Alfa Romeo’s plans to expand into more global markets with a new, large saloon look set to become more concrete, if recent rumours are to be believed.
166 was the last large Alfa
The possibility that Alfa might be considering such a car first raised its head when the company unveiled the Gloria concept at the Geneva Motor Show. Back then, Alfa described the Gloria as previewing a car larger than the upcoming Giulia, which would present “another international challenge” – in other words, a model that’d sell well in Asian and American markets.
Now, sources at the company suggest that Alfa Romeo is evaluating the business case for a 5 Series- or E-Class-rivalling model that’d share the platform and engine range of the upcoming Maserati Ghibli, itself based on a cut-down version of the new Quattroporte’s floorpan. That’d mean rear-wheel-drive, with power coming from a choice of twin-turbocharged V6 petrol and diesel engines. An additional choice of turbocharged four-cylinder engines, expected to be unique to the Alfa Romeo version of the model, is also likely to be available.
Last-of-the-line 166 yours for under £6K
Whether the new car will share the styling of the Gloria is far less certain, but expect at least a few cues to make it through if the new model is given the green light for production. The availability of the Ghibli’s underpinnings mean that the new model could be developed quickly and released as early as 2015.
It’s promising news for any car nut, but especially good for second-hand bargain hunters. Big Alfas have a history of dramatically tanking values, which mean that the 164 and 166 are now available for remarkably little cash (check out this late 166, for example; it’s done motorway miles, but has a full history and the all-important cambelt change under its belt and is yours for a shade under six grand). Whether the same fate would befall any new model isn’t certain, especially if it’s as good as this one sounds – but if it did, it’d mean a slice of large-engined, rear-drive Alfa Romeo-badged loveliness (and, indeed, a Maserati by another name) could be yours in a few years’ time for a bargain price. Splendid.
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It will no doubt be lovely. It will be well built. It won't rust. It won't go wrong, just like all the Alfa's I've previously owned - both new and old. Then people who have never owned an Alfa on here will moan that it will not be well built and it will rust. Then they will go and buy diesel BMWs like everyone else. I'll avoid this thread as it will be 99% BS as per usual form.
I'd love to agree with ya, I've owned five Alfa's.. My mate has an 06 159 which is rusting away like a bh. My 2002 156 died of rust (Actually was the most reliable one @230K / 10V) The 2008 159 I have seems to go through a never ending parts replacement cycle.
There not extremely reliable, but neither do I think there worse than some of there competitors. So for them to stand out of the crowd, they might want to get themselves in a trust worthy domain first.
This is coming from a current Alfa owner, not someone who peeks and guesses they know what an Alfa is like.
iSore01 Apr 2013
The 159 was alright really. It wasn't as lithe as a 3 Series but not much is. It was like driving an A4 or a Mondeo, i.e a well sorted but unremarkable mid range saloon. I think half the problem was that the 159 came directly after the 156, a car that exposed record numbers of buyers to the Alfa dealer experience.
Black S2K31 Mar 2013
I WISH said:
The 159 is a very handsome beast indeed .... made even more desirable by its relative scarcity ...and the 166 was lovely too.
If they build something that retains even 90% of the concept it should sell like hot cakes (hopefully!).
But the 159 flopped. It looked good, went quite well and handled well enough for most buyers to notice, but the public didn't want to know. Considering BMW don't make a 3 litre six cylinder saloon, what chance do Alfas stand? Their only chance is to sell it as a low volume* and high priced exclusive product - pretty much what Maserati already do? I'd love them to make a really superb rear drive V6 petrol saloon that kicks the 3 Series firmly and decisively up the arse. Anything but another sodding 320d or A4 TD-ous. The trouble is, I live in Sheffield, a large city - and I have no idea where the nearest Alfa dealer is. Not a clue.
I thought part of the problems was the early 159s were handsome, but not very good. Certainly the early Brera Q4 I drove nearly made me want to cry with disappointment, it was so bad.
Did they eventually fix it? Trouble is, the damage in done to its reputation by then.
The biggest problem though is lease rates; ze Germans have the market rigged/sewn up and cheap leases become a self-fulfilling prophecy and they're everywhere.
Of course, Alfa's whistling depreciation makes them rather uncompetitive, and that also becomes self-fulfilling.
Black S2K31 Mar 2013
Black S2K said:
Just keep your fingers crossed they don't use the Fiat groups other rwd, 5series sized, 'executive' V6 diesel as the basis for the Alfa. I love mine but it would be a travesty of an Arna scale to use 1990's Merc underpinnings on an Alfa.
They will most likely base it on the new Maserati Ghibli
...which Maserati gets a bit touchy about, if you call it a Chrysler!
They maintain part of the floor and some other bits are, but they've changed most of it.
Of course, it won't sell and it will depreciate like a non-German E1-segment.
But Alfa needs the halo car and the world needs a few un-boring E-segments. Wspecially an Alfa.
I initially thought Marchionne was nuts. But I was wrong and I wish him well with it.
I thought the new Ghibli was based on the architecture of the recent quattroporte!?
It is. Which in turn...
iSore30 Mar 2013
I'm not sure if the more modern Alfa's, Fiats or Lancia's(Chrysler's) can deliver anything interesting to the table now. The pursuit of build quality and mass appeal may have driven away the real enthusiasts who were looking for a little something else.
Alfa has become (or will soon become) another brand. Bascially, we 've fallen out of love with cars. Driving is now such a pain in the arse that we want cars to be as easy to use as possible. You can't even have so much ads a characteful exhaust note now in case it scares away would-be buyers.