Automotive

Alfa Romeo Giulia boasts lightweight body and slick styling

Alfa Romeo Giulia boasts light...
Alfa Romeo is hoping the Giulia can help rebuild its brand
Alfa Romeo is hoping the Giulia can help rebuild its brand
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The Alfa Romeo Giulia is pitched into battle with some serious competition
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The Alfa Romeo Giulia is pitched into battle with some serious competition
We think the Giulia looks fantastic
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We think the Giulia looks fantastic
Safety features like blind spot warning, auto-emergency braking and lane departure warning are standard across the range
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Safety features like blind spot warning, auto-emergency braking and lane departure warning are standard across the range
There will be a range of diesel and petrol engines available from launch
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There will be a range of diesel and petrol engines available from launch
The Alfa Romeo Giulia will go up against the BMW 3 Series and Audi A4
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The Alfa Romeo Giulia will go up against the BMW 3 Series and Audi A4
The Giulia can be specced with a six-speed manual gearbox or an eight-speed automatic gearbox
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The Giulia can be specced with a six-speed manual gearbox or an eight-speed automatic gearbox
The Giulia proudly bears Alfa Romeo's shield grille on the front
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The Giulia proudly bears Alfa Romeo's shield grille on the front
The Giulia has a long wheelbase, but the body is nice and compact
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The Giulia has a long wheelbase, but the body is nice and compact
Alfa Romeo is hoping the Giulia can help rebuild its brand
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Alfa Romeo is hoping the Giulia can help rebuild its brand
The Giulia can be had in three different trim levels
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The Giulia can be had in three different trim levels
The diesel powered Giulia has more torque than the comparable BMW at each trim level
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The diesel powered Giulia has more torque than the comparable BMW at each trim level
The Giulia has a five-link rear suspension system
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The Giulia has a five-link rear suspension system
We think the details on the Giulia look fantastic
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We think the details on the Giulia look fantastic
A manual gearbox is available across the range
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A manual gearbox is available across the range
LED daytime running lights are standard on the Giulia
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LED daytime running lights are standard on the Giulia
We can't wait to have a drive of the new Giulia
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We can't wait to have a drive of the new Giulia
The Giulia's front end has gaping air intakes
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The Giulia's front end has gaping air intakes
View gallery - 17 images

Alfa Romeo has a long and storied history in the automotive world, but the Italian marque has suffered its fair share of difficulties over the years. Alfa's range was made up of just two small hatchbacks between 2008 and 2013, but exciting things are happening in Turin. The 4C supercar launched in 2013, and now the new Giulia has all the right ingredients to take on midsize sedans like the BMW 3 Series and Audi A4.

Initially, there will be three different engines available on the new Giulia. For people who aren't worried about out-and-out performance there's an all-aluminum, 2.2-liter diesel that uses a variable-geometry turbocharger for quick throttle response.

The four-cylinder engine is available with 150 hp (112 kW) of power and 380 Nm (280 lb.ft) of torque, putting it squarely in line with the BMW 318d. Buyers who want a bit more power can opt for a variant with 180 hp (134 kW) and 450 Nm (332 lb.ft) of torque, which is 10 hp (6 kW) less power than the BMW 320d manages, but 50 Nm (36 lb.ft) more torque.

Depending on where it's being sold, a 276 hp (206 kW) 2.0-liter petrol engine will also be offered, while diesel and petrol cars can both be coupled with a six-speed manual or and eight-speed automatic gearbox.

The Alfa Romeo Giulia is pitched into battle with some serious competition
The Alfa Romeo Giulia is pitched into battle with some serious competition

Of course if you're after a practical family sedan, you're unlikely to wander into an Alfa Romeo showroom. This is a brand built around "the romance of performance," so lets forget about practicality for a moment and talk about how it's going to handle a twisting Tuscan road at sunset.

Taking a quick look at the spec sheet reveals plenty of potential. The base model Giulia weighs just 1,374 kg (3,029 lb), which is almost 300 kg (661 lb) less than a diesel Audi A4. It's worth remembering that figure is an unladen weight, but adding 160 kg (353 lb) to account for a driver and fluids isn't likely to prompt any panicked calls to Weight Watchers.

In the past, we might have been worried about an Alfa Romeo that makes bold claims about being lighter than its rivals, but we're confident that these weight savings can be accounted for by the carbon propeller shaft and aluminum-rich construction. What's more, the car has a perfect 50-50 weight distribution, and Alfa is adamant its body structure is extremely stiff.

There will be a range of diesel and petrol engines available from launch
There will be a range of diesel and petrol engines available from launch

Up front, there's a double-track control arm suspension system, which is designed to work in tandem with the car's 11.8:1 steering ratio for quick turn-in. At the rear, there's a five link setup designed to combine a compliant ride with solid body control. We're not sure whether that's enough to make it handle as well as the Jaguar XE we drove last month, but it seems like a good start.

We've deliberately left the final piece of the puzzle until last because, unlike the impressive light weight or well-endowed engines, this is up for debate. It mightn't be all that different from the rest of the mid-sized sedan crowd, but there's something about its long wheelbase and compact body that make the Giulia look just right. Are we getting caught up in the hype? Feel free to let us know in the comments.

Opening up the door reveals more design that, to us, looks absolutely fantastic. From the sweeping dashboard to the polished gearknob, the cabin pushes all the right buttons.

Safety features like blind spot warning, auto-emergency braking and lane departure warning are standard across the range
Safety features like blind spot warning, auto-emergency braking and lane departure warning are standard across the range

Speaking of buttons, there will be plenty to push when you sit down behind the wheel, because active safety features like blind spot warning, auto-emergency braking and lane departure warning are standard across the range. Moving up from the entry-level car brings an 8.8-inch touchscreen, along with nicer trim on the seats.

Currently there's no word on pricing for the Giulia.

Source: Fiat Chrysler

View gallery - 17 images
5 comments
5 comments
CarlEngeb
looks like an updated EDSEL!
Nicolas Zart
Not sure why you say it isn't practical. I find it very practical. The interior is very well laid out and feels great. The performance are a head and shoulder better than its German rivals, but then again, German carmakers have rested on their laurel leafs for over a decade now. This car will show people there is life outside German carmaker PR and offer another choice. I'm very game and very excited about it. It's a stunning car that hits all the right points.
Glad to see Marchionne is finally doing something with Alfa Romeo.
SoopRoop
The first model to be released in the U.S. is the top-spec Quadrifoglio, sporting a 2.9-liter twin-turbo V-6 generating 505 hp & 443 lb-ft of torque. It's rear-wheel drive and standard six-speed manual will make it a real driver's car. Looking forward to driving it!
StephenTerlizzi
I really like how the tan/black two tone interior is very sharp looking. More so than I generally do with tan and black combos. The backseat looks quite roomy and the round vents for the back seat look like they will be able to circulate the air well. From the outside it is a very smart looking car. The front shield doesn't look right on the dark blue, but fits well with the white car. I had heard that a choice of RWD or AWD would be available on all models, but am not sure if that is true. I had also heard pricing on the base model would be just under $40K (but with a lot of standard features the Germans don't see as standard. The Quadrafoglio is supposed to be, again, based on rumor, about $60-$70K base price.
CharlieSeattle
Lol, fugly EDSEL!