Forget rehab. You wouldn't want to go anyway.
It finally happened. Alfa Romeo delivered the Giulia Quadrifoglio high-performance sedan that, quite frankly, we had doubts would ever arrive. But it's here and it's splendid, and I was able to drive it for a week. I'll just come out and say it: it's the best in its segment. God bless you, Alfa Romeo. You directly challenged Germany's darlings, the BMW M3 and Mercedes-AMG C63 along with America's Cadillac ATS-V. All three are impressive in their own ways, but the Giulia QV beats all of them at their own game. Bravo. But let's back up a couple of years first.
When Alfa Romeo first announced the Giulia QV, I was honestly afraid it'd be composed of a FCA parts bin components with touches of Maserati thrown in, such as exhaust pipes or something like that. I was wrong. The Giulia QV is its own thing, inheriting only the Ferrari-derived twin-turbo 2.9-liter V6. So why am I convinced the Giulia QV is now the best high-performance sedan on the market? A few reasons, which I'll explain right now. The steering. It's fantastic. It's both light and wicked precise. One of my biggest complaints about some new cars is dull steering. Audi, in general, is one example. But the Giulia QV's fast steering inspired me to drive it more and push it even further to its and my limits.
Unfortunately for me, the car wants to keep dancing while my driving skills can't always keep up. Thanks to its torque vectoring rear differential, which can send 100 percent of the 450 lb-ft of torque to either the left or right rear wheels, and the electronic stability control, I'm still around to write these words. That sound. Hit the accelerator and your ear drums will thank you within mere seconds. The dual mode quad exhaust system not only looks great, but causes drivers around you to take notice, for better or worse. And yes, the Giulia QV sounds better than the M3 and ATS-V.
One guy even approached me after I parked outside Costco asking if it was the car he thought it was. When I replied in the affirmative, his reply was simple: "Italian cars always sound the best." Agreed. A carbon fiber happy interior. One of my biggest complaints about some German cars is that they have too many buttons scattered throughout the dash and center console. It can almost be intimidating at times. But Alfa Romeo was smart and made the interior as simple as possible while still being elegant and sporty as hell. The 8.8-inch screen is controlled by a simple rotary dial on the carbon fiber, almost button-less center console.
I also loved the big aluminum, Ferrari-like shift paddles. If I can't row my own gears, then at the very least I want a pair of dominate paddles, not mere pieces of plastic. A simple tap also gives a nice, high-quality click. Small details matter. Acceleration. Zero to 60 mph happens in only 3.6 seconds, but it's also what you experience while that's going on. There's just tons of forward grip and thrust. You feel the car just pulling and pulling and it's remarkably stable the entire time. During both of my 120 mph runs on that barren, and still secret southeastern Michigan country road straightaway, I never felt like I was losing control despite all of that thrust. I could literally do speed runs like that all day.
It's addicting. It nearly broke my heart when the Giulia QV had to be returned. Few cars these days, in my opinion, have an addictive quality to them, regardless of whether they're performance cars or not. Let me put it this way: I didn't mind returning a Maserati Ghibli. Maybe it's because this was my first time experiencing an Alfa. Or maybe because my own car, which I'll leave nameless but I do like it, isn't nearly as cool as an Alfa. The Giulia Quadrifoglio has made me an Alfa Romeo fan for life. I'm damn proud of that.