Originally Posted by THROTTLEMAN
Try this.... with the use of a german dictionary and Babelfish..should be fairly close.....
"For Alfa, the 156 was everything. Just everything: it’s salvation, it’s comeback and a new, sky-high, benchmark. Each new Alfa had to shine just like the 156. It’s successor would need to fill these exceedingly beautiful shoes. Now here it is, the Alfa Romeo 159 and all the murmuring goes quiet. Silence. They are astonished.
Take this projectile. A face, a nose which when you leave it in the evening on the road and lock it, makes you want give it a good-night kiss! This car is pure emotion, you can only love this car. Giugiaro has created a complete fantasy for Alfa. The Koreans know to go to the maestro for their specialised products.
But Alfa’s managers accept that beauty alone is not enough. “The 159 must have quality” says project manager Carlo Fugazza. "BMW and AUDI are the benchmarks." Here then is the 159, the Alfa which fans of the marque always wanted for themselves: fully developed, but with more attention paid to the details. At last Germans can sit in comfort (gone is the Italian driving position), the seats are broad and sufficiently long. The instruments reside in their semicircular housing like they once did at BMW. Nothing moves and nothing drops out (as happened with the Alfa 156 in AUTO 2000). With the test cars on pave, listening as a piano tuner would: no rattling! Can this be an Alfa? It is.
Although the sport sedan is 22 cm longer, in the back the knee area is restricted for the tall. A handle to open the boot (capacity 405 litres) is missing again, and the light switch is a wobbly steering column mounted stalk. One is almost glad some Italian nonsense persists. There are three multi-jet Diesels. The 1.9 and 2.4 litres are already well-known in the 156. With the large five-cylinder knocker specified, producing now a juicy 200 HP, it sweeps along the motorway with ease. Now, with the more mature character of the 159, one travels as in the BMW 3-Series.
The short, hard impacts, which were so disturbing before, are swallowed by the new chassis with almost Bavarian ease. With the 159, extreme rigidity and taught-ness is no more and it now leans more gently through the bends. The softer suspension, with which Alfa Romeo hopes to gain customers, could disappoint diehard fans. The direct steering ratio - only 2.4 turns continues, resulting in sporty handling. For the true "Cuore sportivo" experience, there is the petrol “heart”. The four-cylinders and the V6 with the rasping Paolo Conte voice are here. Sorted.
The new engines of GM (Holden) are 20 Kilos lighter, stronger, have chains instead of toothed belts and the prayers of the Alfa engineers are answered with special pistons, heads and all of the know-how from Arese - however at the end only one thing matters: Do they give you goose-bumps or not? With a press of the starter button, firing the 3,2 litre, growling loosely - hurrah, it does.
But when winding up the V6 falls into gentle singing, AUDI-WELL-BEHAVED, where is the coarseness now? And only the chromium-plated inlets? The old 3.2 litre was the only car, which one wanted to polish under the hood as well. Instead of it is now a cheap casting connecting piece. Help! Please re-tool, but in conclusion I must congratulate Alfa. The sales of the 159 starts on 22 September with six engines, two equipment levels and a certainty: That it is the best Alfa ever. Is that enough? With the prices - starting from 25.500 euro for the 120-PS-Diesel - including all maintenance costs, inclusive oil and filter, for the first three years. Hard to believe, but with Alfa a new start really does begin."