This is one comparison test that we’re looking forward to. The highest-performing variant of Alfa Romeo’s new sedan is a hot rod of sorts, after all, even if there’s not some great Roots-blown Hemi poking impossibly skyward through its hood. A prerequisite for participation these days is the availability of all-wheel drive.
The European-market powertrains we drove at Balocco have limited U. We were allowed to drive the basic Euro-spec Giulia on the road and can report that it seems to cope extremely well with the real world. Refinement is outstanding, the Giulia subjectively rivaling the Mercedes-Benz C-class in both noise and ride quality.Our time in the car was limited by the fact that more than 50 journalists were waiting to experience just four Quadrifoglii, which led to longer lines than those at the Mustang Ranch on two-for-one day. Fortunately, we didn’t leave Balocco without driving the range-topping Quadrifoglio, which will definitely be heading stateside. The official line is that this engine is “inspired by Ferrari technology and technical skills,” which it is, being basically a six-cylinder sister to the Ferrari-designed F154 turbocharged V-8 that powers the 488GTB, California T, and Maserati Quattroporte GTS.However, our elbows are the sharpest in the business, and we got to experience both manual and automatic versions of the Quadrifoglio, albeit briefly. Peak power comes at 6500 rpm, with the limiter set at 7000 rpm.The next, driven by market demands, is likely to be a small crossover, followed by a rear-drive replacement for the current European Giulietta hatchback.It’s also possible that the production version of Maserati’s Alfieri coupe concept from 2014 will be spun from the same architecture.Alfa’s last sedan, the 159, sat on a Fiat-GM platform of such mediocrity that GM refused to use it for any of its own models.