June 25, 2015
Alfa Romeo has always had a special place in motorists hearts. This is not because they are known for reliability, but because they were known for outlandishness. Like Lancia, the Italian cars they made were not necessarily going to last through the warranty, but like a supernova, they made an impression during their lifespan… also possibly a huge fire in the process. But that was half the fun. Now Sergio Marchionne is planning on revamping Fiat Chrysler Automobiles with a revival of the Classic Alfa Romeo Giulia. On paper the Giulia Quadrifoglio Verde looks promising. The engine was made by Ferrari for the Alfa Romeo, a twin turbo 3.0 liter V6 with an output above 500 horses, resulting in 0-60 in under four seconds… yes please. The Engine is so sublime it might be making an appearance in the upcoming Dino as well. The head of Skunkworks (the division of Alfa Romeo that made the car) said it has, “fantastic torque all through the rev range and no turbo lag.” The engine also features cylinder deactivation for fuel efficiency. Giulia can handle her curves as well. At the end of the day, Alfa claims the handling will basically be point and shoot. This is achieved with 50/50 weight distribution, paired with an advanced double wishbone based suspension. Beyond that, there is torque vectoring and an active splitter to maximize wheel grip and downforce respectively. Most impressive is the mentality behind all this. Marchionne claims that the car will not have intrusive electronic police in the car, instead the car should feel like a proper Alfa Romeo, like you are in control at all times. That said, Marchionne hinted that there would be no self-driving addition, this car would be fully un-autonomous. I am in total accordance with Marchionne’s latest decision: revamping the Alfa Romeo brand a little ahead of schedule, though I must say, the Giulia is a bold choice. I say that, not because the regular Giulia (105 series) is particularly posh, it was a typical boxy car like most of that era, but that is not what I think of when I think Giulia. When I hear Giulia I think of an immaculate Italian model, and/or the Giulia TZ. The new Giulia is nothing like the TZ. The TZ series is actually made by a group of Italians that get great cars and make them neck-snapping works of functional art. Zagato is a company that is too unique for my taste, they are one of the few remaining coach builders. I love coach builders; I like the idea of getting an everyday car and giving it a face-lift with an utterly unique body made by a professional. Coach builders could make automotive works of art without the owner paying art gallery prices. Zagato will always be my favorite, because they can improve on masterpieces like Alfas and Astons. I just wish they had free range to design their hearts content as opposed to be shackled to the original design. I do not know anything about the infotainment system, but I do know that the Giulia will be available in a manual transmission, so I'm sold already. Infotainment systems are 'eh' at best in any car (unless it has Android Auto), but in a manual Alfa the infotainment system could have been designed by Satan himself and I wouldn't care. Nothing but the road would matter. I will know more when I touch it for real. One thing is certain she is pretty, much prettier than her rivals excluding possibly the S4, but the real question is, is she Alfa enough for the prestige that comes with her badge. The new Giulia Quadrifoglio Verde doesn’t need a Zagato face lift she is fine as she is, but will she be enough to revamp FCA with Alfa Romeo?