Car (South Africa) - - TEST -

AT the very end of 2017, I was con­tacted by a rep­re­sen­ta­tive from Alfa Romeo SA re­gard­ing my long-term test car. There was a soft­ware up­date for early model Gi­u­lias, such as this one, and they wanted to con­duct the up­grade to the car.

Lo­cal Alfa Romeo/fiat dealer, Wil­liam Simp­son, would un­der­take the check-up and be re­spon­si­ble for the en­tire process. As I was about to leave on an in­ter­na­tional as­sign­ment, the tim­ing was per­fect. Mr Simp­son him­self made the ar­range­ments for col­lec­tion/de­liv­ery and kept me in­formed with on­go­ing sta­tus re­ports. Af­ter a day and a half in the Tokai-based deal­er­ship’s work­shop, FS 56 VH GP was re­turned with a few new thought­con­trol pro­cesses.

Dur­ing the elec­tronic medical, sev­eral sys­tems were given the once-over, in­clud­ing the body-con­trol mod­ule, in­stru­ment panel, HVAC sys­tem and elec­tric power steer­ing. The most no­tice­able changes, how­ever, were un­der­taken on the in­fo­tain­ment sys­tem and in­te­grated brake setup. On the former, there is now quick ac­cess to my favourite ra­dio sta­tions. Sim­ply push down­wards on the ro­tary con­troller and my ve pre­ferred chan­nels come up for quick se­lec­tion. This comes in par­tic­u­larly handy when you con­sider the amount of tripe spo­ken by mod­ern DJS.

The other signi cant change is in the op­er­a­tion of the brakeby-wire sys­tem and we have crit­i­cised the Gi­u­lia’s brake pedal for be­ing too sen­si­tive. The elec­tron­i­cally ac­tu­ated sys­tem was quite sen­si­tive to in­puts, re­quir­ing the small­est bit of ef­fort to make the car slow dra­mat­i­cally. Thank­fully, the soft­ware up­date has tem­pered the ac­tion some­what, mak­ing it feel more like a reg­u­lar hy­draulic pedal.

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