Some might say Alfa Romeo's return to the U.S. started with the 4C, but if substantial sales actually matter, it's the new 2017 Giulia that truly marks the brand's return.
A moment Italian car fans have been waiting for has finally arrived, but was it worth the wait?
If driving terrific driving dynamics, a gorgeous design, and a snarling exhaust note is your jam, then yes, without a doubt.
But as with most things in life, the 2017 Alfa Romeo Giulia Quadrifoglio isn't perfect, because nothing is.
It has some quirks, some things that make us happy, and there is some room for improvement.
Below, you'll find 10 things you need to know about the new Alfa Romeo Giulia Quadrofoglio.
It doesn't offer a manual transmission.
Well, at least not in the U.S. Originally, Alfa Romeo told us the Giulia Quadrifoglio would be available with a manual transmission on our shores, but then something happened. Alfa Romeo did an about face, and claimed the market for the manual transmission was too small to justify offering it here (Alfa claimed a mere one percent of buyers would even be interested in the manual option). One would think Alfa Romeo would've done its market research long before committing to bringing the manual transmission option to America.
It has great steering column-mounted paddle shifters.
We might not have a manual transmission option, but at least the paddle shifters are mounted correctly. Yes, you'll find them on the column as God intended. Why is this important? Because if they are mounted on the steering wheel you won't always know where they'll be as the steering wheel turns in corners. Mount them on the column and you know where each paddle is at all times. On top of that, these bad boys are big, so you will be able to reach them easily with your hands in just about any position on the steering wheel.
A comfort access seat comes standard.
A comfort access driver's seat moves backward to help make exiting the vehicle easier. It's rare that we'd highlight this feature, but with the Alfa Romeo Giulia Quadrifoglio, we must. Why? Because not only is this feature standard, you can't turn it off. You might think this isn't a big deal, but tell that to a 3-year old behind you in a car seat who is terrified there's a seat closing in on her. Alfa Romeo told us this is being rectified with a disable feature for the 2018 model year, which will ramp up later this summer.
The brakes can be hard to modulate.
The Giulia Quadrifoglio has a brake-by-wire system. This, in itself, isn't particularly weird, but the fact that Alfa decided to put it into a car that's all about the experience is. When the driver presses the brake pedal it merely presses against a rubber block that simulates pedal feel while an electronic sensor is detecting pedal movement. Alfa gave the Quadrifolglio a stiffer rubber block for "more feel," but it's a weird experience. When driving in anger either on back roads or a track, the brakes are fantastic, but around town the brakes can be somewhat hard to modulate smoothly. This is especially apparent when trying to creep up to something, such as when parking in your garage.
It has a trick front splitter.
The Giulia Quadrifoglio has a carbon fiber front splitter that's integrated into the front bumper. It's not just there to look pretty--though it does--but rather it's part of an electronically controlled active aero system. When the car is going straight, the splitter is closed to minimize wind resistance and drag, but in corners or when braking, it opens. The result? Up to 220 pounds of downforce. People will ask you to deploy it while parked so they can see it, and the answer is no. There's no button to manually deploy the front splitter, which is a shame, as you'll likely never get to see it deployed for yourself.