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Wow! I've seen the sedan in person but both my wife and I agree that the Sportwagon is the one to have. How much do they go for in Europe (presumably there is some price differential between countries?)
 

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...better in person...
I think that is true of all the current Alfas. I was in Johannesburg last year, and spent the day with the pres of the local Alfa club. He arranged for me to visit a local independent Alfa dealership, Alfissimo (it was Good Friday so they were closed). The 156 wagon is a knockout, but if I could have any of them, I'd want a 147 GTA. I wasn't too excited about the GTV or the Spider until I saw them in the "flesh" as it were. Man, they're beautiful.

I got a ride in a 156 sedan the dealership was using as a test mule for performance upgrades. It was essentially a GTA clone, and it was hella fast! We entered one of the loal freeways behind a 3.0 GTV, and with 4 people in 156 we walked away from him like he had run out of gas. That car cornered like it was on rails; so much for the argument that front wheel drive cars can't handle.
 

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>so much for the argument that front wheel drive cars can't handle.

This misconception only happens to a large extent for the US-folk (of which I am one) who only got the FWD 164's from 1990 through 1995. I race my RWD 75, and have had good results with it.

But lemme tell you that even the predecessor of the 156, the 155 - handles MUCH better stock than my modded 75 (I own a 155V6). I've driven the 156 2.0TS and found it to be even more flingable than the 155, and most definitely the 75.

I love my RWD 75 all the same, but technology marches on, and the FWD vs RWD debate is moot these days. Watch Speed Channel for the European Touring Car Championships and see the 156's walk all over their 4WD Volvo and RWD BMW competitors.
 
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