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UK spec hints at Australian Alfa Giulia

Giulia styles: Alfa Romeo is yet to confirm exact Australian Giulia specifications, but the freshly detailed UK range is likely to be similar.

First right-hand-drive Alfa Romeo Giulia specifications herald Australian line-up


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8 Aug 2016

ALFA ROMEO has revealed the United Kingdom’s Giulia sedan line-up ahead of its arrival later this year, but the British specification may offer a glimpse at what Australia will be offered when the luxury sedan rolls out here in the first part of 2017.

European and UK markets typically offer a wider range of specifications and engines starting with a more basic entry-level variant, so it is unlikely Australia will get a duplicate eight-option line-up and choice of two petrol and two diesel engines, but higher spec versions are more likely.

Using the Alfa Romeo Giulietta hatch as a template, Australian Alfas cost approximately 15 per cent less Down Under than in the UK, and if the same pricing structure is applied to the Giulia range, Australian customers will be able to get into a base version from between $45,000 and $50,000 before on-road costs.

However, Australia’s demand for leather, automatic transmissions and toys is likely to rule out cheapo basic-spec versions that attract a good audience in other markets, pushing up the starting price for the most affordable version Down Under.

For the UK, the range kicks off with a 2.0-litre turbocharged four-cylinder with 149kW coupled to an eight-speed automatic transmission from 29,180 ($A50,189), but Australia is more likely to take the better specified Super or higher version which costs the equivalent of $53,095 or about $45,000 if it arrives 15 per cent cheaper than the UK.

If Alfa applies a price that directly targets its main rivals, the base Giulia could come in at about $60,000, going up against the $61,900 BMW 320i, $61,400 Mercedes C200 and Audi’s A4 2.0 TFSI from $60,900.

Two 2.2-litre diesels will be offered to UK customers in two states of tune – 112kW and 134kW. With a diesel donk, the Giulia would be able to do battle with the equivalent BMW 320d, Audi A4 TDI and Mercedes C250d.

Diesels start at about the same price as the Super petrol and are offered in Super, Tecnica and Speciale levels of equipment, topping out at 34,150 ($A58,700) with a choice of manual or dual-clutch automatic transmissions. The latter is the most likely candidate for local sales.

It is not known if the Giulia will adopt the same variant naming structure as the UK range or whether it will wear a similar nomenclature to the Australian Giulietta range which is offered in Progression, Sprint and Distinctive versions.

Like the most potent Giulietta hatchback, the Giulia Quadrifoglio sits at the top of the pack with a BMW M3-baiting 380kW/600Nm turbocharged V6 and zero to 100km/h acceleration in 3.9 seconds, and is priced from 59,000 ($A101,379 or about $86,000 with 15 per cent discount).

Even with a circa-$100,000 pricetag, the Alfa would offer a compelling value proposition up against the German super sedans. The BMW M3 starts at $139,615, Mercedes’ C63 S sedan costs $155,615, while a next-generation Audi RS4 is expected to weigh in at about the same.

The Italian car-maker could, however, push the price up to be seen as a peer to its European rivals.

Irrespective of which variants are ultimately confirmed for Australia, all versions roll on Alfa Romeo’s new rear-wheel-drive architecture and have a comprehensive list of safety and driver assistance systems, including forward collision warning, autonomous braking, blind spot monitoring and lane departure warning.

The list of standard safety gear helped the Giulia take out the top five-star Euro NCAP safety rating, as well as a 98 per cent percentage score for adult occupant protection – the highest to date, says Alfa.

Most affordable versions get 16-inch alloy wheels, fabric upholstery but leather steering wheel. Comfort and convenience equipment consists of a 6.5-inch central screen, eight-speaker sound system, keyless start, a 3.5-inch colour screen displays vehicle information, while rain-sensing wipers and dusk-sensing halogen headlights are also standard.

Stepping up to a Super variant adds an inch to the alloy wheel diameter, enlarges the central screen to 8.8-inch and 7.0 inches for the driver’s display, while a two tone dashboard matches a choice of three leather and cloth combination seat upholstery.

Tecnica Giulias have more comfort and convenience features such as a cooled glovebox, rear air vents, heat reflective windscreen, air purification, power-adjustable seats and tinted windows.

Above the Tecnica, the Speciale has 18-inch wheels, bi-Xenon headlights, gloss black window frames in place of chrome, heated front seats with more power adjustment flexibility, heated steering wheel, full leather seats, sports steering wheel and a sports bodykit.

In addition to its performance advantages, the Quadrifoglio has the largest 19-inch wheels, brighter bi-Xenon headlights complemented by LED daytime running lights and unique Alcantara sports seats.

On the outside, the most aggressive Giulia is set apart by a unique bodykit that has active aerodynamics at the front end, a functional rear diffuser complements the rear bodykit, while a quad sport exhaust completes the look. It rolls on Alfa’s active suspension setup.

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