Like a fit­ted suit

Giulia wins top award, first edi­tion al­ready priced for col­lec­tors

The Witness - Wheels - - MOTORING - AL­WYN VILJOEN

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.

PHOTO: SUP­PLIED

The Alfa Romeo Giulia has won the Ital­ian In­dus­trial De­sign As­so­ci­a­tion’s cov­eted Com­passo d’Oro ADI award.

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