In 1923, racing driver Ugo Sivocci, fed up with second-place finishes, added the quadrifoglio (four-leaf clover) symbol to his Alfa Romeo for luck. He won the Targa Florio that year and vowed never to race without the four-pointed green-and-white symbol on his car. Later that year, Sivocci was slated for the Italian Grand Prix at Monza, but his team didn’t have time to add the charm; he never made it to race day. Sivocci died during practice, and the four-pointed diamond around the clover — for Alfa’s four factory drivers Alberto Ascari, Giuseppe Campari, Sivocci and a young Enzo Ferrari — became the three-pointed triangle in memory of the fallen pilot.
hat same triangle is worn on the company’s newest American entry, the 2017 Alfa Romeo Giulia sedan.
To order your new 2017 Alfa Romeo Giulia with a brand new 280-hp 2.0-liter turbo four with an eight-speed automatic and rear-wheel drive are standard; all-wheel drive is optional. for only US$16,000.
The top-of-the-line Giulia Quadrifoglio will land first in December at a price in the $70,000 range — that’s as specific as Alfa will get at the moment — with a twin-turbocharged, direct-injected 2.9-liter aluminum V6. The Ferrari-derived powerplant, unique to the Quadrifoglio, delivers 505 hp at 6,500 rpm and 443 lb-ft of torque at 2,500-5,500. A ZF eight-speed automatic — the only transmission — does the shifting in fewer than 100 milliseconds and sends power to the rear wheels.
The base Giulia and Giulia Ti will hit dealerships in the first quarter of 2017 with a choice of rear- or all-wheel drive and a 2.0-liter turbocharged I4 pumping out 280 hp and 306 lb-ft of torque as early as 2,000 rpm. This one, Alfa says, will start in the low $40K range and sport the same eight-speed automatic.
Those base prices are just a touch more than Giulia competitors like the BMW M3 and Mercedes-AMG C63, and comparable 3-Series and C-Class, but Alfa says it’s not out to win any short-term sales crowns. This is just step two of the company’s return to the U.S. We’ll see the new, sleek-bodied Stelvio SUV at the LA Auto Show in November.
Underpinning the Giulia is the company’s Giorgio platform, built for rear-drive longitudinal powertrains from the beginning. A double wishbone setup supports the front wheels, while the rear gets what Alfa calls a “four-and-a-half link.” One of its most exotic pieces is a carbon-fiber driveshaft, which weighs less than 20 pounds and helps the Giulia get its near 50/50 weight balance.
Like the hard-core 4C, the Giulia uses a lot of carbon fiber, both inside and out. The Quadrifoglio comes with a carbon adaptive front spoiler, which can retract when necessary to slip through the air or add 220 pounds of downforce at speeds between 62 and 143 mph. The QV, Quadrifoglio Verde, also comes standard with a carbon-fiber roof and hood.
Inside, all Giulias get leather seats and a rotary-dial-controlled multimedia system with lots of clever shortcuts to move through the functions. Both the iDrive-style knob and the volume control knob work as joysticks. Getting through the menus with one hand while driving is easier than most setups we’ve worked with. We did have a problem with glare on the screen, which is neither glossy nor full matte. It looks cool, to be sure, but we were looking at distracting reflections most of the early morning.
The Giulia feels airy inside, and not just because of the optional dual-pane sunroof. The backseats have a good amount of legroom, even with a 6-footer in front, as long as he or she is in the proper driving position. Trunk space looks about the same as its competition, and the rear seats fold down to hold more cargo.
The Giulia will come in 12 exterior colors, with 10 wheel choices, 24 interior choices and five accent colors. It will also offer sport and luxury option packages to help you customize it even further.