Congrats Dougie the Brera is a gorgeous motor. You have chosen.............wisely
As for diesel vs Alfa V6, well the engine note is a tad different, of course, but the 5 pot diesels don't sound too bad, considering! They kind of have a muted version of that old 5 pot Audi Quattro rasp from years ago if you're old enough to remember them papping down the road.
I've driven a 20V 156 and also a Volvo S60 D5 as well (boring car, good engine, also a 2.4 5 pot TD) and both have a similar shove. What you most notice is the performance that you see on paper bears nothing to the way that the torquey pulling power of the diesels masks that difference in the real world.
What I've found with the 166 is that on a motorway I generally have to drop a cog to get the most from an overtake - it really starts to sing over 4000rpm but if you're plodding along the M1 at 70 (on a good day these days!
) then in 6th you're pulling sub 3000rpm and the engine doesn't seem to want to pull that hard from here, even with STR on. Granted it's not a slouch but it's quicker to go to 5th or 4th and then she properly moves. In a diesel, even in 6th, you mash your foot down and they really pull, which is down to the stomping torque they have. The impression this gives makes it feel like the 0-60 time must be wrong, that the diesel is faster than a petrol car. But that's because you spend so much of your time (well I do at least!) sitting on the motorway speeding up and slowing down and having to take those overtakes when they present themselves, and this plays into the strengths of a diesel engine, so if this is your normal driving experience (god help you all if you're in my boat!) then a diesel is a smart move. Plus sub 25mpg vs over 40 is kinda a no brainer right now.
You have to work the petrol engines harder to get their ultimate (and also better than diesel) performance, which is great when you're hustling through the lanes as it's really rewarding, and diesels suffer here as they're normally running out of breath at 4500 rpm when the V6 is just coming alive! But on the daily plod into work down the motorway a diesel's torque makes it a much nicer beast to live with, this I can testify to. Plus I'm just too damn knackered most mornings to want to keep changing gear (I have the heavy clutch in mine like others here!)
Torque vs horsepower, it's a strange old game! The Alfa 20V diesel is a great engine though, make no mistake. And trust me, I would have shot myself in the head rather than have said something nice about an oil burner a few years ago! Diesel tech has just raced ahead in recent years compared to petrol tech.
Just wish I had the cash to get a Brera too!
Mind you, did see a 370BHP Jag XJR the other day for 6 grand with FSH. Time to add to the credit crunch