Alfa Romeo: Giulia Quadrafolgio
Finally, it seems like Alfa Romeo has returned to its golden era. Will the Quadrifoglio leave its competitors behind?
Alfa Romeo, a proven history within the car manufacturing market - the Italian one at that. We know that the Italians produce some truly beautiful cars both inside and out, and Alfa is a solid foundation that has stood the test of time.
Wind back the clock 50-70 years, the 750 Competizione, Giulia TZ, 1750 Gran Turismo and the 2300 Monza were revolutionary in the automobile industry due to the engineering specifics on what made them great cars.
The Alfa Romeo brand sparked the launch of Enzo Ferrari who once ran the Alfa sporting division in the 30s under the Scuderia Ferrari banner - who then went on establish Ferrari. Enter the 1950s, an era of racing power for Alfa - 17 European touring car championships, 11 titles in the world's toughest road race the Mille Miglia, and two World Sports Car Championships - talk about an impressive racing resume.
Alfa Romeo was built upon a rich history, but after its headquarters were bombed during World War II, many wondered whether Alfa would rise back to its prominence. Of course it did, but only through manufacturing smaller cars from 1954 onwards which resulted in poor financial results. However staying true to the Italian grit, it would produce a twin cam four cylinder engine at 13000 cc - which would be expanded to 2000c and would consist until 1995.
Throughout the years we saw how competitors Mercedes AMG, BMW M, Audi and Ferrari transformed smoothly through the modern age and were basically building cars that were professional driving machines. The market was rapidly growing each year, and much to Alfa’s despise we never saw that raw power they previously produced, ultimately resulting in a significant decline in sales.
Was Alfa ready to call it a day? Everyone else thought so, but Alfa provided a solution to its problem. Gather all current Ferrari engineers and lock them in a room, provide them with the finest italian espresso, antipasto and see what type of car they created by the end of the day. Enter the Alfa Romeo Giulia Quadrifoglio - Alfa Romeo’s last chance for redemption.
To compete with the C63, M3 and the RS5, Alfa had to produce a car that would not only level the playing field but speed right past it - and that's exactly what the Quadrifoglio does. With its Ferrari DNA running through the car, you were best assured that this model was not to be taken lightly - as seen previously from its poor production line.
Let’s start with the interior; Alfa offers the latest technology including navigation, in-car entertainment and circle knob usability that mirrors both the M3 and C63 but isn’t quite matched in terms of graphic quality and smoothness that the BMW’s iDrive offers. However, this is a learning curve and not too much of this matters as the piece de resistance is under the hood.
The Carbon fibre trim provides class, quality and refinement which stands out as soon as you sit in the Sparcos bucket-like seats along with fantastic leather stitching that oozes prestige. You quickly become aware that this isn’t your usual Alfa Romeo with the red start-stop button sticking out like a sore thumb similar to many Ferrari models, it instantaneously grabs your attention that becomes a statement of authority and power.
Okay, let’s get to the focal points on what the Ferrari engineers emphasised. Are you aware of the Ferrari 458 and the power it produces? The Quadrifoglio’s engine is a 2.9L all aluminium twin turbo V6 that puts out 505 HP (374 KW) and can go from 0-100 in just 3.8 seconds. Amazingly, the quadrifoglio also offers an electronically-controlled cylinder deactivation system which reduces fuel consumption by shutting down cylinders when extra power is not needed - this is a modern day engine at its finest.
Of course a high powered vehicle like the Alfa needs significant braking power, and the Quadrifoglio is backed by an integrated four piston caliper, carbon ceramic high ventilated braking system. This allows the car to to deliver an instantaneous response for reduced braking along with an electro-mechanical solution that ensures extremely precise brake pedal feedback.
The way the Quadrifoglio glides through corners at ease, that devilish backfire as you blip the throttle during downchange, and the exhaust note that it delivers gives this car a unique tone like something you have never heard from a vehicle before.
Sure, great cars come and go but how do they stack up against competition in the same class? The answer is clear for the Quadrifoglio, its above and beyond. Review after review we are starting to see the the Alfa is smashing every competitor that dare test the raw power of this automobile.
The Giulia also has the ability to become an everyday car much like its competitors and provides amazing driving comfort which are the foundations for a solid sports car.
This is the resurgence of Alfa Romeo, something that is well overdue, and is highlighted by the fact that the Quadrifoglio already has a long waiting list in the Australian market.
The future's looking bright for the newly appointed sporting division at Alfa Romeo. The desire to be different has not always worked out, but it is evident here that being different was the best thing Alfa Romeo could do. Having the right minds behind a car production can ultimately achieve expectations you never thought were possible.
Alfa Romeo - Welcome Back, Bravo.
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