2017 Alfa Romeo Giulia Quadrifoglio
Alfa Romeo isn't tiptoeing back into the American market; they're taking a sledgehammer to the front door. Arriving in dealers now is the 2017 Alfa Romeo Giulia Quadrifoglio, a 505-horsepower four-door rocket ship poised to compete with BMW’s M3, Audi’s S4, and cars from Mercedes’ AMG division.
The 2017 Alfa Romeo Giulia is a four-door, five-passenger luxury small car. It will be available in three trim levels, with the range-topping Quadrifoglio to be the first to arrive. Pricing for the Quadrifoglio starts at $72,000. Less powerful versions of the Giulia will start at $37,995.
Behind the powerful engine in the Quadrifoglio will be an eight-speed automatic transmission that sends power to the rear wheels. Unlike the rest of the Giulia lineup, all-wheel drive is not available on the Quadrifoglio.
Racing Heritage Is in the Name
The Quadrifoglio name and the four-leaf clover badge that grace the fenders of the 2017 Alfa Romeo Giulia are a nod to the company’s racing heritage. For the 1923 Targa Florio, Alfa racer Ugo Sivocci painted the four-leaf clover on his car. He went on to win the race.
Sivocci later died during practice for the Italian Grand Prix at Monza in a car that had yet to be painted with the four-leaf clover logo, bolstering its superstitious heritage. The symbol, known as the Quadrifoglio Verde, is now affixed to Alfa’s high-performance vehicles, including the Giulia Quadrifoglio and Stelvio Quadrifoglio models for the American market.
Power to Spare
Giulia Quadrifoglio drivers can accelerate from zero to 60 mph in just 3.8 seconds thanks to the Ferrari-engineered 505-horsepower twin-turbocharged 2.9-liter V6 under the hood. Alfa Romeo claims that the Quadrifoglio is the fastest four-door production sedan in the world, based on its lap time around Germany’s Nurburgring race circuit.
Power flows to the rear wheels through an eight-speed automatic transmission. There is no manual transmission option.
The other half of the car's performance equation is its lightweight construction. Not only are its hood, roof, rear spoiler, and rocker panel moldings made of carbon fiber, but its driveshaft is also made of the high-strength but lightweight, material. A carbon fiber front splitter located below the front bumper changes position automatically for optimal aerodynamics in different driving conditions.
Dynamic Chassis Control
Having outstanding engine power is wonderful, but you’re not going to have a world-class sports car without top-notch handling prowess. The 2017 Giulia Quadrifoglio has an almost perfect 50/50 weight distribution, front to rear, and an adaptive performance suspension system.
The four-mode electronic DNA drive mode controller has settings for normal driving, efficient driving, sporty driving, and high-performance driving. It alters the car’s throttle response, exhaust note, steering-wheel response, and braking. Speaking of braking, the Quadrifoglio features six-piston Brembo brakes up front and four-piston brakes in the rear. High-performance carbon-ceramic brakes are available.
Connecting the car to the road are Pirelli P Zero Corsa three-season tires, which are staggered with 1.5-inch wider wheels at the rear.
Led by Alfa Romeo's signature triangular shield grille, the Giulia's curvaceous stance is athletic with no square edges apparent until you reach the rear fascia, where four large exhaust tips rumble with the Quadrifoglio’s deep voice. The grille forms the point of a V that climbs the car's long hood.
An active front splitter deploys when the need for additional downforce is anticipated. Though it’s not apparent by looking at it, the car’s hood and roof are constructed of lightweight carbon fiber. Bi-xenon active headlights which shift to illuminate the way around corners are standard. 19-inch wheels with a five-hole design come as standard equipment.
Drivers will find an interior that is focused on them. That's good for the driver, but not so great for passengers. Unlike some rivals, the Alfa isn’t loaded with whiz-bang technological gadgets.
Rear-seat passengers aren't as coddled as the driver, and rivals offer much more room for both passengers and cargo.
Nestled between a pair of large analog gauges is a 7-inch customizable instrument panel. For infotainment, there's an 8.8-inch central screen. Apple CarPlay and Android Auto are not supported by the infotainment system.
The interior is lined with leather and Alcantara surfaces accented with carbon fiber and aluminum trim. The push-button starter sits in the lower left quadrant of the thick steering wheel. Quadrifoglios can be fitted with super-lightweight carbon fiber Sparco racing seats.
It’s Built in Italy
The 2017 Alfa Romeo Giulia Quadrifoglio comes from Alfa Romeo's Cassino plant in Italy, which has been recently renovated into one of the company's most advanced facilities. More than seven million cars have been produced there since it came online in 1972.
In addition to its production efficiency, the plant is also environmentally friendly, with no waste going to landfills – it’s all either recovered or recycled. On-site solar generation helps provide power to the sprawling facility.
There’s More Than One Giulia
If the Quadrifoglio is a bit rich for your budget, or you don’t need its epic power, there are two less-expensive models available that still offer athletic performance. The 2017 Alfa Romeo Giulia and Giulia Ti feature a 2.0-liter turbo that cranks out a healthy 280 horsepower.
The Giulia starts at $37,995 and comes standard with Brembo brakes, leather upholstery, power-adjustable seats, dual-zone automatic temperature control, rear parking sensors, and push-button start.
Step up to the $39,995 Giulia Ti, and you'll get heated front seats, a heated steering wheel, an 8.8-inch infotainment screen, and front parking sensors.
All-wheel drive is a $2,000 option, and you can add advanced safety features including automatic emergency braking and adaptive cruise control for around $1,500. Others in the luxury small car class come standard with those safety features.
It’s Part of a Growing Family
The Giulia joins the 2017 Alfa Romeo 4C and 2016 4C Spider in the brand’s fledgling U.S. lineup. After a long absence, the company elected to return to America for the 2015 model year, with sights set on a full lineup of cars and SUVs in the coming years.
Arriving later this year is the 2018 Alfa Stelvio, a luxury compact SUV named for the famous Stelvio pass in the Italian Alps. Like the Giulia, it will be available in a 505-horsepower Quadrifoglio trim.
It Competes With Big Names
The 2017 Alfa Romeo Giulia is set to compete with some powerful, well-entrenched rivals. On top of that list is the vaunted 2017 BMW M3, which has a following that is fiercely loyal. Although the BMW competes well with reputation and refinement, the Alfa’s engine produces 80 more horsepower.
Other contenders include the Mercedes-Benz AMG C63 and C63 S, which is the only competitor that can rival the Quadrifoglio’s 505 horsepower. From Audi, there’s the S4 (based on the highly ranked A4), and the forthcoming 400-horsepower 2018 RS3.
Cadillac offers the ATS-V, a 464-horsepower compact sedan, and Infiniti has the 400-horsepower Q50 Red Sport 400 which cranks out about 100 horsepower less than the Alfa, but does so with a price that’s $20,000 cheaper. Finally, there’s the Jaguar XE, with a 340-horsepower supercharged engine.
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