Fleet News

Alfa's high hopes for new 156 estate

THE Alfa Romeo 156 has put the Italian manufacturer on the fleet map and hopes are high that its penetration of the sector will increase with the June 2000 arrival of the 156 station wagon. The as yet unnamed estate marks a major departure for Alfa Romeo from its traditional routes and while it will not be a 'workhorse' estate, it will be capable of carrying large loads.

The launch of the car will mark the manufacturer's long-awaited return to the estate car sector. Retaining Alfa's renowned style, the car's engine line-up will follow that of the 156 saloon - 1.8-litre, 2.0-litre and 2.5-litre petrol engines and 2.4-litre JTD - and transmissions will be manual, automatic and Selespeed, featuring the marque's Formula One-style gearchanging.

The launch of the station wagon will be followed at the beginning of 2001 by the arrival of the replacement for the 145/146. The three- and five-door derivatives were expected to be called 147, but a spokeswoman told Fleet NewsNet that it was possible the name could be different. The new car is expected to feature carryover engines from the 145/146 ranges and manual and Selespeed transmissions with a decision on an automatic variant yet to be made.

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