Without Alfa Romeo today’s automotive world would not have a Ferrari to drivel over. It is perhaps fitting, then, that 95 years later Alfa Romeo has introduced a reinvigorated Alfa Romeo Giulia in Quadrifoglio Verde guise, but with a new engine developed with Ferrari technologies.
It is a powerful engine, a six-cylinder V6 monster with a power output of over 380 kW. If the numbers are not inspiring enough consider this for a thrilling performance: The Giulia can sprint from 0 to 100 km/h in just 3.9 seconds. The technology on the car was purposefully developed to incite sheer emotions at either extreme, hate it or love it. And that is Ferrari territory.
The car itself is impressive, with its imposing rear-end made distinct by Ferrari style exhaust-outlet. The front grille, not to mention the side skirts and rear diffuser, were all developed in true Ferrari fashion for a better handling. Alfa describes the new Giulia as “a sculptured shape reminiscent of a big cat just about to pounce.”
Despite the sensational power and torque output, the new engine is surprisingly fuel efficient and implements an electronically controlled cylinder deactivation system. This six-cylinder is made entirely of aluminium to reduce weight particularly on the front axle of the car and make that genuinely Alfa Romeo sound.
There is astute management of weights and materials to obtain a perfect 50/50 distribution across the two axles. The suspensions are as essential for optimal ride as weight distribution. In particular, a multilink solution ensuring top performance, driving pleasure and comfort has been chosen for the rear axle.
It was in 1920s, and throughout to post-World War II period that the romance between Alfa Romeo and Enzo Ferrari blossomed, although it all began with Ferrari as a race driver for Alfa. Alfa Romeo was at the time a ten-year-old company called A.L.F.A (Anomica Lombardo Fabbrica Automibili) producing the most desired sport and racing cars, and winning automobile races. Ferrari was to become the engineer behind the scenes, the man whose wisdom ensured that Alfa Romeo employs the best engine tuning technologies and automobile designs. From a racing driver he became an investor in Alfa Romeo and subsequently the founder of his own automotive company, Ferrari.
It is with such historical memories that the Giulia was introduced to the international press at the Alfa Romeo Museum in Arese, near Milan, on June 24, the very day that A.L.F.A was formed in 1910.
Alfa Romeo says the Giulia is “a new page of the brand which never ceases to surprise is being written by introducing a new model, a genuine manifesto which concentrates past, present and future and is one of the most brilliant examples of automobile excellence.”
And perhaps it is for Alfa Romeo tells us: “Non puoi dire di conoscere un’auto se non conosci la sua storia,” or for those not speaking Italian “you simply cannot know a car unless you are aware of the company’s history.”
An Alfa Romeo springs from the perfect balance of heritage, speed and beauty which makes it the highest expression of Italian style in the automotive world. The new Giulia is no exception because it encapsulates three particularities of Italian design: sense of proportions, simplicity and care for surface quality. This is the ‘skin’ that Alfa Romeo stylists have modelled with painstaking care on the mechanical parts.
In order to balance the weights perfectly, the engine and the mechanical parts are arranged between the two axles. This is why the Giulia has very short overhangs, a long bonnet and front wings, a retracted passenger compartment ‘settled’ on the drive wheels and muscular rear wings which visually mark the point where power is unleashed onto the road.
Not by chance, all the main controls are incorporated in the steering wheel as on a Formula 1 car, while the human-machine interface consists of two simple, user-friendly knobs for adjusting the Alfa DNA selector and the infotainment system.