Carshow Outtake: 2005 Alfa Romeo 156 Crosswagen Q4 1.9JTD – Almost Everything Alfa Wasn’t

The car show season is now opening, in the Northern Hemisphere at least. And what better way to start than Spring Alfa Day in the grounds of the Imperial War Museum aircraft collection at Duxford, south of Cambridge? There were many, many treats and unusual cars, and this one is worth separating and highlighting.

CC has seen the Alfa Romeo 156 Sportwagon before, but this one is an unusual variant. It’s not a Sportwagon, which was really an estate version of the saloon 156, but a Crosswagon. Think Audi Allroad or VW Passat Alltrack, and wonder what happens when one of those meets an Alfa Romeo.

The regular Sportwagon was available with a four wheel drive system, known as Q4, with three differentials, including a central Torsen unit. The ride height was lifted by a modest inch, and specific wheels and badging aside, there was little to visually differentiate it.

The Crosswagon took this a stage further. The ride height was lifted by another inch and a half, larger wheels were used and additional deeper sills and front and rear aprons were added. The interior was unchanged, and trimmed as you’d expect an Alfa to be trimmed.

Power came from the 1.9 litre four cylinder diesel engine, rated at 150 bhp. Production ran to 2007, after the rest of the 156 range was discontinued in 2005. Sales were limited to left hand drive European markets; this car was imported to the UK from Poland last year – bought unseen, purchaser flew over and drove it home. Classic Alfa…

A diesel engined, four wheel drive estate, with crossover characteristics? Who says Alfa is exclusively sports cars?