Like a fitted suit
Giulia wins top award, first edition already priced for collectors
A BESPOKE Savile Row suit starts at over R90 000 — and despite the price, there is a waiting list.
The Alfa Romeo Giulia reminded me of this fact not because of its price, but for how tailored it feels.
It is snug in the cabin, the same way a tailored pair of pants feel snug. And it needs to be, because the Giulia has the 3-series in the eye and therefore has to handle. Which it does.
As Alfa puts it, “the engine and mechanical components are arranged to ensure perfect balance of weights”. This puts the cabin close to the front axle, which ensures a short overhang and a lower centre of gravity, but also means the front wheel arches bulge deep into the footwells. This is a car for drivers who wear pointy shoes rather than steel cap boots then.
To compete with the Beemer the Giulia also has to turn heads.
Which it also does, as it showed by winning the “Compasso d’Oro ADI” award last week. ADI stands for Italian Industrial Design Association — the kind of guys who understand the hundreds of hours that go into tailoring a bespoke suit.
They see in the Giulia the highest expression of Italian style in the automotive world.
The interior pivots towards the driver with all the elements designed to add to the feeling of space and power, with a central console covered by a rakish lid the size of a chest plate.
It looks gorgeous, until one tries to open it to dig something out. This is a car for drivers, not fiddlers.
And the engine to do the driving with is the race-tuned V6 BiTurbo petrol engine. The road going version already makes 380 kW and 600 Nm, with a weight-to-power ratio 2,99 kg/hp.
This engine propelled the Nürburgring Edition Stelvio Quadrifoglio — a big SUV mind — around the German test track’s Nordschleife in seven minutes and 51,7 seconds. No other SUV has done it faster yet.
Alfa is building only 108 each of the Nürburgring Edition Stelvio and Giulia models.
The normal Giulia sells from R616 900. This pits it against a lot of very capable cars. But only the Giulia feels like a bespoke suit.
Which may explain why a launch edition Giulia V6 was advertised at twice this price on social media at the time of print. Style never goes out of demand.
The Alfa Romeo Giulia has won the Italian Industrial Design Association’s coveted Compasso d’Oro ADI award.