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  Alfa Romeo 155 TS
 

  Article Image gallery (19) ZAR16700000090080 Specifications  
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Country of origin:Italy
Produced from:1993 - 1995
Author:Wouter Melissen
Last updated:June 03, 2021
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Click here to download printer friendly versionLaunched at the 1992 Geneva Motor Show, the all-new Alfa Romeo 155 would form the basis for two distinct touring cars that both debuted in 1993. This coincided with the adoption of a new set of regulations that distinguished between the altogether more liberal Division 1 (D1) and the tighter Division 2 (D2) categories. D1 was used only by the German DTM series, whereas most national and international series embraced D2, which was similar to the Supertouring rules that had already governed the British Touring Car Championship (BTCC) since 1990.

For the 1993 Italian Superturismo Championship, Alfa Corse created a new Division 2 version of the 155. Dubbed the 155 TS, it used the factory shell that was lightened considerably by stripping it of all the unnecessary ancillaries and to bring it to the 950 kg minimum weight. Power came from a naturally aspirated, two-litre engine. It produced 275hp in its first incarnation and would later be developed to exceed 300hp. This power was transferred to the front wheels through a six-speed manual gearbox.

Four examples of the 155 TS were entered in the Italian Championship with a driver line-up that included Formula 1 racers Gabriele Tarquini and Gianni Morbidelli. The expectations were high as the single-season Group A version of the 155 had dominated the 1992 Championship, winning all but a handful of races. The Division 2 machine was not instantly successful but found its form towards the end of the year. Tarquini would end the year with five wins, while Morbidelli add a further victory to the 155's tally.

Alfa Corse's attention then turned to the highly competitive BTCC. In order to get the maximum performance out of the 155, a special 'Silverstone' production car was produced. This featured adjustable front and rear wings, which was of little benefit to the road car but gave the competition car an edge. In order for these changes to be homologated, Alfa Romeo did have to produce a run of 2,500 road cars, which the Italian company duly did. The wings were not actually mounted on the car but supplied as a kit for customers to attach to the car if they would like to do so.

The arrival of the re-homologated 155 TS was not without controversy but it certainly complied with the letter of the regulations. Tarquini was joined in the two-car effort by Giampiero Simoni. The Italians were hugely successful and Tarquini was crowned champion with eight victories in 26 heats. Simoni was completely overshadowed by his team-mate but did manage to win the second heat of the season finale at Donington Park. Also using 155s, Adrian Campos won the Spanish Championship and Antonio Tamburini ended runner-up in the Italian Championship in 1994.

The Division 2 155s were raced through to the end of the 1997 season with considerable success. Fabrizio Giovanardi concluded the 155 TS's fabulous racing career by securing the Spanish title in 1997. The controversial 1994 BTCC effort did result in a rule change that saw the homologation limit raised to 25,000 examples.

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  Article Image gallery (19) ZAR16700000090080 Specifications