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Discussion Starter #1
Hello again. Just musing on the handling of 147's compared to 156's. Seems they both have the same problems on rough roads, but i was particularily interested to know if the 147 is a sportier, more agile handler, being smaller? Anyone got decent experience of both to compare with?
 

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Depends on how you view the "smaller" aspect.

It does have a shorter wheelbase which on its own will reduce straightline stability and increase turn-in.
But it runs different toe-in/out settings which may even it out.

There isn't much difference in weight though.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
I thought the 147 was meant to be stiffer (bodyshell). Does anyone know where i can get hold of, say, an Autocar road test of the 147? etc.
 

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I felt the 147 tramlined more than the 156.

Expect all sorts of nonsense comments with people comparing old 156's with new 147's...

The suspension is virtually identical, it differs only in alignment and the way that it connects to the floorpan (steel pressings on the 147, cast alloy brackets on 156)
 

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Only ever driven both as hire cars so I can't give long term observations but first impressions are not usually wrong and time with a vehicle often rubs out the bad bits!

I drove a 156 for about 3 days in Ireland, think it was only a 1.6TS or maybe 1.8TS so straight line it was not particularly fast but I remember that the handling around the lanes was phenomenal and the best handling I had experienced since I owned a Sprint years ago.

Neither the 147 jtd or the 2.0TS inspired the same "chuck it around anything" confidence.
 

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Having owned both a 2001 147 2.0 and a 2001 156 1.8, I feel qualified to comment....the 156 had the more comfortable ride (both cars had 16" wheels) but the 147 was more fun to throw around corners.

As such, which one was better to drive depended entirely on mood. If I wanted to drive quickly, the 147 always put more of a smile on my face. If I wanted to be more relaxed about things, the 156 would get my vote. I know sod-all about suspension, toe-in and camber angles, so I've no idea why that was.

We still have the 156, however, not the 147, so sub-consciously it's possible I preferred it overall.
 

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So far as stiffness is concerned, that ought to depend on which actual shell, a 3dr 147 will have a different torsional stiffness from a 5dr and the 156 must be different again. Wouldn't like to suggest how they compare relatively. The 5dr is usually the heavier variant. I found the new 156 I tried, admittedly years ago, to be about the best front-drive car I had tried at that point. Our current 147, which was 3yrs old when we got it doesn't seem any better to me.
 

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lanciafan said:
I thought the 147 was meant to be stiffer (bodyshell). Does anyone know where i can get hold of, say, an Autocar road test of the 147? etc.
Everything you need to know about the 147

(...)The Alfa 147 combines these interior and exterior styling attributes with outstanding technical specifications: an aerodynamic Cd of 0.32 and impressive torsional rigidity of 110,000 kgm/rad (95,000 for the 5-door version).

Thus, customers travel in a quiet, vibration-free car that is easy to handle and endowed with outstanding roadholding. The Alfa 147 combines a rigid body with a sophisticated chassis employing double wishbone front suspension, and a MacPherson strut system with asymmetrical arms at the rear. The end result is a stable, agile car that offers remarkable lateral grip, high cornering speeds, and an effective, precise steering response.
(...)
 

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Thanks, Urban, very useful site. I thought from the past that there were instances where 5drs were stiffer than 3. I imagine that in general it is this way round though.
 

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no disrespect to the above comments but i think it comes right down to the person behind the right foot!!
 
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Wrenched said:
Thanks, Urban, very useful site. I thought from the past that there were instances where 5drs were stiffer than 3. I imagine that in general it is this way round though.
Yep 3drs are stiffer and the link to Everything you need to know about the 147 highlights a significant torsion regidity for the sdr as the rear panel has no door to weaken its body. This is why many manufacturers use 3dr touring cars out of choice.
 

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The lack of a rear door means a decent shear connection between B-pillar and what-would-be C-pillar BUT 3drs often have longer front doors (b-pillar further back) and metal in the rear door aperture contributes.
But I can't argue with the figures!
Even so, if I was building a racer, which was naturally going to have it's rigidity hugely boosted by a roll cage, I'd go for the shell which is lightest not stiffest!
 

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For touring car racing 3 doors (as in hatchbacks not coupes) are normally at a big disadvantage because of their chunky shape, and have to be given special negative handicapping in the rules to allow them to have a chance against the more aerodynamically efficient saloons.
I think this was introduced in the WTCC around a year ago or so.


alfa_147_jtd_16v said:
This is why many manufacturers use 3dr touring cars out of choice.
 

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Back to the real world, AFAIK the 147 doesn't have a sports suspension option like the sports kits (1-3) for the 156, or does it?
I have never seen a 147 that wasn't on very high suspension.

For the 156's at ;least the SP kits makes a huge difference to handling, but unfortunately also to the ride quality :rolleyes:
 

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Trailbraker said:
Back to the real world, AFAIK the 147 doesn't have a sports suspension option like the sports kits (1-3) for the 156, or does it?
I have never seen a 147 that wasn't on very high suspension.
The TI apparently has 'sports suspension' which I think is just as high as normal, but stiffer. The ride in our TI on the standard 17" wheels is firm but not overly crashy, which is a complaint other people with 17s on the standard suspension mention.
 

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I thought the 156 was about 50kgs heavier than the 147 - but I could be wrong :confused:
 

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Dear Lanny Fan, did you have Nylatron anti-torque steer bushes fitted to your Lancia.'s Just wondering, or was this a gimmick? Not really of much interest now being Alfa fans I suppose.
 

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WTCC are running 156's for a reason. The angel of the bonnet and windscreen add huge amounts of downforce to the front and mid section of the car. The boot also plays a part with downforce, such a big part that the 147 was ditched due to not denerating enough.

If the 147 could handle better i am sure it would be on the track, not including the 147 cup.
 
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Sorry - I did not explain my last post very well. What I meant was that in the instance of Alfa in the BTCC (2001 with the 147), or Honda Civic Type R for example, they chose to use the 3dr variants over the 5dr ones. Obviously out of choice a saloon is more aerodynamic but when manufacturers choose to use a hatchback, the 3dr takes preference over the 5dr.
Obviously in the saloon variants, nobody makes a 3dr (except a coupe) unless its an old 3dr Ford Escort estate ;)
 
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