The best cars coming out in 2017, including Alfa Romeo’s new Giulia.
PRESENTING THE NEW CARS YOU NEED TO KNOW ABOUT OVER THE COMING 12 MONTHS, STARTING WITH THE GIULIA – FINALLY, AN ALFA ROMEO TO GET EXCITED ABOUT.
How long can you live on reputation alone? Bob Dylan proves it’s possible, as does Val Kilmer, even though their recent work has been rubbish. But what about a car brand – how long can it last without producing a proper good motor? Alfa Romeo may be a proud Italian marque that carries the red-blooded essence and chesty growl of Ferrari (though not the price tag), but it’s been nearly 30 years since it made any kind of vehicle that inspired passion. And that’s why these same proud Italians have thrown everything at the new
Giulia, including a $7bn development budget and a skunkwork of engineers poached from Ferrari and Maserati. This new model is a rear-drive premium sedan that will attempt to challenge the industry’s popular competitors like the Mercedes C-class, Audi’s A4 and even BMW’S brutal M3. Thankfully, the signs are promising. Its design is far more muscular and overt than anything out of Germany, and it comes in an enticing range of lightweight engines, including the 150kw 2.0-litre turbocharged petrol unit, 2.2-litre turbodiesel and the Quadrifoglio, powered by a 380kw and 600Nm bi-turbo V6. The engine note and exhaust bark are strident and loud, and the Quadrifoglio is supremely fast – mind-bogglingly fast, in fact, sprinting to 100km/h in just 3.9 seconds. That’s a 10th faster than BMW’S M3 or the Mercedes-amg C 63 – with the Giulia also reportedly within whiskers of the old Ferrari 458 Italia around the legendary Nurburgring. The ride, handling, steering and eight-speed gearbox are also rated highly, with a sense that some of Italy’s best minds have been tinkering away in the background. Inside, the cabin features strong leather, carbon fibre and metal accents. It’s a restrained and quite German feeling – even if the usual tech doesn’t hit German standards. The Alfa badge brings with it a lot of love and it’s clear that the Giulia is going to be a very competitive car – especially given the pricing. While Alfa Romeo’s Australian arm is being secretive about such, you can bet they’ll aim to slightly undercut the Germans at every point, which means around $60,000 at the entry level, and somewhere under $140,000 for the Quadrifoglio. If it doesn’t sell, it might be the end of the bromance with Alfa Romeo, though all the evidence suggests this will have the marque speeding back into desirability.