Fast, luxurious, and stylish, with a thoroughly modern platform shared with Saab, Fiat, and Lancia, the 1988-1997 Alfa Romeo 164 could have been the hit to resuscitate Alfa’s flailing business and put the company on the map in the German-dominated executive car market. Unfortunately, it was the last model Alfa developed before falling into the arms of Fiat and it had the dubious distinction of being the last Alfa sold in the U.S. This week, we look at the 164 and its “Type Four” siblings: the Fiat Croma, Lancia Thema, and Saab 9000.
The 1970s were a difficult time for all automakers, but particularly for smaller, more upscale European brands like Jaguar and Alfa Romeo. Their modest volume made for higher per-unit costs, which in turn left them very vulnerable to inflation and market fluctuations. Some small automakers could barely survive even in healthy economic times; Italy’s venerable Lancia was faced with such a mountain of debt that Fiat bought it for a pittance in 1969.
The economic conditions of the seventies, of course, were anything but healthy. Skyrocketing inflation, political unrest, and energy crises hit auto sales hard, particularly in Europe. Manufacturers responded with layoffs and wage cuts, which in turn became a casus belli for the unions, whose members were already suffering the impact of inflation. The result was a long string of contentious and occasionally violent labor disputes.
Alfa’s popularity was at its height in the late sixties, but its financial health had never been particularly robust. The Milanese automaker had been forced to seek government assistance in the 1930s, and since 1948, it had operated under the auspices of Finmeccanica (a contraction of Società Finanziaria Meccanica, roughly “financial engineering company”), a government-owned industrial conglomerate. Alfa’s sales — about 109,000 units in 1970 — were decent, but it was still at a competitive disadvantage in an increasingly difficult marketplace.
Hoping to increase its volume while also stimulating the moribund economy of southern Italy, Alfa launched the “Alfasud” (“southern Alfa”) project, a new subcompact built in a newly refurbished factory in Pomigliano d’Arco, near Naples. The Alfasud was the smallest and cheapest car Alfa had offered in many years, priced a little above the popular Fiat 128 and a full class below Alfa’s existing Giulia line. With its cheerful SOHC flat four engine and clever suspension design, the Alfasud was fun to drive, but it suffered serious quality control and corrosion problems, some of them stemming from the unanticipated difficulty of training an inexperienced workforce to build an entirely new car far from Italy’s established industrial centers. The ‘sud sold well (893,719 units between 1972 and 1984), but never in the volumes Alfa had hoped.
In 1978, Ettore Massacesi became chairman of Alfa Romeo with Corrado Innocenti (formerly of the aviation company Aeritalia) as deputy chairman and managing director. Massacesi and Innocenti grandly proclaimed that they would restore Alfa to profitability within four years while raising market share to 8%. The company never managed to sustain such numbers for more than brief periods, however, and continued to have far more production capacity than sales. The Pomigliano factory alone had been designed to build 450,000 cars a year, but Alfa’s annual volume was seldom much more than half that figure. An ill-fated joint venture with Nissan, ARNA (Alfa Romeo Nissan Autoveicoli), did little to help. The company continued to flounder and in early 1982, Massacesi and Innocenti laid off nearly a third of the workforce.
THE SAAB-LANCIA CONNECTION
While Alfa Romeo struggled, their longtime rival, Lancia — which, as we mentioned above, was now owned by Fiat S.p.A. and paired with Autobianchi — was beginning an affair with the Swedish automaker Saab-Scania AB. Like Alfa Romeo, Saab was a brand with a great deal of character but limited resources. The first step of the Lancia-Saab partnership was an agreement for Saab dealers in certain markets to sell the Autobianchi A112, re-badged as a Lancia. The two companies also pooled engineering resources in the design of the 1980 Lancia Delta, which sold in some markets as the Saab-Lancia 600.
Saab hoped to follow its new 900 with a somewhat bigger, more luxurious model that would take it into the thick of the European executive-car market. The company had done some preliminary studies for such a car only to discover that they could not afford to develop it alone. Consultation with Lancia soon revealed that Saab’s Italian partner had similar ambitions and a common dilemma. A joint venture was the natural solution; it would allow both companies to split much of the design and engineering costs, making the new models far more economically viable.
In October 1978, Fiat and Saab signed a memo of understanding regarding the development of a new platform for a large, front-wheel-drive car, which would be built in Saab, Fiat, and Lancia versions. The platform would eventually become known as the “Tipo Quattro,” or “Type Four.”
The first three of the Type Four cars were the Fiat Croma, the Lancia Thema, and the Saab 9000, all of which debuted in the 1985 model year. Giorgetto Giugiaro’s Italdesign created the basic design for all three cars, although each company finalized the interior and exterior details in-house, subject to Giugiaro’s approval. It was not a simple process, compounded by cultural and philosophical differences; Saab design chief Björn Envall was used to putting practical considerations above looks while the Italians’ first priority was aesthetics.
The dimensions of all three cars were very similar, although the Saab had a slightly longer 105.2-inch (2,670mm) wheelbase, 0.5 inches (10 mm) longer than the Italians’. The Saab and Fiat were initially only available in five-door hatchback form, albeit with a traditional three-box profile that made them look like notchback sedans. (A true notchback version of the Saab 9000 was added later in the model run.) The Lancia Thema was offered only as a four-door sedan, in keeping with its executive-car ambitions. All had MacPherson strut front suspensions and four-wheel disc brakes, although their rear suspensions and engines were different.
Both Saab and Fiat later admitted that the shared platform hadn’t resulted in the kind of cost savings they had hoped for. Although the structure of the three cars was similar enough that doors and other components were interchangeable, the actual number of shared components was very small. Part of the reason was that the cars were not aimed at the same market segment: While the Thema was pitched as an executive car, the Croma was aimed at the large family car market, competing with the likes of the Ford Sierra, Opel Ascona, and Vauxhall Cavalier. Saab, meanwhile, was taking aim at BMW. The Swedish company was also unwilling to compromise its traditional interest in safety, which led to some structural improvements to the 9000 relative to its Italian brethren, but further reduced commonality.
THREE INTO FOUR
Alfa Romeo engineers had been working since the end of the seventies on a new executive car to replace the big Alfetta and Alfa 6 sedans. Initially, the plan was for an all-new rear-drive car, but with the company sinking ever further into red ink, Alfa could not afford a new platform. The Type Four platform was not exactly what Alfa wanted, but it was close enough under the circumstances. In 1982, Massacesi and Innocenti decided to sign onto the Tipo Quattro project.
As the Alfa Romeo 164 took shape, its maker’s problems grew worse. In October 1985, the Italian newspaper La Repubblica exposed an internal memorandum by Ettore Massacesi that painted a grim picture of Alfa’s financial health. By 1986, Alfa Romeo was some 2.1 trillion lire (approximately $1.5 billion) in debt and was losing money so rapidly that Finmeccanica invested an additional 615 billion lire (roughly $435 million) just to keep the automaker afloat.
By early 1986, Finmeccanica was looking to divest itself of Alfa Romeo. After some noncommittal discussions with Fiat, Finmeccanica received an offer from the Ford Motor Company in May 1986. To Ford’s frustration, Fiat reentered the picture in September with a new offer that Finmeccanica accepted in early November. The Fiat offer was comparable to Ford’s — around 1.05 trillion lire (approximately $750 million) in cash in five annual installments, plus promises to assume about one-third of Alfa’s debt and make a substantial investment in reviving the firm — but Fiat was willing to take over management immediately, whereas Ford had planned to gradually increase its stake over a three-year period.
The controversial and much-publicized agreement subsequently led the European Commission to investigate whether Finmeccanica had unfairly subsidized the Fiat deal. The Commission eventually concluded that Finmeccanica had not, but in 1989, the Commission ruled that Finmeccanica’s efforts to prop up Alfa Romeo prior to the sale had violated European Economic Community laws on state aid to industry and ordered Finmeccanica to repay the 615 billion lire it had pumped into Alfa in 1985–1986.
In any case, effective January 1, 1987, Alfa Romeo became a wholly owned subsidiary of Fiat. It was paired with Lancia in a new organization called Alfa Lancia S.p.A, chaired by Fiat Auto managing director Vittorio Ghidella.
Fiat promised to spend some 5 trillion lire (perhaps $3.5 billion) revitalizing Alfa Lancia, but the transition was not a gentle one for Alfa. Privatization had been in essence a vote of no confidence on most of Alfa’s major management and product decisions of the past 15 years — particularly the Alfasud, which both the press and Fiat management considered to be the root of Alfa’s financial problems. (That was partially true, if overly simplistic; the Alfasud project had been a product of political and financial necessity and some of its problems had been beyond Alfa’s reasonable control.) From the point of view of an enthusiast or Alfisti, it was hard not to applaud Fiat’s stated desire to return Alfa Romeo to its traditional position as a maker of upscale sporty cars, but there was an element of vengefulness to it as well.
ALFA ROMEO 164: AN EXECUTIVE CAR WITH PERSONALITY
At the time of the Fiat acquisition, the Alfa Romeo 164 was nearly ready for introduction. Its launch was delayed by Fiat management, which cited potentially serious build-quality problems. That charge was particularly ironic because Fiat’s own Type Four car, the Fiat Croma, had at best a mediocre repair record and Fiat quality control had been the subject of cruel humor on both sides of the Atlantic for many years.
In any case, the 164 finally made its public debut at the Frankfurt auto show in the spring of 1987. It went on sale that fall as a 1988 model, about a year and a half behind schedule. RHD drive models for the U.K. didn’t arrive until a year after that.
The last of the Type Four cars, the 164 was also the most distinctive. Its exterior design was a good deal more rakish than its cousins’ and also more aerodynamic, with a Cd of 0.30. Although arguably spoiled somewhat by the plastic body kit applied to top-spec models, the 164 remains one of the sharpest-looking sedans of its era. The interior was stylish too, although it had a typically Italian (i.e., awkward) driving position and the dash was adorned with a daunting array of nigh-identical buttons that made the climate controls a head-scratcher. (The sometimes erratic operation of the optional electronic climate control system suggested that the computer may have been as confused as the driver was.)
The 164’s raffish appearance was backed by fine performance. The base engine was Alfa’s excellent DOHC 1,962 cc (120 cu. in.) Twin Spark four with 148 PS DIN (106 kW), capable of 0-60 mph (0-97 km/h) in about 9.5 seconds and a top speed of around 125 mph (200 km/h), comparable to other 2-liter (122 cu. in.) executive cars of the time, and economy-minded European buyers could also have a VM Motori 2,500 cc (153 cu. in.) pushrod turbodiesel engine with 117 PS (86 kW). The star performer was the optional 2,959 cc (181 cu. in.) SOHC V-6, which in uncatalyzed European tune made 192 PS (141 kW) and 182 lb-ft (245 N-m) of torque. The V-6, widely acclaimed as one of the world’s most charismatic engines, allowed the manually shifted 164 to reach 62 mph (100 km/h) in 8 seconds or less and a top speed of close to 140 mph (224 km/h). Some time after launch, Alfa added a fourth engine choice: the 1,995 cc (122 cu. in.) DOHC turbo four from the Lancia Thema LX Turbo ie, offering 175 PS (129 kW) and performance that wasn’t far off the V-6’s.
Dynamically, the 164 was both engaging and quirky. It was an exuberant handler, with plenty of grip and ready turn-in, but it didn’t have the ironclad damping or unflappable composure of its German rivals. The big issue was torque steer, particularly with the V-6. Particularly at low speeds, it was easy to overwhelm the front tires with too much power, perhaps in part because the 164 was less nose-heavy than is customary for FWD cars. No one could accuse the 164 of not being involving to drive, but it was also an object lesson in why conventional wisdom prefers RWD or AWD for powerful sporty cars.
Quirks aside, the 164 looked like a compelling alternative to its more staid Teutonic rivals. It was fast, nimble, well-equipped, and had tremendous character for a fairly reasonable price.
Alfa Romeo cars had seldom lacked charisma, but assembly quality and reliability were another matter. The 164 was mechanically robust if properly maintained, but fit and finish was not up to German standards, let alone those of the increasingly proficient Japanese. To its credit, the 164 had some of the most extensive corrosion protection Alfa Romeo had ever offered, but its complex electronics — including an LCD dash display and computerized automatic climate control — could be troublesome. Perhaps its biggest maintenance headache was the need to change the timing belt every 30,000 miles (48,000 km), an expensive task that would become more so if neglected.
THE AMERICAN PROBLEM
The Alfa Romeo 164 did not come to the U.S. until 1990, delayed by efforts to work out the quality bugs and also a major overhaul of Alfa’s U.S. distribution system. In 1989, Fiat established ARDONA, Alfa Romeo Distributors of North America, as a joint venture with Chrysler, hoping that Chrysler’s familiarity with the American market would help to increase Alfa’s U.S. market penetration. Chrysler soon became frustrated with the factory’s delays in introducing the new model; in 1989, Alfa dealers had nothing to sell but the dated and unreliable Milano (a.k.a. 75) sedan and the elderly Spider. Chrysler withdrew from ARDONA in 1991, leaving Alfa to go it alone.
It was an uphill battle. As BMW and Mercedes sales skyrocketed and Honda got into the luxury market with its Acura brand, Alfa Romeo had languished selling only 8,201 cars in the U.S. for the 1986 model year. By 1990, things were looking grim. U.S. sales for 1989 amounted to fewer than 3,000, most of which were Spiders. The slow-selling Milano was dropped for 1990, a few months before the arrival of the 164. To stay afloat, ARDONA desperately needed at least one decent-selling core product.
Sadly, the 164 was not that car. Its most direct rivals in size and price were the Audi 100, the Acura Legend, and its own Saab 9000 cousin, but against those competitors, it came in a distant fourth. It was better-looking than its foes, was equally comfortable, and had vastly more personality, but it simply couldn’t match rivals’ stronger dealer networks and better brand reputations. Moreover, buyers looking to stretch a little further in price could now opt for the Lexus LS400 or Infiniti Q45, which offered Japanese reliability and V8 power. As a result, Alfa 164 sales in America were anemic. Only 1,549 were sold Stateside in 1990, 2,155 in calendar year 1991, and 1,721 for 1992.
By then, Fiat was prepared to throw in the towel. Both Fiat and Lancia had withdrawn from the U.S. in the early 1980s and Fiat’s willingness to invest more money into that unfamiliar market — particularly on behalf of Alfa Romeo, which still suffered from its status as the corporation’s red-headed stepchild — was limited.
Alfa Romeo held out until 1995, but 164 sales for the combined 1993-1995 period totaled only 1,484. The U.S. would not get subsequent new Alfa models like the striking new Spider, GTV, or 156 sedan.
DOWN BUT NOT OUT
Even as its U.S. sales were sputtering, the Alfa Romeo 164’s performance received several shots in the arm. First was a new DOHC 24-valve version of the familiar 2,959 cc (181 cu. in.) V-6 with 210 PS DIN (154 kW); the 12-valve engine remained available. Second was the Quadrifoglio 4, which had a 232 PS (171 kW) version of the 24-valve V-6 and addressed the standard car’s torque steer with Viscomatic all-wheel drive, mated to a new six-speed gearbox. For the Italian market and other areas with restrictive displacement-based taxable horsepower rules, there was also a 1,996 cc (122 cu. in.) turbocharged version of the 12-valve V-6 with 210 PS DIN (154 kW). For 1994, the 164 also received a modest facelift, most recognizable by a somewhat tacky strip of anodized aluminum circling the entire car just above bumper height.
None of this helped Alfa Romeo’s total sales, which sank 24% for 1993. Alfa had done reasonably well just after the Fiat acquisition, with total reaching about 225,000 units in 1989 and 1990, but by 1993, Alfa was down to 109,598 units, almost where it had been back in 1970. Alfa wouldn’t cross the 200,000-unit mark again until 1997, with the introduction of the 156. In recent years, it has again been struggling, although Fiat, to its credit, has made a great effort to preserve Alfa’s unique character.
The 164 remained in production until June 1997, outliving both the Fiat Croma and Lancia Thema. Total production was 273,857 — decent, but far less than Alfa had hoped. Significantly, it was also well below the 503,087 units ultimately sold by the Saab 9000, a sign of how much the 164 had been hurt by Alfa Romeo’s tarnished reputation, limited sales network, and (in the U.S., anyway) anemic marketing.
The 164’s successor, the 166, was also a disappointment. Although it had the same inspiring engines as the 164 and an even sharper suspension, the 166 suffered from dowdy styling and a generally unfinished feel. A 2003 facelift helped, but it was too little, too late; the 166 was dropped in 2007. CEO Luca De Meo said in June 2008 that a successor, the 169, would be launched by mid-2011, but as of this writing, Alfa has yet to field such a car or announce firm plans for its introduction.
We consider that a terrible shame. The modern executive class is full of highly competent vehicles of decidedly mixed aesthetic appeal and about as much personality as an office furniture catalog. In such a market, cars as vivid as the Alfa Romeo 164 — flawed and risky though they may have been — are sorely missed.
NOTES ON SOURCES
Our sources on Alfa’s travails included the Alfa Romeo company history from the Encyclopedia.com/Thomson Gale International Directory of Company Histories (Thomas Derdak and M.L. Cohen, “Alfa Romeo,” 2001, www.encyclopedia. com/doc/ 1G2-2844000015.html, accessed 16 April 2009); Alex, “1962-1973: Worker and student struggles in Italy,” libcom.org, 12 March 2008, libcom. org, accessed 8 August 2015; “Cash for Alfa Ruled Illegal,” New York Times 27 May 1989, www.nytimes. com, accessed 8 August 2015; Raj Chari, Life After Privatization (Oxford, England: Oxford University Press, 2015); European Commission, “Commission Demands Repayment of Illegal Aid Granted to Alfa Romeo” [press release] 31 May 1989, europa. eu/ rapid/ press-release_IP-89-403_en.htm; “Commission Extends Procedure on Aid to Alfa Romeo” [press release], 10 May 1988, europa. eu/rapid/ press-release_IP-88-289_en.html; and “European Commission Launches Investigation on Fiat Takeover of Alfa Romeo” [press release] 29 July 1987, europa. eu/rapid/ press-release_MEMO-87-86_en.htm, accessed 8 August 2015; Paul Ginsborg, A History of Contemporary Italy: Society and Politics 1943-1988 (London: Penguin Books, 1990); John Holusha, “Ford in Talks for Alfa Romeo Stake,” New York Times 22 May 1986, www.nytimes. com, accessed 8 August 2015; William Keach, “‘What do we want? Everything!’ 1969: Italy’s ‘Hot Autumn,'” International Socialist Review #67 (September-October 2009), www.isreview. org, accessed 31 October 2012; Giorgio Lonard, “‘Sforzi Insufficienti L’Alfa ‘Fuori Mercato,'” La Repubblica 12 October 1985, Sezione: ECONOMIA, p. 45, ricerca.repubblica. it, accessed 19 April 2009; Karl Ludvigsen, “Four-Leaf Clover: Lucky This Time?” NextAutos, 16 July 2008, www.nextautos. com, accessed 19 April 2009; Massimo Mucchetti, Licenziare i padroni? (Milan, Italy: Giangiacomo Feltrinelli Editore Milano, 2004); David Owen, Alfa Romeo: Always with Passion (Haynes Classic Makes) (Sparkford, England: Haynes Publishing, 1999); Don Schanche, “Fiat Will Buy Alfa Romeo, Besting Ford’ Bid,” L.A. Times 7 November 1986, articles.latimes. com, accessed 8 August 2015; Rizzo Sergio, “«Alfa, nessuna pressione. Finmeccanica renda nota l’ offerta Ford»,” Corriere della Serra 15 October 2002, p. 9, archiviostorico.corriere. it, accessed 8 August 2015; Roberto Suro, “Alfa Romeo Fight Intensifies,” New York Times 24 October 1986, and “Company News: Fiat Bests Ford in Bid for Alfa,” New York Times 7 November 1986, www.nytimes. com, accessed 8 August 2015; and Karen Wolman, “Ford bid for (Alfa) Romeo cross’d by Fiat,” The Christian Science Monitor 26 September 1986, www.csmonitor. com, accessed 8 August 2015.
Information on the Type Four cars came from “Alfa Bravo (Giant Test: BMW 525i SE-v-Rover Vitesse-v-Alfa Romeo 164 V6),” CAR October 1988, pp. 94–103; Alfa Lancia S.p.A., “164” [Dutch brochure NL-891-343], c. 1989, and “Product Bulletin: Alfa Romeo 164,” c. October 1987; Alfa Romeo Distributors of North America, “Product Bulletin 164: Model Year 1991 50 State Version,” February 1990; “Alfa Romeo 155 Backgrounds,” Alfa Models.com, n.d., www.alfa-models. com, accessed 17 March 2014; “Alfa Romeo 164 3.0 Lusso,” Autocar & Motor 12 October 1988, pp. 46-53; “Auntie-Climax (Giant Test: Alfa Romeo 164 Twin Spark Lusso -v- Rover 820Si -v- BMW 520i),” CAR December 1991, pp. 82–89; “Autocar Road Test: Lancia Thema 8.32,” Autocar 27 July 1988, pp. 44-51; Yaroslave Bozhdynsky, “Interview with Enrico Fumia,” Bozhdynsky.com, 2012, www.bozhdynsky. com/cars/ interview-with-enrico-fumia/Richard Bremner, accessed 9 August 2015; “Ferraris for Four,” CAR July 1988, pp. 106-113; “Brief Test: Fiat Croma ie Turbo,” Motor 12 July 1986, pp. 22-25; “Brief Test: Lancia Thema V6,” Motor 9 August 1986, pp. 50-52; the Cars from Italy pages on the Croma, Thema, 164, and 166 (www.carsfromitaly. net, accessed 16 April 2009); Rich Ceppos, “Saab 9000 Turbo: A car for all reasons,” Car and Driver Vol. 31, No. 6 (December 1985), pp. 79-83; Jeremy Clarkson, “Pride and Prejudice,” Performance Car July 1989, pp. 74–80; James Cleary, “Starfighter,” Modern Motor September 1988, reprinted in BMW 5 Series Gold Portfolio 1988-1995, ed. R.M. Clarke (Cobham, England: Brooklands Books Ltd., ca. 1999); “Giant Test: Alfa Romeo 164 Super v BMW 530i v Volvo 850 T-5 Turbo,” CAR January 1994, pp. 98-105; “Giant Test: Fast Risers,” CAR January 1986, pp. 114-123; “Group Test: Type Four Trio,” Motor 28 June 1986, pp. 44-50; Lancia Publicity and Images, [1988 Lancia Thema 8.32 German brochure 11/87]; “Lancia Thema 8.32” [1989 Lancia Thema 8.32 French brochure]; L’Editrice Dell’Automobile LEA, L’Editrice Dell’Automobile LEA, World Cars 1973 (Bronxville, NY: Herald Books, 1973), World Cars 1979 (Pelham, New York: Herald Books, 1979), and World Cars 1985 (Pelham, NY: Herald Books, 1985); Jean Lindamood, “Björn Envall and the Saab 9000: The maverick from Trollhättan meets the toast of Turin,” Car and Driver Vol. 31, No. 6 (December 1985), pp. 85-87; Salvatore Loiacono, “Progetto Fiat Tipo: Errore nell’applicazione,” OmniAuto, 12 November 2002, www.omniauto. it; PaoloGTC, “Fiat Tipo, progetti Tipo 2 e 3, ma chi è nato prima?” Autopareri, 10 September to 10 October 2008, www.autopareri. com/ forum/ auto-depoca/ 33279-fiat-tipo-progetti- tipo-2-e-3-ma-chi-nato-prima.html, accessed 17 March 2014; John Phillips III, “Alfa Romeo 164S,” Car and Driver Vol. 35, No. 12 (June 1990), pp. 72-79; Productioncars.com, Book of Automobile Production and Sales Figures, 1945-2005 (N.p.: Productioncars.com, 2006); Chris Robyn, “Alfa Romeo 168: What’s in a Number?” Alfa Romeo 164 Home Page, 1997, www.digest. net/alfa/FAQ/164/alfa168.htm, accessed 16 April 2009; “TIPO3,” Alfa 155 Club, 4 June 2009, www.alfa155club. nl accessed 17 March 2014; Kevin Smith, “Foreigners in the Fast Lane: Seven pricey sedans undergo our acid test,”Car and Driver Vol. 37, No. 1 (July 1991, pp. 54-70; “Test Update: Fiat Croma ie Super: Good Yes, Super No,” Autocar 18 August 1987, pp. 42-45; “Tipo 4,” International Alfa Romeo 164 Register, n.d., www.alfaromeo164register. com, accessed 11 May 2013; Colin Verrilli, the Alfa Romeo 164 Home Page, 1998, www.digest. net/alfa/FAQ/164/, accessed 16 April 2009; “Versus Jaguar (Giant Test: Alfa 164 Lusso V6 v BMW 525i-24 v Citroën XM 3.0 SEi v Ford Granada Scorpio 2.9 EFI v Jaguar XJ6 3.2 v Mercedes-Benz 260E v Peugeot 605 3.0 SVE v Rover Sterling v Saab CDS 2.3 Turbo v Vauxhall Senator CD 3.0i-24 v Volvo 960 3.0i-24),” CAR February 1991, pp. 64–81; David Vivian, “All Change (Group Test: Alfa Romeo 164 Cloverleaf, BMW 530i, Jaguar XJS 3.2S),” Performance Car August 1993, reprinted in Jaguar XJ6 Gold Portfolio 1986-1994, e.d. R.M. Clarke (Cobham, England: Brooklands Books Ltd., ca. 1995); Mark Wan, “Alfa Romeo 166,” AutoZine, 27 December 1999, www.autozine. org/ Archive/Alfa/ old/ 166.html, accessed 15 April 2009; “Fiat Croma,” AutoZine, 25 May 2005, www.autozine. org/ Archive/Fiat/old/ Croma.html, accessed 3 May 2013; “Giulia leads Alfa Romeo’s revival,” AutoZine, 25 June 2015, www.autozine. org/0_News/ Archive/2015_06/ News.html, last accessed 9 August 2015; and “News,” AutoZine, ca. 18 June 2008, www.autozine. org, accessed 20 June 2008; and the Wikipedia® entries for the Alfa Romeo 164 (en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Alfa_Romeo_164, accessed 15 April 2009), 166 (en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Alfa_Romeo_169, accessed 15 April 2009) and Type Four project (en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Type_Four_chassis, accessed 15 April 2009). Although the Peugeot 605 was not a Type Four car, we also consulted William Jeanes, “Peugeot 605 SR3.0: A new executive-length tourer from France,” Car and Driver Vol. 36, No. 9 (March 1991), pp. 84-91.
Historical exchange rate equivalences were estimated based on data from Lawrence H. Officer, “Exchange Rates Between the United States Dollar and Forty-one Currencies” (2009, MeasuringWorth, http://www.measuringworth.org/exchangeglobal/; used by permission). Please note that all exchange rate equivalencies cited in the text are approximate and provided for illustration and general informational purposes only; this is an automotive history, not a treatise on currency trading or the value of money, and nothing in this article should be taken as financial advice of any kind!