Heavily-modified and now armour-proofed, the new Alfa 159 has become the latest ’Pantera’ to hit the streets of the Italian cities as it gears up to help the Polizia di Stato in the eternal fight against crime. ’Pantera’ (Panther) is the nickname given to patrol cars used by the Polizia di Stato (State Police) and the Alfa 159 is now swiftly replacing their ageing fleet of Fiat Mareas. For its new crime-fighting role the Alfa 159 has undergone substantial modifications to the mechanicals as well being toughened up to help it to withstand assault. The windscreen and door glass is now bullet proof while the front seats are fully separated from the rear ones by the fitting of a fixed polycarbonate panel. Included in the many gadgets that make this version of the Alfa Romeo 159 fit for ’James Bond’ are powerful new roof-mounted searchlights that can be adjusted by remote control.
The Alfa 159’s arrival in the hands of the Polizia di Stato comes as the Alfa Romeo brand gears up to officially launch a new entry-level Alfa 159 1.8 16v version. First slated to be introduced in time for the model’s market debut (and in fact originally pencilled in to be presented when the Alfa 159 range was first revealed at the Geneva Motor Show in March 2005,) however its introduction was at the last minute postponed. Now the Alfa 159 1.8 16v is set to arrive in the Italian showrooms in August.