Alfa showcases lighter, facelifted model range at Geneva
22 February 2008

The Alfa Romeo 159 always had one huge problem; its weight. Alfa is intending to address this with the 2008-model 159, which has lost 45kg and received a mild facelift. With the lightest 159 (the 1.8-litre four cylinder saloon) weighing in at 1430kg, and the heaviest model (the 159 Sportwagon 2.4JTDm Q4) claiming a kerb weight of 1740kg, the reduction can only be an improvement. The Brera and Spider have also been refreshed for 2008, receiving a subtle interior facelift and losing 'several kilos' according to Alfa.Both 159 Sportwagon and saloon have gone under the scalpel. Lighter alloy wheels that use 'flow-forming' to reduce drag on the larger surfaces are responsible for much of the saving. Other mechanical changes include aluminium brake callipers (on four-cylinder models only) and front suspension brackets, and a hollowed out stabilizing bar. Furthermore, the revised 159 gets a push button boot release, new interior graphics and more user-friendly navigation. The Sportwagon also gets a handy new 'Fix&Fold' system, which makes it easier to fold the rear seats for access to the maximum load space.Similar changes have been made to the Brera and Spider, particularly with a new two-tone lightweight alloy design and more aluminium components, though Alfa doesn't state a specific weight saving for either.Both the 2008 Brera and Spider get new, ergonomic front seats, more intuitive dashboard controls, plus tweaked design for the steering wheel and new colours on the dashboard and door inserts. The updated Alfa Romeo range will be unveiled at the Geneva show next month.

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2

22 February 2008

have a 159 on a 56 plate, yes it is too heavy.

Looking at the pictures, apart from a reprofiled steering wheel, nothing looks to have changed in the interior, as for the addition of a push button boot release, mine has one of those already. It is currently located on the roof panel near the rear view mirror. have to say the interior is a 159 strong point. Mine is well screwed together with good quality materials and REAL aluminium trim, seems they need not play too much with it.

18 March 2008

I may be mistaken but I believe the new boot release button is external?

Weight loss is a good thing, especially if its being made in the wheels and suspension - reduced unsprung weight is good for handling.

I also read that they are using a thinner grade of steel with different welding to maintain strength. However I wonder if the thinner grade of steel still performs as well in crash tests and maintains the same torsional rigidity.

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