Gi­u­lia the first new-gen Alfa Romeo

South Waikato News - - Motoring -

Su­per­car-eat­ing Quadri­foglio sedan leads new wave of Alfa Romeos. By

to a top speed of 307kmh.

It fea­tures ac­tive aero­dy­nam­ics from a front split­ter that au­to­mat­i­cally ex­tends to in­crease down­force be­tween 100-230kmh, car­bon fibre body el­e­ments and Brembo brakes. It picks up Alfa’s DNA drive-mode sys­tem (Dy­namic, Nat­u­ral and Ad­vanced ef­fi­ciency with cylin­der de­ac­ti­va­tion) but adds Race mode.

The adap­tive sus­pen­sion, sta­bil­ity con­trol, torque vec­tor­ing and brak­ing are ad­min­is­tered si­mul­ta­ne­ously by what Alfa calls Chas­sis Do­main Con­trol.

At $134,990 the Quadri­foglio un­der­cuts the M3 and C 63 S sedans by $24,510 and $29,910 re­spec­tively. It’s faster to 100kmh than both.

Of course, the Gi­u­lia Quadri­foglio might need that price ad­van­tage to en­cour­age con­quest cus­tomers over to the Alfa side.

It’s been long time be­tween per­for­mance sedans: the 156 GTA was ar­guably the maker’s last se­ri­ous ef­fort and it ended pro­duc­tion in 2005. More to the point, the Ital­ian mar­que has never had the best rep­u­ta­tion for qual­ity - some­thing that’s a given with the Ger­man com­pe­ti­tion.

Alfa Romeo NZ chief ex­ec­u­tive of­fi­cer David Smither­man hopes to ad­dress the for­mer with a se­ries of show­room dis­plays and track days tak­ing place through­out the coun­try this year: "We want cus­tomers to ex­pe­ri­ence the per­for­mance of this ve­hi­cle."

Qual­ity is a tougher is­sue with so much bag­gage. But Smither­man is keen to com­mu­ni­cate that Gi­u­lia is a fresh start: "The fac­tory is pur­pose-built for this car. Each and ev­ery ve­hi­cle is taken off the line and tested by a pro­fes­sional driver to en­sure the best level of qual­ity."

The Quadri­foglio is on sale now, with first de­liv­er­ies in May. But in June it will be joined by a more main­stream Ve­loce ver­sion, with a 2.0-litre petrol-turbo engine mak­ing 206kw/400nm and a 0-100kmh time of 5.7 sec­onds. It also has an eight-speed trans­mis­sion and will be priced at $79,990.

Ex­pect to see plenty of Gi­u­lia ad­ver­tis­ing fo­cus­ing on Alfa’s na­tion­al­ity and rac­ing her­itage. ""We see Ital­ian style and her­itage as a con­sid­er­able com­pet­i­tive ad­van­tage," says Smither­man. "[Gi­u­lia] will be sold as an Ital­ian ve­hi­cle all through our mar­ket­ing and we’ll be push­ing that theme. It re­ally looks and feels like an Alfa Romeo."

The next new Alfa to ar­rive will be the Gi­u­lia-based Stelvio SUV, al­though we may not see it un­til this time next year.

"From what’s hap­pen­ing in our mar­ket here, we see sig­nif­i­cant op­por­tu­nity," says Smither­man. "The lux­ury SUV seg­ment is grow­ing and ev­ery man­u­fac­turer is right into it. We can’t wait to get hold of Stelvio. Of course we’re push­ing to get it as soon as pos­si­ble. But the way we see it, we’ll have Gi­u­lia for this year and Stelvio the next.

"We’re ex­tremely con­fi­dent. Ev­ery­body’s rid­ing the high of the NZ auto in­dus­try at the mo­ment and we’re pleased that we’re bring­ing Alfa Romeo into this en­vi­ron­ment.

"We see the pre­mium seg­ment grow­ing five per cent per an­num for the next five or six years. We see a space for Alfa Romeo."

The time­frame for the next new Alfa mod­els is hazy, but there will be at least two more SUVS, two more sports mod­els and a hatch­back.

"All I can say is that we know there will be eight new mod­els in a rel­a­tively short space of time let’s say in the next five years."

Alfa Romeo Gi­u­lia Quadri­foglio of­fers su­per­car per­for­mance for $134,990: 0-100kmh in 3.9sec, 307kmh.

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