I think you have the correct site.
This taken from it.
<blockquote><font size="1" face="Verdana, Helvetica, sans-serif">quote:<hr /><font size="1" face="Verdana, Helvetica, sans-serif">Can I buy the 156 new with sportspack so I don't have to make any mods after? Yes and no.
If you buy a 156 sedan, you can have it with a effective sportspack. If you buy a Sportwagon,
you can forget about the sportspack. But, people say, from the price list at the dealer it
says that the sportspack can be delivered on the Sportwagon. But that is unfortunately rubbish.....
.......the most important are the lowering springs from Eibach which lowers 2,5cm
and sports dampers from Bilstein. These are not fited to the SW.
Standard 156 with 185/65/15 wheels
This is a fairly good harmonious set up. Soft and comfortable. Easy to touch the ground
over speed bumps and the stability can be improved on high-paced driving. Very nice, but
miles away from the potential of the car.
Standard 156 with 17" wheels and 215/45 tires
Mounting 17" wheels will instantly give you a sense of sportscar to put it very simple.
The steering improves a lot and it is possible to drive a lot faster trough the corners.
The car feels instantly stiffer and with less roll. It is mainly when the speed goes up
you'll start noticing this is just apparently a sportscar. Neither springs or dampers manage
to keep up with the car and it gets very floaty trough corners if there is any roughness to
The 17" wheels gives less in the tires side than the standard 15" and that is what fools you
to believe that the car is stiffer. Wheels in this size do not necessarily tend to be
unstable on bad roads (e.g. from spike winter tires). Wider tires, especially 235, will be
more noticeable unstable on the bad roads. Conclusion: Very simple upgrade, but mostly for
show. 17" wheels cost more than lowering springs and sportsdampers which will give better
2.0TS with sports pack, 16" or 17" wheels
The optimal standard 156! The lowering springs from Eibach lowers about 25mm and the
dampers are from Bilstein. Doesn't touch down as easily over speed bumps. Never touches
down on bad roads. Very fast driving reveals a bit soft springs for the Bilstein dampers. You'll
notice a bit blunt car over uneven roads and slightly bigger bumps reveals that the springs should
be a bit harder. The car runs a bit on the dampers. Why didn't Alfa Romeo tune this kit all
the way? It is so close, but slightly stiffer springs would make it perfect for normal use.
Recommended upgrade is Eibach springs from the Alfa Romeo accessories catalog.
2.0TS with Eibach (35mm) lowering springs and 17" wheels
Very good first impression, but you'll notice that the standard dampers are to slow for the
springs. There are tendencies that the springs makes the movement with the result that
the car tends to bounce over bumps with hard and fast driving compared to if the dampers
had been a bit stiffer. Nevertheless more stable than the standard car. A very noticeable
improvement for a relatively affordable price. These springs are the ones from the Alfa Romeo
2.0TS with Eibach springs (35mm) and Novitec dampers
Same car as the above. Very big improvement! The car feels very much more at ease and less
bouny. Both more comfortable and very much more controllable. It being more comfortable
might sound like a paradox, but what does this is that the springs and dampers are very in
harmony to each other. Will let you push it without giving any uncontrolled movements.
When it looses grip, it is very controlled and undramatic to regain control. Better handling
and sportier than with Alfa Romeo sportsdamper (Bilstein Sprint).
1.8TS SW with Eibach springs (35mm) and Bilstein Sprint in front
With the lowering springs and without the dampers it is to soft. The dampers do not manage
to damp the springs movement and the car nods over bumps. It feels as the dampers do not get
along as it works at another area of the dampers it was not meant to be using. When mounting
the Bilstein dampers everything gets more comfortable at the same time as the handling
improves a lot. The dampers at the rear wheels are not changed and this is noticeable. Change
at the rear would stabilized the car more, but it works somehow as a compromise for the
2.0TS with Novitec springs (40mm) and AR sportsdampers
The car has 17" Selespeed rims with 235/35/17 Pirelli P Zero tires. Now we are talking
a setup that is a lot more uncompromising. The basis is a car with a standard sportspack,
but the owner wanted something more intense. Novitec is a well know German tuning company
for Alfa Romeo. The springs lower 40mm and are progressive. With normal driving, this isn't
uncomfortable. The steering response is good and and the car tilts very little. The setup is
not completely optimal as the dampers do not quite keep up with the very hard springs. There
is therefore noticeable bouncing when driving over several bumps in a row. The car moves on
the spring and the damper is not able to stop it very well.
If you hit sharp ends, the spring will take all the impact and there is a noticeable stroke
in the car. Not very unlike the GTV, but harder. Driving hard in turns makes the springs
to compress some without the damper being able to stop it completely. The stability will be
improved with stiffer dampers.
Conclusion: Serious stuff, but when said A, you should also say B and go all the way. This will
need stiffer dampers and a strut brace. A typical example of got some, want more. Because
this is really starting to get somewhere. But compared to this, the setup with Eibach springs
and Novitec dampers was better.
156 2,5 V6 has standard suspensions almost like a sofa on wheels. Driving it hard reveals
an unstable car and tends to bottom out the springs! Very bad of Alfa Romeo to release this
to the market. Cars with sportspack is a completely different experience. In some countries
they actually stopped importing the V6 without the sportspack. This car have great room for
'99 156 2,5 V6 with Eibach springs, strout brace and 215/55/16 wheels
The lowering kit has newly been mounted and compared to standard, this is lovely! With fast
driving it feels very well balanced. It is first when you are closing the limits that
the dampers starts to fail their mission. In a bend that works well with my 1.8TS SW with
lowering springs in 120 km/h, it tends to understeer already at 110 km/h. Some of this is a
result of the extra weight from the V6 engine.
In a situation like this, you can with a 4 cylinder engine just release the throttle and
the car regains the ideal line trough the turn. This is not the same for the V6. It gets very
unpleasant with a little change between weight from the front and from the rear. The car
shifts in a way because the dampers does not manage to damp the springs movement in an extreme
situation. Stiffer dampers and strout brace would done good here, but this is still far
better then the original setup.
We have not had the chance to experience the same car before and after the mounting of
a strut brace. But feedback says that this will improve the steering handling in extreme
situations some. A little side effect is that some people has gotten rid of squeaks in
the dash due to the improved stiffness by the suspension towers in the engine room.
Stiffer roll bars is mounted to reduce tilting trough corners. The advantage by this as
compared with very stiff springs/dampers is that this in very less degree reduces
the comfort. The V6 owners has reported great improvement. This can also be done without
lowering the car.
The 156 is a very good standard car, but we have in this article revealed that there are great rooms for improvement. The modifications shows what the potential of the Alfa 156 really is. Strongly recommended! <hr /></blockquote><font size="1" face="Verdana, Helvetica, sans-serif">Lee