Alfa brought in the 156 as the replacement for the 155. The new car adopted the softer, rounded styling that had become the norm for road cars in the mid-late ‘90s, and, like the 155 before it, the 156 range was eventually topped by the performance GTA version.
It arrived on the market in 2002, relatively late into the 156’s production run, and in the end, less than 4,000 GTAs were built before it was pulled from sale in 2005. That makes it quite a rarity these days, and as a result, the 156 GTA has garnered quite the fanbase.
A car like this doesn’t receive plaudits just for its scarcity, though, it does actually need to be quite good. And in the case of the 156 GTA, that box has also been ticked. Primarily for its super-smooth 3.2-litre V6 Busso engine delivering 250PS (184kW) and 300Nm (221 lb-ft) of torque, revving towards 6,500rpm and producing a quite sensational noise.
Owning a car like the Alfa Romeo 156 GTA is as much about the experience of maintaining it as it is driving it. You don’t buy one of these expecting it to run hitch-free for the next 20 years, instead you welcome it into the family, care for it, and love regardless of how much trouble it might cause you.