2006 Alfa Romeo 159
The new face of Alfa Romeo premieres in Geneva on the Brera coupe and this gorgeous 159 sedan, which replaces the 156. Unfortunately for Alfa, the 156 was also gorgeous, but it never sold well. The 159, like every new car, boasts a larger interior and higher chassis rigidity. Unlike other cars, it is available with Alfa's class-leading JTD direct-injection diesel engines and JTS direct-injection gasoline engines. The hottest engine is a 3.2-liter, 260-hp gasoline V-6, but oil burners don't suffer with the available 200-hp JTD. Backing up the engines is a choice of six-speed transmissions: manual, sequential manual, or automatic. Stability control is calibrated for performance, and wheel choices extend to eighteen-inchers. All-wheel drive with a Torsen center differential is optional. In late February, Fiat's new boss Sergio Marchionne once again floated the idea that Alfa may return to the U.S. by 2007. While that's within the realm of possibility, Fiat's financial problems might preclude such a push for the foreseeable future.