Alfa Romeo Giulia Quadrifoglio First Drive Video Review

We go to Italy to drive the all new Alfa Romeo Giulia and the firebreathing Quadrifoglio version

By Shahzad Sheikh

Car guys love Alfa Romeos. And there are a lot of car guys in the Middle East. So Alfa romance should be rocking it here – especially with the impending arrival of the beautiful Giulia and its super-sporty rear-drive 503bhp Quadrifoglio version (just look at the passion in the picture above!).

How good are these cars? Very good indeed – just click below to watch my first drive video review.

However, Alfa’s have never had a massive following, appreciation or even understanding in this market. Understandably the famed Italian marque’s case wasn’t helped by the infamy of rust and reliability issues.

The thing is – that’s all in the past now. It’s like saying you don’t want to live in the Middle East because you’re allergic to sleeping in tents, get a sore bottom from riding camels and don’t want to be bit by a scorpion. Yeah, none of that is very likely, is it?

Alfa Romeo Giulia first drive

So stash the stereotypes, forget the rust and reliability concerns and focus instead on the romance of the brand. Behold the drop-dead gorgeous Giulia and just let your eyes pop out of their sockets, your jaw drag on the floor in its own puddle of saliva and revel in the naughty tingling below your loins. Let the emotions run riot, release the passion to swell and give in to the call of the cool, as you imagine sliding in behind the wheel of the new Giulia.

In the recent past there have also been stunningly desirable Alfas – witness the 156, 147, GTV and Spyder. You’ve wanted them, but you know you’ve been a bit gutted, dare we say appalled even, that they were dumbed-down front-wheel drivers.

Alfa Romeo Giulia first drive

This Giulia is rear-wheel drive. Drink that in for a bit. Let me hit you with more – double wishbone suspension, carbon fibre driveshaft, Alfa link direct steering and for the Quadrifoglio there’s torque vectoring and a front Active Aero Splitter – plus a six-speed manual available as well as the 8-speed paddleshift auto.

We’ll probably get two models – the regular flavour 2.0-litre four-cylinder with Twin-Scroll Turbo putting out 200bhp and 243lb ft, and of course the awesome 503bhp 443lb ft 2.9 V6 developed by Ferrari, giving the car an astonishing 0-100kph time of just 3.9 seconds and a top speed of 307kph. It can also do the Nurburgring’s Nordschleife circuit in just 7:39, a saloon car record!

Alfa Romeo Giulia first drive

No prices officially confirmed yet, but I’m guessing around AED150,000 for the 2.0 and AED360,000 for the 2.9 Quadrifoglio version – essentially a rival for the BMW M3 and Mercedes C63.

These are all new cars from the ground up, packed with gadgetry and technology , but true to the essence of pure driving designed to appeal both to the poseur and the pro-driver.

Alfa Romeo Giulia first drive

I had a drive on public roads in the 2.0 and it was both fun to peddle and served up more than adequate performance for the real world. It also felt special – and that’s important.

However, being given free rein to go trash the pants off a Giulia QV on the track was an absolute joy – not least because it’s such an intuitive and friendly car to get to know instantly. Straight out of the gate you have the confidence to push it with that direct-ratio electric power steering proving accurate, responsive and surprisingly feelsome.

Alfa Romeo Giulia first drive

The brakes are splendid and the turn-in is sharp and true with spot-on handling and grip. On the wide open and fast track we were using at the Balocco Test Facility, the pulverising performance is not as apparent as it would be on the road and it takes nano-second or two for the twin-turbos to work their magic, but then the acceleration is relentless.

Banging up through the manual changes is a joy, but what’s even more fun is slamming down through the gears for the corners particularly as the pedals have been so perfectly positioned for heel-and-toeing, that it’s almost second nature, and even I managed to get them right more often than not.

Alfa Romeo Giulia first drive

The performance of the QV combines with the practicality of the 2.0 – boasting longest wheelbase in its class – for a comfy and capacious interior with decent boot space and a good size for around town. So there’s very little not to like here if anything at all.

Verdict

A deeply desirably and extremely enjoyable all-new offering from Alfa Romeo that should see you ditching the M3 and C63 in droves. But sadly you won’t.

The Alfa is practical and well built, plus it’s an absolute stunner in the metal, but you have to be a maverick to choose an Alfa here rather than go with the obvious.

Alfa Romeo Giulia first drive

That’s both cool because it makes the car exclusive and rare, but it’s also sad because it means a lot of people will miss out on a genuinely fantastic new car that will satiate keen drivers as well as providing a practical all-round package.

We genuinely hope that situation changes here soon, because this is where the tide should turn, this is when Alfa should reign, and that is where you’ll find me – at the Alfa showroom!

Alfa Romeo Giulia 2.9 Quadrifoglio – The Specs

Price: AED360,000 ($98k)
Engine: 2.9-litre twin turbo V6, 503bhp @ 6500rpm, 443lb ft @ 2500-5000rpm
Performance: 0-100kph 3.9, 307kph, 8.5L/100km
Transmission: 6-speed manual or 8-speed auto, read-wheel drive
Weight:  1524kg

Tell us what you think of the Alfa Romeo Giulia Quadrifoglio below

One response to “Alfa Romeo Giulia Quadrifoglio First Drive Video Review”

  1. I have fallen in love with Giulia and she has truly stolen my heart!
    I’ve written my own blog on it.
    https://medium.com/@abdallahjamalghazal/alfa-romeo-giulia-quadrifoglio-d67727a922b8

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