The new kid on the performance sedan block has made some serious waves, attacking the usual market leaders with big claims, but at the same time being able to back them up - and then some. Drawing on the company’s links to Ferrari, the Alfa Romeo Giulia Quadrifoglio is powered by a 2.9-liter twin-turbocharged V6 with a mighty 505 hp available and that’s already taken the car to a record lap at Nürburgring of a blisteringly quick 07:32. This new rear-wheel drive Alfa Romeo is quite possibly the best thing to come from the automaker since inception, but all of that amazing performance comes at a price.
The Italian automaker is known for great styling, and the interior of the Alfa Romeo Giulia Quadrifoglio oozes style while being undoubtedly race-focused. Things look a little trimmed down when compared to its rivals, but that doesn’t mean a skimp in quality. The leather race seats (with optional carbon fiber backing) bear the Alfa Romeo logo along with some pronounced stitching that is matched on the door cards, dashboard and the thin-rimmed steering wheel. Reaffirming the race aspect, carbon fiber is used to keep weight down; of course the side effect is rather pleasing on the eye. The steering wheel is a work of art. Space is good if you’re up front in the Alfa Romeo, not so much in the rear, but you can get passengers in if you must. One oddity is the missing rear-folding seats, possibly because the seatback forms part of the chassis stiffening. The center console controls are a bit too plastic but are laid out well, the screen is easy to view and the DNA control is where you hand naturally falls to the side.
With the Alfa Romeo Giulia Quadrifoglio aiming its sights directly at the usual class leaders, a lot of attention was aimed at the driving experience. The DNA drive-mode selector with settings labeled Dynamic, Natural, Advanced Efficiency, and the main one, Race. Each one tweaks certain aspects of the suspension, steering and throttle response to prove the desired drive. You can even order up sharper steering inputs while keeping the ride smooth thanks to control over the suspension’s active dampers. When you want comfortable, it’s there, when you want fast, it’s there and when you want outright madness, that’s there too. The car doubles as the perfect cross-country tourer with comfort levels surpassing the rivals and a track killer with precision and power that surprised the whole automotive community. There are a few instances where the competition does feel a little sharper, but with this being Alfa Romeo’s first attempt at a rear-wheel drive sports saloon in many years, it’s really, really good.
The styling of the Alfa Romeo Giulia Quadrifoglio is as good as it gets, but even though it will win competitions on looks alone, the performance is where it’s heart is. The engine is pure class and it outshines rivals with impressive numbers all round. With the experience of Ferrari, the Giulia Quadrifoglio makes use of a twin-turbocharged V6 powerplant that pushes out a class-leading 505 hp with 443 lb-ft of torque. The most surprising part is that this power comes out of just 2.9-liters of capacity. A ZF 8-speed automatic transmission links things to the rear wheels and it’s sharp and accurate, one of the best available. In the right drive mode, 60 mph arrives in a very quick 3.8-seconds and the quarter mile mark is reached in 11.9-seconds according to some tests. The top speed is equally impressive with it claimed to be at 191 mph.
Standard equipment in the Giulia Quadrifoglio comes in the form of an 8.8-inch screen heading up the rather good and intuitive infotainment system that also screens navigation in 3D while the driver is faced with a 7.0-inch gauge cluster and 200 mph speedometer. You can also have a Harman Kardon 14-speaker audio s that includes a 900w amplifier and subwoofer, but the engine note is better than this. Safety includes autonomous braking that will attempt to bring the Giulia to a full stop when frontal collision appears imminent. Added to that there’s forward collision warning with pedestrian detection, adaptive cruise control with stop function and also lane departure warning. Carbon fiber trim on the steering and seatbacks is also an option that you have to have. For the best in braking you can option the carbon ceramic brakes at just $8,000.
The Alfa Romeo Giulia Quadrifoglio isn’t just a cat set among the pigeons; it’s a monstrous lion with a healthy appetite. For an automaker to bring out a performance rear-wheel drive sedan after such a long time, Alfa Rome has done a brilliant job. There are some minor niggles being reported with the car, but with these Italian cars being bought with the heart over the head, many will overlook this. The car is great in every way possible, looks, spec and of course, performance. It’s better than the rest in most aspects, but to get all of that in a new Alfa Romeo you have to be prepared to pay – a lot.