Has Alfa Romeo produced a serious rival to the Germans asks Geraldine Herbert
What is it? The Quadrifoglio, or four-leaf clover, has been the symbol of high-performance Alfa Romeos since 1923 when Ugo Sivocci painted one on the grille of his car for the Targa Florio race in an effort to break a string of second-place finishes. (Spoiler alert – it worked)
Who is it aimed at? The flagship four-door performance Quadrifoglio competes against the the BMW M3, Mercedes-AMG C63 S and Audi’s RS4.
Styling? Our test car in Competizione Red comes with a distinctive grille and countless other sporty styling cues enough to garner some admiring stares from those who know stylish cars.
Under the Bonnet? Thanks to a 2.9-litre twin-turbo V6 with enough horsepower to get you to the moon, it’s deliciously fast to drive and while it can tame Mondello it isn’t scared of the school run. It sprints from 0-100km/h in 3.9 seconds and with a top speed of 307km/h. There are also more muted versions on offer including a 2.2 litre diesel or 2.0 litre petrol.
What about inside? Slick design and generous equipment tick all the right boxes. The driving position is supremely comfortable whatever height you are and there is plenty of adjustment. The dash is simple and intuitive to use with clear instruments and simple controls bar the Bluetooth which despite my best efforts refused to pair my phone automatically following the first initial pairing. Storage is good throughout and there is decent leg and head room for front and rear seat passengers.
On the Road? I was a little underwhelmed by the diesel Giulia so I had high hopes for the Quadrifoglio and it did not disappoint. Press the red ignition button and instantly it is balanced and the power delivery immediate and smooth. The engine growl only enhances the drive and it’s so agile and the steering is as sharp as it gets but be warned the speedometer needle tilts toward triple digits with an alarming ease.
And Safety? Reassuringly it comes with a full slate of safety equipment including advanced Autonomous Emergency Braking (AEB), Lane Departure Warning (LDW), Blind Spot Monitoring (DSM), Alfa Romeo’s new Integrated Braking System (IBS), Forward Collision Warning (FCW) and a rear-view camera with guide lines.
What are my options? The Quadrifoglio impresses with its equipment and comes with 19-inch Quadrifoglio alloy wheels, a front sports bumper, a sporty rear bumper with functional diffuser and distinctive quad tailpipe sports exhaust system. It also features Bi-Xenon headlights with AFS technology, front and rear parking sensors and a rear view camera with dynamic gridlines. Other versions include Giulia, Super, Super Sport, Super Lux and Veloce.
Will it break the bank? This stylish Alfa, as tested at €103,795, is far from the cheapest sports car on the market. OK, it’s very expensive plus fast cars with big engines also use a lot of fuel and are not the best when it comes to emissions either. Alfa reckon on a mix of country and city driving you will get around 8.2 litres per 100 ( just over 34 mpg) and the CO2 (g/km) of 189 comes with an annual motor tax bill of €750.
What it says about you? You believe fast cars are one of life’s essentials.
Verdict? The Quadrifoglio is an expensive car in particular given Alfa Romeo’s share of reliability problems in the past and their chequered reputation regarding resale value but it more than matches its rivals on the road and is proof that Alfa Romeo is back to its best.
Why you’ll buy one? Power; driving dynamics; Styling
Why you won’t? Price; Reliability
Alfa Romeo Giulia 2.9 Turbo petrol Quadrifolglio
Engine: 2,891cc, 510hp, 600Nm
Max speed: 307km/h
0-100 kph: 3.9 seconds
Emissions (Motor Tax) : 189 g/km (€750)
Model price range: €39,995 – €99,945
Model Tested: Base Model Price – €99,945 + €3,850 of extras
No of Doors: 5 doors
Euro NCAP: 5 stars
Fuel type: Petrol
Fuel Economy (combined cycle): 8.2 litres/100 km
Boot Capacity Seats up: 480 Litres
Car Seats: two isofix fittings in the rear seats
August 2nd 2017