Alfa Romeo 156 cars were internally known as the type 932. The Alfa Romeo model debuted in 1997 as a compact executive car. Italian car maker Alfa Romeo first showed the Alfa Romeo 156 at the Frankfurt Motor Show. The car was originally intended to replace the earlier Alfa Romeo 155. Alfa Romeo 156 sales were successful throughout Europe. In Thailand, production began in March 2002 and lasted only a couple years. In Italy and other European destinations, the car was produced from 1997 to 2005 and was a huge success for Alfa Romeo.
The 156 started out with a wide range of options. The initial sport pack had either Momo leather interior, Blitz clothing or Recaro seats, in addition to 410 mm wheels, a lowered suspension and a leather steering wheel and gear stick. In contrast, the De-Luxe package contained a mahogany gear stick and steering wheel. In Nordic countries, a special winter package for the Alfa Romeo 156 was available. This winter package had fog lights, headlight washers and heated seats.
As early as 1999, the nearly new Alfa Romeo 156 cars were available with five-speed Selespeed. This sequential transmission was an option for the car. There was also the option of having three automatic modes - city, sport and ice. Then, in 2000, Alfa Romeo attempted to develop an estate car in this size. The Sportwagon version of the car did not have a large carrying capacity, but filled a need among consumers looking forward something different than the 33 Sportwagon that came out in the 1980s.
In its time, the Alfa Romeo 156 earned a number of awards in several countries. In addition to getting Best Compact Executive Car in 1998 in Great Britain, it also got the 1998 Auto Trophy in Germany and the Car of the Year in South Africa in 1999.