Re: Heavy Alfa Models
Just to add a bit of background. Cambelts aside (for once) the 156/147/GT chassis and to a lesser extent the 166 were criticised for being a bit flimsy in all departments, and the suspensions are not the most accomplished you will find.
To their immense credit, Alfa listened and went to great lengths to address these perceived quality issues with the 159/Brera. Also with the influence of Karl Heinz Kalbfell we ended up with the nearest thing ever to an Alfa built to match the Germans at their own game.
I think Alfa have succeeded, and I think the 'overweight' business has been overdone. My only quibble is that if they had produced a direct replacement for the 156, and not taken the 159 into the larger saloons segment, then I think sales would have been better. For private buyers in particular 159 is a bit big and expensive to run.
I am a bit disappointed for Alfa that 159 sales have not been better, but on the positive side the 159 is a car that is making friends with drivers new to Alfa, unlike the 156 which all too often alienated them. This means that Alfa can look forward to more repeat purchases than they have historically enjoyed.