NOTE: This is the Product Bulletin for the original announcement of the Alfa Romeo 164.



Line, engineering and performance in Alfa Romeo style

Alfa Romeo presents the 164, a luxury, high performing saloon that is perfectly in line with Alfa's great image and tradition. The 164 is part of the "Type 4" project jointly developed by Fiat, Lancia, Saab and Alfa Romeo for the design and construction of a medium-to-big saloon frame.

The basic elements of this project are:

Each of the four participants used the same parts to develop their own models quite independently, using their own engines in each case.

In designing the 164, Alfa Romeo was able to benefit from the mass of valuable expertise accumulated by its partners. The main features of the new car can be summed up as follows:

The 164 range consists of:

At a later stage the range will be amplified by the addition of another version: the ALFA 164 T.B. The 2 litre petrol turbo injection engine on this version comes complete with intercooler and overboost, develops 175 bhp DIN for a top speed of over 220 km/h. It is derived from a Lancia power unit that has been optimised in collaboration with the Alfa Romeo engineers to provide top quality performance.

Alfa Romeo's role in Fiat Group strategy

The birth of the 164 offers the first concrete example of the role Alfa Romeo has taken on in the Fiat Group, a role established by the creation of the Alfa-Lancia company on January 1, 1987. The Fiat strategy is to entrust Alfa Romeo with the task of promoting cars that are distinctively outstanding in their engineering, performance, sporting spirit, safety and quality. In adopting this policy Fiat is motivated by the conviction that the success of the Alfa Romeo marque is guaranteed by the universal esteem in which it is held and the supreme professional abilities of its staff with their imagination in design and energy in creation. To convert all this into practice Fiat is planning huge investments especially in manufacturing technologies, aware that the Alfa Romeo trademark offers enormous opportunities for international expansion by the entire group.

The Role of the Alfa 164 in international markets

The 164's task will be to enhance the position of the Alfa Romeo marque in the international market. And there is no doubt of its capacity to achieve this because:


A philosophy and a name

In designing the 164, Alfa Romeo placed the emphasis on all those aspects directly related to the need for top class performance combined with maximum safety and the comfort demanded of a luxury car.

The very choice of a simple number to designate the new model rather that a perhaps pretentious or exotic name reflects the rigorously technical and functional thinking behind the basic layout and its development. Indeed the 164 was always so named, right from the start of its evolution, reflecting the unswervingly consistent aims preserved throughout from its birth.

The mechanicals of the 164 incorporate a number of high tech solutions that are designed to supply high specific power outputs with a view to sparkling performance while ensuring superb roadholding and total driving safety in the worst possible conditions as well as unparalleled driving pleasure.

Such qualities were already implicit in the basic Type 4 project and are maximised in the creation of the engines and in the design of the gearbox, suspension (a self-levelling system is also available), the braking system (ABS available as an option), and the power steering.

All in all, the 164 represents an new and significant stage in the evolution of Alfa Romeo engineering for prestige cars.


The 164 offers a choice of four versions and the same number of engines, all front transverse mounted:

Line and aerodynamics

A Pininfarina designed 4-door, 3-box saloon, the 164 boasts a highly distinctive and dynamic line and an outstanding Cd of only 0.30. The particularly clean lines of the body have helped to create the excellent aerodynamics that are essential for a markedly sporty saloon.

The salient features of the body are:

All versions look much the same from the outside except for:

Bodyshell and mechanicals


Designed with the help of extensive finite element analysis (computer aided structural calculation), the bodyshell of the Alfa 164 presents the highest degree of torsional rigidity ever achieved or attempted in an Alfa Romeo car.

Thanks to the extensive use of high strength steel sheet the bodyshell is also relatively light but substantially indeformable under small impacts. The high level of protection provided by this body is unusually and comprehensively enhanced by the use of polyurethane bumpers and deep protective strips along the entire lower sides from mid-door height downwards.

In order to ensure maximum resistance to corrosion, a number of special technologies have been adopted:

Drive and gearbox

The specific technical solutions adopted on the mechanical parts of the 164 represent Alfa Romeo's exciusive interpretation of the front- wheel-drive trasverse engine formula on which the Type 4 project was based. In designing the 164 the Alfa engineers were aiming to combine the advantages of the extra passenger and luggage space provided by this layout with excellent driveability and road holding in the Alfa tradition.

Briefly, the transmission of the 164 features:

The gearbox is equipped with a two rod linkage for perfect gearchange precision and no vibration.


The front suspension on the Alfa 164 is strut type with broad-based rigid triangular wishbones and offset helical springs to limit transverse loads and therefore unwanted friction in the dampers.

The bottom end of each telescopic strut is offset forwards and down, level with instead of above the wheel centre in order to lower the top end bearing and hence the line of the bonnet to the benefit of the vehicle's aerodynamic properties. The rear suspension is also strut type with long double transverse links and a trailing link.

The entire suspension system has been optimised to provide sports car response and to ensure that a superbly comfortable drive is combined with perfect road-holding even on the limits of adhesion. As an optional extra, the Alfa 1 4 offers a self-levellin system applied to the rear suspension which keeps rear ride height constant under changing loads and therefore heips to maintain both a correct headlight angle and ideal aerodynamic conditions.


All Alfa 164 versions are equipped with power steering. The steering wheel can be adjusted for rake and, less usually, through 33mm fore and aft, to suit the widest possible range of driver physiques.

Braking System

The Alfa 164 has disc brakes on all four wheels with free-floating calipers on sheathed slides, vacuum servo, a brake load adjustment valve for the rear wheels and a diagonally split hydraulic circuit. The front discs are ventilated on all versions.

On request all versions can be supplied with an electronically controlled anti-lock system. This prevents wheel lock when the braking pressure applied is excessive for the road grip available (e.g. on ice, snow or other slippery surfaces).

Interior, heating & ventilation, fittings

Superbly functional, uniquely comfortable and comprehensively equipped, the interior of any Alfa 164 also stands out for the refinement of its design and the materials used.

The facia is a unique one-piece structure with a soft, matt surface. The classical analogue instruments are easy to read at a glance and the central control panel holds 24 luminous indicators covering the most important vehicle functions, 11 of which are constantly monitored by the Alfa Romeo Control system that instantly signals any fault or excessive wear to the driver.

The three-spoke steering wheel and the stack controls can be adjusted for rake and through a range of 33mm, for reach. The anatomically designed seats are specially padded to damp out all ride vibrations and to support the body correctly even when cornering hard.

Depending on the version, the front seats are fitted with manual or electrical controls for the regulation of longitudinal position, back tilt, cushion height and lumbar support. A central armrest is available on request.

At the rear the bench seat with retractable armrest can be replaced by two electrically adjustable separate seats. For cold climate countries Alfa Romeo provides a thermostatically controlled seat heating system.

Depending on the version, the upholstery is in plain velour in a choice of three colours or leather (optional).

Heating & Ventilation

The Alfa 164 adopts a particularly sophisticated and exceptionally efficient air-mix heating system. This heats and distributes the air introduced into the passenger compartment to ensure maximum comfort.

The basic trim provides manual heating controls.

If the optional air conditioner is mounted, the system is electronically controlled and takes very little time to reach the temperature selected ( 18-28 C). This temperature is then maintained independently of the speed of the car or changing weather conditions outside.

The temperature-controlled air flows are automatically distributed to the various parts of the car according to the programme set on the control panel with its series of clearly identified keys, through the 11 air vents that are carefully placed to reach all the passengers, the windscreen and the front windows.

The fan speed can also be automatically adjusted through four speeds according to need.

The driver can always revert to manual control of the system if he prefers, without losing the thermostatic control of temperature.

Standard equipment and options

All the Alfa 164 versions are endowed with a vast range of high quality equipment. And if that's not enough Alfa Romeo also offers an extensive range of high tech options, some of them unique. The standard equipment on all versions includes a 5-speed gearbox and inertia reel front seat belts, a windscreen wiper with 2 speeds + intermittent wipe, a central locking system worked from either front door for doors, boot and filler cap, electric front windows, a steering wheel and upper steering column adjustable for angle and reach, a check control panel, tinted windows, an electrically controlled driver's side rear view mirror, front and rear head restraints and a central armrest for the back seat.

As detailed in section 9 (trim levels, options, colours), some versions also offer standard metallic paint, provision for skis between the boot and the passenger compartment, a front central armrest, electrically adjustable front seats, a first aid box fitment under the backlight, electric rear windows, and a one-touch opening/closing system for the driver's window. Where not standard, all these features are optional at extra cost. Among the options theniselves, we should mention the ABS brakes, the thermostatically controlled air conditioner, the leather upholstery, the power sunroof and the two electrically controlled and heated door mirrors.

The following additional options are also available on the 3.0 V6 version: self-levelling rear suspension, a 4-speed automatic gearbox and electrically adjustable separate rear seats.

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