Alfa Romeo's North American comeback started with the introduction of the 4C last year. Now, the automaker is bringing more of Turin across the Atlantic with the re-introduction of the Giulia sports sedan. This is a rear-wheel drive beauty that packs 505 Ferrari stallions under its hood and sprints to 60 miles per hour in less than four seconds, continuing on to a top speed of nearly 200 miles per hour.
This isn't just a comeback. This is a Rocky Balboa in the 15th round kind of comeback.
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It all started in 1962 with the introduction of the first Giulia. This was a sporting sedan (there was also a wagon) with a front-engine, rear-wheel-drive layout. It had basic, but beautifully contemporary styling with a lot of beautiful detail that even today inspires collectors and enthusiasts. It was powered by a small 91 horsepower (68 kW) engine.
Fast-forward to 2015 and the introduction of the Alfa Romeo Giulia, first teased in June. The production version has now been unveiled in Los Angeles at the LA Auto Show and the wait has been well worth it.
The 2017 Alfa Romeo Giulia Quadrifoglio carries two names of renown. The Giulia was the name given to the now-iconic 1960s sedan. The Quadrifoglio is another piece of Alfa history, coming from the 1923 Targa Florio in Sicily. Alfa Romeo race driver Ugo Sivocci, a superstitious man, painted a four-leaf clover (quadrifoglio) on his car for luck. For the first time in his career, Sivocci won the Florio. Not long afterwards, the race driver was testing a new Alfa Romeo car and had not painted the clover on it. He died in a wreck and his teammates took up the Quadrifoglio legend, painting it on their cars encased in a triangle to symbolize the loss of their fourth man.
The new 2017 Giulia Quadrifoglio has the same design creed as its predecessor from half a century ago. It's a relatively simple, contemporary sedan in look but the details bring out a lot of style. The carefully shaped saloon hood bears unassuming lines of adornment which further the wineglass V of the grille back to the hood. Slitted headlights look out from the corners over air scoops that forego bezels in favor of body shaping edgework.
Simple vents behind the front wheel wells offer a hint at the performance under the hood, belying the simplistic sport coupe sedan styling. The rear wells flare out slightly to give notice of the rear-driven powertrain and wide exhaust openings on either corner finish the muscular touches.
Underneath the hood of the 2017 Alfa Romeo Giulia Quadrifoglio is a powerful 505-horsepower bi-turbo, 90-degree angled V6 derived from a Ferrari design. This will be the most powerful Alfa production car to date. The 2.9-liter V6 offers those 377 kilowatts of output with 443 pound-feet of torque (601 Nm) to match. That's all thanks to the bi-turbo kicking out a peak 35 psi at peak. A short-shifting six-speed manual transmission is available, giving the car a 0-60 mph (0-96.5 km/h) time of just 3.8 seconds and a top speed of 191 mph (307 km/h). This car did the Nurburgring in a record-setting 7:39 lap.
Despite that powerful engine, Alfa Romeo assures the world that this is also a fuel-efficient sedan. Cylinder deactivation, which lowers the six to three, and engine stop/start reduce fuel consumption in everyday driving. A variable pressure oil pump also reduces drag, improving efficiency. No EPA numbers for miles per gallon estimates have been issued as yet.
If breaking Nurburgring records isn't your thing, then Alfa Romeo will also be introducing an all-new 2.0-liter direct injected four-cylinder turbo for the Giulia. This will produce 276 hp and utilize Alfa's parent company Fiat's MultiAir2 system, which controls compression ratios for efficient performance. The four-cylinder turbo will be offered with an all-wheel drive powertrain as well. Alfa promises more information on this drivetrain as production nears.
Ferrari also had a hand in the chassis of the Alfa Romeo Giulia Quadrifoglio. Senior engineers from Alfa's friends in Turin integrated lightweight materials for power-to-weight focus and balanced weight distribution. The result is about 7 pounds per horse (3 kg to 0.75 kW) and a near 50/50 weight distribution in the car. Alfa is calling this the Giorgio architecture and plans to use it throughout their rear-wheel drive lineup.
Other key technologies offered on this new Alfa Romeo Giulia include:
- Chassis Domain Control (CDC), a central computer that coordinates active systems in stability, torque vectoring, suspension damping, etc. to optimize on-road performance.
- An Integrated Braking System, a world first, debuts on the Quadrigoflio as a replacement for traditional electronic stability control. This electromechanical system creates braking pressure faster. This means better braking performance with lower component weight.
- A Twin Clutch Rear Differential for optimized torque vectoring for better traction control and power delivery.
- The Active Aero Front Splitter is another new innovation for the Giulia. This adjusts the carbon fiber front lip spoiler to optimize aerodynamics to improve downforce (up to 220 pounds) and gives stability control at varying speeds. This is a big part of the Quadrifoglio's 0.32 coefficient of drag.
To finish things off, a full suite of safety technologies will be offered in this luxury sedan. The Giulia Quadrifoglio will have forward collision warning at all speeds, adaptive cruise control that includes full-stop capability, and lane departure warning with return correction. These go along with blind spot monitoring, rear cross path detection, and park-assist sensors at front and rear.
The 2017 Alfa Romeo Giulia Quadrifoglio will be built in the Alfa Romeo Cassino plant in Frosinone, Italy. It will begin production in late 2016 and enter North American showrooms by end of year. Expected manufacturer's suggested retail price will start at about $70,000.
Source: Alfa RomeoView gallery - 8 images