The car's imposing front end has been fully redesigned and now resembles its smaller brother - the Alfa Romeo 156. The tall shield, for example, now forms the traditional Alfa three-part motif in conjunction with the two side air intakes. This motif marks a family resemblance to more recent models while allowing the Alfa Romeo Style Centre to reclaim and reinterpret distinctive traits from the company's illustrious past.
As on the previous model, two converging ribs delimit and emphasise a central bulge that hints at the presence of the powerful, beefy engine beneath. The side view of the new Alfa Romeo 166 features some of the chrome trim that was present on the previous model: i.e. on the door handles, roof outline and door sills. Not to mention the fact the outline immediately conveys an impression of a car that is strong, compact and firmly anchored to the ground. At the same time, the extensive metal area prevails over the glass and makes the vehicle look like a coupÃ© from the side.
Viewed from the rear, the Alfa Romeo 166 is immediately recognisable for its broad shoulders that make it look like an animal waiting to pounce - and for its short, fleeting tail. The slightly drooping tail evokes the sensation of a very agile car despite its large saloon dimensions. The relatively unchanged bumpers are still flush with the metal surface and blend into the vehicle body. The light clusters on the new Alfa Romeo 166 are among its most distinctive features and designer objects in their own right.
And so from the exterior to the interior. The same good looks are apparent inside, where lashings of space are backed by outstanding comfort, sophisticated trim and padding and careful attention to detail. The real attraction of the new model lies in a passenger compartment that has been made lighter through careful choice of colours and materials that are a pleasure to touch and look at. An extensive choice of materials (cloth and leather) and colours combine to create three different environments: sports, elegant or classic. Customers can also choose from four different types of facia according to version and trim level. Not to mention the fact that the option list includes exclusive upholstery of huge appeal, a superlative example of Italian craft tradition.
This model is set to trump the opposition with a winning blend of breeding and temperament. And more. Beneath its attractive exterior, the new vehicle boasts a temperament unique for its category that is complemented by an ability to dominate the road typical of an Alfa Romeo. This characteristic is particularly appreciated by those who expect driving satisfaction even from a big prestige saloon. The power unit comes in various engine-gearbox combinations that are among the most powerful and efficient currently on the market. The suspension layout is able to assure absolute command of the car in any situation. A host of electronic devices is also present to enable you to enjoy the great performance levels of which all Alfa Romeo 166 versions are capable in absolute safety: from an ABS with electronic load proportioning valve to antislip systems for automatic traction control.
In detail, the model offers six power units that present different characteristics and all together make up a comprehensive range able to meet the expectations of any customer, however well-informed and demanding. The four petrol units are the 150 bhp 2.0 TS, the 188 bhp 2.5 V6 24v, the 220 bhp 3.0 V6 and the 240 bhp 3.2 V6 24v. The two turbodiesels are the 150 bhp 2.4 JTD 10v and the 175 bhp 2.4 Multijet 20v. These units are all combined with a 6 speed manual gearbox, with the exception of the 220 bhp 3.0 V6 that is only available with an automatic transmission. The lively 175 bhp 2.4 Multijet 20v may also be paired with a sophisticated new generation 5-speed automatic transmission.
But power is not all. The Alfa Romeo flagship has also been designed with a view to pleasing its passengers. The new model immediately reveals itself as a car that is extremely satisfying to inhabit: as driver or passenger, over short trips or long motorway journeys. The interior environment is comfortable because it is so ergonomic. It is pleasing due to the gratifying sensations aroused by an advanced climate control system, outstanding sound-proofing and a very comfortable suspension. It is sophisticated because the in-car technology has been designed to make life easier: with an efficient electronic interface, Cruise Control that is useful on motorway routes, a smart radio that dynamically adjusts volume to the surrounding noise and a satellite navigation system to suggest the best way to a chosen destination. The new central console display delivers a stylish metallic effect.
The new Alfa Romeo 166 range is made up of three comprehensive specifications that offer great value for money: the new Impression, Progression and Distinctive packages. A new Alfa Romeo 166 TI option pack is also available with low ride for a more entertaining drive with better handling. On the outside, this particular version offers a special badge and 18" alloy wheels. Inside, the TI environment is identifiable by seats trimmed with black leather with an embroidered TI logo in red. The same sporty look extends to the TI logo on the aluminium sill plate and red button and instrument panel lighting.
All versions are extremely well-equipped, as you would expect from a top-class flagship. The host of options will satisfy even the most demanding of customers in this market band. Not forgetting the accessory range created to meet even the most specific customisation requirements.
Here are just a few of the numerous systems and devices available on the new model: active sensor ABS with electronic brakeforce distributor; VDC; front airbags, sidebags and windowbags; automatic climate control; Cruise Control; bi-Xenon headlights; rain and parking sensor; follow-me-home lights; radio controls on the steering wheel; satellite navigation system with maps and voice guide, GSM phone with handsfree set and Hi-Fi system with 10 speakers and CD changer. Lastly, five types of alloy wheels are available according to the version: two 16", two 17" and one 18".
And finally, the long-term (starting from 24 months) hire option is confirmed with the launch of the new Alfa Romeo 166. This allows the private customer to own his very own flagship by simply paying a monthly rate, obviously without having to make any down-payment. And the price includes insurance, maintenance and warranty. So this new service brings the utmost peace of mind and the possibility of immediately and clearly planning all the expenditure connected with operating a car.