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A long bonnet, compact passenger cabin, side scored by an elegant stroke and a capacious rear end that is perfectly balanced in optical terms. These are the stylistic features of the new model which is roomier than the Alfa 156, to enhance comfort on board: it is 4,660 millimetres long (225 mm more than the Alfa 156), 1,828 mm wide (+ 85 mm) and 1,417 mm high, with a wheelbase of 2,700 mm (105 mm longer).

The Alfa 159 is elegant and sinuous, in spite of its generous measurements, and never betrays the compact sporty character of the Italian brand. The car's brief is to guarantee the enjoyment of a car with extraordinary performance, without accepting any compromise where functionality is concerned, and ensuring superior comfort in terms of ergonomics and the living space for the driver and passengers.

Designed by Giorgetto Giugiaro in collaboration with the Alfa Romeo Styling Centre, the new car has a number of distinctive features that highlight its strong personality and make it immediately recognisable, in the best Alfa tradition. Starting from the front, which is strong and essential, dominated by the Alfa Romeo family feeling of the characteristic cloverleaf sporting the large shield. The line of the entire car springs from here, combining a light stylistic 'aggressiveness' with strikingly elegant forms: an impression that is underlined by the light clusters, which are delightful design features, with a striking cylindrical shape.

The trapezoid shape of the front view accentuates the car's sensation of solidity, highlighted by the way the passenger compartment rests on a powerful 'shoulder'. This runs all along the waistline of the car, broadening considerably when it reaches the rear pillar. This pillar has a double stylistic function: it links to the curve of the rear window, above the rear axle (another clear stylistic expression of strength, robustness and dynamism), and embraces the passenger compartment thanks to the stylistic device of the classic Alfa Romeo 'elbow'. The front pillar is set further back to make the line look sleeker, underlining the presence of the powerful engine, and making the passenger compartment look more compact, improving visibility on bends.

In other words, sleek but solid, dynamic but robust: only outstanding stylistic balance can combine such different characteristics. For example the 'muscular' wing which, next to the generous wheels, marks the widest point of the car, unequivocally conveying the ideal of a car that is firmly 'anchored to the ground'.

In spite of its capacious size, the rear end, with its beautifully balanced form, blends perfectly with the front, setting off its unique personality, and has a horizontal design, underlined by a chromed double exhaust tail-pipe on the more powerful versions.

Alfa Romeo 159
Alfa Romeo 159
Alfa Romeo 159
Alfa Romeo 159

And it is topped off by a small spoiler which combines styling and practicality, right above the logo which is positioned where it is immediately visible, and the elongated lights, divided by the slit of the boot, which include cylindrical shapes derived from the styling of the front headlights. Double side lights ensure that the car is immediately recognisable, even at night. And finally, the new model can be "dressed" in 9 different colours which enhance its curves and volumes: an aspect that is even more effective with the original styling of the Alfa 159.

Like the external styling, the interior of the Alfa 159 also represents an evolved expression of the sportiness and elegance embodied by Alfa. The Alfa Romeo Styling Centre defined the car around the driving position, focusing attention on the driver: excellent ratios for the distances between pedals, seat, steering wheel and gearbox give him a sense of total control over the car, which produces the enjoyable driving so typical of Alfa Romeo. The facia and wrapround centre console incorporate all the driving instruments and are turned ergonomically towards the driver. The speedometer, rev counter and other instruments, all strictly analogue, are circular with clear, refined, extremely legible graphics. The anti-glare lip accentuates the 'boat' shape of the main instruments, confirming a feature peculiar to Alfa Romeo design that is based on a deep-rooted attention to volumes and mature treatment of surfaces. The instruments are practical, precise and easy to read even at night; the multifunction display remains perfectly legible even if there is a strong incident ray, and it incorporates a heating system to minimise switching times at low temperatures.

To underline the functional continuity between the facia and the console, the designers aimed to achieve stylistic continuity between them: the console, which is raised as if stretching towards the facia, has a sporty gearlever with short, precise movements, and a comfortable armrest that incorporates a large insulated storage compartment. The interior achieves a perfect balance between elegance and sportiness, an equation that Alfa Romeo translates into refined colour combinations, quality fabrics, precious fine grain leather by Frau® and luxurious materials (like the aluminium mouldings).
The range includes two specification levels, each featuring specific 'natural' interior upholstery. The sophisticated 'slush moulding' technology with which the facia was made, guarantees a refined opaque effect and a surface that is soft to the touch, and it is available in three different colours (black, grey and beige), all three of which match one of the interior outfits perfectly (black, grey tone-on-tone, black and beige). The customer will appreciate the wrapround, finely modelled seats, which are made with carefully selected materials paying great attention to the details. The seats can be upholstered in flocked fabric, Alfatex®, leather or fine-grain leather by Frau®, and are all painstakingly finished with side strips cut to highlight the contact areas, elegant piping, careful overstitching and traditional attention to detail. These stylistic elements convey the original appeal of great craftsmanship, like the three-spoke leather-covered Alfa Romeo steering wheel, designed to ensure perfect grip even on difficult bends.

Text & Photos: Alfa Romeo