- HH

The automotive folk memory of what an Alfa Romeo should really be persevered despite decades of humdrum Fiat-based saloons. True, the 156 was one of the most original-looking cars, and it even had double wishbones holding the front wheels, but it was still a front-driver, like the equally distinctiv­e 159 that replaced it.

Then the unexpected happened: the late Sergio Marchionne, ultra-hard-headed boss of Fiat Chrysler Automobile­s, decided to allocate the funds for a skunkworks (overseen by Ferrari’s technical director) to engineer a new rear-drive platform and deliver Alfa from decades of front-drive oblivion.

The ultimate expression of the Giulia project is the 503bhp V6 Quadrifogl­io. It has the hallmarks of a real Italian supercar: exceptiona­l poise and a precision edginess to every movement. It’s sharp, it’s wickedly fast and it feels half its weight in action. Limited sales of what might well be a four-door Ferrari already make it a classic.

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