I still need some time to understand it. Of course it’s another Italian automotive masterpiece full of ultimate technology, outstanding performance and the Italian touch of the details. The new Alfa Romeo Giulia Quadrifoglio is the car that the brand had to present that day: a mid-size sedan that monopolized the press during almost one week and of course generated a tsunami of opinions. Alfa Romeo needs that, excellent products and more visibility in a premium market where customers are mostly conservative but at the same time enjoy their cars and like to be proud of them. Marchionne was right when said that the new-born was better than any German, because based on the technical specifications and the performance, the Giulia beats the BMW M3 and the Mercedes-AMG C63. The top version makes use of carbon fiber and other components that allow it to be very light considering its CV power. There’s no doubt that Alfa guys gave their best in this project.
The discussion grows when looking at the car. Personally I was expecting something else, something more Alfa Romeo. Maybe it’s because this is the supersport version and therefore it looks quite wild, but in my opinion the Giulia Quadrifolio lacks of the fancy touch most of Alfas have had during its history. Of course there will be the regular versions and for sure Alfa Romeo will offer the fancy trims with stylish interior and more conventional exterior, but based on its shapes, the Alfa Romeo Giulia Quadrifoglio looks more like a Subaru WRX than an Alfa Romeo 159. My eyes still don’t understand the headlights, which I believe are quite similar to the ugly headlights of the BMW 1-Series. Additionally looking at the side view, I don’t like the end of the rear window because it lacks of personality and looks more like a Subaru. Some people could say that it replicates other shapes seen in previous Alfa Romeos, such as the 166 for example. The Giulietta or even the MiTo are more unique in this part.
The rear view looks very modern! it is very stylish with big tail lights that look fantastic at night. They look a bit Asian, and is my belief that they designed them in that way on purpose as this will be the very first global Alfa Romeo. Once again I can’t find the usual fine and subtle Alfa stop lights that gave Alfa Romeo sedans an identity: 159, 166, 156, 164. It’s not a matter of remaining in the past and living of the history. Alfa Romeo needed to evolve and it made it with the Giulia. But I’m afraid that many of the distinctive design stamps that distinguished its ancestors are gone for commercial reasons that are perfectly understandable. The designers must have created the Giulia thinking more of the American market than the European one. Alfa Romeo will increase its sales figures mostly because it is supposed to shock American drivers.
The interior is what I like the most. It’s fresh, fancy, sporty and well-made (at least in the pictures), and gives the sensation of a real high-performance sedan keeping an Italian basic principle: less is more. The new Giulia’s interior follows the trend we saw in the Maserati Ghibli and Quattroporte by featuring the minimum necessary commands and leaving a cleaner dashboard. This goes against other trends seen in the premium market where the cockpits are fully covered of useless buttons such as most of the interiors of Audi and Porsche. I love the start/stop engine button, located right in the middle of the steering wheel, taken from Ferrari cars. I also like the logo of the steering wheel, which lacks of color but looks fancy and very premium. The regular top versions will feature veneer instead of carbon fiber.
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Is it going to work?
Yes. The Alfa Romeo Giulia is the premium mid-size sedan that the market was expecting. It won’t be a high volume car, because that part of the segment is already covered by Audi, BMW and Mercedes. This means that the new-born will for sure meet its target but it won’t achieve the sales figures of its main rivals from Germany. This scenario is most likely to take place in Europe where Alfa’s image is still bad and the 3 Germans are very strong. In USA things may be easier because as Fiat brand did in 2011, Americans like the Italian touch and the brand will start from a low-awareness ground, in which is easier to create a positive image. The Quadrifoglio is not an indicator of how successful the Giulia will be, because it will become a niche car for few people. However it is the base of what we’re supposed to see in the coming months (the other versions are expected to be revealed at Frankfurt motor show in late September), so the real Giulia should also feature high quality standards and efficient engines. If Alfa Romeo’s 2018 goal is to sell 400k units/year, then the Giulia will be just a part of it. In terms of volume, last year BMW sold more 3-Series than that target. This means that by 2018, when the full range will be available, the mid-size Alfa (with all of its variants) could sell around 140.000 units in the whole world with NAFTA counting for more than half of that total.
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I’m with you, I expected more of an evolution, something more Alfa and individual.
The most important thing to achieve is ‘quality’.
I can see how they have chosen this path and expect they will do well, but lets hope other new models are a bit more Alfa and not a BMW/JAG/whatever rolled into one.
bit disappointed Richard
Hi Richard, thanks for your message. As you stated, the quality and more products is the must of the new Alfa Romeo.
Hi Juan. Thanks a ton for that.
I suspect the product and the engineering, build quality and fit-finish will prove secondary to (a) Olivier Francois’, that genius, marketing, especially in the US of A + China and (b) the quality of the new Jeep dealers+aftersales quality with whom Alfa’s fate rests.
The design is certainly very interesting, leaving enough, not too much, scope for polarizing judgments, which I suppose is a good thing in itself, a deliberate strategy no doubt, one they used for the Jeep Cherokee and the Renegade too. Some controversy on social media makes for brilliant publicity, no? The Interiors are gorgeous in their economy, their harmonics/resonance: an emphatic class-best!
The exterior seems to have as a theme a rounded-ness, and un/anti-edginess that then ends up clashing with the much-more linear/sharper/edgier head- and tail-lamps, thus creating a certain drama, and causing the polarization of opinions? Also, the aggressive black grills on the QV version add more than slight ugly-manliness, a deliberate un-prettiness…that will presumably be toned down on the more sedate variants.
It is, in any case, the only car of its class to not look like it may as well have been a VW, a Ford, an Opel/Buick, or a Kia.
The effort at keeping the rwd proportions, but without flaring the rear wheel arches, or allowing any coupe-ness (e.g., the low bootlid and the very sensuously rounded out rear haunches) is terrific, and again THE thing that makes it standout against not just BMW but also the new hyper-fluidic-front-and-rear Merc C-class/CLA.
Well begun, this Alfa against-the-Germans-and-Lexus will be exciting to witness……especially since the engines and the other chassis/suspension/braking etc tech also seem (near) class-leading?
I love when people say cars look asian? Or even German?
Most cars are just derivatives of Italian design from the 1960’s forward.
Do the Japanese have a design language? Maybe the Prius…Woof
Do you think a Hyundai Elantra has an Italian design?
I agree w/ a lot of what Juan says. My auto enthusiast side says “it should have looked more uniquely alfa”, but , if I am FCA, recognizing that the buyer of this segment is essentially conservative , affluent, but not necessarily a car enthusiast, this makes solid sense. This is an early model in Alfa’s turn around. It must make money and not just appeal to a niche. The design is not ugly ( unless you think the audi, volvo, mercedes, lexus , and bmws are also ugly) but ,in my opinion, it looks like a lexus-bmw had sex and this is the result. A BMW w/ lexus lights and an alfa grille. And , maybe that is ok. Smart of them to make sure the performance is excellent; hopefully, the interior is a touch more sophisticated than the competitors. Reliability will be important… if it’s in the shop a lot, it will be the end of Alfa in the USA and that has always been Italian and Chrysler car problems. I hope it does well, well enough to allow future models to look a bit more uniquely Alfa but still appeal to the demographic it needs to succeed.
i like everything about except the headlights
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I agree with you. Of course Giulia is nice, but it has lack of personality. And it looks more German style than Italian. The shape is just a BMW 3-Series!!! In fact, even when I’m alfisti, I prefer the new Mercedes C-Class or Jaguar XE, because they are nice, sport and original. There were a lot of concepts better than final Giulia. I suspect than maybe this obsession with BMW has made Alfa to design an Italian tunning.
Alfa Romeo sales totaled 66,200 units (+16.5% year-over-year) and share was 0.4%. Sales were up in almost all major markets, with increases of 19.2% in Italy, 39.3% in Germany, 15.4% in France and 11.9% in Spain.
For the month of December, brand sales were up 43.7% to 6,200 units and share increased 10 basis points to 0.5%.
In addition to nearly 42,000 units of the Giulietta sold in 2016, the full-year result was also driven by the success of the all-new Giulia. The latest addition to the Alfa Romeo family sold 10,500 units, despite its gradual launch in markets across Europe beginning only in the second half of the year.