Alfa Romeo’s 156 has received two new diesel powerplants – a 1,9 JTD and a 2,4 JTD.

Alfa Romeo’s 156 has received two new diesel powerplants – a 1,9 JTD and a 2,4 JTD.

These second generation turbodiesels work on Common Rail principles, but with a greater number of injections per engine cycle. According to Alfa Romeo, the benefits include lower running noise, reduced emissions and a six to seven per cent increase in performance.

Joining the comprehensive 156 range is the 85 kW 1,9 JTD Unijet and the 129 kW 2,4 JTD Multijet. The new vehicles are available immediately at R235 000 and R251 000 respectively.

The 1,9-litre diesel produces a healthy 275 N.m of torque at 2 000 r/min. It accelerates from standing to 100 km/h in 10,3 seconds and reaches a top speed of 191 km/h.

The bigger 2,4-litre 20-valve option with Multijet technology is derived from the earlier 2,4-litre 10-valve common rail unit. It has undergone several technical improvements to increase performance and torque at low speeds.

Certain engine components, like the cylinder head with hydraulic tappets and steel connecting rods and crankshaft, are brand new. The intake and exhaust manifolds are new, too.

Improvements include new engine control setting, a new turbocharger setting and an increase in direct injection pressure from 1 350 to 1 400 bar. Ninety per cent of the maximum torque is available between 1 750 and 3 500 r/min, according to Alfa Romeo.

This 156 reaches a top speed of 225 km/h and sprints from zero to 100 km/h in 8,3 seconds. The 2,4-litre version is fitted with a new six-speed manual gearbox.

The latest additions to the 156 range are covered by Fiat Auto SA’s 12-month manufacturer warranty, unlimited mileage and an additional 24-month dealer extended warranty (which can be extended up to 100 000 km).

They are also covered by a 36-month/60 000 km maintenance plan. Services are required at 20 000 km intervals.