Alfa 169 turns on the style

11 Nov, 2009 12:52pm Jack Rix

It's been a long time coming, but the Italian 5-Series rival is almost here and it's shaping up to be a stunner.

Alfa is back to what it does best! These are the most accurate renderings yet of Alfa's all-new flagship saloon, the 169. And the long-awaited replacement for the unsuccessful 166 is taking on the Germans the the only way Alfa knows how, with stunning design.

The 169 heralds a new styling direction for the firm. While the grill is still very much part of the Alfa family, the rear end is all-new while the overall exterior will take inspiration from the new crop of four-door coupes such as the Mercedes CLS and Audi A5 Sportback.There's even a hint of the elegant Maserati Quattroporte in its flowing profile.

Pitched as a direct 5-series rival, top-end models could even take on the likes of the larger Jaguar XJ. But in order to compete with the established players, Alfa has taken the decision to make the 169 rear wheel drive - ensuring a more dynamic driving expereince. To achieve this Alfa could borrow the next Chrysler 300C platform - which in itself is a slightly shortened version of the Quattroporte's underpinnings - a perfect example of how the Chrysler-Fiat tie-up will save both companies piles of cash, by stretching their resources across a number of brands.

Engine choices are still unconfirmed, but likely to include all-new petrol and diesel V6's. There are even rumours that the 450bhp 4.7-litre V8 from the 8C Competizione supercar could find its way into a range-topping GTA variant, designed to give the BMW M5 and Mercedes E63 AMG something to think about.

Originally previewed by the Visconti concept at the Geneva motor show way back in 2004, the 169 was earmarked for a 2009 debut. But due to the economic crisis it's been repeatedly delayed, and now an on-sale date sometime in late 2011 seems feasible - although we can look forward to another gorgeous concept previeweing the 169 breaking cover at a major motor show next year.


Disqus - noscript

What a load of crock, calling the 300C platform - the Chrysler LX platform - a slightly shortened version of Maserati Quattroporte's underpinnings. No such connection. At all! If the LX platform is based on anything European, it's the old Merc E-class; the rust infected POS W210. Sacreligde!

I studied the new Alfa Romeo 169. It a beauty & I love it. But I never can afford one. I'll problemly get as a diecast car in scale 1/43 or 1/18. I don't want as a Villians car like what happen with the 159 in Quantum of Solace When 007 manage to run them all of in his Aston Martin DBS without any modifcation in it. I don' t mind Bond drive this car with modifacation in it Maybe to replace his Aston in Bond 23. James Bond drove an Alfa in Octopussy by stealing it to defeuse a bomb. I can't wait to see in a Motor show one day.

Hi Thors,If you look closely I did in fact refer to the next 300C platform, which all being well should appear in 2010.

Jackrix, thanks for ypur reply - and correcsion! I didn't catch that nuance in your text. Mea culpa, sorry about that.
I'd still say you're wrong, though: The next 300C are allready on the way, ready, as you're stating, next year. And it's based on gen2 of Chryslers own LX-platform, and as I understand it, Fiat Group are planning the new big saloons from Alfa and Lancia to be based on that very same platform - not a shortened QP. That platform is too costly for "mainstream cars". The Maser Gran Turismo is built on a shortened QP-platform, and at that pricelevel, tha Alfa/Lancia will be way too expencive on that platform. Fiat have even hinted at a new "budget" Quattroporte, based on the generation 2 Chrysler LX-platform.

I thought the next Chrysler 300C will have the same shape but different Face & Back. I seen sneak a few pictures of the next Chrysler 300C. But I don't really know. Yell has the asemblance of the Maser Quattroporte But shorter.

Maserati Quattroporte??? Alfa 169??? Chrysler 300C underpinnings???

Nurse... Call Sergio Leone and order a horses head for someone's' bed if you would be so kind...

Yup, Confirms what I thought.

Recent Alfas have all looked great, and the 8C, though a different direction, showed ther was more than one route to great looks.
However, it clearly doesnt scale down easily. The Mito is a minger, and the 147 replacement mediocre.

This larger 169 is however a demonstation of just how well the 8C look can be promulgated as long as the stylist has a large enough envelope with which to work.

Er Smike

It may be YOUR opinion that the Mito is a minger, but it would seem that most people don't share your views - including me, my daughter, my friend and a whole army of people I know who all think the Mito looks stunning. OK, from the back it aint fantastic, but from every other angle, it makes most other superminis look boring - especially the Mini. As for the 169, well it looks awesome, but there again most Alfas do now with the exception of the old 147. Sadly most big Alfas don't sell in this country, but if ever there was one that might change all that, it is the 169.

Front is mazda, back Ford Puma

This looks stunning, and will look even better in the flesh. It will put the Germans to shame in the company car park.

Unfortunately the sheep will avoid it and stick to their E180s, A4s and 518s.

Non-sheep already go for the Lexus

Well, I have agree emphatically with Smike. The Mito is a dog. Actually, it's a pig. With it's eyelids stretched open. As a designer and a life-long Alfa fan (member of the club, owner of a GTV - Pininfarina's last beautiful design), I'm very disappointed with recent directions taken by Alfa - except, of course, the 8C and Giugiaro's original Brera concept. The 159 and production Brera both look very handsome, but ALL current Alfa's are far too big and clumsy. Historically, Alfa have enshrined beautiful, delicate design. Think of the pre-war cars, then the post-war 6C's, the Giuliettas, Giulias and 'Suds. And most recently the 156 and 147. Ever since, they've piled on the pounds and The Mito certainly looks and feels it. It's woefully disappointing. It manages to take the sweeping lines (which aren't altogether successful on the 8C, but somehow work) and squash them into proportions that simply don't work.

The 169 is a fantastic proposition. I've always been a fan of the 164 and 166 - somehow they show how Alfa have always played their own big-car game, most recently to great effect, if limited in success. At first glance, it looks rather striking, if reminiscent overall of the Vauxhall Insignia in 3/4 view. However, I worry that that key design cue - the shield - is overdone and dominates the front end. Granted, it's a defining feature, but it's becoming a gaping hole. Dare I mention the word Edsel?

But then, beauty is in the eye of the beholder. Alfa's have always been about the way they feel, as well as the way look. And, unfortunately, this is where it falls down again. Having had a Mito for the weekend, I had to keep telling myself it was an Alfa. Apart from the badge on the steering wheel, there were no other clues.

So my message is this: come on Alfa, stop trying beat the Germans at their own game. Go back to doing what you always did best.

Good car to look at, but is it built like a BMW?
No, I don't think so.
Alfa's are notorious for having extremely flimsy trim, engines are woefully unreliable and their garages/customer service are the worst in the country.
Fancy buying an Alfa now?
Didn't think so and thats why people by a BMW, they are fantastic to drive, they are well built and the customer service and garage services are one of the best in the country.
I agree with Bobski, that Alfa's have piled on the pounds and some of the cars are ugly like the Mito.
If Alfa can maintain quality standards, maybe people are prepared to buy the car. But the car also needs a good background (customer service and garage services) behind it and this is what Alfa need to change.
Fiat needs to look into this better.

Alfa is on a slow death and this will not happen. Alfa in the hands of Fiat is not going to be a success.

Who wants to buy a BMW alternative with Fiat parts. Maybe Ford owners would but definitly not BMW and Merc owners!

Nice car if it's real...

I agree with some others who've posted, the Mito is an ugly duckling. The front is the culprit, it looks like a an owl having an enema. The rear end is quite stylish though. Its based on a Punto so probably doesn't drive like an Alfa should.

Yet another exquisite design from Alfa but ..........will it make production and if it does will anyone be able to afford it in numbers that justify it's existence? Come on Fiat deliver a peoples Ferrari !

aaaaaa I want to **** this car from behind how sexyyyyyyy

...Jag XF anyone? Not the first time that an Italian manufacturer has cloned a Jag either - remember the De Tomaso Deauville and the striking resemblance it bore to the Series 3 Jag XJ??

iozdil You definately sound like a BMW Driver! Don't be Jealous, just because your beloved BMW 5 series will be upstaged and be made to look ordeniary by the 169! As a Europhile who travels frequently to Europe, large Italian Executives (Lancia Kappa, Thesis, Alfa Romeo 166) are very popular and well respected especially in countries like Holland, France, Poland, Portugal and of course Italy. Unfortunately it's the UK which has an outdated and backward view like yourself iozdil!

owning a 159, one thing i like about Alfa is that the attention to detail that you see, you don't get from German cars. no doubt the germans are built better but somone told me the diesel engine in 159 is quite refined compared to the c-class "chelsea tractor" engine. I really couldn't a damn if germans are engineered miles better than a Alfa but one thing i can say for sure when you see that Alfa badge, the looks, the feel, the interior you know you are sitting in something far special than a BMW, or Merc or Audi

now an on-sale date sometime in late 2011??
Did I miss it?

It's Alfa, it's gorgeous. But will it be reliable?

Auto Express 1,349
For more breaking car news and reviews, subscribe to Auto Express - available as a weekly magazine and on your iPad. We'll give you 6 issues for £1 and a free gift!

Sponsored Links