Well folks, I've just arrived back from test driving the new 1750 tbi engine (alfa red 159 saloon with TI spec) and am still smiling!
A good long sunny drive on my own for an hour and a half with spells on motorway, dual carriageway, a-road, winding rural b-road and even a stint on cobbles through a market town!
Wow, what a car! I'm not very technical compared with some on here but I hope this helps for anyone interested....
First overall impressions were of 'lightness' in the front - the feel and handling were superb and vastly improved from the 2.2 JTS that I drove a few months ago. The steering was sensitive but precise and gave me confidence on the bends with plenty of grip from the 19s. I was also pleased with the lack of turbo-lag. I wasn't sure what to expect because I've only driven a hire car (Mondeo) that had a turbo and I thought it was awful and slow to respond. The 159 tbi just gives you this smooth, gentle 'ooze' of power right through the range.......it's hard to find an analogy but relative to my Mazda it was like being "stapled to the front of a Eurofighter" as Jeremy Clarkson described it once! I was on an A-road at one point, tried a burst of acceleration in 3rd gear and went to 70mph easily. Then, on the motorway, I pulled into the inside lane to let this MX5 have a good look as it went past, then pulled out with a long clear straight (uphill!) and gave it the beans
Let's just say that my speed had significantly increased and within a few secs, said MX5 was a speck in my mirror!
Sorry to go on but the best bit of my trip was seeing plenty of people looking at the car and the bemused look/nod from this guy in a BMW when I let him turn in front of me in town traffic - dignified or what?
Yes, I'd agree with some about the sound not being the same as older alfa's but unless you're updating from a previous alfa, I don't think you'd be too concerned. It's still a nice sound but this will be the way forward I reckon.