What, 153lbft for the Honda vs 138lbft for the twinny?
Yes I wouldn't describe the TS 16v as a 'torquey' engine at all. We all know it's pretty well dead below 3,000rpm, ok there is a degree of shove when it does come on cam but other than that torque-wise it's fairly lacklustre. Indeed performance overall in standard form may be described as 'mediocre' at best.
I think when the TS 16v appeared in 1995 it was a reasonbly competitive NA engine. It's fairly complicated set-up (16v head, balance shafts, twin plugs, separate coil per cylinder etc) was certainly a talking point, but the sheer complexity of it (if you can call it that today) never produced the results, indeed in the long run such technicalities have tended to be an encrumbrance rather than a benefit imho.
And this is without going into the horrendous reliability of this engine. Not only is the running gear a continuous saga on the scale of a Greek Tragedy, it's overall lack of robustness leaves a great deal to be desired. I find it utterly staggering, indeed unbelievable, that the TS 16v is still in production in the 147 (and in JTS form in the GT). If this is not squeezing any dead body absolutely dry of any essential fluids, I don't know what is
Best to forget the TS 16v then as a great test of patience in the history of Alfa Romeo (or rather an intriguing watershed in the history of the marque, where you went from reliable engines and rusty bodies to galvanised bodies and engines blowing up at the first opportunity - the engine preceeding it, the TS 8v, was a vastly superior unit). Let's hope the new MA units will restore Alfas position in providing exciting and reliable petrol units, because the marque desperately needs them.