Alfa Romeo 155 Q4 (1992-1997): sedan with racing pedigree, from 18,000 EUR

Sous sa robe assez discrète, l’Alfa Romeo 155 Q4, lancée en 1992, cache une mécanique ultraperformante, héritée de la Lancia Delta Integrale.


What are collectibles?

These are cars of special interest and therefore deserve to be maintained. Not necessarily old, yet they exist in defined quantities, either because the manufacturer has decided to do so or because their production is stopped. They then use the features that make them particularly desirable: engine, chassis, design or concept. Eventually, they are likely to see an increase in their ratings. Another argument to gather them before everyone else!

Why is the Alfa Romeo 155 Q4 collectible?

The symbol of the takeover of Alfa Romeo by Fiat, 155 does not lack quality, despite the disappointment of the Alfists. Its Q4 variant is decorated mainly by exceptional mechanics, a multiple world rally champion when installed in the fuselage of the Lancia Delta Integrale. With 190 horsepower and all-wheel drive, the Q5 is the flagship of the 155. This high-performance and safe sedan is like a new expensive one, so it sells very little and is still extremely rare on the market.

It is underestimated to say that the Alfists, at the end of 1986, had little desire to take over their favorite brand by Fiat. The Italian giant has actually seized Alfa Romeo for fear that it will be bought by Ford, which will use its force to broadcast its models. Danger! It must also be said that Biscione has not been able to design a car from A to Z from its own resources for a long time, due to lack of funds. The situation was critical, although sales were still holding up well.

why? Because there was nothing new in the pipes except the big 164, based on Croma / Thema, so not even a car that could revive the brand. Fiat began to correct the alarming aging of the Alfa Romeo range in 1992 by offering it the 155th.

The Alfa 155, designed by IDEA, here in 1992, hides the bottom of the Fiat Tipo well. With a value of 0.29, its Cx is excellent.

This brand enthusiasts did not accept at all. She is bad? Not at all. On the contrary, it takes over the excellent platform inaugurated by the Fiat Tipo, designed to develop a myriad of cars that are often very different. But now that we take over from 75, also derivatives, in this case from Alfetta, that is, pure Alfa, 155 is not intended as a drive, a principle dear to Biscione’s fans.

In addition, the 155 proposed by the IDEA study does not have a completely uniform figure. However, it compensates with the high-performance Twin Spark blocks and the wonderful V6 Busso. However, the latter will not be the top engine of the 155.

Few things distinguish Q4 from the other 155: specific 15 rims, such as shields, mirrors of your body ...
Few things distinguish Q4 from the other 155: specific 15 rims, such as shields, mirrors of your body …

For the ultimate version of the Q4, we rely on high-performance mechanics that have proven themselves: practically the Lancia Delta Integrale. Be the famous 4-cylinder 2.0 Lampredi with a 16-valve cylinder head and turbo, this is the Garrett T3. This engine, cleaned by a pre-catalyst and two three-way catalysts, equipped with a specific electronic control, develops 186 hp EEC (or 190 hp DIN) for 291 Nm EEC. A small detail, in the left rear wing is a mysterious tank. In fact, it sends its water to the intercooler to cool the air injected into the engine a little more, thus saving a few poisonings. It was only necessary to ask for its connection in the concession, which made the jump a guarantee…

Another advantage of the 155 Q4 is the sophisticated all-wheel drive derived from Lancia: the planetary center differential combined with the Ferguson viscous clutch and the Torsen rear differential with limited clearance.

In terms of the 155 Q4 chassis, it apparently benefits from four independent wheels (arms pulled backwards, less refined than the delta of the Delta) adorned with controlled damping (optional) and six-sensor ABS. An ultra-modern technical sheet that Alfa Romeo has never seen before! This is paid for by a high weight, bordering on 1,500 kg in operating condition.

The Alfa 155 Q4 all-wheel drive, here in 1992, distributes torque to 53% at the rear, ie 47% at the front.
The Alfa 155 Q4 all-wheel drive, here in 1992, distributes torque to 53% at the rear, ie 47% at the front.

performance? Top speed 225 km / h, acceleration from 0 to 100 km / h in 7 s. Those from a good GT are more than hypersports, which this 155 is not like anyway. Rather, it should be a very fast, efficient and comfortable sedan in any weather. Still, it’s surprising that at 180,200 F (now € 41,200) you have to put your hand in your pocket to afford air conditioning, electric rear windows or an airbag. This means that her cousin Lancia Dedra Integrale, technically very close but less powerful (177 hp), costs 7,700 F more.

Be that as it may, the 155 Q4 will hardly sell in the Renault 21 Turbo Quadra, Opel Vectra Turbo 4×4, Ford Sierra Cosworth 4×4 and later Peugeot 405 T16. Alfa will be very slightly reworked in 1995 (enriched equipment, reworked suspension), its career will end in 1997, replaced by 156. Between 1992 and 1995, 2,591 Q4 plus 110 will be sold between 1995 and 1997.

Even the stern of the 155 Q4 remains decent, for example without a spoiler.  Fortunately, his tight line is very special!
Even the stern of the 155 Q4 remains decent, for example without a spoiler. Fortunately, his tight line is very special!

How much will it cost?

The real question will be: where to find it? This Alpha is sold very rarely. We see some of them in Italy. Count € 17,000 for a car in very good condition and € 20,000 for a perfect example with less than 100,000 km. Besides, it’s not sensible unless you come across 155 in a truly exceptional state.

No, not all Alfa 155 Q4s are red!  But thanks to this dark color, it is even more anonymous.
No, not all Alfa 155 Q4s are red! But thanks to this dark color, it is even more anonymous.

Which version to choose?

The one that will be in the best possible condition and with evidence of good monitoring.

Extremely rare Alfa 155 Q4 phase 2 (from 1995) with extended front fenders.  The passenger compartment benefits from new skins and richer equipment.
Extremely rare Alfa 155 Q4 phase 2 (from 1995) with extended front fenders. The passenger compartment benefits from new skins and richer equipment.

Collector’s version

These are perfect examples, again original, with low mileage and, if possible, desirable options such as leather. A fortiori, if it is one of the untraceable phases 2!

The Alfa 155 Q4 engine, here a 1994 car, is solid provided it is carefully maintained and used.  Photo: Benzin.fr.
The Alfa 155 Q4 engine, here a 1994 car, is solid provided it is carefully maintained and used. Photo: Benzin.fr.

what to watch?

The 155 Q4 is a mechanically solid car, provided it benefits from very careful maintenance. It starts with a timing belt change every 40,000 km, an engine oil change every 7,500 km and a regular oil change of the various transmission components.

The 155 Q4, used in a less sporty way than the Delta Integrale, does not seem to suffer from the crankshaft weaknesses known to Lancia. Indeed, in this case, when the momentum is total, the connecting rods play a kind of safety role when you spend time demanding the maximum from the engine and eventually failing.

We will also look at the state of Alfa’s electrical functions, a weak point of Italian cars of the time, often kind but very unpleasant. Finally, corrosion can occur, due to the age of the car, even if its sheet metal is 70% galvanized.

On the road, the Alfa Romeo 155 Q4 is fast and efficient no matter the conditions.
On the road, the Alfa Romeo 155 Q4 is fast and efficient no matter the conditions.

Management

We criticized Interior 155 a lot … and we were right. Filed very austerely, satisfied with the banal arrangement, did not say light. On the other hand, the spaciousness is excellent and the riding position is quite good, even if you sit quite high. At launch we find a nice ron-ron from Lampredi. Flexible, at low speeds it seems to be slow.

Around 3,000 revolutions, he then wakes up and reveals the measure of his generous character: he pushes like hell, he takes turns cheering and sounds very good. Even at the end of the development, this block does not lack resources! It gives Alfa a serious performance. The box, well layered and easy to handle, is another advantage.

The well-studied Alfa 155 Q4 board clearly lacks seduction in dark colors and basic materials.  Photo: Artcurial.
The well-studied Alfa 155 Q4 board clearly lacks seduction in dark colors and basic materials. Photo: Artcurial.

Chassis completely without jerking: one has the impression that nothing can destabilize him. Great grip, total momentum, good balance, it’s a brass block. Which also means he’s suffering from some difficulty, while the suspension reveals a bit of rolling. Very effective, reassuring, but borderline understeer and therefore not sporty.

Especially since the braking could be stronger. Fortunately, comfort remains very acceptable and soundproofing very reasonable. This Alfa 155 Q4 therefore looks like an impressive family GT as soon as weather conditions worsen. Too bad it’s greedy: an average of 12 l / 100 km.

Newtimer Alternative *

Alfa Romeo 156 GTA (2001-2005)

Launched at the end of 2001, the Alfa 156 GTA, with its exuberant range, is the exact opposite of the 155 Q4.
Launched at the end of 2001, the Alfa 156 GTA, with its exuberant range, is the exact opposite of the 155 Q4.

With 155 Q4 all-wheel drive, the 156 GTA, despite the 250 horsepower of its virulent V6 3.2, remains a single pull. This embodies the latest evolution of the fabulous Busso, which appeared on the Alfa 6 in 1979. Despite the absence of a limited-slip differential, however, power transitions to the ground very correctly, thanks to a sophisticated chassis (double front arms, multi-link rear axle) and sharpened.

To say that the platform is derived from platform 155, ie from Tipo! The 156 GTA, available in a sedan and station wagon SW, with a manual or automated 6-speed transmission, is fast (250 km / h), efficient and more or less comfortable. By 2005, about 3,200 sedans will be produced, compared to 1,700 station wagons. From € 14,000.

Alfa Romeo 155 Q4 (1992), data sheet

The high stern of the Alfa 155 Q4 hides an interesting suitcase with a volume of 410 l.
The high stern of the Alfa 155 Q4 hides an interesting suitcase with a volume of 410 l.
  • Engine: in-line 4-cylinder, 1995 ccm
  • Feeding: injection, turbo
  • Suspension: McPherson struts, wishbones, coil springs, shock absorbers, stabilizer (front), trailing arms, coil springs, shock absorbers, stabilizer (rear)
  • Transmission: 5-speed manual, all-wheel drive
  • Power: 186 hp at 6000 rpm
  • Torque: 291 Nm at 2,500 rpm
  • Weight: 1,390 kg
  • Maximum speed: 225 km / h (manufacturer’s data)
  • 0 to 100 km / h: 7.0 s (manufacturer’s data)

> To find used Alfa Romeo 155, go to La Centrale website.

The Alfa Romeo 155 had a good racing career, here in the DTM in 1993. Although it retains all-wheel drive, its engine is a V6-PRV!
The Alfa Romeo 155 had a good racing career, here in the DTM in 1993. Although it retains all-wheel drive, its engine is a V6-PRV!

* Newtimers are iconic or sports vehicles that are newer than youngtimers, but whose value is growing. They are more reliable and easier to use in everyday life, and owe their rise to technical features that have often disappeared, such as large atmospheric engines.



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