d’Eleganzas are events that inspire dreams, particularly
for enthusiasts of the Alfa Romeo marque. It is not uncommon
to find individuals staring at varieties of 8C 2900 or 6C
2500 in a complete trance, their minds in another world, in
another time. Indeed, these cars are regarded as being
amongst the most beautiful in the world, and were in their
heyday also amongst the most exclusive.
modern-day audience to this high-end class of Alfa Romeo is
though so evidently present, and fortunately the management at Alfa
Romeo have quickly caught on to this fact. Alfa
Romeo are now working on a high-end range of cars, the first
model being the new Alfa 169. Although officially the
successor to the Alfa 166, the Alfa 169 will offer quite a
different package, and will directly compete against the
Mercedes-Benz CLS and future 2009 Porsche Panamera 4-door coupé.
Instead of offering a standard executive saloon
configuration, the car will be a 4-door coupé translating
the thoughts of the designers at Centro Stile Alfa Romeo
into metal in an almost totally uncompromised way. The
car should be ready for the European market by 2008, and if the relaunch in America occurs
according to the 2007 schedule, the car will also reach the North American shores as a fresh model.
the sleek bodywork, the car will sit on the next generation Maserati Quattroporte platform, a decision that was only made in the last few weeks. Originally, the 169 was planned to use a long wheelbase E/F
segment version of the new Premium Platform. All the same, the Quattroporte provides a sound basis, with the current model boasting a torsional rigidity
on par with the Alfa Romeo 159, which offers 31.400Nm/degree. In
comparison to the Maserati Quattroporte which has a length
of 5.052 mm, the Alfa 169 will be marginally shorter at
approximately 4.950 mm. The 169 will be a low car, similar
in height to the CLS at 1.400 mm.
941, the development code of the Alfa 169 (itself a name
that has been registered by Fiat Auto this year), will be
the first production Alfa since the 145 and 146 Boxer models
to make use of longitudinally positioned engines. The engine
range will consist exclusively of V6 and V8 units, which
will drive the rear wheels through transaxle gearboxes. It
has been suggested in the past that Maserati and Alfa Romeo
have been developing a transaxle for the project together,
although it is also possible that the car will make use of Getrag transaxle gearboxes, including a new seven-speed Dual
Clutch Transmission design (DCT) which supports high torque
loads. All of the engines, both petrol and diesel will make
use of the patented Fiat Uniair/Multiair system. A GTA version is also on the books, boasting a 5.0 litre V8 pushing out approximately 530 bhp and a massive 600 Nm of torque, although it will not be available as a debut model.