31.10.2005 Italiaspeed exclusive - 2008 Alfa Romeo 169 preview

Concorso 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.

A 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.

Underneath 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.

Progetto 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.


Although officially the successor to the Alfa 166, the Alfa 169 will offer a different package, and will compete against the Mercedes CLS and future Porsche  Panamera  4-door  coupé

Vital statistics:
Project: Alfa Romeo 941; Platform: Next Generation Quattoporte E/F; Wheelbase: 2.950 mm; External Dimensions (L x W x H): 4.950 mm x 1.900 mm x 1.400 mm

Debut range (Prices are indications only): 2.8 V6 (250 bhp) €47,500, or 3.2 V6 (285 bhp) €50,000; 3.6 V6 (320 bhp) €55,000 (May be cancelled); 4.3 V8 (400 bhp @ 6300 rpm, 500 Nm) €75,000; 3.0 V6 Diesel (275 bhp / 620 Nm) €50,000

Additional engine range: 4.0 V8 Diesel (380 bhp, 800 Nm) €75,000 (May be cancelled); GTA 5.0 V8 (515-530 bhp @ 7000 rpm, 600 Nm) €100,000

by Paddy Granger

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© 2005 Interfuture Media/Italiaspeed