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?
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-