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2017 Alfa Romeo Giulia Quadrifoglio A Stunning Italian - Review By Larry Nutson +VIDEO

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2017 Alfa Romeo Giulia Quadrifoglio
A stunning Italian

By Larry Nutson
Senior Editor and Bureau Chief
Chicago Bureau
The Auto Channel

From the late 1920s through the 1930s, Alfa Romeo was the preeminent sports car in the world. Alfas won Le Mans four consecutive years from 1931-34 and the Mille Miglia an astounding ten times in eleven years from 1928-38!

Along with Alfa’s two-seat sports cars they made various sedan models. Now in 2017, not too long after the return of Alfa Romeo to the U.S. market with their mid-engine two-seat 4C and 4C Spider, the long-awaited Giulia sedan has arrived on our shores.

Alfa Romeo was one of the first car makers to put a powerful engine in a light-weight sedan available to the masses. The first Giulia was introduced in 1962 and these performance sedans continued until 1977.

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(1962 Alfa Giulia)

The "TI" badging referred to a class of Italian sedan car racing known as "Turismo Internazionale." Since 1923, the quadrifoglio logo (the 'cloverleaf') has been the symbol of Alfa Romeo racing cars and since the late-1940s it has also been used to designate the higher trim models of the range.

Visitors to Italy can quite often see the Italian police driving Alfa Giulia sedans.

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When the opportunity comes along to drive a performance car the usual scenario is that I have about a week to feel it out on public roads. That needs to be done, of course, safely and without risk to anyone. Not to mention, my desire to not get into an unwanted conversation with a police officer. Often times I head west of Chicago following the signs pointing towards Iowa to “be alone on the road.”

I looked forward to the arrival of the Giulia media-loan car, especially since it would be the top-performing 505HP Quadrifoglio model. This Giulia was in high demand and I would have it for a shortened period of about 72 hours. I needed to drive it right now!

Up to now, I had only seen the Giulia inside at auto show displays. Seeing it out in the wild with its muscular design, short overhangs, taut lines, low front spoiler and rear diffuser certainly would start the adrenalin pumping.

The 5-passenger Giulia is offered in base, Ti and Quadrifoglio trims. Prices start at $37,995 for a rear-wheel-drive base model with the turbo 280HP four-cylinder 2.0L engine. The Giulia Ti is priced at $39,995. Alfa’s Q4 all-wheel-drive is $2,000 more on both of these models. Giulia Quadrifoglio, which only comes in rear-drive, is priced at $72,000.

All Giulias use ZF’s eight-speed automatic transmission that’s connected to the rear wheels via a carbon fiber driveshaft.

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The Quadrifoglio is powered by an all-aluminium, twin-turbocharged 505HP 2.9-L 90° V6. This engine was developed exclusively for the Quadrifoglio by Ferrari and it’s related to Ferrari's own twin-turbo F154 V8 used in the California T.

Alfa says zero to 60 mph can happen in 3.8 seconds and top speed is 191 mph. The 505-HP enabled a record-setting 7:32 Nürburgring lap time – the fastest ever by a four-door production sedan.

If this is a bit much for you, the 2.0-L models launch from 0-60 mph in less than 5.1 seconds, and achieve a top speed of 149 mph.

EPA fuel economy ratings are low on my list of considerations when shopping a sports sedan. The combined rating for the 2.0-L is 26-27 mpg and for the V6 it’s 20 mpg.

The Quadrifoglio features a carbon fiber hood, roof and rear spoiler, adaptive performance suspension, DNA Pro with Race Mode, torque vectoring, carbon fiber active aero front splitter, carbon fiber interior accents, 3D Navigation and much more.

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My Quadrifoglio media-loan test car was optioned with blind spot alert, lane departure and front collision alerts, Harman Kardon audio, carbon fiber steering wheel, bright-finish 19-inch wheels, active carbon-fiber front splitter bumping the total price to $77,595.

I hit the road quickly with the Giulia and on the second day of my loan gave a promised ride to a fellow auto enthusiast. We quickly experienced the push-you-back in the seat outstanding straight-line acceleration. Floor the throttle and the active exhaust opens up loudly with plenty of rumble and blips when the 8-speed upshifts. The Giulia’s handling is outstanding, as well, and the steering very responsive.

The Giulia holds the road with its well-tuned and compliant adaptive suspension working well on interstate cloverleafs. The yellow-painted Brembo brakes brought plenty of stopping power. My Giulia tester still had winter tires mounted on all fours, but they didn’t detract much from the overall performance. In Alfa’s Giulia specs they list the standard performance tires as “three-season”, which they are. When it’s cold and snowy, winter tires are a must.

In a few weeks I’ll get to track-drive the Giulia and I’m pretty sure that will be a very fun and rewarding experience with outstanding track competency from the Quadrifoglio.

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The focus of the cockpit is clearly for the diver. There was plenty of room for my medium frame with the body-hugging sports seats. The F1-inspired red steering wheel mounted start button is a nice, performance touch. Paddle shifters are column-mounted, and not steering wheel mounted as many do, and therefore are somewhat long to be usable while driving through turns. A rotary controller is located on the center console to operate the entertainment system. Alfa’s DNA selector is adjacent to the automatic shifter to change the drive modes, which includes a race mode.

Of note, the editors at Wards Auto named the all-new 2017 Alfa Romeo Giulia to the Wards Auto 10 Best Interiors List for 2017.

Rear seat room is bit tight but acceptable. The trunk is roomy enough for two-people’s luggage for a run to the airport or a weekend road trip.

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More information and complete specifications on the Giulia as well as the entire Alfa Romeo line-up including the new high-performance Stelvio SUV can be found at

To wrap this up, the Giulia is a head-turner. And, the Quadrifoglio is a car that I would want to just drive, and drive and drive.

In-Depth Alfa Romeo Research

© 2017 Larry Nutson, the Chicago Car Guy