The 1990s opened with Alfa Romeo’s Centro Stile leaving the historic Portello site and moving to Arese. It was there that a small group of designers led by Walter de Silva was charged with tracing a new identity for the marque. In particular, they were asked to design the heir to the 155, a car that despite success in competition had never been a favourite with the Alfisti due to its over-reliance on synergy with the other cars from the Fiat Group. A new design vision, with formal continuity with Alfa traditions and that idea of referencing the characteristic styling motifs of the production cars led to the birth of the 156, a model that was to make its mark on the market for years to come. Elected Car of the Year in 1998, it was to be very popular in Sportwagon estate car form too, this version being followed by the Crosswagon with Giugiaro restyling.
This monograph covers the full story of a beguiling car: from styling to technology and through to its industrial development, without overlooking the more offbeat aspects such as its multiple roles in films and television productions.