Car review: Alfa Romeo Giulia Quadrifoglio
PUBLISHED: 06:31 15 June 2020
Powered by a 2.9-litre twin turbo V6, the Alfa Romeo Giulia Quadrifoglio offers a unique blend of style and performance
Looks good, doesn’t it? All sinuous curves and finely chiselled features. Underneath the elegant lines of the Alfa Romeo Giulia Quadrifoglio, however, there’s a monster waiting to get out. While the standard Giulia can be purchased with a choice of four-cylinder petrol or diesel engines, the Quadrifoglio comes exclusively with a 2.9-litre twin turbocharged V6, producing no less than 510PS.
To put things into perspective, that’s more power than the Ferrari F40 that once adorned thousands of bedroom walls. And it’s an apt comparison, because Ferrari engineers are known to have played a major role in the Quadrifoglio’s development.
There’s something unmistakably Italian about the Giulia’s interior. The hooded instruments, the aluminium gearshift paddles and the swooping dashboard look like they could have been lifted from a passing supercar. The seats are a triumph too, with a great blend of comfort, style and support.
True, there are some cheaper plastics here than you might find in a similarly-priced Audi or BMW, but the acres of leather, Alcantara and carbon fibre more than make up for it. And it’s pretty slick to use. You won’t find a giant Tesla-style touchscreen or a virtual instrument cluster, but the neatly packaged infotainment system is intuitive and responsive.
Space in the back is pretty good, with enough room for one six-footer to sit behind another, although the coupé-like roofline does eat into the headroom a little. Likewise, the boot opening may be quite small, but the total volume of 480 litres matches the BMW M3 and beats the Mercedes C63, making it reasonably practical for a 191mph supersaloon.
HOW IT DRIVES
There are two sides to the Quadrifoglio. Pick one of the more relaxed drive modes and the engine is admirably quiet, there’s ample torque from low revs and the steering is pleasingly light. Switch to Dynamic or Race mode and start exploring the upper end of the throttle travel, however, and you beginto wonder if Alfa Romeo’s power figures aren’t perhaps a little conservative. The Quadrifoglio really flies, with pin sharp throttle response and enough power to light up the rear wheels at will. It sounds fabulous too – more expressive than the M3’s straight six and more sophisticated than the C63’s sledgehammer V8.
Fortunately, the chassis is every bit as talented as the engine. The steering is quick and extremely accurate; the suspension is firm but never harsh; and there’s a real sense of agility here (aided by the Giulia’s comparatively light weight). It’s the sort of car that you drive with your fingertips, revelling in its delicacy and precision.
There are a few niggles. The indicators don’t self-cancel very well, there’s a touch of road noise at speed and the standard braking set up – while good – isn’t quite as impressive as the rest of the package (we’d be tempted to go for the optional carbon ceramics). Overall, though, it’s a hugely accomplished machine.
It may be something of a cliché, but you really can sense the Ferrari DNA in the Giulia Quadrifoglio – not just in its explosive performance, but in its tactility and response. Factor in that quintessentially Italian style, plus decent levels of comfort and practicality, and you have a uniquely appealing proposition.
SPEC AND TECH
Price: £70,415 as tested (Quadrifoglio range from £64,900)
Engine: 2,891cc, 510PS, twin turbo petrol V6 with 8-speed automatic transmission
Performance: 0 to 62mph in 3.9 seconds; top speed 191mph
Fuel economy: 31mpg (claimed)
CO2 emissions: 206g/km