The Alfa Romeo 156 (Project 932) is a D seed sedan produced by Alfa Romeo from 1997 to 2005
For some fans of the brand, in the early 1990s the Alfa Romeo 155 had somehow undermined the reputation of the biscione house for what was to be the dynamic aspect of an Arese car. The 155 was reproached, in particular, for having completely abandoned rear-wheel drive and for using mechanical parts derived from the Fiat group.
The Fiat top managers then tried to make a replacement for the 155 that could rediscover those dynamic characteristics that the alphists demanded; no return of rear-wheel drive, however, but certainly a car that could diversify and not a little from the other medium-sized cars in the group. It was decided to start from the Type III platform, but to modify many parts in order to obtain a lower mass (magnesium dashboard structure) and a superior dynamic behavior with independent rear suspension derived from the Lancia Delta Integrale rally.
We then came to define the Type II rev 3 platform to be shared with the smaller 147 GT and, with different front and rear suspensions, also with the Lancia Lybra which will remain an exclusive Alfa Romeo over time. A platform equipped with unpublished suspensions with four independent wheels, of the high quadrilateral type at the front and “evolved MacPherson” at the rear. The tall quadrilateral scheme reproduces the classic quadrilateral scheme, but it is suitable to be housed in frames originally designed to accommodate engines with transversal arrangement and only the MacPherson at the front due to the smaller transverse dimensions. This was the compromise found by the Fiat group, in the hope of being able to return to satisfy what were the demands of a very demanding market such as that which had always turned to Alfa Romeo cars
It was under these guidelines that at the Frankfurt Motor Show in 1997 the new Arese D segment sedan was presented, which immediately obtained a huge number of consents both from fans of the brand and from specialized magazines
Just as it was for the 155, the Alfa Romeo 156 was soon engaged in numerous sports championships.
In particular, it is in the ETCC European Tourism Championship that it achieves the greatest successes including 4 consecutive European titles: from 2000 to 2002 led by Fabrizio Giovanardi, in 2003 by Gabriele Tarquini. Still in 2004, despite the failure to win the drivers ‘and manufacturers’ titles, the Autodelta Squadra Corse is the team with the most points.
In 2005 Alfa took part in the new WTCC World Touring Car Championship, still with the 156, and managed to conquer the second position in the constructors’ championship, with a car that now has 8 years on its shoulders. Unfortunately, at the end of the championship instead of aiming for the insertion of a new car that could continue to collect the successes of the 156, Alfa Romeo decides to withdraw from the championship as the official team. For 2006 and 2007, the 156 prepared by the Autodelta Squadra Corse still remain, but with a competitiveness that of course is waning against more modern and fierce opponents such as BMW, SEAT and CHEVROLET.
The Alfa 156s that raced in the ETCC and in the WTCC, respectively with the names 156 GTA and 156 Super 2000, had a power of 275 horsepower with a maximum rotation speed of 8 500 rpm, front wheel drive, 6-speed sequential gearbox with clutches Hewland is a lean carbon based weight diet. This made it one of the most feared cars in the championship.
The Alfa 156 took part, with numerous successes, in the Italian tourism championship