Alfa's latest Giulia has lower running costs and a more affordable price tag.
It's no secret that the Alfa Romeo Giulia is one of the most charming sedans in its segment. It may not be the most polished, but it excels at two of the things that Italy is known for: style and driving fun. After the Giulia's latest exterior and interior refresh, it's even more of a stunner than before, with an available body-color appearance kit having been added. These updates didn't introduce new engine choices, though, but the latest news is that in Italy, a lower-powered turbo-four that reduces the Giulia's running costs has been added. It begs the question: what about a cheaper and less powerful Giulia in the US?
According to the Italian automobile magazine Al Volante, both the Giulia and Stelvio are set to get a 250-horsepower version of the 2.0-liter turbocharged engine, down from the existing unit's 280 hp. The 250-hp output is intentional since vehicles that produce 251 hp or more in Italy are subject to a specific surcharge.
250 hp is more than enough, considering that the base BMW 330i makes 255 hp. And, because Alfa doesn't have a sedan that's smaller than the Giulia, a more affordable entry-point into the range sounds like a perfectly good idea. Buyers would still be able to take advantage of the Giulia's brilliant rear-wheel-drive dynamics and super-sharp steering, which makes the car feel so much more alive than the muted racks in many competitors.
With a few adjustments to the standard spec (say, replacing the leather seats with an imitation upholstery, for instance, or relegating a few more standard features to the options list), Alfa could maybe get the price to below $35,000, which would make the Giulia a fantastic prospect. The less powerful model in Italy still gets 19-inch wheels, sports seats, and an adaptive speed regulator.
It's unconfirmed if this lower-powered Giulia will make it stateside anytime soon, if at all, especially since Alfa seems to be focusing on hotter and even more viciously powerful versions of its sedan, such as the epic Giulia GTA - but that starts at nearly $200,000. That car has more than double the power at 540 hp and is the new halo model for the Italian brand. Recently, both the Giulia and Stelvio Quadrifolgio also received a number of aesthetic updates, keeping these high-performance Alfas fresh.
Still, we're always pleased when exciting manufacturers like Alfa resist the urge for more power, luxury, and cost, and provide less well-heeled enthusiasts with the chance to enjoy a top-class vehicle at a more accessible price. Toyota recently did the same with the 2021 Supra, adding a base four-cylinder variant to the mix. We'd love to see a cheaper version of the Giulia, too.