- Post is under moderationCAR: Alfa Romeo Giulia Quadrifoglio #2018 / #Alfa-Romeo-Giulia-Quadrifoglio / #Alfa-Romeo-Giulia-Super / #Alfa-Romeo-Giulia / #Alfa-Romeo / #Alfa-Romeo-Giulia-Tipo-952 / #Alfa-Romeo-Giulia-952 /
With everything you really need and nothing you don’t, the Quadrifoglio’s cabin comes close to perfection
Is it any good?’ ‘What’s it really like?’ ‘Would you have one over an M3?’ ‘Would you buy one with your own money?’ Running an Alfa Giulia Quadrifoglio is never a lonely experience: it’s a car that draws admiring glances and invites inquisitive conversations.
Life with the Giulia remains good. Very good. 17,000 miles in and I still get a feeling of heightened anticipation every time I settle into the brilliant Sparco seat, thumb the starter button on the base of the steering wheel spoke and wake that twin-turbo V6. Those initial moments remain special. And for an Italian car company to have nailed the ergonomics so well is worthy of special praise.
There’s a simplicity to the cabin that allows you to focus purely on enjoying that 500bhp and oh-so-sweet rear-drive chassis. With few exceptions, every car I get into today has an interior that is claimed by the manufacturer to be calming, functional, distraction-free and designed to make the driving experience as stress-free and safe as possible. Without fail, they all do pretty much the exact opposite.
Infotainment systems with seemingly endless functionality and choice, including that most crucial option when driving – a fullcolour display of album artwork. Navigation maps that can tell you where every fast food restaurant in the world is, complete with roadobscuring official logos, but can’t tell you when you’re about to join the end of a stationary queue of traffic. Infinite ambient lighting settings. Countless suspension, gearbox and engine map options. Would you like your exhaust to be subtle and quiet or shouty and a bit chav? What about the infotainment screen: would you like it split in two, with day or night lighting, or perhaps retracted back within the dash or just switched off?
Massaging seat? Backside cooled but your back warmed? And what about the TFT screen that’s replaced the traditional instruments – what would you like that to display?
The Giulia has none of this. It has such a focused approach to being a sports saloon it has no pretence of being anything but. And it’s a big part of its appeal. Just as the engine, the gearbox, the chassis, the steering and the damping all have a clear objective, so too does the interior. There’s a real sense that the engineers had a say in every aspect of the car, including the cockpit layout.
It’s not as if there’s a lack of kit. It’s just that someone has thought about what exactly it is a driver needs when they’re enjoying a car’s ability, and the result is straightforward functionality and an interior that just works.
The #DAB-radio rarely drops the signal and the nav has never sent me down the wrong road, although I’ve yet to work out how to enter a postcode and the traffic info repeatedly claims the M11 is permanently shut between two junctions when it’s not. But this is all I need. Its approach is more McLaren than mass-market. OK, a tyre pressure monitoring system that didn’t throw up the occasional false alarm would be nice, but then again, show me a TPMS that doesn’t regularly go on the blink.
Now back to those original questions. My answers are:
2) It’s an exceptional achievement that’s come out of nowhere and caught the opposition on the hop.
3) Yes I would.
4) If I was in the market for a supersaloon, the Giulia would get my money.
Stuart Gallagher (@stuartg917)
Date acquired May 2017
Total mileage 17,359
Mileage this month 1011
Costs this month £0
Mpg this month 23.4Stream item published successfully. Item will now be visible on your stream.
- Post is under moderationReturn to form / #2016 / #Alfa-Romeo-Giulia-Quadrifoglio / #Alfa-Romeo-Giulia-Super / #Alfa-Romeo-Giulia / #Alfa-Romeo / #Alfa-Romeo-Giulia-Tipo-952 / #Alfa-Romeo-Giulia-952 /
The new Giulia, Alfa Romeo’s latest ‘last-chance saloon’, delivers convincingly where others have failed Words John Simister
The usual way to start a story about a new Alfa Romeo is to bill the subject as Alfa’s lastchance saloon, the car that has to get it right because credibility, goodwill and the company itself depend on it, and so on. Trouble is, we pundits have used this approach… how many times before? I’ve lost count.
So, the new Giulia. It has rear-wheel drive, last encountered in the 1985 Alfa 75 as far as mainstream Alfas are concerned. The range contains no parts from any predecessor, nor indeed any Fiat, and peaks with a Quadrifoglio version offering an extraordinary 510bhp from its 2.9-litre, twin-turbo, 90-degree, Ferrari-built V6. This sounds exactly like the sort of saloon Alfa Romeo should be making, and in due course it will be joined by an estate car and an SUV (think Jaguar F-Pace rival). One problem: from the front it’s obviously an Alfa, but the side and rear views are distressingly mid-twenty-teens generic. The roof and windowline, the slanty tail-lights… is it a BMW 3-series? A Jaguar XE? An Audi A4? Why do they all look the same, apart from the Audi’s longer front overhang?
I’m at the Fiat Group’s Balocco test track, originally built by Alfa Romeo. Two flavours of Quadrifoglio are circulating, quad exhausts blustering grittily with a volume surprising in a four-door saloon. First back in the pits is the manual version. We won’t get it in the UK, but my default position is to favour a manual over an auto so I’m keen to try it.
The cabin is full of flamboyant sweeps in the modern idiom, with a double dial-cowl whose rims trace a part-helix. What looks like a plain black curve of dashboard lights up as a borderless information screen when power flows through the Giulia’s neurons.
The meticulous detailing and quality of an Audi aren’t quite replicated here – but what’s this? A Race mode has been added to the usual contrived Alfa DNA control (Dynamic, Natural and Advanced Efficiency).
Out of the pits, onto the track. Steering? Very quick but not so darty that you overdo the inputs. Balance? Impeccable: minimal understeer, tail happy to help point the nose, lots of grip, the hint of super-friendly, torque-vectored driftability with strictures loosened in the raciest mode. Engine?
Extremely potent and revvy, but not especially sweet. Its two throttles automatically ease during a foot-to-the-floor upshift, and automatically blip on the way down. But vibration through the clutch pedal and revs slow to drop heighten a slight clumsiness. Magnificent brakes, though.
Now the auto, a #ZF eight-speed ( #ZF8HP ) with a torque converter and a fine pair of wide-angle aluminium paddles with which to manualise it. Blam-blamblam through the gears; it’s as quick-witted as any double-clutcher, which masks the crankshaft’s momentum and suddenly makes the whole Alfa feel keener, lighter, even pointier. On track at least, it’s absolutely brilliant.
It wasn’t allowed on the road, annoyingly, but there I tried instead a 2.2-litre, 180bhp turbodiesel (the best-seller-in-waiting) and a 2.0-litre, 200bhp twin-turbo petrol model with a particularly smooth, sweet and punchy engine. Both ride the roads with astonishing – class-leading, actually – smoothness, quietness and control, helped by the very rigid body structure.
The Giulia range, auto-only in the UK, will be in showrooms shortly. Its prices will roughly match those of the BMW 3-series / F30/ F31/ F80. Does the car itself? For people like us, it surely does.
Above The Giulia is not quite as luxurious a place to sit as some of its competitors, but once you turn the key you’re unlikely to care – the driving experience is superb.Stream item published successfully. Item will now be visible on your stream.
- Post is under moderationALFA ROMEO GIULIA 2016 FIRST TEST
Just look at it. Isn’t it gorgeous? We all know that #Alfa-Romeo has a fine reputation for producing beautiful cars, but in the past, when you delve under the skin, the parts that matter haven’t been quite so glorious.
Alfa is a marque that you really want to be passionate about, but your gut feeling tells you to be cautious. There have been so many fresh starts for the brand that when you hear about another set of exciting plans to revive the company, your head says “oh yes, what again”, while your heart falls in love with the stylish design. This time we are told it is different, and what was a blank sheet of paper three years ago has been transformed into this stylish beast that you see before you. Designed without any compromises, the Giulia goes head-to- head with the trio of German brands, as well as Jaguar’s XE, and while prices have yet to be announced, Alfa Romeo has hinted that it will be priced directly in line with the BMW 320d. The Giulia’s platform will underpin a range of future cars to proudly wear the Alfa Romeo badge, including a fashionable SUV that will arrive on the market next year, allegedly wearing the Stelvio nameplate.
If the exterior delivers serious wow factor, when you climb into the cabin for the first time, that goes double, as Alfa Romeo’s stylists have pulled out all of the stops. The two-tone beige and leather ambience is appealing and this is one of the few real wood and leather combinations that feels truly convincing.
Most of the materials used are high quality, though there is the odd surface that feels out of place, but detailing like the circular air vents look and feel phenomenal. There’s a Ferrari-mimicking engine start button on the steering wheel, and the controls for the infotainment system are perfectly positioned behind the gear lever, for ease of use. The 8.8- inch touchscreen at first glance looks neatly integrated into the architecture of the dashboard, but in reality it’s located a little lower than is ideal and you’ll spend too much time with your eyes off the road, checking for information like navigation instructions and the speed limit display, with the latter better located on the central display between the dials.
The driving position is comfortable, with generous adjustment to both the chairs and the steering wheel, while the leather seats on our Super model with Luxury pack were beautifully supportive and satisfying after a couple of hours in the driver’s seat. Up front there’s a generous amount of headroom, though avoid the sunroof if you’re likely to carry taller passengers in the back, as it robs the car of vital headroom. Knee room is average for the class, and providing the driver hasn’t got the seat in its lowest position, there’s a reasonable amount of foot space, too. And if you’re likely to need to carry a third passenger in the back, bear in mind that there’s a sizeable hump running through the centre of the car, and it works best as a four-seater. Visibility from the driver’s seat is generally good when reversing, but the position of the A-pillars can make manoeuvring out of an awkwardly angled junction tricky.
The Giulia borrows its engine from the Jeep Cherokee and is available in 148 and 177bhp guises. While manual gearbox variants are available in Europe, Alfa Romeo in the UK has taken the decision to sell the Giulia here exclusively with the eight-speed automatic transmission.
And having spent some time in the manual car, we believe that they have made the right move, as the self-shifting gearbox makes a better impression. Performance from the 177bhp 2.2-litre engine is relatively punchy, but it never feels particularly fast. At most speeds the engine is nicely refined and quiet, only becoming noticeable when you plant the accelerator pedal into the bulkhead.
Road noise is nicely muted, however, at motorway speeds there’s more sound from the wind than you would ideally like. Alfa Romeo claims that the Giulia has the most direct steering on the market, and that is certainly true.
It’s hugely responsive and changes direction sharply. Body control is good, and there’s decent agility through the bends, while grip levels are sufficiently high. But we can’t help feeling that while all of the ingredients for a great car are there, what is missing is the fun factor. Like other models in the line-up, there’s Alfa’s DNA system that allows you to alter the characteristics of the car using three different modes. What is impressive though is the ride comfort, with all but the deepest of potholes soaked up nicely, making it the most comfortably riding Alfa Romeo in years, and perhaps ever.
TECH DATA #2016 / #Alfa-Romeo-Giulia-Quadrifoglio / #Alfa-Romeo-Giulia-Super / #Alfa-Romeo-Giulia / #Alfa-Romeo / #Alfa-Romeo-Giulia-Tipo-952 / #Alfa-Romeo-Giulia-952 /
On sale September 2016
In showrooms September 2016
Prices £ tba
Bodystyles 4-door saloon
Engines 2.2 (148bhp) 2.2 (177bhp)
Trim levels Giulia, Super
Also consider Audi A4, BMW 3 Series F30
Model tested Super 2.2 MultiJet II
Price £ tba
Made in Cassino, Italy
Configuration 4-door saloon, 5-seats, rear-wheel-drive
Drivetrain 2143cc, 4-cylinder, 16-valve, turbocharged diesel with stop-start and selective catalyst reduction
Transmission 8-speed automatic
Power output 177bhp @ 3,750rpm
Maximum torque 332lb ft @ 1,750rpm
Top speed 143mph
CO2 emissions (Tax band) 109g/km (B)
Economy (urban/extra urban/combined) 53.3/80.7/67.3mpg
Fuel tank size/range 52 litres/770 miles
Insurance group tba
Company car benefit-in-kind rate 21%
Size (length/width with mirrors) 4,643/2,024mm
Boot space 480 litres
Kerb/maximum towing weight 1,445/1,600kg
Euro NCAP crash test rating Not yet tested
Verdict Stunning looks, superb ride comfort and affordable running costs make this the best Alfa Romeo for years.
DieselCar rating 5Stream item published successfully. Item will now be visible on your stream.
- Post is under moderationThe wait is over! 2016 is proving to be a bumper year for new arrivals from Fiat, Abarth and Alfa Romeo. In the last two weeks we have attended not one but two new car launches, with more to come in the following weeks. Firstly we drove the new Fiat Tipo in Turin, a car that reinforces Fiat’s model range following the phasing out of the Grande Punto. Not only that, but the Station Wagon version reintroduces an estate car, which has not been listed since the Fiat Stilo and Alfa 159. Despite the very attractive pricing, mainly due to low cost manufacturing in Turkey, the Tipo does not feel as if it has been built down to a price. Given the practicality of both the Hatchback and Station Wagon, the high build quality, smart appearance and choice of the popular 1.6 diesel and 1.4 turbo engines, then I think we will soon be seeing lots of Fiat Tipos on our roads. / #Alfa-Romeo-Giulia-Type-952 / #Alfa-Romeo-Giulia-952 / #Alfa-Romeo / #2016 /
While the Fiat Tipo is a welcome addition to FCA’s portfolio, its arrival was somewhat overshadowed by the long awaited #Alfa-Romeo-Giulia . CEO Sergio Marchionne said he wouldn’t launch the car until it was exactly what the Alfisti required and he has pretty much delivered the goods. Before I was let loose to drive the 503bhp Quadrifoglio at the Balocco proving ground, I was chauffered by an Alfa Romeo test driver around the damp track. The demonstration was sensational, the highly experienced driver took the car beyond limits that I could never achieve given the short time we had available. What a superbly engineered and exciting package the Giulia is. When I eventually tried both the manual and automatic (no TCT option) versions for myself I was pleasantly surprised to find that the paddle shift auto actually provided the better driving experience. The gear changes were so quick and rewarding that the manual change was almost laborious by comparison.
Out on the road I drove the 2.2-litre diesel (178bhp) and 2.0-litre (198bhp) petrol versions of the Giulia, the models that will undoubtedly be sold in greater volumes than the ‘halo’ Quadrifoglio . The handling and ride quality of these cars is truly remarkable, the rear-wheel drive combined with a superb suspension set-up was a revelation. My favourite drive was the 2.0-litre petrol version, which has a satisfying Alfa rasp at high revs. Turbo technology, prevalent on most cars now (even Ferrari), means that it’s all over at relatively low rpm, 5500rpm in this case – something that the Alfisti will have to come to terms with. The UK will receive the 2.9-litre #V6 #Alfa-Romeo-Giulia-Quadrifoglio and 2.2-litre #MultiJet models later this year, hopefully the petrol version will arrive later. Next up the Fiat and Abarth 124 Spiders – exciting times!Stream item published successfully. Item will now be visible on your stream.
- Post is under moderationThe #2016 / #Alfa-Romeo / #Alfa-Romeo-Giulia-Quadrifoglio / #Alfa-Romeo-Giulia / #Alfa-Romeo-Giulia-952 /Stream item published successfully. Item will now be visible on your stream.
- Post is under moderationDESIGN – DRIVE-MY DESIGN CONSULTANT CHRIS HRABALEK DISCUSSES THE FINER POINTS OF AUTOMOTIVE DESIGN / #Alfa-Romeo-Giulia-952 / #Alfa-Romeo-Giulia-Tipo-952 / #Alfa-Romeo-Giulia #2015 / #Alfa-Romeo-Giulia-Sportwagon
Alfa Romeo’s new Giulia must have been one of the most eagerly awaited and longoverdue brand flagship revivals in recent years; not only as a direct replacement for the discontinued 159 productline, but also as the spiritual rebirth of the classic Giulia, on the 105th anniversary of this iconic marque. The original Giulia (1962-1978) was ‘the’ stylish and sporty limousine of the ’60s and ’70s, significantly contributing to #Alfa-Romeo ’s image as a manufacturer of first class sports-limousines, featuring technical goodies such as two overhead-camshafts, a five-speed gearbox and disc-brakes all as standard.
Fast-forward to 2015 and after a slow-birth and an eleventh hour redesign ordered by Fiat Chrysler Automobiles’ (FCA) big cheese Sergio Marchionne, the final result was certainly worth the wait. The latest rebirth is even more a driving machine than an icon reloaded. Featuring the return to rear-wheel drive – a first since the 75 of the late ’80s – a 50:50 weight distribution, a rumoured top-speed of 200mph and a 510hp (503bhp) engine developed by non-other than Ferrari, are all goosebump guarantors for petrolheads the world over.
Styled under the direction of Alfa Romeo and Maserati Design Director #Marco-Tencone , the stylistic influence behind the gorgeous Alfa Romeo 4C, this new four-door Alfa Romeo is essentially a downsized Maserati. Visually, in its top-spec ‘ #Quadrifoglio ’ guise the Alfa Romeo will certainly run neck-and-neck with AMG and M-GmbH’s finest and cause sleepless nights in both design and engineering offices between Affalterbach and Munich, respectively.
Designwise the sporty four-door features an aggressive front fascia with plenty of mesh-grill inserts and active aerodynamics, previously only seen on flagship supercars of the prancing horse. It becomes instantly evident that aerodynamics played a key role in the design development, with bonnet and wing vents, aerodynamic side skirts, a boot mounted spoiler and rear diffusor detailing; make no mistake, this car means business. Official interior images have yet to be released, but Alfa Romeo has already communicated that the Giulia will feature premium materials in a driverfocused environment, supported by up-to-date touch-screens and infotainment.
The expectations have been high and the very first sneak-peak at the official unveiling has been very promising. If Alfa is able to auto-fire derivatives over the next decade, then the brand has a good chance to re-earn its former laurels and redirect Alfa Romeo to the elevated position of its heydays.
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- Post is under moderationAll - emotions and technology /// #2015 #Alfa-Romeo-Giulia-Tipo-952 / #Alfa-Romeo-Giulia-952 / #Alfa-Romeo-Giulia
Unveiled the new sedan Alfa: grit, horses for sale and rear wheel drive. To start the rescue. / #Alfa-Romeo / #Alfa-Romeo-Giulia-QV
THE "NEW COURSE" OF ARMS
The Milan has renewed the brand. The cross and the Alfa, symbols of the Lombard city, are redesigned and have a common background (a lattice gray); profiles and letters are chrome instead of gold. The crest makes its debut with the Giulia, which has a front Alfa 100%, with subtle and aggressive headlights cut the championship triangle flanked, down by two air vents. Particularly large in the most powerful Quadrifoglio also serve to cool the air sent to the two turbo intercooler by
It seems that the long wait for the new sedan Alfa Romeo (presented on June 24, with three years late than expected in the business plan of 2010) was not in vain.
About 480 cm long, the Giulia (the name is taken from the four gates of success of the 60 and 70) showcases aggressiveness uncommon. Whichever way you look at it, it seems a beast ready to shoot: a car worthy of a brand as sporty and glorious.
DEBUT IN SEPTEMBER. IN GERMANY
Indeed, Alfa Romeo sedans full of grit are never missed, even in recent years.
Indeed: the #Alfa-Romeo-156 and the #Alfa-Romeo-159 of #1997 (born in #2005 ) are two good cars, and a similar style references. But the model of the revival, the one from which to reach the ambitious target set by the number one group #FCA #Sergio-Marchionne (sell 400,000 cars Alfa Romeo in #2018 , when last year it was stopped to 68,000), a line seductive not enough. They need technology to the level of that of the listed competitors and, above all, a guide that presents emotions with both hands, as in the best models of the past. It is early to say whether the Giulia will reach such ambitious goals: the public launch is scheduled for September 17, at the Frankfurt Motor Show, and the arrival in dealerships even 2016. Certainly, however, the conditions to satisfy the finest palates are all there.
Back to rear-wheel drive
The project is a group of technicians selected from the best of the group FCA, who baked the first Alfa Romeo sedan rear-wheel drive (but there is also the integral) from the times of 75, out of production in 1993. In addition to ensure a more emotional and precise, this choice allows to mount the engine in a retracted position, obtaining a weight balance between front and rear wheels homogeneous. They are also the new body (very stiff) and the refined suspension: multilink with four arms "and a half" behind and wishbone (type race cars) in front, with supporting frames and upper mounting in light alloy. Add to the cocktail steering very direct, according to statements of the house, and sophisticated aerodynamics (the Quadrifoglio, the "bad", also the front spoiler Mobile based on the speed and the radius of the curve) and you will have the right ingredients for an automobile capable of "dance" lightning and composed of a curve to another.
Little weight and a lot of pushing
Large road skills are needed to keep "a lead" the exuberance of the Quadrifoglio, the only Giulia for which have already been announced performance. That they are "scary": 3.9 seconds for the "0- 100" and (they say) 320 peak times. The abundant use of lightweight materials (a large part of the bodywork is made of aluminum, while the hood, transmission shaft and roof are made of carbon fiber) has allowed the weight to 1520 kg; not many, when compared to the 510 bhp 3.0 V6 turbo gasoline direct injection design Ferrari, version further incattivita (101 "foals" for more) engine mounted in the Maserati sedans.
EVEN OIL, FROM 135 TO 350 HORSES
The Quadrifoglio (which will cost around 80,000 euro) is the flagship, but also the other Giulia promise an engaging driving and brilliant performance. The engines are all aluminum, with turbo and direct injection. For the four-cylinder 2.0 petrol talking about a power range from 180 to 350 hp; diesel there will be a 3.0 V6 twin-turbo 24-valve 350 horsepower, and a 2.2 four-cylinder with (apparently) 135, 180 or 210 hp. Prices? From about 30,000 euro.
The tail, with subtle LED lights, it is very personal, but balanced. The Quadrifoglio has four tailpipes, but also a spoiler carbon fiber and the enormous lower extractor that directs the air so as to create downforce ("crushing" the car to the ground, improves its stability).
START FROM FLYING
The cabin is set sportingly: massive central tunnel, dashboard of sinuous forms with carbon fiber inserts and tools in hand. The slender steering wheel also houses the red button to start and stop the engine: truly "racing".
You will have a dual-clutch transmission or a manual, with very short lever, a real sports. The multimedia system, operated by a wheel and two buttons, provides a large high-resolution display in the center of the dashboard; the parking brake is electronic.
THE HAVE CHANGED THE DNA
The mode selector guide DNA is a knob (the other Alfa Romeo, however, have a lever). The choice is between Natural, Advanced Efficiency (limiting consumption), and Dynamic (in the more powerful versions) the "brutal" Racing: modifies the response of the engine, transmission, steering, ESP and electronic suspension.
The "BLADE" DO NOT SEE
The front is powerful, especially in relation to measures of the passenger. Among the details, the wiper concealed from the rear edge of the hood, and the plate behind which is placed the radar adaptive cruise control.
The triangle with the four-leaf clover, a symbol of Alfa Romeo faster, stands just above the vent black plastic along the side
It HAS MUSCLES. LI AND PERFORMS
The front lid, so curved and sinuous, is now understood that there is an under engine full of "muscles". That of Quadrifoglio has two cooling vents.
Leaning back, ready to sprint
Long bonnet, cabin set back and very short tail: the car, crouched on the rear wheels, it gives an idea of dynamism (who also contributes the deep rib side). The Quadrifoglio can mount huge carbon-ceramic disc brakes (light and very efficient) that, together with red calipers, make a great scene behind alloy wheels of 19 "spoked thin.Stream item published successfully. Item will now be visible on your stream.
- Post is under moderation2015 #Alfa-Romeo-Giulia-952 / #Alfa-Romeo-Giulia-Tipo-952 / #Alfa-Romeo-Giulia #2015 International press launch at Arese. Renaissance. Alfa Romeo launches its spectacular new car and reopens the doors to its historic collection Story by Phil Ward / Photography by Michael Ward
After years of speculation the all-new Alfa Romeo Giulia has finally arrived. The car puts Alfa Romeo back on track after a black hole in its model line-up. There are many reasons why this happened and a big one was the failed General Motors relationship that stalled development, another was the effects of the world recession. While the USA tie-up created the 959 series 159, Brera and Spider, all fine looking motorcars but fitted with anonymous GM based engines that lacked Italian sparkle and chassis to match, their lifespans were cut short when the relationship broke up. Even though the last 959 series cars began to appear with Italian engines it was too late. With the handsome 159 abandoned Alfa Romeo just had the smaller MiTo and Giulietta to carry the flag. While these cars carry the logo their Alfa Romeo DNA is diluted and it was not until the 4C arrived that the true spirit was revived.
With MiTo and Giulietta coming to the end of their life spans (introduced in 2008 and 2010) Alfa Romeo are desperate for new models. The 4C and Giulia are the start of the revival and a comprehensive range of new cars will appear in 2018. CEO Sergio Marchionne said he would not launch new cars in a recession and he was right because the huge capital investment combined with a depressed market would have spelt disaster for the FCA Group (Fiat Chrysler Automobiles). It has also been reported that he did not favour the proposals for the early Giulia specification because the car was front-wheel drive and he was right, with 510hp (503bhp) it would have been impossible to put this kind of power through the front wheels. He also said that the next Alfa Romeo would be built in Italy and true to his word the Giulia will be built at Cassino, located between Rome and Naples.
Marchionne made sure that the development and launch of the Giulia was kept strictly under wraps, which is a rare and impressive accomplishment. Of course, the usual press speculation ensued with a raft of artists impressions of what it might look like plastered over the internet. The fact that the muletto was dressed with what appeared to be a Maserati Ghibli body suggested that the Giulia was going to be based on what is basically a Chrysler 300C chassis. This turned out to be a red herring because the Giulia is actually built on an all-new chassis.
During the time of the divorce from General Motors was going on Fiat decided to close the much loved Alfa Romeo museum at Arese in 2011. Located on the edge of the bombsite that was once the huge Alfa Romeo factory, Fiat wanted out of Milan. It made its intentions clear when the name for its new entry level car was announced back in 2008, the name MiTo represented the crossover from production from Milan to Turin. However, Fiat under-estimated the power of the Alfisti and the Milanese population. An injunction was placed on the museum’s closure, which was timely because there was a rumour that Fiat were going to sell off the cars in the collection. Fiat went into a sulk and announced that the museum would be closed for repairs for an indefinite period.
While rumour control went into overdrive with claims that the Alfa Romeo brand was going to be sold to the Germans, gloom fell on the Alfisti and some of them, devoid of a suitable current range model, even gave up their allegiance to the brand by buying BMWs and Audis. Well, I can report that Alfa Romeo is back with a vengeance. Not only has it fulfilled its promise to create a new ‘proper’ Alfa Romeo, it launched the car at the completely revamped Arese museum. In addition, the museum can also boast a short demonstration track, and the restored original factory test track just a short distance away. In fact, the entire Arese complex has been redeveloped and now forms part of the Milan Expo complex. The cost of this monumental undertaking must have been eye watering.
Four hundred international journalists were invited to the Giulia presentation and the big reveal coincided with renowned opera star Andrea Bocelli singing an adapted version of the rousing Nessun Dorma. The Giulia could not have had a better introduction and as Bocelli kept the last note of his aria going for an amazing length of time the audience rose to a standing ovation. An incredible moment.
The model presented at the launch was the range topping Cloverleaf version and the four examples on display were either metallic red or white. The specification is everything that an Alfa Romeo enthusiast would expect it to be, and more. The two things that have been on everyone’s wish list are rearwheel drive and a V6 in the front. The announced technical specifications were minimal but enough to whet the appetite. Up front on the QV version is a twinturbo QV V6, said to be inspired by Ferrari technology, developing an impressive 510HP (503bhp). 0-62mph takes just 3.9 seconds and the top speed is expected to be around 300km/h (187mph).
An emphasis has been placed on the all important power weight ratio, said to be lower than 3kg/hp. This has been achieved by utilising ultra lightweight materials. The engine is all aluminium and so are the body panels, brakes and suspension. The huge brake discs are carbon ceramic, the propshaft is made of carbonfibre and the rear suspension crossmember is an aluminium plastic composite. Despite the ambitious weight saving elements, the Giulia has the best torsional rigidity, acoustic comfort and handling in its classs under extreme driving conditions. Weight distribution is a neutral 50/50.
Even though the Giulias on display appeared to be production ready cars we were not allowed to open the doors to view the interiors. Gearbox information was not provided but it would appear that the QV has a manual gearbox.
The body design is unmistakably Alfa Romeo with the signature grille being similar to the 4C but with wider mesh. The stance is aggressive with a short rear overhang. Inevitably comparisons are being made with the 3/ 4-series BMW, which I don’t see as being a criticism but more a declaration of intent to which market the Giulia is directed at. Said to be undercutting the German equivalents on cost and, let’s face it, style, the Giulia is certain to rock the establishment.
At the end of 2013, the architect Benedetto Camerana was called upon to propose a new design that would integrate the relaunch objectives with the need to preserve the building. The work started in summer 2014, and in less than 12 months, a major restoration project affecting the entire complex was completed and achieved by FCA. This entailed a new public entrance with coach and car parking, and re-facing the aged exterior of all the buildings.
The Giulia launch and museum reopening coincides with the 105th anniversary of Alfa Romeo, conveniently 105 is also the series number for the 1960s Giulias. Originally only open by appointment, the museum will now be open to the general public as from June 30th. It has been renamed ‘La Macchina del Tempo’ (the time machine). At the moment there are 69 cars on display. There are around 300 cars in the whole collection but some are in storage while others are away being displayed in international exhibitions. It is expected that some of the cars will be rotated to refresh the display. The interior of the galleries has been refitted and there are mirror back drops to add an extra dimension. Lighting is superb and colour balanced for effective photography.
The Alfa Romeo experience is enhanced with the ‘bolle emozionali’ (emotional bubbles) showing 360° virtual reality film footage. There is also a ‘fullimmersion’ room where visitors can sit in interactive armchairs and watch 4D films dedicated to the legendary successes of Alfa Romeo. #Alfa-Romeo is back. Rejoice!
ABOVE: The completely revamped museum has been installed with a mirror backdrop to add an extra viewing dimension.
TOP: Andre Bocelli sang a rousing rendition of Nessun Dorma as the Giulia was Revealed.
LEFT: Inspirational speech by CEO Sergio Marchionne.
ABOVE: This version had a sparkling white pearlescent paint finish and was fitted with an alternative style of road wheels.
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