Alfa Sharpens Sporting Edge With 159 Ti
Alfa Sharpens The 159's Sporting Edge With The 159 TiFor more than 50 years the most sort-after Alfa Romeo models have been those that have worn the 'Ti' badge which indicates an Alfa Romeo with an even more sharply defined sporting edge and with the arrival of the Alfa Romeo 159 Ti the Italian car maker is offering a Ti variant with more features and equipment than ever before.
First seen in 1950, the Ti badge, which stands for Tourism International, has been used to denote an Alfa Romeo version that has been equipped to meet the needs and desires of driving enthusiasts to produce a car that offers more driving excitement and a more sports-orientated image, but also at a value for money price.
"The Alfa Romeo 159 Ti has a long heritage to live up to and that's why we have decided to take the changes and additional equipment to a new level," says Lawrie Malatios, General Manager for Alfa Romeo in New Zealand. "This means that there is a wealth of new equipment and some significant changes under the skin that will enable the Alfa Romeo 159 Ti to provide an even more exciting and involving driving experience for the lucky few who will own this limited edition model."
The most significant under the skin change is the fitment of sports suspension that lowers the 159 by 20 mm and which provides the 159 with a sharper turn-in response from the steering and less body roll, but without the harsh ride that afflicts some sports suspension systems. This more able chassis is further enhanced by the standard fitment of 19 inch alloy wheels with 235/40 x 19 low profile tyres to provide additional roadholding performance. So that 159 Ti stops as well as it goes, Brembo brakes are standard and they are painted in Alfa Romeo red to highlight their presence and performance.
To further enhance the hunkered down stance of the 159 Ti provided by the sports suspension, the new model is fitted with subtle yet effective body kit, with burnished aluminium finish door mirrors completing the exterior transformation into a 159 Ti.
The inside of the 159 is transformed by the Ti package into a driver focused cockpit of black leather and dark finish materials highlighted by red stitching for the leather and red highlights for the instruments. The sports seats, which are electrically operated and heated, are upholstered in hand-crafted soft Italian leather with the legendary Alfa Romeo logo stitched in red on both the front and rear seats. The same leather and red stitching is used on the steering wheel.
The dashboard is trimmed in a unique burnished aluminum that has been darkened so as to show off the red-ringed instruments that are unique to the Alfa Romeo 159 Ti. Aluminium is further used for the drilled sports pedals - an essential icon of Italian sports cars - and the unique Alfa Romeo 159 Ti door sill trim strips which, like the exterior, carry the classic Ti insignia. For technical aficionados, the 159 Ti also offers the Bluetooth mobile phone connection with finger tip controls on the steering wheel and a USB connection point in the glovebox for MP3 music players.
The Alfa Romeo 159 Ti is available with a choice of two engines and two different gearboxes. Fitted with the 2.2 litre 136 kW JTS engine and the six speed Selespeed gearbox, the 159 Ti 2.2 JTS offers the same 222 kmh top speed and 0-100 km acceleration of 8.8 seconds, yet, thanks to the fuel saving abilities of the gearbox, uses less fuel and cuts C0² emissions. The 159 Ti Selespeed has a recommended retail price of $64,990.
For the first time in New Zealand the Ti package is also available with a range-topping drivetrain, providing the 159 Ti with the 3.2 litre JTS V6 that produces 191 kW and 322 Nm of torque that is delivered to the road via the Q-Tronic six speed automatic gearbox and the Q4 constant four wheel drive system. This provides the top 159 Ti with a top speed of 240 km and, thanks to the four wheel drive system and advanced electronics, a wheelspin free dash to 100 kmh in 7.2 seconds. Yet, thanks to that advanced engine and gearbox, it is still capable of 8.6 litres per 100 kmh on the open road. The gearbox may be operated in automatic mode or manual mode with a choice of using the Tiptronic style gear stick or via steering wheel mounted paddles for finger tip operation. The recommended retail price for the 159 Ti 3.2 V6 is $87,990.
Topping the new Ti range in New Zealand is the 159 3.2 V6 JTS Sportwagon, a perfect blend of performance, style, versatility and functionality.
Although identical in length, the Alfa 159 Sportwagon, (with rear seats in position), provides 40 litres more loadspace below the retractable luggage cover than the Alfa 159 saloon. The 60:40 split/folding rear seat features an integral armrest and ski hatch, and allows for the rapid expansion of the 445 litre luggage compartment into a robust, practical load platform offering 850 litres of stowage below the window line, and an impressive 1235 litres overall.
Additional stowage compartments have been created by the intelligent use of space within the sound-insulated, box-section construction of the loading volume, both beneath the loadspace isolating curtain mounting brackets, and in the form of two closed compartments, complete with nets, to the sides. Optional luggage containment nets may be anchored to the loadspace floor, the sill or behind the rear seats to prevent smaller loads from shifting in transit.
Moreover, there are up to 14 storage areas of various sizes within the passenger compartment itself, including a large glove compartment, an insulated bin in the front centre armrest and a storage compartment in the pull-out central rear armrest.
Mated to the Q-Tronic transmission and the Q4 four-wheel drive system, the 3.2 litre JTS V6 engine will accelerate the new Alfa 159 Sportwagon Ti from 0-100 kmh in 7.4 seconds and on to a top speed of 237 kmh, yet it easily meets the stringent Euro Stage 4 exhaust emission limits. The Alfa Romeo 159 Sportwagon 3.3 V6 JTS Ti has a recommended retail price of $90,990.
"If the package of equipment that combines to produce the Ti was available separately, it would add approximately $10,000 to the cost of the 159,"says Lawrie Malatios. "But the price difference is just $5000 159 Ti, making the latest limited edition Alfa Romeo to carry the Ti badge also the best-ever value for money."