The UK media has had its first opportunity to drive the all-new Alfa Romeo Giulia range at the Centro Sperimentale di Balocco (Balocco Proving Ground) in northern Italy. Developed by the best engineers, designers and stylists within FCA, the new Giulia embodies the core elements that have made Alfa Romeo one of the world's best-loved automotive brands: Distinctive Italian design; innovative powertrains, perfect weight distribution, unique technical solutions and the best weight-to-power ratio.
The taut proportions of the Giulia have evolved from its all-new rear-wheel drive architecture which bestows the car with short overhangs, a long bonnet, muscular haunches and the longest wheelbase in its segment. The Giulia benefits from the careful management of weights and materials to obtain perfect 50/50 weight distribution across its axles, while the sophisticated four-arm AlfaTM Link rear suspension (with an Alfa Romeo-patented solution for toe adjustment) and new double-wishbone front set up have been specifically tuned to maximise its dynamic abilities and enhance driving comfort. Also débuting on the Giulia is a new semi-virtual steering axis which optimises the filtering effect and guarantees rapid, accurate steering by keeping a constant caster trail in corners.
To obtain an excellent weight-to-power ratio and outstanding torsional rigidity, the new Giulia utilises an array of high-strength and ultra-lightweight materials including, for example, carbon fibre for the driveshaft, aluminium composite and plastic for the rear crossmember and aluminium for the doors, wings, engines (petrol and diesel), brakes and suspensions - including the front suspension domes and front and rear subframes. As a result, the dry weight of the 180hp 2.2-litre turbo diesel version is just 1,374kg.
In the Quadrifoglio version, the use of ultra-lightweight materials extends to other components including carbon fibre for the bonnet, roof, front splitter, rear spoiler and body inserts, as well as aluminium for the doors and wings. The braking system has been tweaked using aluminium elements, while carbon ceramic brake discs and front seats with a carbon fibre structural frame can also be specified as options. With a dry weight of 1,524 kg, the power-to-weight ratio of the Quadrifoglio version is 335hp per tonne (2.99kg/hp).
Powering the Alfa Romeo Giulia
A full range of all-new, all-aluminium engines power the Alfa Romeo Giulia saloon, representing the newest and most advanced features available within the group, putting them at the top of their segment for performance and efficiency. All engines are manufactured in Italy at the Termoli (petrol engines) and Pratola Serra (diesel engines) factories, in areas designated exclusively for the construction of Alfa Romeo engines.
2.2-litre Turbo Diesel Engine
This engine is the first all-aluminium diesel unit in Alfa Romeo's history. The four cylinder, 2.2-litre turbo-diesel engine uses latest-generation MultiJet II injection system with Injection Rate Shaping (IRS), an operating pressure of 2,000 bar and a variable-geometry turbocharger, while the balancing countershaft ensures smoothness and refinement across the rev range. Two versions will be available, one which produces 150hp at 4,000rpm and 380Nm at 1,500rpm, and the other with 180hp available at 3,750rpm and 450Nm at 1,750rpm, and both will be combined with Alfa Romeo's advanced eight-speed automatic transmission as standard for RHD markets.
510hp 2.9-litre BiTurbo Petrol Engine
Exclusive to the Quadrifoglio version, this Ferrari-inspired, V6 BiTurbo petrol engine is constructed entirely of aluminium and delivers 510hp and 600Nm of torque, delivering a top speed of 190mph (307km/h) and a 0-62mph time of only 3.9 seconds. Remarkably, it is also best-in-class in terms of emission levels thanks in part to its electronically-controlled cylinder disabling system. In the UK, this engine will only be offered with an advanced eight-speed automatic transmission, with paddle shifters and performance calibration as standard.
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Driving the Alfa Romeo Giulia
To emphasise the purity and excellence of the mechanicals, it was determined that technology should only be used to improve the driving experience. This is demonstrated by the multiple sophisticated systems which, depending on the trim level of the new Giulia, are offered as standard or upon request.
AlfaTM Torque Vectoring (Giulia Quadrifoglio only)
An advanced Torque Vectoring double-clutch rear differential system débuts on the Giulia Quadrifoglio, precisely controlling the torque delivery to rear each wheel to improve traction in low grip conditions without having to run up against an invasive stability control system.
Integrated Brake System (IBS)
Making its global premier on the Alfa Romeo Giulia, an innovative new electromechanical braking system combines the stability control system and traditional servo to improve brake responsiveness, lower weight, reduce pedal vibrations of the ABS system and make record-breaking stopping distances possible: 62mph to a standstill in just 38.5m with standard discs or an astonishing 32m for the Giulia Quadrifoglio.
Forward Collision Warning (FCW) and Autonomous Emergency Brake (AEB) with pedestrian detection
Standard on all versions, this system automatically slows or brakes the car to avoid an imminent crash, using radar sensors and a camera to detect whether vehicles or obstacles, including pedestrians, are in its path. The system first warns the driver about the obstacle via an acoustic alarm and, if the driver fails to react quickly, it brakes autonomously to avoid collision at speeds of up to 40mph.
AlfaTM DNA and AlfaTM DNA Pro (Giulia Quadrifoglio only)
The Alfa Romeo Giulia is equipped with a new Alfa DNA selector, which modifies the car's dynamic behaviour according to the driver's selection: Dynamic, Natural, Advanced Efficiency (a new energy efficiency mode) and Race (only on Giulia Quadrifoglio). It adjusts a multitude of settings, including those of the engine, suspension, steering, transmission, rear differential, instrument display, brakes and safety and driver aids, according to the mode selected by the driver. The range and breadth of adjustments vary depending on the engine and trim of the vehicle.
Eight-Speed Automatic Transmission
A new eight-speed automatic transmission, linked to the AlfaTM DNA (DNA Pro in Quadrifoglio), makes its debut on the new Alfa Romeo Giulia and is specifically tuned to deliver a comfortable and efficiency-oriented drive when the car is in Natural and Advanced Efficiency mode while still providing exhilarating responsiveness and driver control when in Dynamic mode (and Race mode on Quadrifoglio models), regardless of whether it is used on automatic mode or if the driver choses to shift manually via the selector or steering column-mounted paddle shifters*.
AlfaTM Active Aero Splitter
Together with an excellent Cx (0.32) and a perfect balance of downforce behaviour across the range, the Quadrifoglio version also has Active Aero Splitter at the front of the car which actively manages downforce for higher performance and improved grip at high speed.
AlfaTM Chassis Domain Control (Giulia Quadrifoglio only)
Developed jointly with Magneti Marelli, the Chassis Domain Control (CDC) technology is the Giulia Quadrifoglio's electronic brain, coordinating all the onboard systems to optimise performance, safety and driving pleasure by automatically adapting the settings of the powertrain, suspension, Active Aero Splitter, braking system, power steering, ESC system and rear differential Torque Vectoring according to the demands of the driver and the mode chosen on the DNA Pro selector.
Advanced suspensions with AlfaTMLink
On the front, a new double wishbone suspension with semi-virtual steering axis was developed to optimise the filtering effect and guarantee rapid, accurate steering. This Alfa Romeo exclusive keeps the caster trail constant in corners and can tackle high lateral accelerations as a result of its always-perfect footprint. In any situation and at all speeds, driving the Alfa Romeo Giulia with the most direct steering ratio in its segment (11.8) is natural and instinctive. A new Alfalink four-arm layout was chosen for the rear axle, with an Alfa Romeo-patented solution for toe adjustment, to ensure top performance, driving pleasure and comfort for all versions of the new Giulia.
Inside the Alfa Romeo Giulia
The cabin design of the new Alfa Romeo Giulia is every bit as crisp and clean as the exterior and, crucially, it is centred around the driver with the main controls grouped together on the small steering wheel. The human-machine interface (HMI) consists of two simple, user-friendly knobs for adjusting the Alfa DNA selector and the infotainment system. Premium materials, including carbon fibre and real wood, are chosen for their visual and tactile pleasantness and assembled in such a way to make the human touch visible.
Depending on trim level, a 3.5- or seven-inch colour instrument display offers the driver all the essential information about the car at-a-glance. Organised in four screenshots, the information on display changes according to the DNA mode selected by the driver, offering a variety of readings including lateral acceleration, fuel consumption and suggested gear shift points.
8.8-inch Connect 3D Nav
The new 8.8-inch Connect Nav 3D system on the Alfa Romeo Giulia - developed in collaboration with Magneti Marelli - offers a sophisticated series of features and functions, including a next-generation HMI human-machine interface. The system is controlled by means of the Rotary Pad and, thanks to "optical bonding" technology, the 8.8-inch high-resolution display benefits from an excellent level of visualisation and readability.
The Alfa Connect 3D Nav system is equipped with advanced voice recognition for complete connectivity with all mobile devices (Apple iOS and Android) including full control of Bluetooth calling and music streaming, as well as DAB digital radio and Hi-Fi digital audio. The navigation system includes high-resolution 3D maps with rapid route calculation even in locations where there it's not possible to find a GPS signal thanks to its advanced Dead Reckoning technology. It also facilitates TomTom map updates via USB and allows users to view more information regarding driving style and Alfa DNA settings.
Sound Theatre by Harman Kardon
A sophisticated Sound Theatre by Harman Kardon system débuts on Alfa Romeo Giulia to provide superior, detail-rich audio for even the most discerning audiophile. The heart of the system is a compact and high-performance, 900W, 12-channel Class D amplifier, which combines with Logic 7® technology to fill the cabin with magnificent 5.1 surround sound via 14 high-quality speakers. With this sound system, occupants can experience the premium quality for which Harman Kardon is famed.
Safety in the Alfa Romeo Giulia
The new Giulia is available with the very best in terms of driving assistance currently on the market, including Forward Collision Warning (FCW), Autonomous Emergency Brake with pedestrian protection (AEB), Lane Departure Warning, Adaptive Cruise Control (optional) and Blind-Spot Monitoring (optional). The Magneti Marelli-developed light clusters are equipped with halogen lamps or latest-generation Xenon technology with 25W or 35W modules, the latter of which is equipped with AFS (Adaptive Front-lighting System) to redirect the light beam while cornering and improve visibility.
Choosing your Alfa Romeo Giulia
Standard equipment on the entry-level Giulia trim level includes an eight-speed automatic transmission, 16-inch alloy wheels, daytime running lights, LED rear lamp clusters, dual-zone climate control, cruise control with speed limiter, Connect infotainment system and new AlfaTM DNA selector. In terms of safety features, Forward Collision Warning, Autonomous Emergency Brake with pedestrian detection, Integrated Braking System and Lane Departure Warning are all standard. The generous standard equipment on the Giulia trim level is supplemented on the Giulia Super by 17-inch alloy wheels, leather and fabric seats, steering wheel paddle shifters and special interior trim. Engines available in the Giulia and Giulia Super include the 150hp 2.2-litre turbo diesel and 180hp 2.2-litre turbo diesel.
The top-of-the-range Giulia Quadrifoglio is equipped with the Ferrari-inspired 510hp 2.9-litre BiTurbo petrol engine and is easily identifiable thanks to its aerodynamic enhancements, 19-inch alloy wheels and 35W bi-Xenon headlights with AFS. Inside it is equipped with sports seats trimmed in leather and Alcantara, a sports steering wheel with red power button and the AlfaTM DNA Pro selector with Race mode. Performance enhancements also include uprated brakes, Active Aero Splitter, Chassis Domain Control and Torque Vectoring technology, while options include ultra-light carbon seats and carbon ceramic disc brakes.
The comprehensive standard equipment can also be enhanced, on request, with the Luxury Pack and the Sport Pack. The Luxury Pack enhances the interior with full-grain leather upholstery for the seats, including power adjustable front seats with heaters, real wood interior detailing, chrome-effect exterior window trim and Xenon 35W headlights with AFS.
The Sports Pack, available on the Super model, includes a sports steering wheel, aluminium interior trim and Xenon headlights. The new Alfa Romeo Giulia will go on sale in the UK in September with pricing and final UK specifications announced closer to the car's UK launch.