Alfa Romeo Giulia (2016 -) preview

  • Great-looking
  • Rapid performance version
  • Lightweight shell, with adaptive suspension

This curvy Italian number is the Alfa Romeo Guilia – the firm’s attempt at a BMW 3 Series, Audi A4 and Mercedes-Benz C-Class rival. But spiritually it’s probably closest in essence to the Jaguar XE, which features an emotive design and aims to attract those looking for something a little left-field for their four-door saloon.

Uses Ferrari tech

At the top of the line-up is a ‘Quadrifoglio’ model that boasts impressive numbers on paper: its 503bhp means 0-62mph in just 3.9 seconds thanks to what the firm is calling ‘Ferrari technologies’, borrowing hardware for the powerplant from the famous company also languishing under the Fiat-Chrysler Automobiles umbrella organisation. We’re expecting this engine to feature in the long-rumoured but still to-be-confirmed, ‘small Ferrari, too. Since we’ve heard nothing official at this point about the small sports car, we wait with bated breath to see whether it’s any good in the Alfa first.

Four engines available

The vast majority of Giulias sold are far more likely to be to family or company car drivers rather than supercar-botherers. This is the long-awaited replacement for the 159, and so diesel power is going to be just as important as sporty driving.

The four-cylinder 2.2-litre diesel is likely to make up the bulk of the sales in the line-up and buyers will have a choice of two power outputs: 148bhp and 178bhp. There’s no word on performance figures or running costs yet, though.

There will also be a four-cylinder petrol offering up 197bhp and 330Nm of torque.  

Standard on all Giulias will be the firm’s DNA drive selector which modifies the car’s suspension, steering and throttle set-up according to which of the three modes you select: Dynamic, Natural and Advanced Efficiency.

Generous equipment levels

It’s been announced that you’ll be able to buy the Giulia in three trims; Standard, Super and the ‘hot’ Quadrifoglio version, although this may alter slightly for the UK market before the car goes on sale.

Standard equipment includes 16-inch alloy wheels, LED lights, dual-zone air-con, cruise control, the aforementioned DNA drive mode selector and a 6.5-inch infotainment system. There’s plenty of safety kit on offer too including lane departure warning, collision mitigation systems and automatic braking.

Move up to Super and standard equipment is further supplemented by 17-inch alloys and part-leather seats.

Choose the sporty Giulia Quadrifoglio and you’ll get 19-inch alloys, sports seats, uprated brakes and an upgraded version of the DNA drive mode selector which includes a Race mode.

Lightweight body

Alfa’s new saloon will feature technology such as a lightweight composite architecture, adaptive suspension (via the firm’s DNA switch) and torque-vectoring, the latter is exclusively available in Quadrifoglio versions.

It’ll be rear-wheel drive (like its rivals excluding the A4) with the option to power all four wheels too, depending on spec. The Giulia’s underpinnings are based upon those of the Maserati Ghibli, but Alfa is promising it’ll handle like its cars of days gone by, complete with 50:50 weight distribution.

Set to go on sale here in the UK in September, it’s going to be very interesting to see whether the struggling Italian car firm can make a dent in the fiercely competitive business saloon marketplace. Keep an eye out for the full Alfa Romeo Giulia review to see how it fares.