ALFA ROMEO PIN­NING HOPES OF A FUR­THER RE­VIVAL ON ITS NEW PRE­MIUM SA­LOON

Paul Con­nolly looks at what’s in the new Giulia and how it will com­pete against its mainly Ger­man ri­vals

Belfast Telegraph - NI Carfinder - - Front Page - ALFA ROMEO GIULIA

SLEEK and stylish ri­val to the likes of the BMW 3 Se­ries and Merc C- Class, the Alfa Romeo Giulia is a car for those pre­pared to look be­yond the badge snob­bery of some devo­tees of the higher-end Ger­man man­u­fac­tur­ers.

It’s a tonic for any­one bored with main­stream compact ex­ec­u­tive cars and se­ri­ously lovely to look at.

The Giulia is a key car in Alfa’s de­vel­op­ment. Set­ting aside the 4C sports car, this is the first new main­stream model since the much smaller Gi­uli­etta, which was launched way back in 2010.

It’s also the built on the same plat­form as the much-an­tic­i­pated Stelvio SUV, which will plug a yawn­ing gap in Alfa’s model line-up when it hits fore­courts later this year. WHAT’S NEW? The whole car, and those looks in par­tic­u­lar. In a class dom­i­nated by the Ger­mans, its long, clean, taut lines flow from its long wheel­base that is cre­ated by its rear-wheel drive ar­chi­tec­ture.

It comes in sa­loon body style only, and in five trims. One lim­i­ta­tion is that UK buy­ers have no choice with the trans­mis­sion: even though it comes in both man­ual and auto in Europe, we have to make do with auto only. Strange.

UN­DER THE BON­NET There are limited en­gine choices for now, although that will surely ex­pand soon. The pow­er­plants that will com­mand most at­ten­tion in­clude the 2.2-litre diesel, which comes with two power out­puts: 178bhp and 148bhp.

There is also a 2.0-litre four-cylin- der petrol unit, and a very pow­er­ful 2.9-litre V6 petrol pow­er­plant on the range-top­ping model.

MOD­ELS AND EQUIP­MENT The trim lev­els are stan­dard Giulia, Su­per, Spe­ciale, Ve­loce and the very fast Quadri­foglio (which harks back to the ‘four-leafed clover’ Alfa her­itage of old).

Stan­dard equip­ment on the en­try-level car in­cludes that eight-speed auto trans­mis­sion, 16-inch al­loys, day­time run­ning lights, LED rear lamp clus­ters, Con­nect in­fo­tain­ment sys­tem and new Al­fatm DNA se­lec­tor.

Stan­dard safety fea­tures in­clude For­ward Col­li­sion Warn­ing, Au­ton-

omous Emer­gency Brake with pedes­trian de­tec­tion, In­te­grated Brak­ing Sys­tem and Lane De­par­ture Warn­ing.

Su­per gets by 17-inch al­loy wheels, leather and fab­ric seats, steer­ing wheel pad­dle shifters and spe­cial in­te­rior trim.

In Spe­ciale, you get 18-inch 5-hole dark al­loy wheels, red painted brake cal­lipers, Bi-xenon head­lights, pow­ered and heated sports seats, sports bumpers, black gloss win­dow sur­round and rear sports dif­fuser with dual ex­hausts.

Ve­loce raises the game yet fur­ther with an en­hanced sports in­te­rior and ex­te­rior, 18-inch 10-spoke Tur­bine al­loy wheels and black brake calipers. Misano Blue paint will also be avail­able, as an op­tion, ex­clu­sively on the Giulia Ve­loce.

The same qual­ity feel con­tin- ues in­side with a driver-fo­cused lay­out, com­pli­mented by a choice of black, tan or red Ital­ian leather Sport seats and aluminium shift pad­dles on the steer­ing col­umn.

AT THE TOP OF THE RANGE The range-top­ping Giulia Quadri­foglio is equipped with the Fer­rari-in­spired 510hp 2.9-litre Bi­turbo petrol en­gine and is eas­ily iden­ti­fi­able thanks to its aero­dy­namic en­hance­ments, 19-inch al­loy wheels and 35W bi-xenon head­lights with AFS.

In­side it has sports seats trimmed in leather and Al­can­tara, a sports steer­ing wheel with red power but­ton and the Al­fatm DNA Pro se­lec­tor with Race mode.

Per­for­mance en­hance­ments also in­clude up­rated brakes, Ac­tive Aero Split­ter, Chas­sis Do­main Control and Torque Vec­tor­ing tech­nol­ogy, while op­tions in­clude ul­tra-light car­bon seats and car­bon ce­ramic disc brakes. SAFETY AND DRIVER AS­SISTS So­phis­ti­cated tech­nol­ogy is in all mod­els as stan­dard in­clud­ing an In­te­grated Brake Sys­tem (IBS), For­ward Col­li­sion Warn­ing (FCW) and Au­ton­o­mous Emer­gency Brake (AEB) with pedes­trian de­tec­tion.

The IBS com­bines the sta­bil­ity control sys­tem and tra­di­tional servo to im­prove brake re­spon­sive­ness, lower weight, re­duce pedal vi­bra­tions of the ABS sys­tem and make record-break­ing stop­ping dis­tances pos­si­ble: 62mph to a stand­still in just 38.5m with stan­dard discs or a truly as­ton­ish­ing 32m for the Quadri­foglio.

For­ward Col­li­sion Warn­ing Au­ton­o­mous Emer­gency Brake with pedes­trian de­tec­tion sys­tems au­to­mat­i­cally slows or brakes the car to avoid an im­mi­nent crash, us­ing radar sen­sors and a cam­era to de­tect whether vehicles or ob­sta­cles, in­clud­ing pedes­tri­ans, are in its path.

The sys­tem first warns the driver about the ob­sta­cle via an acous­tic alarm and, if the driver fails to re­act quickly, it brakes au­tonomously to avoid col­li­sion at speeds of up to 40mph.

ALL THE TECH As you’d ex­pect, a brand new car needs to come suf­fi­ciently specced with phone and me­dia tech­nol­ogy.

A new 8.8-inch high-res­o­lu­tion Con­nect 3D Nav sys­tem offers a se­ries of fea­tures and func­tions, in­clud­ing a next-gen­er­a­tion HMI hu­man-ma­chine in­ter­face.

It in­cludes ad­vanced voice recog­ni­tion for con­nec­tiv­ity with all mobile de­vices (Ap­ple IOS and An­droid, DAB dig­i­tal radio and Hi-fi dig­i­tal au­dio.

The sat nav in­cludes high-res­o­lu­tion 3D maps with rapid route cal­cu­la­tion even in lo­ca­tions where it’s not pos­si­ble to find a GPS sig­nal thanks to some­thing called ad­vanced “Dead Reck­on­ing” tech­nol­ogy.

Mu­sic lovers should ap­pre­ci­ate the so­phis­ti­cated Sound Theatre by Har­man Kar­don sys­tem con­tain­ing a compact and high-per­for­mance, 900W, 12-chan­nel Class D am­pli­fier, which com­bines with Logic 7® tech­nol­ogy to fill the cabin with 5.1 sur­round sound via 14 high-qual­ity speak­ers.

PRICES The Alfa Romeo Giulia range is on sale now priced from £29,180 on the road for a stan­dard model.

The pow­er­ful Quadri­foglio, fea­tur­ing a 510hp, 600Nm Bi-turbo V6 petrol en­gine with eight-speed pad­dle shift auto trans­mis­sion as stan­dard, is on sale from £59,000 on the road.

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