ALFA ROMEO 159 1750
ALFA ROMEO 159 1750

The designation of the “1750 TBi” takes us back to one of the most important chapters in the history of Alfa Romeo. The latest new model adopts the same 1750 cc displacement as one of the most successful saloons ever made by Alfa Romeo. Alfa Romeo aficionados will certainly remember the refined and powerful 1750 Berlina introduced in the late 1960s, bearing the ‘Berlina’ name made famous by its 1930s predecessor and powered by a 1779 cc twin cam four cylinder engine developing 118 HP (the specific power of this engine set new standards for its time). Power output was increased even further by the addition of a turbocharger in 1986.

The new Alfa Romeo 159 1750 TBi 200 CV embodies a long heritage of motoring excellence and is characterised by all the elegance and taste of the Italian school of automobile design. Today, as always, Alfa Romeo designers and engineers can draw on the great Alfa tradition to design and build cars of beauty and personality, achieving a magical balance between reason and sentiment, technology and creativity.

The extraordinary human, technical and sporting heritage of Alfa Romeo has marked some of the most important steps in the history of the motor car. The presentation of the Alfa Romeo 1750 Berlina in January 1968 was one of these. Successor to the legendary Giulia, whose mechanical configuration and great road holding it inherited, the 1750 Berlina stood out for its sleek, modern lines, comfortable interior and high level of finish. The soberly elegant 1750 Berlina also boasted impressive performance, at the highly competitive price of 1,960,000 Liras. With these vital characteristics, it is small wonder that the Alfa 1750 Berlina proved such a great success, selling 101,883 units in just four years.

In mechanical terms, the 1750 Berlina adopted all the strong points of the Giulia but introduced a major innovation in the form of a twin cam four cylinder engine. With a displacement of 1779 cc, this engine developed 132 HP SAE (118 HP DIN) thanks to two horizontal twin-choke carburettors and a dry air filter (a version with indirect fuel injection was also developed for the U.S. market). It took the Alfa Romeo 1750 Berlina to over 180 kph and accelerated it from 0 to 100 kph in just 10.2 seconds. The car’s superb performance was amply demonstrated in its first race appearance in the Spa-Francorchamps 24 hours endurance race in 1968 when the first places were taken by four 1750 Berlinas.

With rear wheel drive and a synchronised 5-speed gearbox, the 1750 Berlina was produced in two series between 1968 and 1971: the main differences between the two series were the front sidelights (moved from the bumper to the front wings), the rear model logo, the side direction indicators, the brake and clutch pedal (pivoted from above in the second series) and the wood rim steering wheel.

It is clear, then, that the new Alfa 159 1750 TBi inherits its comfort and elegance from the 1750 Berlina of the nineteen sixties. The new 159 also reminds us of Alfa’s glorious past in the exuberant performance of its turbocharged engine. The already acclaimed 1779 cc twin cam straight four was modified to accept a turbo-charger and intercooler in 1986, boosting its power output to 155 HP and giving the car a top speed of 210 kph (the first model equipped with this turbocharged engine was the later Alfa 75). Alfa Romeo was thus able to offer the international market a pace-setting yet refined and reliable turbo-charged engine, one of the first to be equipped with an electronic rev-limiting system to ensure reliability and durability. We all know that the Alfa 75 Turbo went on to have a successful racing career, culminating in the IMSA version in which this same engine was boosted to an amazing 335 HP.

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