Italian cars are known for two things: driving passion and a finicky nature. So when I finagled my way into a 2017 Alfa Romeo Giulia Quadrifoglio for a track day event, I was hoping that I would experience the former and avoid the latter.
Instead I got a healthy dose of both.
On Memorial Day, I was part of a private group that attended a track day in western Michigan on Gingerman Raceway's 11-turn, 2.14-mile road course. The Giulia Quadrifoglio in question came with a $72,000 starting price; Vesuvio Gray Metallic paint for an extra $600; an air quality system ($250); the Driver Assistance Launch package ($1,200) with forward collision warnings, lane departure warnings, automatic high beams, and an infrared windshield; a cargo net ($150), the Harman/Kardon premium audio system ($900), the killer 19-inch bright 5-hole wheels ($400), yellow calipers ($500), and a $1,595 destination charge for a total of $77,595.
Since none of our Motor Authority editors have driven the Giulia Quadrifoglio on a closed course, I approached Alfa Romeo about getting the car for this track day way back in February. Alfa agreed, but as the day neared, the reality hit me that I would be driving a possibly fussy Italian car on a 270-mile roundtrip from my home in Chicago to the track in South Haven, Michigan, and subjecting it to five or six 15-minute stints around the track.
When I arrived at the track, I decided to keep my outings to 10 minutes—essentially five hard laps with some additional time for a cool-down lap. I decided to leave a good 20-30 minutes between sessions to give the car enough time to properly cool down before taking it out again.
It didn't take long on my first stint to learn that this car is special. The turn-in is astounding, aided by the lightning quick 11.8:1 steering ratio, which is the fastest that I know of for any car on the market. Perhaps some supercars are quicker, but it's certainly the quickest in any sport sedan. The Alfa simply carved through corners, but only when I got the speed under control. It's easy to over drive this car into a turn, and make the front end wash out, despite the sticky Pirelli P Zero Corsa Asimmetrico 2 tires. At 245 millimeters wide up front, I get the feeling that they could be wider, and the combination of speed and laser sharp turn-in makes them susceptible to understeer despite their glue-like 60 treadwear rating.