Let’s get one thing crystal here; the latest Giulia Quadrifoglio has little to prove.
The Italian marque might have suffered jibes about its rust and unreliability once upon a time, but that never stopped Alfa admirers loving the athletic DNA that gushed through the arteries of every model manufactured.
The cynics shook their heads, but the believers always had faith. Some may say it was blind faith, but where there’s love, there’s still hope. What did a little unpredictability and oxidation between mankind and machine matter anyway?
Forward-wind to now and there’s even more love surrounding Alfa Romeo than ever. Indeed, there’s a whole cluster of hearts beating for one moniker currently – namely the Giulia Quadrifoglio. This is Alfa’s recently refreshed version of the 2016 super saloon – the most potent model it has ever produced for the public highway.
But where on our compact, densely populated island, can we drive a missile like this without ending up without a licence? Very few places, except on track, or even better – a disused airfield.
Then there’s always Germany and its autobahn system. This road network often has no speed limit on the rural sections. Hmm, fancy a holiday to Bavaria coming on? Wherever you choose to experience how ballistic this four-door tour de force is, you’ll not be feeling short-changed on the theatre-front.
The £67,195 you spend on this car will bring you a shrieking powerplant note as well as steering that’s as accurate as a precision-guided missile. You’ll also find your rear tyres will ruthlessly shower rubber everywhere during any derring-do oversteer manoeuvres. Basically, the Alfa will ladle on drama for you in spades.
With its top speed of 191mph and its zero to 62mph time of 3.9 seconds, this Giulia is perhaps the most outstanding high-performance rear-drive saloon in the automotive arena. Not only does it look breath-taking with its bulldog-like posture and carbon-fibre and aluminium trimmings – its lightweight body, 50:50 balance, firm suspension and braking talents make it an utter wonder to pilot.
Take a seat inside, and the up-to-the-minute Quadrifoglio means serious business. Inside, the centre console has been revised to offer a more “in your face” presence. There’s also now better storage space than in the older model. What’s more, a leather-wrapped gearstick and steering wheel are factory fitted. You can also choose to have red or green seatbelts as an optional extra if you want to add even further pizazz. Oh, and when you take that seat mentioned above, you’ll adore the feel of the leather and Alcantara cocooning you. Mind you, if that’s too bland for you, then carbon shell Sparco chairs are just a tick in the options box away.
The Giulia Quadrifoglio’s onboard tech hasn’t been ignored for the recent update. It has been boosted to encompass an infotainment system featuring an 8.8-inch touchscreen and connected services. Only offered in the Quadrifoglio, Alfa Romeo has integrated “Performance Pages” into the system, too. These pages highlight the temperature of the Giulia’s oily bits, as well as power used, torque delivery and turbo pressure. Additionally, digital chronometers measure pace and top speed, enabling you to drill down into real-time performance levels.
Alfa Romeo has also ushered in Advanced Driver Assistance Systems (ADAS), to give level two autonomous driving. The technology doesn’t dilute the joy of being the driver, as it only intervenes to ensure complete safety and to boost driving comfort in congested traffic or on long commutes. Level two autonomy is the highest level of autonomous driving allowed right now. It’s achieved when you give the vehicle control of the brakes, accelerator and steering under specific conditions. You, as the driver, must, however, stay in control, by keeping your hands on the steering wheel at all times.
But we’ve digressed. Back to the exciting stuff, the thick steering wheel feels gratifying to hold, then there’s the DNA switch, which when set to Dynamic – or even better, Race mode – ensures the Q screams hysterically towards the skyline. Put it this way; if you’ve ever yearned for a way to boost your dopamine levels, this is the way to do it. But there’s more. Tip into a double-apex and the Q demonstrates it’s the real deal. The throttle reacts with the gentlest of inputs, the steering is light, and the powerplant response is immense. Then there are the paddles on the steering wheel that allow you to shift through the cogs quickly and satisfyingly. It all feels more rewarding than securing a date without a dating app.
Loaded to the brim on its outside back corner, the Quadrifoglio’s chassis does dance around without much prodding, but the result shows this hot-blooded Italian saloon has a strong-willed and flamboyant character.
It should come as no surprise as you read this, then, that the Alfa Romeo has enough thump to send your body and mind into orbit. The Quadrifoglio’s V6 bi-turbo lump has a double dosage of Italian DNA. It is Ferrari derived and, like the Maranello-centred icon, this Giulia uses a torque delivery that yields strength in an even and unshakable manner.
After a short time alone with the 2.9-litre petrol-propelled Alfa, you’ll be entirely seduced. Any thoughts of a better offer will be erased from your mind the longer you spend under the Italian car’s spell. Seriously, the Quadrifoglio gets hold of your heart and soul in a way that hot German premium brands don’t always manage. Porsches, BMWs and Audis are fast, but they don’t seem to smother you in emotional “glue” like Alfa Romeos do. Alfa still clearly has fire and passion at its core. The current Giulia Quadrifoglio is irrefutably attractive and very tempting – in every sense.
Fast Facts – Alfa Romeo Giulia Quadrifoglio as tested:
- Max speed: 191mph
- 0-62 mph: 3.9 sec
- Combined mpg: 27.2
- Engine layout: 2891cc, twin-turbo V6 petrol
- Max. power (PS): 510
- CO2: 236g/km
- Price: £67,195