A picture is worth a thousand words, or in the case of the Alfa Romeo 159, it's worth a long, loving stare. The sensual lines of one of the finest-looking sedans anywhere have been revealed in their 2009 model year form ahead of the unveiling at the Geneva Motor Show next month.

Early last year Alfa gave the 159 sedan and wagon a facelift, and the 2009 models don't change things up dramatically, though a 1.8TBi variant sporting a 200hp (149kW) turbocharged 1.8L four-cylinder and a Q2 electronic differential for the FWD car offer a healthy dose of sport short of the more serious GTA package.

A 170hp (126kW) diesel is also pegged for the range, in the JTDm model. Other model year 2009 changes remain cloaked in mystery.

While neither the Fiat-Chrysler union nor its prospective fruits are yet certain, the spirit of design present in this Alfa Romeo and others ought to serve as a beacon of hope for the company - and car people in general - in these otherwise very dark times.

It's not yet clear if the 159 will be headed to the U.S., though its replacement is tipped to make the ocean crossing.