Alfa Romeo 164
Vehicle Make/Model Specifications:
Make: Alfa Romeo
Model: 164
Alfa Romeo 164

The Frankfurt Motor Show in 1987 was the stage for the introduction of the Alfa Romeo 164, of which over 273 thousand were produced. Sergio Pininfarinia, who also designed the Ferrari Testarossa (thus the design similarities between the two models), designed this impressive vehicle. Alfa Romeo was shortly here after acquired by Fiat and this was the last Alfa Romeo to be developed before the acquisition. This marked the beginning of Fiat's attempt to re-brand the Alfa Romeos as an esteemed brand. The large front-wheel drive Alfa 164 appealed to drivers in Europe who were bored with the Mercedes and BMWs currently being offered by the German companies. Sadly though, in North America, the 164 was the last sedan sold by Alfa Romeo. Alfa Romeo first introduced computer-aided design in their construction of the 164. This allowed them to create an aerodynamic body with a low drag and a sleek profile ' which outmatched that of the competition such as the Lancia Thema, Fiat Croma and Saab 9000. This enhanced design variation was only possible by including angled shock absorbers on the front suspensions as opposed to the Koni shock absorbers being used at the time. In contrast to the design success, the Romeo 164 had a few road bumps with regards to its name. The 164 had to be renamed the 168 for the Malaysian, Indonesian and Hong Kong markets as a result of poor translation between the languages. The numbers '164' unluckily carried the connotation 'all the way to death'; where as, '168' implied 'all the way to prosperity'. Alfa Romeo was quick and wise to make the name change in order to keep their portion of the market share in these countries. On a last trivial note for the enthusiasts, the Alfa Romeo 164 can be viewed in movies such as Vin Diesel's XXX.

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