We test the most extreme version of Alfa’s saloon model writes Ginny Weeks
What is it? The Alfa Romeo Giulia Quadrifoglio is the highest performing version of the Giulia saloon. It’s powered by a Ferrari-developed 2.9-litre Bi-Turbo V6 engine, producing 510hp and 600Nm of torque. Rivals include the BMW M3 and Mercedes-AMG C63.
First impressions? It’s a beauty, isn’t it? The Alfa Romeo Giulia Quadrifoglio is striking in real life with its long bonnet, sculpted shape and huge exhausts. It manages to stand out from other sports cars in a mischievous yet elegant sort of way. The whole look is a refreshing change from the usual German super-saloons.
What does it drive like? The Giulia Quadrifoglio is an expertly crafted machine and pure joy to drive. Its acceleration (62mph in 3.9 seconds) is involving and rapid, the handling is superb and the steering just right. The rear-wheel drive set up feels fantastic on most surfaces, especially winding roads. Paired with an eight-speed automatic gearbox and oversized paddle shifters it really encourages you to push the car on.
For such a high-powered model it is surprisingly easy to live with too. The DNA driving mode system means that it can transform from quiet eco mode to a roaring racer with a twist of a button. If you used it as a daily driver, you’d find it very smooth, pleasant and easy to park. Dynamic is the sportiest mode for day to day driving, reserving the wild Race mode (where all electronic stability controls are turned off) for the track.
We would have loved more of a soundtrack to our daily drive. Overall, the exhaust note was subtle, even in dynamic mode. You must blip the throttle in Race mode to get any sort of raging burble from the back, which compared to its noisy rivals (we’re looking at you – C63), seems quiet.
What’s the interior like? Inside is more refined than you’d expect. It’s actually quite Germanic looking. There is a distinct lack of unnecessary buttons and those that do exist are generally chunky and good quality. The same can’t be said for the gear selector, which sadly feels and looks inferior in quality.
However, we liked the look and feel of the statement steering wheel and stylish options such as half suede and half leather seats with the Alfa emblem. The hugely comfortable sports seats are stitched with classy white and green, and impressed us on long journeys.
In-car entertainment, sat-nav and communications are all good, with integrated Apple CarPlay. However, don’t expect the system to match high-tech offerings from rivals such as BMW or Audi; the Alfa has lower graphics, fewer options and no standard touchscreen option.
How’s the build quality? There’s no getting past it – Alfa Romeos have recently had a reputation for poor reliability. We are happy to report that we didn’t experience any serious issues with our press car. However, we did note a few things. The first issue we had was a loud clunking noise when parking the car and manoeuvring on almost-full wheel lock. Apparently (according to Alfa Romeo engineers), this is not a fault; it is the geometry set-up of the car. However, that’s not to say it isn’t distracting and off putting. The second irritation was the brake warning system which kept coming on when it shouldn’t have, especially when overtaking parked cars. Also, locking and unlocking the car sounds like a forklift truck reversing; very shrill and not befitting of such a beautiful car.
Verdict Alfa Romeos are famous for their ‘quirks’ and this car certainly isn’t perfect. However, this is a fantastic driver’s car. It will give you countless hours of driving bliss…and that’s a reason to buy it in itself.
Why you’ll buy one? That drive, sense of fun, something different
Why you won’t? Exhaust note, Alfa Romeo quirks, long term reliability unknown
Alfa Romeo Giulia Quadrifoglio
Engine: 2.9-litre Bi-Turbo V6
Power: 510 hp
Transmission: eight speed automatic
0-62 mph: 3.9 seconds
Economy: 49 mpg
12th May 2020