Sunday, October 19, 2014

Alfa Romeo 156

The life of a beautiful car is always longer. For this reason, Alfa Romeo allows its models to be on the market, on average, for seven years, which is quite a long time. Moreover, all the works of Maestro Giugiaro who created the design of this car tend to exist as if beyond time. For the Italian company, this car became the successor of their legendary Gulietta model (developed at Bertone Atelier), which conquered the roads of the Apennine Peninsula and the rest of Europe in the mid-1950s. The appearance of Alfa Romeo 156 once again made it clear that, contrary to the claims of detractors, the fact of being taken under the wing of FIAT was not the end, but one of the development stages of the company.


Created in 1997, the Alfa Romeo 156 won the title of 'European Car of the Year' in 1998, thus becoming one of the best-selling vehicles in Europe. One of the key factors for that success was the exterior design of the car. Interesting is that the appearance of the 156 was developed not only by the traditional design partners such as Pininfarina, Bertone and Ital Design, but also by the native specialists of the Alfa Romeo Centro Style development center. The beautiful exterior is perfectly combined with the salon. The interior design is an example of exquisite craftsmanship, its calm and harmonious. I found lots of quaint details in the interior which reminded me of surreal paintings. I guess those details create an indescribably weird atmosphere in the salon. In general... it's damn so beautiful.
In Italy there is only one car manufacturer which has a higher cult status, and this is Ferrari, which shares the same principle: an excellent body built around the engine. 



Alfa Romeo is power, excellent dynamics and good engine sound. The car I managed to test was equipped with 2-liter engine with Twin Spark system (two sparks for one cylinder). The Twin Spark system is the "crown-technology" of Alfa Romeo. The second "fuse" creates a better fuel combustion, thereby increasing the efficiency of the engine.
This 2 L engine has a capacity of 155 HP. The maximal torque reaches 187 N m at 3800 rpm. In my test, the car accelerated from 0 to 100 km/h in 8.6 seconds. The maximal speed I managed to reach was 210 km/h ( not bad for a 12-year-old vehicle).
The 156 proved to have a super handling.
In my maneuver test, which simulated a high-speed freeway lane change, the 156 showed amazing results. It went through the slalom of cones at 80 km/h without understeering (instead of traditional 20 meters, the distance between the cones was shortened to 16 meters).


I also tried to figure out the braking distance of this Alfa Romeo. Having accelerated it to 100 km/h, I jammed on the brakes- the car stopped after traveling the distance of 34 meters.
In conclusion it should be mentioned that Italians also managed to find optimal settings for the suspension (front- specially designed construction with two forked levers, rear- MacPherson). It's stiff enough to almost completely eliminate any body-roll and at the same time it appeared to be quite comfortable.
The price of a used Alfa Romeo 156 ranges from $6000 to $11.000 in Armenia. The car is recommendable to those, who wouldn't treat it like an ordinary means of transportation. This vehicle is sure to brighten your driving experiences.