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The most exciting luxury sedan to reach America’s shores was not designed by one of Germany’s leading automotive manufactures, but instead hails from Italy, A country from where most vehicles that reach our shores are two door Fiat 500’s or the much rarer Ferrari or Lamborghini. The Alfa Romeo Giulia Quadrifoglio (say that four times fast) is placing the whole performance sedan market on notice that the Italians are back and they have top performance to go along with the jaw dropping styling that typifies cars from this region. This vehicle is the result of the engineering prowess of one of Ferrari’s best, who background includes the building of the Iconic 458 Italia. What innovations make this vehicle so impressive? Let’s start with it’s almost even 50-50 weight distribution largely due to the engine placement within the confines of the front axle.

v8 EngineThis car has an incredible power to weight ratio based on it's 2.9 liter V6 bi-turbo engine which churns out an incredible 505 hp and 443 pounds-feet of torque. The motor is a derivative of a Ferrari type 156 engine with two cylinder simply lopped off. What kind of performance does that kind of power achieve; consider 3.8 seconds in 0 to 60 and a class leading top speed of 191 miles an hour. It should be no surprise then that the Giulia has captured the fastest four-door production Record for Germany’s famed Nuremberg Ring racetrack.  Many were anticipating this vehicle to have a manual shift, transmission, however that transmission, which actually has slower track performance, will not be included as an American offering.

It also has an integrated active aero front splitter integrated into the lower fascia which raises or lowers as needed when braking or cornering. Traction control has been brought to a new level with torque vectoring technology that optimizes power distribution to prevent wheel spin so there’s no loss of power on a myriad of road surfaces and conditions.

Alfa Romeo

One would expect a performance sedan like this to have multiple performance settings and this Alfa is no different; four different driving settings include dynamic, natural, advanced efficiency and race. Each mode creates unique adjustments to the exhaust, tone, suspension firmness, boost settings of the turbo, and throttle response. Customizing the vehicle to the individual drivers taste, mood, and driving style. Part of the performance of this vehicle is it’s suspension, it includes an active dampening suspension which responds to driving conditions or the current setting selected by the driver.

The brakes and wheels preform as expected in a car of this performance level. Alfa claims a near instantaneous response with their Advanced Integrated Braking System. It is a combination of mechanical and electronic systems combined to provide responsive petal feel while slaying the competition with the shortest braking distances in it’s class. Combined with this system is a stability control that monitors steering and keeps the Quadrifoglio extremely sure footed. All brake options are Brembo sourced with the standard calipers being 6 piston monobloc units. An ultimate setup with ceramic rotors at all for wheels are an available option.  The wheels with their five lobe cloverleaf design display these massive calipers and cross drilled brake rotors. They coordinate well with the ascetics of the car which are uniquely Italian.

Alfa Romeo

In the interior the demand for modern technology has been balanced with their desire to keep traditional clean Italian aesthetics intact. Alfa Romeo has worked hard to go against convention, hiding much of the dashboard technology with an extremely clean design with many of the wiz bang buttons and switches of other cars eschewed for an ergonomically pleasing and intuitive system. Alfa Romeo has achieved this by installing nearly 9 inch infotainment system screen that is hidden when not in use. It displays vehicle performance and telemetry along with 3d navigation with input via hand gestures from the console rotary pad.
In comparing it to the BMW M3 respected auto journalist and Top Gear UK host Chris Harris claimed the Alfa to not be quite up to the performance of the M3, but “it’s better looking and has a lot more character….being more exciting, more interesting and more comfortable.” Unlike much of it’s competition it’s just as thrilling to gaze upon as to pilot. / Issue 192 - April 8193
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