Emphasising its sporty image and racing pedigree, Alfa Romeo presented an Autodelta-built 156 Sportwagon at the 2004 Geneva Auto Show. This concept takes the stylish Giugiaro designed estate to the extreme with its huge, bulging wheel arches, deep front spoiler, wildly flared side skirts and racing-style rear spoiler.
The prototype on show aims to reveal Autodelta as Alfa Romeo's high-tech powerhouse and advanced proving ground, building on a theme that saw the marque present an M-Jet powered Autodelta styled GT Coupe last December in Bologna.
The stylish prototype is much sportier than the basic model and mechanically it is derived from racing versions. Visually the wings have been expanded to accommodate 225/40R18-91Y wheels.
To lighten the vehicle, the bonnet is made out of a composite material and bulges slightly to accommodate a new intake chamber. The side skirts are also new and the bumpers are specific to this car: the front bumper comes with a built-in spoiler while the rear one is designed to take four exhaust tail pipes. This aggressive shape is also mirrored inside the car. The sporty 'feel' is created by the use of new leather and high tech cloth trims.
The model on show is equipped with a powerful 3.5-litre V6 24v engine that develops 300 bhp at 6800 rpm and is combined with a 6-speed gearbox cooled by a supplementary radiator. This brand-new unit is derived from the 3.2-litre V6 24v fitted to the 147 GTA, with cylinder capacity increased from 3177 to 3548 cc. The ride is sportier than on the standard production model due to Bilstein adjustable shock absorbers and Eibach springs. The callipers and discs on the ventilated, slotted Brembo front brakes are also oversized to a diameter of 330 mm.