Thank you everyone! Recently I have been driving the 159 quite a lot through Japan`s fabulous mountain touge roads. If some of you know what Initial D is you will get the idea. I go for spirited driving with a local team with my Civic Type R almost every weekend through the twisty tight corners. The area where I live has roads that are a mix of long sweeping corners that really test a car`s stability and road holding and tight hairpins that test its sharpness and response. Quick acceleration out of corners is essential to be fast on mountain roads.
With my Civic going up against STi, GT-R, RX-7 and Suzuki Swift, the kerb weight of 1050kg has been my best friend. Last week I took the Alfa up to test and see what the new chassis is capable of. I must say I was very pleased and surprised at the same time.
Even though the 159 2.2 Sports wagon weighs in at a hefty 1600kg and actually putting out the same horsepower as the EK9, I was able to keep up on the medium to long sweeping bends with the lighter and more powerful Japanese sports car. The low to mid range torque delivery on the 2.2 JTS is adequate. I can see that Alfa Romeo considered that some drivers will drive on European mountain roads and set up the power band and gear ratios this way. What I was most surprised was that even on the supposedly soft stock suspension, road holding kept maximum grip on the front tyres. I am not sure if my car has an LSD but it sure felt like it did as I could put full throttle exiting a corner and the whole body would track like on rails faithfully.
My Japanese friends were surprised at the Alfa`s performance. Up until now no one had considered that a European `premium`brand could work up to Japanese sports car on the mountain stage.