile' in Arese. The similarity to the 156 is clear in certain elements: the sweep of the side, the joint enabling the rear wiper to come to rest in line with the window uprights, and the horizontal arrangement of the rear lights. It also features important innovations in mechanical terms, with high wishbone front suspension and multilink rear suspension. With the 2.4 JTD 2.0 Turbo and 3.0 V6 24v engines, the 6-speed transmission is mounted as standard. Sportronic electronic automatic transmission is available with the 6-cylinder aspirated engines, and can also be used as a sequential transmission. The car’s equipment is particularly rich, including a 5-inch color screen to display information about the climate control system, trip computer, stereo system, cellular phone and satellite navigator. The 166 is built at the Rivalta plant, while the engines come from Arese and Pratola Serra.

Racing

1992-93

With the Alfa 155 in the sporting versions 155 GTA and 155 V6 TI, Alfa Romeo’s list of titles is further extended. In 1992 the Alfa 155 GTA, driven by Nicola Larini, wins the Italian Supertouring title.

With the TI version, prepared to take part in the German Speed Touring Championship (DTM), mounting a V6 engine (German Championship regulations prohibit any changes to the angle between the two rows of cylinders and the center distance between them) the Alfa 155 wins numerous victories and with Nicola Larini at the wheel claims the prestigious 1993 edition of the German Speed Touring Championship (DTM). No fewer than eleven times it records the fastest lap.

1994-97

In 1994 the Alfa 155 TS wins the English Championship at Silverstone with Tarquini at the wheel, while Campos wins the CET and the Spanish Championship.

With the 155, Alfa Romeo gets good results at the ITT touring championship in 1996 and 1997, thanks to an imposing array of strength (3 teams and 6 cars).


1998-99

From the 1998 season, the 156 makes its track debut with the Nordauto Team. Right from the start, there is a string of victories: in 1998 and 1999 Fabrizio Giovanardi wins the Italian Supertouring Championship in an Alfa 156.

Personalities

A. Nannini

Born in Siena in 1959, in the eighties Nannini established himself as an internationally renowned driver. He makes his debut on the Formula 1 circuit in 1986. In 1988 he moves to Benetton, with whom he wins the Japanese Grand Prix in 1989. A dramatic helicopter accident forces him to interrupt his Formula 1 career, but he returns in the Touring category at the prestigious German Speed Touring Championship (DTM) in 1992.

The Nordauto Team

Nordauto, Alfa Romeo and passion. Founded by Mauro and Monica Sipsz, successful rally drivers and winners of the 1990 Italian Off-Road Rally Championship, Nordauto Engineering is today a modern organization capable of designing a sports car down to the very last detail. Its reputation is backed up by success on the track: 11 titles in 10 years. The cornerstone of this success is its close relationship with Alfa Romeo, which has characterized the historic and sporting development of the Italian Team.

N. Larini
Born in Camaiore (Lucca) in 1964. In 1992 he wins the Italian Supertouring Championship in an Alfa 155 GTA making its track debut. In 1993 he wins the prestigious German Speed Touring Championship (DTM) in an Alfa 155 V6 Ti, picking up 161 points in 20 races and claiming 10 victories. The following year he comes third in the DTM in an Alfa 155 V6 Ti, and competes in two Formula 1 Grand Prix with Ferrari, coming second in the San Marino Grand Prix. In 1998 in an Alfa 156 he comes third in the Italian Supertouring Championship. In 2000 he comes fourth in the European Super Touring Cup (EuroSTC) in an Alfa Romeo for Nordauto, and in 2001 he finishes second in the FIA European Touring Car Championship. His list of achievements also includes the Italian Formula 3 Championship title, which he won in 1986.

The Company

This decade sees the rebirth of the company. The Pomigliano d’Arco plant produces the 155, which is followed by the 145 and the 146, while Arese witnesses the creation of the thrilling new Spider and GTV. 1997 is the year of the 156, which in 1998 is voted “Car of the Year”. 1998 sees the launch of the new flagship, the 166. Which takes us to 2000, to the threshold of the third millennium, and the 147, which wins the prestigious title of “Car of the Year 2001”.

 

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