Alfa Romeo GTV

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Alfa Romeo GTV 156

The 156 was a highly developed front-wheel drive car (the Cross/Sport Wagon Q4 offered four-wheel drive in left-hand drive markets) with a double wishbone front suspension and McPherson type rear suspension.

The engine range encompassed 4-cylinder Twin Spark (1.6 120 PS, 1.8 144 PS and 2.0 155 PS) 16 valve engines with variable valve timing, along with the L4 1.9 8v (105, 110 and 115 PS) and L5 2.4 10v (136, 140 and 150 PS) JTD turbo diesel engines. Until January 2002, the range-topping engine was the venerable DOHC 2.5 L 24-valve V6 engine rated at 190 and after 2001 192 PS. 2002 saw the introduction of the 2.0 L JTS engine, a common rail direct injection unit offering more low end torque and more power (165 PS) than the Twin Spark.

A significant addition to the 156 range was the Sport wagon station wagon in 2000, a first attempt at an estate car of this size for the company. Sport wagon was also available with Boge-Nivomat self-leveling hydro pneumatic rear suspension.

In 2001 engines were upgraded, engines complied with Euro3 norm and outputed 120 PS (1.6), 140 PS (1.8), 150 PS (2.0) and 192 PS (2.5).

Alfa Romeo 156 GTA

In February 2002, the 156 GTA and Sport wagon GTA were launched. Equipped with a 3.2 L V6 with six-speed manual transmission or Selespeed (paddles in steering wheel, hydraulically operated clutch less manual gearbox), the GTA variants were aimed at the performance market. The GTA subsequently stopped production in October 2005, citing poor sales and the upcoming replacement to the 156, the Alfa Romeo 159. The GTA variants boasted at least 250 PS, had a lowered and stiffened suspension, a distinctive body kit and leather interior.

2002 also saw the arrival of a face lifted interior with different matte-finish surfacing and chrome highlights. The 165 PS (2.0 JTS) replaced the 2.0 L Twin Spark engine, diesel engines were also uprated. New version used the 147’s dual-zone digital climate control and Can Bus serial wiring system. A wider range of options including xenon lighting, tele-informatics and a Bose stereo system were available. Also ESP and slip control ASR came as standard.

2nd series (2003) Alfa Romeo 156 Sport wagon

Late 2003 saw the launch of a face lifted 156, with new front and rear fascias designed by Giorgetto Giugiaro. There was also a wider range of interior color options from this date. This mid-life face lift divided opinion with some preferring the prettier pre-face lift look with others singing the praises of the newer more aggressive demeanor of the latter models. The GTA models never received the exterior update. Diesel engines suffered a major re-working, new 4v/cylinder heads were added, second stage common rail injection with 1400bar maximum injection pressure with up to 5 injections per cycle for lower noise, consumption and higher performance. They were rated at 140/150 PS for L4 1.9 16v and 175 PS for L5 2.4 20v.

In 2004, four-wheel drive versions arrived to some markets, which were known as the Cross wagon Q4 and Sport wagon Q4 (both using the 1.9L 150 PS JTD engine). These cars were equipped with a Torsen four-wheel drive system and raised ride heights (Cross wagon 65 mm higher and Sport wagon 20 mm).

The 156 sedan was discontinued late in 2005 in Europe, Q4 Cross wagon is still in production, 156 is to be phased out in other markets in 2006 with the forthcoming 159, which also spawned the Brera, the 2-door coupe that replaces the GTV along with its convertible sister the new Spider.

Scribbled on April 6th 2007 in Alfa Romeo, Alfa Romeo 156 GTV, Pictures
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