Thursday, December 7, 2017


I will start with this: “Driving the new Giulia is an experience of symphonic dimension.”
This post will be as much a pictorial tribute to Centro Stile’s masterpiece - as it will be opinions on the dynamics, and the style of the car.
The reason that I photographed the car in a variety of locations and light levels was to amplify the subtlety of the surfaces and the overall, cohesive blend of stylish design with an aggressive stance.

It’s a surprise how many of the bold flourishes, apparent in the studio sketches, have transferred to the final design.

Everything about the Giulia seems to have been absolutely ‘designed for purpose’.
If you follow Driving and Life regularly you will not be surprised at me ‘gushing’ about this new Alfa Romeo, because I have invested a lot of my own emotional capital in the fact that this car needed to be ‘right’ in every way.

Sorry to disappoint the knockers and spoilers, but I think this car is absolutely what it needed to be. The spec, performance, handling, styling and overall result is spot-on!

Whilst I am thrilled with Alessandro Maccolini’s exterior design, I am just as delighted with the interior design, directed by the very talented Inna Kondakova, and her team.

It is the essence of simple elegance, and an excellent choice of materials. It is also a practical interior, because everything is where it should be, but I think I must reserve special praise for the central console and its integration to the centre stack of controls.

By now, you realize this post is a love-fest, but really, the end result of the challenge facing the team; the design and technical attributes; and the finish, is a triumph for Alfa Romeo.

The trim fit’n’finish margins are outstanding, and the overall effect of the interior visage is subtle and calming.

Weight-saving was a big item on the agenda when the technical team, led by Ferrari’s Technical Director Philippe Krief, settled on a unique aluminium front and rear suspension layout, and in the Quadrifoglio, carbon fibre for a number of body panels.

The Giulia is marginally smaller than the 159, and lighter, so that the base 2.0L turbo four cylinder has a head-start in its performance delivery. The torque curve also delivers impressive flexibility, and the ZF 8-speed auto is very well-calibrated for the job.

In fact, despite the ‘noise’ around the ‘optional packages’ you can order, the base car delivers everything at a very competitive price – both in Australia and the USA.

However, there are some things you miss, like the excellent aluminium paddles, which are column-mounted.

Like its big brothers from the Maserati and Ferrrari families they are a joy to use in high performance driving. So, maybe the 'Sport' package is a worthwhile investment.

During my test drive south of Sydney, I stopped for Minestrone for lunch at the excellent Austi Beach Café at Austinmeer Beach.

Put it on your list when you’re touring along the south coast – excellent fare and a great view of the ocean.

Do I think FCA’s €5 billion investment will pay off? Well, in terms of delivering an Alfa Romeo true to the spirit of the marque, it has certainly achieved all the primary targets.

However, unless FCA can drive up Alfa Romeo sales eventually to 250,000 units a year, the real value of the investment will not be realised.

I fear that in retrospect the investment will be seen as folly.

Having made this observation, none of these serious considerations deters me from feeling enormous joy and satisfaction after my 300km behind the wheel.

This Giulia is what Alfa Romeo needed, to reinforce its credentials. The company has got it right – in every area. 
Thank God for that. The entire Alfisti movement can now celebrate in high spirits at the company’s achievement.

No comments:

Post a Comment