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Alfa diesel upgraded

Raunchier Romeo: The 2009 Alfa 159 turbo-diesel gets more power, along with other tweaks.

Exterior stays the same, but Alfa Romeo 159 gets interior and diesel engine changes

16 Jan 2009

ALFA ROMEO has upgraded its 159 sedan range in Australia, with interior refinements and more power from the 2.4-litre turbo-diesel engine, but no external bodywork changes.

Local importer Ateco Automotive has retained driveaway pricing for the improved 2009 model-year 159, and claims that this means continued savings of up to $7500.

Alfa Romeo will be hoping that the upgrades and retail savings will reverse a dramatic decline in the brand’s sales in 2008, evidenced by the 159 dropping 34 per cent over the previous year.

The most popular model in the 159 range, the 2.4-litre JTD turbo-diesel, gets a revised engine that produces 154kW of power – 7kW more than before.

While peak torque of 400Nm is unchanged, the company claims improved low-end performance from the engine, which now carries a JTDm designation.

Alfa also claims to have improved interior noise and ride quality, as well as smoother, more responsive gear selection with the optional six-speed auto.

Inside, the 159 has revised instruments and ventilation controls, the start button now only needs to be touched rather than held in, and the occupants get slightly more space due to a more compact roof lining and re-designed rear seats.

Pressing the badge on the back of the 159 now opens the boot, while improved radio performance is promised from the new ‘bee-sting’ aerial on the roof – the only external change to the car.

“Normally these changes would be called a facelift, but as the 159 is such as stunning car that has been acclaimed for its beautiful design, there are no styling changes,” said Alfa Romeo’s Australian general manager Edward Butler.

“All the changes are under the skin and they are aimed at making owning an Alfa 159 an even more fulfilling, enjoyable experience, something that is further enhanced by the absence of any on road costs for a limited time.”

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