ALFA ROMEO GIULIA QUADRIFOGLIO VERDE
BASIC PRICE: R1 400 000POWER: 375kWTORQUE: 600NmCLAIMED 0-100 KM/H: 3.9 seconds
This is it, the car burdened with lofty ambitions by its usually beleaguered parent company. Alfa Romeo needs a hit – especially in South Africa – and the Giulia hopes to sway buyers from the mainstream. A tough challenge indeed: but at least the halo effect of the potent Quadrifoglio Verde (QV) model adds credence to the Giulia as a truly sporting sedan.
The acclaim it received from international outlets certainly bodes well. You ask, could that be owed to a rose-tinted outlook, thanks to the innate soft spot most enthusiasts have for the brand? The answer to that is a resounding no: the Giulia QV can justify its existence beyond the nostalgia. Of course, it has a couple of idiosyncrasies – which we will get to.
But the important, oily bits of the car (no reliability aspersions intended) are quite worthy of praise. We begin with the engine: a 2891cc, twin-turbocharged V6 unit. It is essentially the same engine employed in a Ferrari California T, albeit with two cylinders chopped off. But to reduce it to that simplicity would be unfair to the engineers, of course. Anyway, it sounds brilliant: an authentic howler that does not rely on contrived noises for extra effect. Although there are the flatulent punctuations on each upshift, expected from any performance car in 2017. Its eight-speed automatic gearbox is acceptably responsive.