The Alfa Romeo Giulia has been revealed, and we can now confirm some details about the Italian marque's historic new sedan.
The example above is the flagship Quadrifoglio model, and sports the four-leaf clover badge which has designated high-performance Alfa Romeos for more than nine decades. Power in this model, as expected, comes from a Ferrari-derived, 510-horsepower V-6, which will propel the sedan from 0-62 mph in a blistering 3.9 seconds. Extensive use of carbon fiber, aluminum, and plastic means a power-to-weight ratio of lower than three kilograms per horsepower.
The tried and true technique of 50/50 front-to-rear weight distribution will surely aid handling, though 21st-century tech like torque vectoring and active aero are also employed to keep the Giulia settled in the bends. Front suspension is an Alfa Romeo-exclusive system, and while it certainly won't take the 4C's unassisted route, the company promises an unparalleled direct steering feel.
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As with corporate cousin Ferrari's Formula One-inspired Manettino switch, drivers will be able to select different engine modes—Dynamic, Natural, Advanced Efficient and Racing—from the steering wheel.
During the announcement at the Alfa Romeo Museum in Arese, Italy, there was no mention of what transmissions would be available, but the car on display was fitted with a manual. An automatic, possibly a dual-clutch unit like in the 4C, should also be offered.
It's also unclear when the Giulia will hit showrooms, or even whether it will be a 2016 or 2017 model. In the coming weeks, we're sure to learn more about the entry-level versions, including four-cylinder and—for overseas markets—diesel variants.
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Reviving Alfa Romeo is a passion project for Fiat Chrysler Automobiles’ [NYSE:FCAU] CEO Sergio Marchionne. His edict that all Alfa Romeos be made in Italy scrapped plans for a Mazda MX-5-based roadster, and the decision to make the cars either rear- or all-wheel-drive sent his engineers—who had plans to base the sedan on the Chrysler 200 platform—back to the drawing board.
The move is, unquestionably, a huge gamble for the company. While it retains a small, fiercely dedicated fan base in the U.S., Alfa Romeo's patchwork dealer presence and dismal reputation for reliability led to its exit from the market two decades ago. Certainly, the Giulia's raucous exhaust note and unmistakably Italian features assure it will stand out against competition from BMW, Mercedes-Benz, Cadillac and Jaguar. But quality, far more than sexy sheet metal or divine driving dynamics, will ultimately tell whether the brand sinks or swims in the States.
More details on the new Alfa Romeo Giulia as we get them.