Alfa Romeo has spent a long time out of America, but is throwing everything it has at cracking back into the market as part of plans to revive the brand there and elsewhere. The Italian automaker already has a halo in the 4C, and has now taken the wraps off its new Giulia. Going into battle with the BMW 3 Series, Audi A4, Mercedes C-Class and Jaguar XE, the Giulia will have to be good to make an impact. Luckily enough, the first signs are promising.
Just like great Alfa Romeos of the past, the Giulia has a pretty face. Sitting on a long wheelbase, Alfa's designers have tried to keep the car's proportions neat and compact with short overhangs. The Giulia's nose is adorned with the classic triangular Alfa Romeo chrome grille, and the sheetmetal hasn't been ruined with too many fussy shapes or elements. Instead, we're left with a simple shape that looks squat and sporty.
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The Giulia's styling is helped by the fact that Alfa is yet to give us images of low-end, small-wheeled variants. Instead, the only model we've been shown so far is the M4-rivalling Quadrifoglio version, which Alfa claims will hit 100 km/h (62 mph) in just 3.9 seconds thanks to its 510 hp (380 kW) six cylinder turbo engine. Oddly enough, 3.9 seconds is identical to the M4's time – possible evidence that Alfa has set its sights on taking down the class leader.
Supporting that powerful motor is a 50-50 weight distribution and a bespoke multilink suspension system designed to maintain the ideal contact patch on the road during vigorous cornering. Torque vectoring has been used to keep the engine's power in check, and Alfa's engineers have fitted the car with an Integrated Brake System that combines stability control and a traditional brake servo for what Alfa claims is impressive stopping distances and natural-feeling response.
Just as BMW has done with its M4, Alfa Romeo has fitted the Giulia with a carbon fiber propshaft, as well as using the lightweight weave for the roof and bonnet. Aluminum has been used to cut down on weight in the engine, brakes, suspension and doors and give the car a power to weight ratio of less than 3 kg/hp. Despite the low weight, Alfa is claiming class-leading torsional rigidity from its body, which is beneficial for handling and safety.
The Giulia was unveiled last week on the 105th anniversary of the company's foundation at a press event at the Alfa Romeo Museum in Arese, near Milan. The car is due in showrooms in the at the start of 2016, with pricing details to be announced closer to launch.
Source: Alfa RomeoView gallery - 3 images