ALFA ROMEO GI­U­LIA QUADRI­FOGLIO VERDE

Does this all-new sports sedan have what it takes to spark a much-needed re­vival of the sto­ried Ital­ian brand?

Car (South Africa) - - TEST -

R1 400 000

T4,15 sec 375 kw/600 N.m 305 km/h HE finest Alfa Romeos of years gone by were achingly beau­ti­ful things im­bued with han­dling fi­nesse, near-per­fect weight dis­tri­bu­tion and an un­quan­tifi­able emotional ap­peal. The en­gine was sited at the front, drive was chan­nelled to the rear and weight was kept to an absolute min­i­mum.

For the best part of the past three decades, how­ever, the Turin-based brand has di­luted this DNA, seem­ingly los­ing sight of what made its cel­e­brated wares some of the most emo­tive on the road and most com­pet­i­tive on the track. Sure, its re­cent his­tory is pep­pered with be­guil­ingly styled ma­chines – the ma­jor­ity of them front-wheel drive – but none 10,2 L/100 km 198 g/km has de­liv­ered the pu­rity or sense of oc­ca­sion of those classics.

En­ter the Gi­u­lia, Alfa Romeo’s first real crack at right­ing those un­for­tu­nate wrongs. Built on the all-new, rear-wheel-drive Gior­gio plat­form that also un­der­pins the Stelvio SUV, the Ital­ian au­tomaker’s first com­pact-ex­ec­u­tive sedan since the 159 has the es­tab­lished Ger­mans squarely in its sights. And this high-per­for­mance Quadri­foglio Verde vari­ant is pos­i­tively spoil­ing for a fight.

And what a first ef­fort it is. Draw­ing its urge from a new 2,9-litre, 90-de­gree V6 armed with a pair of tur­bocharg­ers, the clover­leaf-badged Gi­u­lia boasts a healthy peak out­put of 375 kw and will storm past 300 km/h thanks to the con­spic­u­ous ab­sence of an elec­tronic lim­iter. The silky smooth six-pot was part­de­vel­oped by Fer­rari en­gi­neers and shares much with the F154 fam­ily of V8s … and it shows.

At 2 500 r/min, max­i­mum torque of 600 N.m ar­rives some­what later than you might ex­pect of a mod­ern forced-in­duc­tion mill and the re­sult is a hint of lag on pull-away. But, once the tachome­ter nee­dle whips past that mark, power de­liv­ery is pro­gres-

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