Alfa’s 159 GTA sedan has been caught by a spy photographers testing near Germany’s Nurburgring circuit ahead of its sales launch pegged for early next year. Up against established leaders like the BMW M3, Audi RS4 and Mercedes C63 AMG in the performance sedan market, the hotted-up Alfa sedan will be facing an uphill battle as soon as it’s launched.

However, the Italian beauty reportedly has some tricks up its sleeve that just may leave its German competitors gasping for breath - most notably a Ferrari-derived V8 engine. The new mill is based on the 4.2L unit from the Maserati Quattroporte and Granturismo and should develop close to 400hp (298kW) in the new GTA.

This latest spy video shows a somewhat disguised Alfa with quad tailpipes and covered vents on the bonnet and fenders, lending credit to the theory of a high output engine. The test mule also rides on lower suspension and shows very little body-roll though corners.

Unlike its predecessor which was never taken seriously as a super-sedan due to its FWD system, power in the new car will be put through all four wheels thanks to Alfa's Q4 AWD system.


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