Alfa's full Giulia line-up
Alfa Romeo took its Giulia saloon to the Geneva Motor Show, telling us about all four models that will constitute its launch line-up. The good news is that there's something for everyone, from a 150hp turbodiesel to an incredible 510hp Quadrifoglio.
Like any good Alfa saloon, looks are not an issue for the Giulia. Continuing in the fine modern tradition of the 156 and 159, this thing is taut, pretty and so clearly not German or North European. It'll benefit from four-link rear suspension and a new double wishbone front set-up, while the rear axle is 'semi-virtual steering', which means 'passive rear-wheel steer'. The Alfa uses a lot of lightweight materials, like carbon fibre and aluminium, to keep the weight down. It seems to have worked, because a mid-spec diesel clocks in at an impressively lean 1,374kg. Even the Quadrifoglio is no porker, its kerb weight of 1,524kg standing up to scrutiny alongside the current BMW M3, for instance.
Driver-focused and dominated by a new 'human-machine interface', the Giulia's cabin promises to be well-specified. Exact Irish trims are still some way from being confirmed but the following is known at this stage: all models will get either a 3.5- or seven-inch colour instrument display in front of the driver; versions with mapping get an 8.8-inch Connect Nav 3D screen in the dash; an optional 900-watt, 14-speaker, 5.1 surround sound set-up provides the in-car tunes; the Giulia is laden with safety-related driver assist systems; and all models should get 16-inch alloys, dual-zone climate, cruise control and an Alfa DNA drive selector as standard, with more goodies coming into play further up the range.
Four all-new engines power the Giulia. There's a solitary 'normal' petrol, a 2.0-litre four-pot with 200hp at 5,000rpm and 330Nm of torque from just 1,750rpm; sounds like a good match for the petrol Jaguar XE. More interestingly for us in Ireland, an all-aluminium 2.2-litre turbodiesel - the first to be made of this metal in the company's history - is split into two outputs, again much like Jag's XE Ingenium unit. Choose from either 150hp at 4,000rpm and 380Nm from 1,500rpm, or 180hp at 3,750rpm and 450Nm at 1,750rpm.
Then there's the Quadrifoglio Verde (QV). It's almost like a model apart, this thing. Packing a 'Ferrari-inspired' 2.9-litre petrol twin-turbo V6, it's more powerful than the very similar (albeit it was a V8) engine found in the Ferrari F40. Producing 510hp and 600Nm, Alfa says it will propel the car to 307km/h and sprint from rest to 100km/h in 3.9 seconds. It also has cylinder deactivation if it's running slowly, in a vain effort to save some fuel - at this stage, Alfa Romeo is not releasing any economy and emissions data for any of the Giulia range.
Some more highlights of the line-up include a Torque Vectoring rear differential on the QV, an electromechanical braking system that combines stability control with the brake servo to improve stopping responsiveness (all models: 100-0km/h in 38.5 metres on standard discs and just 32m for the QV), an eight-speed automatic transmission (all models), an Active Aero Splitter (AAS) on the QV to manage downforce and Chassis Domain Control (QV only again, we're afraid), which adapts the powertrain, suspension, AAS, brakes, steering, ESC and the rear diff according to the demands of the driver.
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