Alfa Romeo released a limited edition 159 Ti last August and such was its popularity that it proceeded to sell out within weeks. If you missed out last year then today?s announcement by Alfa Romeo should put a smile on your dial. The 159 Ti is back for 2008 and not just the sedan, Alfa can also put you into a 159 Ti Sportwagon.
Alfa has also introduced its 2.4 litre turbo diesel engine to the 159 Ti range, which as before is also available with the 2.2 litre JTS and 3.2 litre JTS V6 engines.
For more than 50 years the most sort-after Alfa Romeo models have been those that have worn the ?Ti? badge (which stands for Tourism International) a badge that traditionally indicates an Alfa Romeo with an even more sharply defined sporting edge.
As befitting an Alfa wearing the Ti badge, the most significant changes to the 159 Ti have occurred under the skin, with the fitment of sports suspension. The 159 Ti sits 20mm lower than the standard car and Alfa claim that drivers will notice a sharper turn-in response and less body roll without the harshness that afflicts some sports suspension systems.
Along with the trick suspension, the 159 Ti is also equipped with 19 inch alloy wheels with 235/40 x 19 low profile tyres. Brembo brakes are standard (painted in Alfa Romeo red) and offer improved braking performance.
Setting the Ti apart from its ?normal? 159 brethren is what Alfa Romeo refers to as a ?subtle yet effective? body kit. Burnished aluminium finish door mirrors complete the exterior transformation.
Inside the 159, the Ti package is all about the driver. There are lashings 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 and the six speed manual gearbox?s gear lever.
The dashboard is trimmed in a unique burnished aluminum that has been darkened to highlight the red-ringed instruments that are unique to the Ti. Aluminium is also used for the drilled sports pedals and the unique Alfa Romeo 159 Ti door sill trim strips which, like the exterior, carry the classic Ti insignia.
Life?s little luxuries haven?t been forgotten with the Ti also offering 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 2.2 JTS (136kW) is priced at $54,990 in manual form, while the Selespeed has a recommended retail price of $56,990.
The turbo-diesel 2.4 litre JTD (147kW) equipped 159 Ti has a recommend retail price of $58,990 for the manual and $61,990 for the Q-Tronic automatic version.
Topping the Ti range is the 159 Ti with the 3.2 litre JTS V6 (191kW) and Q4 constant four wheel drive system. This provides the V6 equipped 159 Ti with a top speed of 240km and a wheelspin free dash to 100km/h in 7.0 seconds. The recommended retail price for the six speed manual 159 Ti 3.2 V6 is $76,990 and the Q-Tronic variant is $79,990.
Last but by no means least is the 159 Sportwagon Ti which is available in Ti form with the same engine choices as the sedan. Being a wagon, its also offers 445 litres of loadspace below the retractable luggage cover. The 60:40 split/folding rear seat features an integral armrest and ski hatch, and allows for the rapid expansion of the luggage compartment into a robust, practical, flat-floored load platform offering 850 litres of stowage below the window line, and 1235 litres overall.
The Alfa Romeo 159 Ti Sportwagon range opens with the 2.2 litre JTS with a recommended retail price of $57,990 for the manual and $59,990 for the Selespeed. The 2.4 litre JTD Turbo Diesel equipped 159 Ti Sportwagon has a recommended retail price of $61,240 in manual form and $64,240 with the Q-Tronic automatic gearbox. Topping the range is the 3.2 Litre V6 powered 159 Ti Sportwagon at $79,990 in manual form while the Q-Tronic has a recommended retail price of $82,990.