Not long ago I was thinking in my head, what in the world could ever replace the old girl since the C class is terrible to drive (not great for comfort either) and the 3 isn’t exactly new. My conclusion was the Giulia but there is no Alfa Romeo here which is a problem. Despite that, I was very fortunate to be hooked up with a Cloverleaf version by a fine gentleman despite it being irrelevant to where I live and my letter begins.
There is no contest for something prettier in this segment really, especially being in blood red. Nothing. It has been way too long since the last saloon from Alfa, even longer for one returning to form powering only the rear wheels. Pressing the big red button on the steering sparked it to life while all the carbon that had been littered in the Giulia did reveal the Ferrari in it.
Response to input
Carbon fibre galore
Sports exhaust deactivates
0-100 km/h: 3.9s
Top speed: 307 km/h
$ 135,000 NZD
Having gone 50 meters, the Quadrifoglio’s electric steering quickly gave away its nature on how pin-sharp it is. As for feedback, let's not discuss this matter shall we? The all-aluminium paddle shifters are commandingly huge making the driver feel like a 19th century sultan.
As for sheer acceleration, foot down in any drive mode will rocket the QV into the horizon. The fact that it deploys over 500 horsepower solely to its rear wheels, it did not once struggle for grip despite being on sandy B-roads. Its iron cast brakes really bite with well-judged progression while gearbox's bang on with precise shifts.
The Quad's engine sounds angry all the way to 7250 rpm but not the most notable feature of this car because it is often dominated by its exotic sounding exhausts which is a matter car bores like us cannot easily get over. Annoyingly, the sports exhaust is only fully opened in Race mode which takes away traction control is a shame because sounds coming out of its quad pipes cures depression.
" Sounds produced by this 2.9 bi-turbo
is just astonishing "
With so much power, you have to ask yourself when is that ever needed? Probably not in Bolehland as one is bound to be interrupted by idiots who bought their driver’s licence furthermore speed is limited by widely available portholes. But here in Kiwi land, it's perfect. Get to the restricted speed in 3.9 with the exhaust fully opened along with no traction control, you won't go fast enough to kill you.
The Giulia doesn't lag much from the Germans as soft touch materials are present on expected panels. Bizarrely enough in today’s world, it doesn't come with a launch control program like its competitors. Truth be told, the dna switch as well as the gear knob are neither the prettiest things nor the best to touch. A green stitch across the dash can be had and is a nice addition reminding you that it's the fastest version. On the contrary, Alfa's infotainment is a little low-res but to really notice, attention is required.
Standard seats are a tad harsh like most performance cars, they provide ample lateral support. A touch uncomfortable but you’ll be needing them because passengers will literally sink into them when the throttle is applied. To my surprise, this Guilla doesn't ride extremely harsh. Having said that, performance saloons do lean towards the firmer side of things. However the QV I drove was having section 35 rubbers and resulted in substantial road noise even at just above 100 km/h on a gritty patch.
This may all be a little biased because I like the QV a lot. Then again, there is plenty to like. Like the jack of all trades M5, it does fast with a lot more flair and flamboyance. This may sound like a biased review in favour of the Giulia Cloverleaf but it is admittedly something that's borderline heart over head.