It’s finally here. After years of speculation, fantasising and hoping, the Alfa Romeo fan fraternity can breathe a sigh of relief. The Giulia has been revealed and it is tasked with putting the iconic Italian manufacturer back on the map.
The new sedan will spearhead Alfa Romeo’s revival, it takes the torch from the 159 as the competitor to the BMW 3-Series, Mercedes-Benz C-Class and Audi A4. It was unveiled at the Alfa Romeo Museum in Arese, near Milan this week – an event that coincides with the brand’s 105th year of existence.
According to the manufacturer, a back-to-basics approach was adopted in the development of the Giulia. They stuck to the five tenets of what makes an Alfa Romeo an authentic Alfa Romeo. That meant, in their view, distinctive design, innovative engines, perfect weight distribution, smart technology and a superb power-to-weight ratio.
This time around, it seems they’re really serious about gunning for the evergreen Bavarian rival. The Giulia is rear-wheel drive and the designers claim to have gone to great lengths to ensure supreme balance. The overhangs are short, the passenger compartment is said to be “settled” on the drive wheels and Alfa Romeo explained that the teardrop-shaped profile created by rounded angles hark back to the gorgeous Giulietta Sprint.
It’s a distinctive looking car indeed; but is it universally beautiful, as most Alfa Romeo models tend to be? The jury is still out on that one. As you know, the internet was abuzz with chatter when the initial leaked images circulated. Some noted similarities to the Dart from Alfa Romeo’s familial connection Dodge. There were comparisons drawn to the recently unveiled Fiat Aegea too…
Alfa Romeo says you can expect an assortment of new powertrains. The model they’re most excited about is the flagship Quadrifoglio version, squared against the BMW M3 and Mercedes-AMG C 63. It’s going to be powered by an all-aluminium, six-cylinder turbocharged engine, purportedly with some elements from Ferrari in the mix. Power output will be in the region of 380kW and they claim a 0-100km/h time of 3.9 seconds. It will also employ cylinder shut-off technology, for greater efficiency.
A revised version of the DNA driving mode system, which first featured in the MiTo, will also appear in the Giulia. It will offer three modes – Dynamic, Natural and Advanced Efficient. But the Quadrifoglio will gain a special Racing choice as well. Alfa Romeo’s press statement extols that the driver has been made priority one, with all elements centred towards the woman or man at the helm. It’ll have a steering wheel akin to that of an F1 car, incorporating all the main controls – and this is not by chance, they promise.
One of the factors that inspire confidence in this latest revival of Alfa Romeo, is that Fiat Chrysler CEO Sergio Marchionne has earmarked 5 million euros toward the development of eight new models by 2018. Marchionne set a sales target of 400 000 for 2018. Last year the manufacturer managed to sell around 72 000 vehicles.