What's the used Alfa Romeo Giulia Quadrifoglio saloon like?
According to a number of car enthusiasts, everyone should at some stage own an Alfa Romeo. To do so over the past few decades would have been an act of supreme faith, as the firm’s cars have often been lacking in the sparkle and the performance that made older Alfas so charismatic. And that’s before you’ve mentioned the spectre of build quality.
Enter this Alfa Romeo Giulia Quadrifoglio. When the cooking version of this car was launched, the advanced Giulia executive saloon, it was marked out for its light construction, its dynamics, its looks and its potential for low-stress ownership. It took on its German executive rivals and gave them a tremendous run for their money, so much so that when this high-performance version came along we wept with anticipatory joy.
And it was completely justified. Under the bonnet is a 503bhp 2.9-litre twin-turbo V6 engine that was, say the car’s engineers, inspired by a similar unit in a Ferrari. Other features included adaptive dampers that you can stiffen or soften, a rear differential that can send 100 per cent of the drive to either rear wheel, a trick suspension and a host of electronic chassis refinements designed to work together to balance the car when the going gets tough.
New, the Giulia Quadrifoglio cost a little more than a BMW M4 but slightly less than a Mercedes-AMG C63, and its standard equipment was up there with both. You’ll get 19in alloy wheels, xenon headlights, leather and Alcantara seats and cruise control.
To drive, this Alfa is right up there with the best. The engine is a delight, with an instantaneous response to the throttle and a huge surge of power. It sends that shove through an eight-speed automatic gearbox, and the Quadrifoglio can cover the 0 to 62mph sprint in just 3.9sec and go on to a top speed of 191mph. There are four varying driving modes you can choose from: Race, Dynamic, Natural and Advanced Efficiency.
All that clever chassis electronics help it corner wonderfully, too. It feels light and nimble, with super-quick steering and plenty of grip. It feels delightful, with handling that is multi-adjustable and supremely entertaining. It rides well, too, with a suppleness rare in cars of this performance.
The driving position is excellent, too, low down and with everything well-positioned around the driver. The seats are supportive and have a good range of adjustment, as does the steering wheel. The dashboard and surrounding areas are logically laid out, and the dials are clear and easy to read. The infotainment system is controlled by a rotary controller and relayed through an 8.8in colour display that appears as if from nowhere behind a smoked screen. There's built-in sat-nav and Apple CarPlay/Android Auto smartphone mirroring.
Rear-seat space is good, if not outstanding. There’s enough leg room for taller passengers, although head room isn’t overly generous. The boot’s a good size too, bigger than most of its rivals, but the rear seats don’t fold to enable a greater carrying capacity.
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