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Driven: Alfa turns down Giulia QV supply taps

Pretty fast: Alfa Romeo’s new Giulia Quadrifoglio Verde has gorgeous looks when standing still and giant-slaying pace when on the move.

Keen Alfisti made to wait for Giulia QV with deliberately limited supply


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2 Feb 2017

ALFA Romeo is borrowing an old trick from sister brand Ferrari by limiting sales of its hotly-anticipated Giulia Quadrifoglio Verde (QV) hyper sedan to enhance exclusivity and maintain the strong demand the Italian car-maker is already receiving for its latest super model.

The company is reporting “huge interest” in the car following glowing reports from overseas media, compelling vital statistics and a lap of Germany’s Nurburgring that set a new record in the four-door segment.

Up-to-date order figures and sales targets have not yet been made public but speaking at the first Australian drive of the Giulia QV, Fiat Chrysler Automobiles (FCA) president and CEO Steve Zanlunghi told GoAuto a significant number of customers had placed deposits before pricing had been confirmed.

“We’ve collected over 100 orders before even announcing the price,” he said.

Pricing has now been confirmed at $143,900 before on-road costs, putting a shot across the bow of BMW’s $139,615 M3 and the C63 S from Mercedes-AMG which is yours for $155,615, but Mr Zanlunghi said the company would buoy demand with constricted supply channels.

“We’re not at capacity and we are purposely going to temper the volumes of the QV because we want to keep that car very special, but we will supply free demand for the mainstream vehicles.”‘Mainstream vehicles’ include a base Giulia 2.0-litre turbo, mid-range Super and more performance-focused Veloce that will sit under the QV flagship and Mr Zanlunghi said he expects a spike in orders with the announcement of the more affordable Giulias.

“People are also waiting for the pricing of the mainstream vehicles, not just the beast,” he said.

Pricing for the sub-QV range starts at $59,895 for the entry-level Giulia and rises to $71,895 for the Veloce.

Customers who stump the cash for the car that Alfa Romeo says marks a “renaissance” for the brand get a 2.9-litre twin-turbo V6 that pumps out a mighty 375kW and 600Nm of torque – enough to blast the QV from zero to 100km/h in a class-leading 3.9 seconds and on to a dizzying top speed of 307km/h.

The potent powerplant was developed by a crack team of dedicated engineers poached from a number of different teams under the global family of brands including Ferrari and Maserati as part of the Giorgio platform and Giulia project.

Its substantial grunt is sent to the rear wheels via a specially-tailored ZF eight-speed torque-converter automatic transmission, limited-slip differential and a carbon-fibre propshaft, which reduces overall vehicle weight as well as rotating mass, which can soften engine responsiveness.

Careful attention to lightweight materials and construction methods has minimised kerb weight such as a carbon-fibre bonnet, roof, rear spoiler, side skirts and the active front splitter, which moves to alter air-flow and downforce at speeds beyond 120km/h.

The result is a 1585kg unladen weight, a perfect 50:50 weight distribution and a slippery 0.32 drag coefficient.

Other careful attention to aerodynamics has included ‘air curtains’ which are created by vents behind the front wheel arches that redirect the air from the front of the car, reducing the pressure difference, lowering wheel wake and overall air resistance.

Three driving modes are offered by the DNA system ranging from Natural for normal driving, Advanced Efficiency for minimised fuel consumption, Dynamic, which calibrates the steering, stability control, suspension, engine characteristics and brakes for maximised driving enjoyment, while the Race setting limits electronic driver assistance and permits the loudest exhaust note.

Braking is courtesy of 360mm rotors and six-piston callipers at the front end and 350mm discs with four-pot callipers on the rear axle, but customers are invited to upgrade to a Brembo carbon-ceramic set which strips a massive 16.9kg from the unsprung weight for the ultimate in track speed scrubbing. Stopping the QV from 100km/h requires 32 metres.

A special ‘prefill’ system senses when the throttle has been abruptly closed indicating full brake force is about to be called on and charges the hydraulic circuit for more immediate responsiveness.

Rain Brake Support is a separate system that is activated by the windscreen wipers and periodically applies light braking pressure to the pads during wet weather to clear and maintain a drier friction surface.

A third brake supplement system monitors the temperature of each rotor and can allocate more braking force to the cooler discs in a similar way to how vehicle stability control sends torque to the wheel with most grip.

Brakes are housed in 19-inch forged alloy wheels, which are wrapped in sticky Pirelli P Zero Corsa rubber.

Active Suspension is also standard on the Giulia QV which adds adaptive dampers to the double track control arm front set up and the Alfa Link vertical rod system at the back, for a stiff setting during dynamic driving and a more comfortable ride when away from the track.

The Quadrifoglio Verde cabin is decked out with carbon-fibre trims, black roof lining, Quadrifoglio seats and steering wheel, which are dressed up in a combination of leather, Alcantara and carbon-fibre.

Technology includes an 8.8-inch central information screen, 7.0-inch driver information display complete with G-meter, 14-speaker, 900 watt sound system courtesy of Harman Kardon, 3D navigation, USB and Bluetooth connectivity.

Customers have the option to upgrade to a set of Sparco lightweight carbon-fibre seats, which save 3.5kg and add a high-quality look with expansive bare carbon shells.

The Giulia range scored a record 98 per cent safety rating in recent Euro NCAP safety testing thanks in part to a comprehensive list of driver assistance, passive and active safety technology.

Eight airbags, forward collision warning with emergency braking, lane-departure warning, blind-spot monitoring with rear cross-traffic alert, reversing camera, active cruise control and dusk-sensing bi-Xenon headlights with automatic main-beam assistance are all standard fare on the Giulia flagship.

2017 Alfa Romeo Giulia pricing*
Giulia (a)$59,895
Super 2.0 (a)$64,195
Super 2.2d (a)$65,895
Veloce (a)$71,895
Quadrifoglio (a)$143,900
*Excludes on-road costs

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