How to buy a classic motorcycle in SA?

'There are a few things you need to consider,’ writes bike guru Dries Van der Walt.

Top family cars in SA

Wheels24's Janine Van der Post has gone from a 'SpeedQueen' to a supermom. Check out her list of top family cars.

Blown British Alfa 159

2008-06-23 08:26


Although its roots are in West London, Autodelta’s heart is Italian, and supercharged Alfa 159s are its forte.

Founded by Jano Djelalian in 1987, Autodelta has a simple mission statement: optimising the dynamic performance and visual drama of Alfa-Romeo products.

Working from a holistic engineering perspective, Autodelta technical specialists have spent 18 months designing a forced induction performance upgrade for the Alfa-Romeo 159 J4 2.2C.

Direct-injection supercharging

Sergio Truzzi, head of research and development at Autodelta, has perfected a supercharger to force feed the direct-injection 2.2-litre Alfa four-cylinder engine. The net result is an increase in power from 136kW to 182kW accompanied by a commensurate increase in rotational force from 230Nm to 290Nm.

Key aspects of the conversion hinge on incorporating the Rotrex C30-74 supercharger as seamlessly as possible to the direct-injection Alfa engine. A new aluminium inlet manifold replaces the plastic, original spec, factory unit - which was unable to cope with the 0.65 bar supercharged boost level. This new inlet manifold design, featuring a reduced flow volume, enables quicker boost response.

With the direct-injection engine running at a higher performance threshold Autodelta engineers decided to employ new NGK Iridium IX spark plugs, specifically as they offer a colder heat range.

LSD addled handling

Being front-wheel drive and burdened with transferring 182kW to the road, it was obvious the Autodelta J4 2.2 C would need some technical wizardry to blend optimal traction and road holding.

The standard front-wheel drive performance car saviour – a limited-slip differential – has been added to the front axle, whilst a fully adjustable coil over suspension set-up allows for height as well as bound and rebound adjustment to enable the driver to fine tune the car for any occasion. Circuit certified at tracks such as Silverstone, Spa-Francorchamps and the Nürburgring leaves one in doubt as to the handling prowess of the J4 2.2 C.

Despite having a proud history of in-house performance engineering solutions, Autodelta partners up with some of the most renowned names in automotive component manufacture too. Tyres are supplied and tested in conjunction with Dunlop, whilst wheels are supplied by OZ. After exhaustive development at the Hanau test centre in Germany, Dunlop SP Sport Maxx GT 245/35 ZR19 XL tyres were settled upon as the best traction solution. This high-performance rubber rides on 19-inch OZ Botticelli HLT wheels.


With added performance and significant handling upgrades the Autodelta J4 2.2 C represents a compelling vision of what a contemporary Italian small executive performance sedan should embody.

No Alfa conversion could do without some additional bodywork finesse though. The Autodelta bodykit includes a front splitter, rear apron and side skirts, with the front and rear apron sections designed to fit the standard bumpers of the production Alfa 159.


Inside Wheels24

Opel Astra 1.4T Enjoy auto – understated and smart new hatch

When it comes to the mid-size hatchback choice, there are a few default choices, a few bland ones… and some often overlooked cars. The Opel Astra hatch is an example of the latter, writes David Swanepoel. - Sponsored

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.