Alfa Romeo Giulia Quadrifoglio review
Alfa Romeo has finally delivered a proper BMW M3 beater in the Giulia Quadrifoglio. It’s exciting, engaging and brimming with character.
What's not so good
Find out more about the Alfa Romeo Giulia Quadrifoglio
The Alfa Romeo Giulia Quadrifoglio is a hot model from the Italian maker that you don’t have to make excuses for.
In the recent past, the only real reason for buying a performance Alfa was because it looked and felt different to the German alternatives. In reality, it wasn’t as good as them either. But the Giulia Quadrifoglio is every bit as good as a BMW M3 or Mercedes C63 AMG to drive, and really deserves a look in.
Next to its brutish German alternatives, the Giulia is like a belting opera at a techno festival. It just does things with more style, plus its powerful six-cylinder engine sounds like Pavarotti at full tilt.
It looks the part thanks to that Italian styling on the outside. It builds on the stylish Giulia as a base, adding lots of sporty trim pieces to give it a more aggressive look – and the most recent update to the model added new paint colours and LED lights at the back, too.
Other road users will be seeing a lot of those rear lights because the car’s performance is astonishing. A turbocharged 2.9-litre V6 provides 503hp, so it’s one of the quickest cars on the road. The automatic gearbox is superb, but there’s no manual option. An Akrapovic exhaust is a nice option on the latest model but the engine sounds great even without it.
The Alfa is bang up-to-date in terms of chassis tech, with torque vectoring and stability control systems that can brake individual wheels to improve cornering. The Alfa’s ultra-quick steering rack means it turns in sharply and is nicely balanced once you’re powering through the bend, too. Selectable driving modes include Natural, Dynamic, All-weather, and Race.
Alfa has a fantastic heritage, but given its cars of late, you wouldn’t think this Giulia Quadrifoglio would be up to much. Wrong: it’s an absolute riot to drive.
Stick it into Race mode and the Giulia Quadrifoglio goes from 0-62mph in 3.9 seconds, up to a top speed of 191mph. It’s a bit much on the public road, but the Giulia shines on a race track.
Yet this isn’t some track-focused, stripped-out sports car. The Giulia retains the attributes of the standard version, with good rear legroom and a decent boot. Okay, it’s not as comfortable as the normal version, but it rides well considering how tightly controlled it is through corners.
The Alfa Romeo Giulia Quadrifoglio’s interior isn’t quite up to the same standards as BMW and Audi in terms of quality, though. Some recent updates to the model have improved things – the infotainment in particular. It now has an 8.8-inch screen with an updated user interface, and it even includes a new section covering performance data – great for track day fans. Other new tech includes traffic jam assist, adaptive cruise and lane-keep assist.
It’s all about the way the car drives, though – and the Alfa Romeo will keep you entertained for every mile you spend behind the wheel. It fulfils the aim of a super-saloon: it mixes the performance of a supercar with the practicality of a saloon.
If you want more of the former and less of the latter, however, Alfa Romeo has launched two limited-run special models called the Giulia GTA and GTAm. Not only do they have a meaner bodykit, but they get racy carbon-backed bucket seats, a mean-looking carbonfibre bodykit and an engine taken up to 11.
The GTAm goes even more hardcore, ditching the rear seats altogether in favour of a roll cage, a fire extinguisher and a place to put you helmets. Just 500 examples of each will be built, so you better be quick – but you’ll need deep pockets as they cost more than twice as much as the ‘regular’ Quadrifoglio. Crazy!
There’s some serious engineering in the GTA models to justify that price, however. The racy bodykit brings substantial benefits to aerodynamics to help tie the car down on a circuit, while the wider track and revamped suspension make it feel much more focused. While 35hp more than the Quadrifoglio (bringing the total to 540hp) doesn’t sound like much, with over 100kg of weight saved the changes are very noticeable.
Have a look at our in-depth review of the previous model:
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*Please contact the dealer for a personalised quote, including terms and conditions. Quote is subject to dealer requirements, including status and availability. Illustrations are based on personal contract hire, 9 month upfront fee, 48 month term and 8000 miles annually, VAT included.