06 September 1999


The Frankfurt Motor Show gives Alfa Romeo a chance to bring the public up to date with its activities and to show them the latest results of our continual product development drive.

First out on the stand catwalk are the Alfa 156s, which continue to gather accolades in Italy and throughout the world. The 2.5 V6 24V is joined by a 2.0 Selespeed equipped with an ultra-sophisticated robotised transmission including steering wheel controls for previously undreamed of driving satisfaction. Visitors to the Motor Show will be able to enjoy the experience for themselves by trying their hand at one of two driving simulators that put the transmission through its paces during a virtual race over the Varano circuit.

The spotlight will also be on the Alfa 166, Alfa's flagship model and more specifically the 3.0 V6 24V with a Sportronic automatic transmission and a 2.4 JTD fitted with exclusive items from the Alfa Romeo Accessories range.

Cars to admire, cars with a technological soul waiting to be discovered. Film sequences describe the workings of the suspension, engines and devices such as the Sportronic electronic automatic transmission and Cruise Control.

The line-up also includes the new Alfa 145 and 146 fitted with a 1.9 JTD engine and Alfa's two sports cars: the powerful Gtv and stylish Alfa Spider, which can now be fitted with an electrically-controlled seat.

All these models are set off to perfection by a stand designed around the colour red - where aluminium and glass surfaces and projected images reflect brand values and the sophistication of our automotive engineering.

The stand is completed by showcases containing items from the Accessories range, particularly those designed for the Alfa 166.

Alfa 156

The Alfa 156 continues to go from strength to strength and by the end of August will have won Alfa dealers more than 230,000 orders since its launch. The impact the model has made in 66 countries throughout the world has been mainly responsible for the relaunch of our brand and our regained share of the international market.

One of the reasons for this success is the Alfa 156's ability to satisfy a well-informed, demanding breed of customer. Such customers perceive Alfa's sporty saloon as an excellent product that keeps the spirit of the brand alive while staying abreast of the latest developments in automotive engineering.

Visitors to Frankfurt will be able to admire the Alfa 156 2.5 V6 and the model's latest offspring: the 2.0 Selespeed. This car is fitted with a robotised sequential gearbox with steering wheel controls. This technology derives directly from the Ferrari 355 F1 and ensures this is an out-and-out sporty version because it allows fast, precise gear changes for great performance.

The car's other strengths include comfort and driving ease. The Selespeed is less tiring than a conventional gearbox: it does not have a clutch pedal and gears are engaged quickly without effort.

The Selespeed is also safe: you do not have to take your hand off the wheel to reach the selector lever and so can keep full control of the car even during gear changes.

The heart of the system is an electronic transmission control unit (in constant communication with the engine management unit). When you request a gear change the unit automatically opens the clutch, reduces torque regardless of the amount the accelerator is pressed and then selects and engages the gear.

The speed to be engaged is always chosen by the driver, who can control the gearbox using a lever between the seats or controls on the steering wheel: the right control for sequential gear shifts during acceleration; the left control to change down and decelerate.

Due to electronic wizardry, this manual gearbox can also be used in fully automatic mode. To activate the second operating mode, simply press the 'city' button on the central tunnel and the Selespeed system will assume responsibility for deciding which gear to use and when to change.

Differences between this version and the normal 2.0 T. Spark outfit include the wording Selespeed on the rear of the car, exclusive 16 inch alloy wheels, leather steering wheel with gearbox controls, display in the rev counter indicating the gear engaged, carbon-coloured central console, climate control system, electric rear windows and front armrest as standard.

Remember that the Alfa 156 range is made up of another six versions over and above the two on show in Frankfurt: 1.6, 1.8 and 2.0 T. Spark; 1.9 and 2.4 JTD; 2.5 Q-System. The Q-System version comes with a gearbox that can work in automatic mode but also allows the driver to select gears manually as with a conventional manual gearbox.

Alfa 166

Maximum comfort, elegance, safety and great performance. These attributes underpin the success of the Alfa 166. Our prestigious flagship stands out for its high level of technology.

The engines fully reflect the brand's flair for sportiness. They offer outstanding levels of torque and power and are also notable for their reliability and environmental compatibility. The four petrol engines are as follows: 155 bhp (114 kW) 2.0 Twin Spark 16V, 205 bhp (151 kW) 2.0 V6 turbo, 190 bhp (140 kW) 2.5 V6 24V and 226 bhp (166 kW) 3.0 V6 24V. The single diesel version is a 136 bhp (100 kW) 2.4 JTD unit.

The gearboxes are silent, slick and fast. The manual unit comes in five and six speed versions. The six speed gearbox is available with a sixth non-overdrive speed (on the 2.0 V6 turbo, the 3.0 V6 24V and the 2.4 JTD) or an overdrive (on the 2.4 JTD). The two aspirated V6 units can come as a Sportronic version, i.e. with a sequential, self-adaptive automatic transmission. This means the driver can choose between fully automatic and manual sequential modes.

Handling, comfort, maximum stability and excellent road manners are assured by the suspensions.
This is double-wishbone at the front and multilink at the rear. A further array of state-of-the-art engineering solutions ensure the flagship has absolute mastery in all conditions: active sensor ABS with electronic brakeforce distributor, antislip regulation, a Traction Control System and Sport Throttle Response - which modifies the engine's response to the accelerator.

Other sophisticated electronic devices ensure a fully relaxing drive. These include Cruise Control, a system that automatically maintains a cruising speed set by the driver, and an integrated control system that manages the climate control system, trip computer and radio (it can be extended by adding a Hi-Fi system, GSM phone and satellite navigation system). On the safety front, the Alfa 166 offers front airbags and sidebags, front seat-belts with pretensioners, a Fire Prevention System and optional xenon headlights.

The outfits come with a full endowment. The range of material and colour matches is extensive, as is the choice of accessories and options. The options list includes leather interiors: Red Style (reserved for Super 2.0 V6 turbo and 3.0 V6 24V versions) and Blue Style (available for the other versions).

Two versions of the Alfa 166 will be on show in Frankfurt: the 3.0 V6 24V with automatic Sportronic transmission and the 2.4 JTD.

Alfa 145 and 146

The Alfa Romeo stand at the Frankfurt Motor Show will also host Alfa 145 and 146 cars from the '99 range. Both models have been updated to play to the brand's strengths: engines and performance. The price/content ratio is now even better because styling and equipment have also been improved.

The '99 range comes with a direct injection 1.9 JTD engine, acknowledged to be the most advanced expression of diesel engineering. With a power output of 105 bhp (77 kW) and a torque of 26 kgm at 2000 rpm, this power unit propels the Alfa 145 to a top speed of 185 km/h and allows it to accelerate from 0 to 100 km/h in 10.4 seconds. The performance of the Alfa 146 1.9 JTD is also superlative: top speed of 187 km/h, 10.5 seconds to accelerate from 0 to 100 km/h. Fuel consumption is low: both Alfas cover 100 km on 5.7 litres of diesel over a combined cycle.

The petrol engines (Twin Sparks, all 16 valve) fully reflect the brand's typical attributes of safe sportiness.
The range includes a 103 bhp (76 kW) 1.4 unit, a 120 bhp (88 kW) 1.6 unit, a 144 bhp (106 kW) 1.8 unit and a 155 bhp (114 kW) 2.0 unit.

The range comes with five outfit levels: three (basic, medium and high) are reserved for the 1.4, 1.6, 1.8 and 1.9 JTD engines while two - with an out-and-out sporty personality are exclusive to the Alfa 145 2.0 Cloverleaf and the Alfa 146 2.0 ti.

Two cars are on show in Frankfurt: the Alfa 145 2.0 Cloverleaf and the Alfa 146 1.9 JTD.

Interior and exterior aesthetic updates make the '99 range Alfa 145 and 146 cars still more appealing and up-to-date. The bumpers, for example, are body-coloured and feature a new, black air intake.

The interiors are attractive and welcoming with different features according to the outfit. The central panel, for example, is black on the Basic outfit and Sport Pack, titanium-coloured for 'L' versions and in Mahogany cubic printing for the Deluxe Pack.

The instrument frames, air outlets, interior handles, handbrake button and gear knob frame are all chrome-plated. The seat trim is in cloth, two-tone velour or sporty depending on the version. Lastly, a steering wheel in microperforated leather with red top-stitching has been produced for the Alfa 145 Cloverleaf and the 146 ti.

The list of standard equipment is long, particularly in terms of safety features. These include a driver's airbag plus, in some markets, a passenger airbag and sidebags. Other features include ABS, Fire Prevention System (FPS), side impact bars and pretensioners.

As far as options are concerned, both cars can be customised with a sports pack or a deluxe pack. The sports pack is available from the 1.4 Medium outfit and adds an extra touch of sporty panache. It includes: rear spoiler, 15" alloy wheels with 195/55 tyres, bumpers with body-coloured protective strip and aerodynamic sideskirts. Inside: sports seats in Blitz cloth, steering wheel and knob in microperforated leather with red top-stitching and facia insert in sporty cloth.

The deluxe pack accentuates the car's comfort and style. From the L outfit (not available for right hand drive models) it offers: facia central console in cubic printing mahogany, leather steering wheel with black top-stitching to match the gear lever knob, exclusive upholstery in light grey velour and mat in the same colour.

Alfa Gtv and Spider

The Frankfurt Motor Show would not be the same without the Alfa Gtv and Spider: two different models that share the same unmistakable sporty personality and attractive, uncluttered lines.

The cars come with five engines. Three are common to both models: 144 bhp (106 kW) 1.8 T. Spark 16V, 155 bhp (114 kW) 2.0 T. Spark 16V variable geometry and 200 bhp (147 kW) 2.0 V6 turbo.

The 220 bhp (162 kW) 3.0 V6 24V unit is reserved for the Alfa Gtv. This powerful, spirited engine propels the Alfa coupé along at a speed of 250 km/h, with acceleration from 0 to100 km/h in just 6.7 seconds. The same power unit is also fitted to the Alfa Spider, but in a 192 bhp (141 kW) 12 valve version that guarantees a top speed of 225 km/h and acceleration from 0 to 100 in 7.3 seconds.

Visitors to Frankfurt will be able to see both versions with the 3.0 engine. The Alfa Gtv engine is in Nuvola Blue and the Spider is in the new Oasis Green. Both shades feature the iridescent finish first seen on the Alfa 156.

These sporty Alfa Romeos come in two outfits: medium and deluxe, both highly prestigious. The option list includes a new addition: an electrically-controlled seat. This feature increases the comfort level of both models and extends an already long and diverse list of options, including the sophisticated, stylish Blue Style and Red Style interiors.

Blue Style interiors come with a blue facia, carpet, mat and door panel body. The seats can come in blue or white leather (the hood is in blue cloth on the Spider). The Red Style version has a red facia, black door panel, black carpet and mat and red or black leather seats as required. On the Spider, the hood is in black cloth.

Alfa Romeo Accessories range

Visitors to the Alfa Romeo stand can admire a wide range of accessories designed to make Alfa models and versions even more comprehensive and exclusive.

The powerful Odyssey Blue Alfa 166 2.4 JTD exhibited at the Show reveals how customers can personalise their own flagship with items from the Accessories range. The kit includes: front and rear aerodynamic strip, sideskirts and exclusive design 7.5x17" alloy wheels with 225/45 17" tyres.

For the Alfa 166, the Alfa Romeo Style Centre has designed a range of practical accessories for leisure time: bags to fit under the bonnet and boot, nets that keep everything neat and tidy at all times and prevent sudden, annoying shifts of small luggage items.

The lively Alfa Red Gtv turbo is also kitted out with front aerodynamic strips, wheelarch with trim, sideskirts, boot spoiler and exclusive single-nut alloy wheels with 17" 225/45 tyres. The interior is equipped with a sporty pedal unit, left foot rest and aluminium sill strip.

Lastly, the showcase contains items and clothing bearing the Alfa logo. This sophisticated range is increasingly directed toward a more demanding audience. Women, for example, can now find bags and garments designed exclusively for them. These items can be purchased in official Alfa Romeo dealerships.

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