and exhaust noise
Numb at ten tenth
6-speed twin clutch
0-100 km/h: 6.0s
Top speed: 240 km/h
$ 47,000 AUD
A generous gesture, right words at the right time or even a smile is able to gravitate attraction. When it comes to Alfa Romeos, it is all heart and soul. Blue does not even come close to being my top three favourite colours but a Giulietta in this shade just pulls in the flesh. I honestly would be lightheaded spending time gazing at its beauty, spotting every detail that has been tastefully curated onto this Alfa.
The colour is called cobalt blue and this car has got almost everything except for a sunroof or two. On the inside, things aren’t as exciting but the pair of seats with holes, they simply dominate the atmosphere. Everything’s tightly screwed together, I’m quite unsure what critics are on about with quality issues because surfaces are soft where expected.
In the city, the Giulietta is perfect. Just the right amount of noise accompanied with bags of personality. You’ll find a 1.75-litre Alfa 4C engine that may not sound unholy, especially on the outside but induction noise from 1500 rpm onwards coupled to ‘barks’ from the first three gearshifts evokes a menacing behaviour that is intoxicating.
Also, it corners with little roll as suspension is taut while no flex was felt thanks to a rigidly constructed body. Even so, ride isn't rubbish despite being equipped with passive dampers. On the weekend, it is large enough to swallow four adults and their luggage for a road trip which I did.
The dual-clutch gearbox, also from the 4C is found here which works fine when left on its own but when control is taken over, it is a touch slow to respond. Put your foot down at any time, the Veloce will always be a loose cannon. You don’t really know if it will be going to go left, right or straight, there’s nothing to do but pray.
This Alfa has been glistened with all the ingredients to make a car wonderful; sports car engine and transmission, hard-biting Brembo brakes, bucket seats. But on The Great Alpine Road, they unfortunately don’t quite gel. It is as if each department is not on good terms with the next. Having the steering thrown into the equation, the Giulietta Veloce is a cocktail made of four parts spirit to go with no mixer.
All is forgotten when the people who are in and around it are rewarded with a lot of love noises. And to my surprise, I’ve gotten more praise in this Alfa Romeo than any coupe I’ve ever driven. Then again, things could be down to the combination of Australia’s national flag colour and de facto Alfa Romeo 5-spoke alloys.
A Golf GTI or a Cooper S both have a louder exhaust, more rewarding to drive, polished round the edges but neither hold a secret charm. The generous amount of kit and exquisite all-round looks earned the Veloce its final full-bodied star.
Having Pirelli P7 swapped for Michellin PS4 at all four corners, the Veloce corners with a lot more confidence and predictability. Blasting up and down Mt Baw Baw was actually good fun as disconnection doesn’t come in until more than 90 degrees of lock was put in. Ride quality and road noise too has been vastly improved where it is now a quieter cabin. Three years on and the Giulietta Veloce has yet to lose any of its charm.