Alfa Romeo 155

Alfa Romeo 155Developed to replace the 75, the Alfa 155 was released in January 1992 in Barcelona (Motorshow launch Geneva, March 1992) and received much praise from the gathered press. It was designed by the IDEA studio to fit in with the emerging 'corporate look', and many similarities can be found in the styling with the 33, 75 and 164. An excellent drag coefficient of 0.29 was achieved. The Tipo floorpan was used as a starting point, and the basic suspension layout of MacPherson struts at the front and a trailing beam rear was retained, although many significant modifications were made.

As well as the dynamic characteristics of the car, great attention was also paid to safety and the to the interior design and ergonomics. Being a medium sized four door saloon, the interior space is a significant factor and the 155 design optimised this giving exceptional headroom in both the front and rear. Care was also taken with the seat designs, storage compartments, fabrics and trim used and the fascia design, all resulting in a considerably more inviting place to travel. The design also lent itself to a spacious boot, with 525 litres of volume. Alfa Romeo 155 Ten exterior colours were available and three interior trims (one exclusively to the Cloverleaf).

The entry level model was a 1.7 Twin Spark (115bhp), followed by the main models, the 1.8 Twin Spark (126bhp) and the 2.0 Twin Spark (143bhp), both with variable (inlet) valve timing. (Diagrams illustrating the Twin Spark system can be seen here and here.) Two four-cylinder turbo diesel versions, a 1.9 (92bhp) and a 2.5 (125bhp) were sold in some markets.

The range was topped by the 2.5 V6 (163bhp) which used a heavily revised version of the 3.0 V6 used in the 164, and the Q4, which used a much modified Lancia Delta integrale drivetrain, including the 2.0 16v turbo engine (190bhp) and permanent four wheel drive system. This latter incorporated three differentials, a normal one at the front, a epicyclic one in the centre (including a Ferguson viscous coupling) and a torsen self-locking one at the rear. In normal driving the split was 47% torque to the front, 53% to the rear. Both these 'top' models were also available with an electronically adjustable suspension. This system had two positions, 'automatic' and 'sport' and changed the characteristics of the dampers.

Alfa Romeo 155 In 1995 the range was heavily revised. The changes were mainly under the skin, but to meet the demands of its motorsport career the front track was increased, and the resulting noticeably flared wheelarches do visually distinguish the later cars. Other significant changes included a retuned supension and more direct steering rack.

The powerplants were also revised, with the introduction of a 16v version of the 2-litre car. The resulting 2.0TS 16v engine produced 150bhp. A similar operation was arried out a year later with the 1.8-litre unit, the 1.8TS 16v generating a respectable 140bhp whilst at the same time the old 1.7TS was replaced by a new 1.6TS 16v engine.

The Alfa 155 also made a definite mark on motorsport. In two wheel drive 2-litre form it proved successful in the touring car championships of numerous countries (Italy, UK and Spain amongst others), whilst in four wheel drive 2.5-litre V6 form it won the German touring car championship (DTM image gallery and engine). Click here for a video clip of the 155 dominating the 1993 DTM. (4MB)

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Technical Details
Driveline transverse engine at front with front wheel drive or permanent four wheel drive (three differentials)
Engines early cars :
1749cc (83.4x80mm) Twin Spark dohc 4 cyl with 115bhp @ 5,800rpm
1773cc (84x80mm) Twin Spark dohc 4 cyl with 126bhp @ 6,000rpm
1995cc (84x90mm) Twin Spark dohc 4 cyl with 143bhp @ 6,000rpm
2492cc (88x68.3mm) V6 sohc per bank with 163bhp @ 5,800rpm
1995cc (84x90mm) dohc turbocharged 4 cyl with 190bhp @ 6,000rpm
1929cc (82.6x90mm) sohc turbocharged IDI diesel 4 cyl with 92bhp @ 4,100rpm
2500cc (92x94mm) sohc turbocharged IDI diesel 4 cyl with 125bhp @ 4,200rpm
later cars (1995+) :
1970cc (83x91mm) Twin Spark dohc 16v 4 cyl with 150bhp @ 6,200rpm
1747cc (82x82.7mm) Twin Spark dohc 16v 4 cyl with 140bhp @ 6,300rpm
1598cc (82x76.5mm) Twin Spark dohc 16v 4 cyl with 120bhp @ 6,300rpm
Suspension front : MacPherson strut with telescopic dampers and coil springs plus anti-roll bar
rear : trailing-arm with telescopic dampers and coil springs plus anti-roll bar (Q4 MacPherson struts)
optional electronically adjustable suspension (V6 & Q4) with two damper settings
wheelbase : 2540mm
track (front/rear) : 1469mm/1402mm (V6 : 1477mm/1402mm)
Brakes front : ventilated discs (257mm on 1.8 & 2.0, 284mm on V6 & Q4)
rear : discs
rear load proportioning valve
handbrake operating on the rear via cable
dual hydraulic circuit with servo assistance
ABS (optional or standard depending on variant and market)
Gearbox 5 speed manual - rod selection (1.8 & 2.0) and cable selection (V6 & Q4)
hydraulic clutch
Steering Rack and pinion with speed sensitive hydraulic power assistance
2.1 turns lock to lock (from 1995)
Kerb weight V6 : 1370kg (63% front, 37% rear)
2.0TS 16V : 1300kg (60% front, 40% rear)
Dimensions Length : 4443mm; Width : 1700mm; Height : 1440mm

Here there are cooling system diagrams, details of the instrumentation and a drawing of the structure of the Alfa 155.

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Alfa Romeo 155 Instrument binnacle
model max speed 0-60mph standing km
1.8 TS 16V 124 mph 10.1 sec 31.8 sec
2.0TS 16V 127 mph 9.1 sec 31.3 sec
2.5 V6 133 mph 8.2 sec 29.4 sec
2.0i turbo 16v Q4 228 km/h 7.0 sec 27.6 sec

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Alfa Romeo 155 in the German Touring Car Championship (DTM) Easily carried out modifications include installation of a free-flow air filter (a cold air duct is also a worthy mod) and the fitment of a less restrictive exhaust system to improve the driveability, 'Chips' are also available which (claim to) increase the power, driveability and torque all at the same time.

The brakes can be improved by using a higher specification fluid, fitting drilled and grooved discs, using a superior pad compound and fitting stainless steel braided flexible hoses. For more significant improvements, aftermarket kits are available with bigger discs and callipers.

Dampers and springs are readily available for the 155 which will improve the handling, and a strut brace can be fitted at the front to increase the stiffness of the bodyshell. Bushes from harder materials, such as nylon, can also be fitted to reduce the amount of flexibility in the system.

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Buying / Selling

Due to the somewhat false bad reputation which Alfa has, used 155s have not held their value and are a bargain medium saloon, being a much superior drive to the more mundane (yet more expensive) offerings from the more mainstream manufacturers.
The later versions are much better (with a steering rack requiring only 2.1 turns lock to lock), and it is worth seeking out one of these.

Some tips to do before selling : (they may seem obvious, but most people don't do them and thus are in a weaker bargaining position)

Tidy inside the car thoroughly : hoover the floor, empty all pockets, ashtrays (wash), glove compartment etc..., wipe the trim with a damp cloth, give the cockpit a good airing to get rid of any odours ! Reset the trip meter to 00000 - it is a pleasant (subconcious) Alfa Romeo 155 GTAsurprise.

If the car has been standing give it a good run - this will clear out the engine (reduce exhaust smoke), put a shine on the brake discs and loosen up any joints that may otherwise make some noises.

'Back to black' products are very effective at temporarily restoring bumpers and trim. This makes a big difference to any car. Do it a week before you expect people to view the car, otherwise it may be a bit too obvious !

Jetwash under the car, especially under the engine and in the wheelarches. The prospective buyer may be an enthusiast, and this makes it easier for them to see what they want to check.

Obviously wash the car and clean the windows !

If you are going to buy a car always check the following :

Firstly check the bodywork. Check that there are no mismatching panels, large areas of discolouration or signs of fresh paint (compare inside the engine bay with the external body colour), all of which probably indicate accident damage.

Check the main electrical functions - wipers, windows, lights, etc... try putting the main beam and wipers on at the same time. Check the headlights for cracks. Check the functioning of the various switches and guages, electrics are a 155 weakness.

Check the brake pedal does not go to the floor if pressed hard for a long time and check the gearchange for clean engagement.

The engine should be run up to temperature, check the exhaust for smoke (especially on turbocharged models), the condition of the breather (look for mayonaise), the condition of the oil filler cap (again white deposits can indicate head gasket or other serious problems or the use of the car only on short journeys, another bad state of affairs) and the colour of the coolant (preferably not thick Alfa Romeo 155or dark brown!). Listen to the noise of the engine, then depress the clutch and engage first gear. Whatever noise has disappeared was coming form the gearbox, what remains is from the engine. Also check the condition of the engine oil on the dipstick.The lighter brown the better, if it is thick black then leave quickly.

Check tyre wear, uneven patterns could imply a bent chassis.

Always take it for a test drive. Check that the car tracks in a straight line with no steering input and also remains straight under braking. Find a large open area and complete several lock to lock turns (also in reverse), listening for any noises. Try the handbrake when moving - seized rear callipers will mean uneven braking or no braking.

A few items to check when you have the car in a more suitable location are the front suspension bushes, the timing belt tensioner, and the rear brake callipers.

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A general 155 site

A 155 forum.

For books on Alfa Romeo see our Online Bookstore

There is also a list of all our picture galleries (including museums, motorshows and various events).

Wallpapers/Desktop Backgrounds of numerous Alfa Romeo's (including the 155) are available to download (free).

155 comment form

Alfa Romeo 155 cockpitPlease send your comments on the 155, these will be added to this page for future visitors to read.
Please include your name (or a nickname) and your country. Thanks.

Your Comments

I think is the most beautiful car in the world. and also is so fast

Fantastic bargin BMW beater.  Love mine.  Superchip and air filter on 2.0 16v releases another 23 bhp for £250. Worth every penny. (Henry)

Air pressure distrubution around the Alfa Romeo 155 The best car I have ever owned and I also have A3 and my 155 1.8 ts 16v wipes the floor with it.

I have owned my 155 1.8 for 2 years now,no problems yet!! I have had a powerflow exhaust system built on the car,only £330. Nitrus Oxide will be fitted soon, speed and beauty, you can keep your M3s .

I love this car very much. And I will not change it to another. (But may be only for V6). (Alex, Russia)

I have previosly owned a Vauxhall Cavalier SRI 130 BHP and my 2.0 Super16v makes it feel like the hand brake was on. (Paul Marsland, UK)

The best car to drive ever built. Especially Q4. Love mine. (Aryst, KZ)

I've had my 155 V6 for 18 months now, it has to be the best car I've ever driven. I've modified it by adding a Powerflow stainless steel exhaust a Green induction kit, the suspension is lowered and stiffened and I've added white 17" Technomagnesion alloy wheels which look great with the red paintwork of the car. Alfa Romeo 155 When I put my foot down, you should hear it sing, sounds like nothing else on earth! Love it!!! (J, UK)

The 155 is a great car. I love Alfa Romeo. I've just bought a 1.8 TS and it's super. (Remco, Netherlands)

Can you have a better and beautiful car? NOOO!! I Love my 155 1.8 (Pepe, Sweden)

Handles just like a go-kart ........ installs confidence ...... an absolute pleasure to drive, more fun than the 147 ...... ( 2.0 l Sport )

Been running mine for 3 years now, still grinning every time I get into it, always draws attention (of the right sort), haven't been stopped by the police even though like all alfa drivers I drive it seriously, rare as hens teeth in the uk too (R.K, UK)

I`ve bought an 1993 Alfa 155 (2.0 litres Twin Spark 8V) in 2003. A realy great car without any technical problems. The 155 drives like a Gokart and even beats my 2003 Mazda MX-5. Although the design is today a little bit oldfashioned I´ll never sell him. (Roger, Germany)

I have '92 1.8TS, fantastic car. At 4000 revs it explodes off down the road, great for overttaking, I take on porsches, BM'sand big mercs and trash them,looking for a Q4 now. (Spocked)

Alfa Romeo 155 V6 ti (DTM car)

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