04/06/2020

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2020 Alfa Romeo Giulia Quadrifoglio review: Impassioned performance meets improved tech

The Giulia is nevertheless as beautiful as at any time.


Chris Paukert/Roadshow

Let’s be straightforward. You you should not obtain any Alfa Romeo — allow by itself this high-overall performance 2020 Giulia Quadrifoglio — for its safety tech, its infotainment smarts, or even its inside furnishings. No, you obtain it due to the fact it seems to be like this, and due to the fact it appears like this. You obtain it for its heritage. You obtain it to not see on your own coming and heading. Possibly most importantly, you obtain an Alfa Romeo due to the fact of how it tends to make you come to feel, no matter if you happen to be clipping an apex on a racetrack, your most loved canyon road or that just one switchback on your commute. Alfas are not about practicalities, they are about passion. You obtain just one due to the fact you won’t be able to bear not to — shortcomings and reliability query marks be damned.

Like

  • Always-on, usually visceral driving knowledge
  • Beautiful, will not-confuse-it-with-anything at all-else visual appeal

Never Like

  • 2020 tech and trim improvements nevertheless not up to level of rivals
  • Questionable reliability

After you take this actuality, the Italian automaker’s primary task is all about eradicating justifications for passing by their showroom in favor of the safer, additional predictable decisions made available by the likes of Audi, BMW and Mercedes-Benz. For 2020, Alfa Romeo has expended appreciable effort and hard work sanding down some of the tough edges on its tech and cabin activities in hopes of changing dithering dreamers and wanna-be iconoclasts into consumers. Has the firm accomplished enough with this Giulia Quadrifoglio? Let’s dive in and locate out.

Extraordinary specs

Underneath its gorgeous, unchanged-for-2020 pores and skin, the Giulia’s powertrain proceeds to be the exact as when it very first strike US sellers in late 2016. If you happen to be studying this, odds are you currently know the pertinents of range-topping Quadrifoglio design. Just in circumstance you’ve got overlooked, know that this rear-wheel-travel sedan functions a Ferrari-derived, two.9-liter, twin-turbo V6, offering not only 505 horsepower and 443 pound-feet of torque, but also a -to-sixty-mph time of three.eight seconds (a time that neatly coincides with estimates for its chief rivals, the Audi RS5 Sportback and Mercedes-AMG C63 S). Best speed? Happy you questioned: 191 mph.

What those people (admittedly superlative) figures fall short to telegraph is how alive and fizzy this Alfa feels. From the moment you plant your back again pockets into its deeply sculpted bucket seats, poke the steering wheel starter button and listen to the 6-pot engine bark to lifetime, the Quadrifoglio bristles with strength and prospective, someway controlling to come to feel on-the-balls-of-its feet at parking-whole lot and freeway speeds alike.

A eager steer

It begins with the steering. Even at city-avenue velocities, it is really the two insanely fast (two.two turns lock-to-lock) and thoroughly communicative from correct off heart to the endstops. Allow for me to underline the previous. I just won’t be able to remember the past time I drove anything at all with 4 doorways wherever so minimal steering enter translated into so a great deal directional change. As a immediate consequence, the Quad feels immediately and sublimely on the attack when you happen to be hammering on a curvy stretch. In exchange, the flat-bottomed three-spoke wheel calls for additional attention, even on flat stretches of freeway and in every day city driving. You can make additional small corrections than you could possibly be made use of to, and there’s heightened susceptibility to tramlining on uneven roads. 

The Ferrari-sourced, twin-turbo V6 places out 505 horsepower and 443 pound-feet of torque.


Chris Paukert/Roadshow

It really is value it. 

In an era of specific-but-useless-emotion electrically energy-assisted racks — and even using on my early-spring tester’s 245/35-series 19-inch Pirelli Sottozero winter season tires — the Giulia stands out for its alertness and feed-back. Way out. That mentioned, if you happen to be the style of driver who prizes isolation, refinement and automation about engagement, you most likely should not be looking at the sportier versions of any compact luxury sedan, and you certainly should not be looking at this Alfa. 

Keep the (ceramic) brakes

That exact sense of vigilance and immediacy is apparent in the brakes, too. On exhibit beneath my tester’s gorgeous 5-spoke darkish-complete alloys ($500), you are going to locate a set of generously sized carbon-ceramic stoppers (fifteen.four-inch discs fore, 14.two-inch aft). With 6-piston calipers up front and 4 out back again, these brakes are, frankly, overkill for the avenue. I have driven a Quadrifoglio with the normal iron discs, and the brakes are nevertheless amazing. 

These Brembo CCM models cost a wallet-wilting $eight,000, and unless you happen to be a normal monitor-day attendee, you happen to be much better off paying that revenue in other places. (Heck, even if you happen to be a recurring circuit rat, you’d pretty much certainly much better served putting that dosh toward a high-overall performance driving faculty and some monitor-spec rubber and pads.) As it is, these brakes offer an abundance of stopping energy, even though their immediateness normally takes some receiving made use of to (the uninitiated will dismiss them as grabby). Did I mention these exact brakes made use of to cost $5,000? Porca vacca!

Holy change

One particular matter value noting: It could possibly be just my memory playing methods on me, but it feels like the calibration of the Alfa’s ZF 8HP50 eight-speed computerized has improved since the past time I drove a Quadrifoglio a number of many years ago. As before, irrespective of what method the DNA Pro travel-method selector is in, you are going to locate a fast-shifting transmission with calibration that facilitates perfectly-timed gearchanges and spirited driving. Even even though the 2020 design nevertheless has a incredibly sensitive throttle, my tester’s cogswapper feels happier tooling all around town than the past Quad I drove — that car’s transmission often clunked at sluggish speeds, as if to passive-aggressively allow me know it was unsatisfied on a quick leash.

One particular matter that failed to will need shifting with the gearbox: those people substantial, column-mounted, aluminum paddle shifters. Certainly, some men and women will initially be annoyed that they will not locate the usual amount of money of hand clearance amongst the steering-wheel rim and the transform-sign stalk, but unless you’ve got bought catchers’ mitts for fingers, you are going to get made use of to it. The payoff is beautifully tactile and responsive paddle shifters that you are going to want to use again and again, if only to listen to the engine lunging toward its six,500-rpm redline even though doddering off to Starbucks.

The suspension is beautifully tuned, as perfectly. Firm, certainly, but considerably from sponsored-by-the-American-Dental-Affiliation organization. Cornering is flat, and amongst the aforementioned aggressive transform-in up front and the torque-vectoring constrained-slip differential out back again, this three,800-pound sedan feels unerringly balanced and nimble, as if its wheelbase is a foot shorter than its 111 inches. 

The Giulia’s cabin receives improved touch points for 2020.


Chris Paukert/Roadshow

Gasoline efficiency

Even with no considerable powertrain adjustments, according to EPA, the Giulia Quadrifoglio has mysteriously managed to eke out a little much better highway gasoline financial system for 2020. Official estimates get in touch with for seventeen miles for every gallon city, 25 highway (up one vs. 2019) and seventeen blended. When these figures will not earn you any citations from the Sierra Club, they are essentially the exact as rivals.

So that is the 2020 Alfa Romeo Giulia Quadrifoglio’s driving knowledge: At the moment spectacularly visceral, swift and superb, all in a way that even those people incredibly achieved Germans you should not rather regulate. Of training course, you currently knew all that, or at the very least, you most likely could’ve intuited a great deal of that just by mulling Alfa’s status and looking at these pictures. 

2020 updates

So… what about those people improvements I mentioned previously, those people to the comfort and safety tech, and to cabin furnishings?

In a nutshell, inspite of an excellent driving placement and mostly perfectly accomplished vital driver touchpoints (seats, steering wheel, pedals and the aforementioned paddle shifters), pre-2020-design-year Giulia cabins have been underwhelming. They came throughout as hollow-emotion melanges of subpar plastics, insubstantial switchgear and sub-par infotainment that would’ve been disappointing to locate in a backyard-wide range Mazda or Volkswagen (never thoughts in a activity sedan aiming to charge upwards of $seventy five,000). 

Alfa Romeo’s up-to-date infotainment procedure is housed on an eight.eight-inch touchscreen, but it is really nevertheless not as very good as Fiat-Chrysler’s have Uconnect tech.


Chris Paukert/Roadshow

I’m delighted to report that things are comprehensively much better this year. 

On the infotainment front, there’s a new eight.eight-inch exhibit from Magneti Marelli, and it functions a additional intuitive, user-configurable structure along with much better graphics and new functions. You will find also Apple CarPlay and Android Vehicle integration, moreover a WiFi hotspot and available wi-fi charging. The procedure is touchscreen-dependent, but there’s also a revised handle knob with improved development and handwriting recognition, along with voice-handle abilities. More functions include things like overall performance webpages and a new Alfa Hook up smartphone application with auto heath watch, remote begin, and so on). The new components even will allow for about-the-air (OTA) firmware updates.

Ultimately, even though a remarkable improvement about 2019 versions, this new architecture continues to be inferior to FCA’s have Uconnect, allow by itself current versions of Audi’s MMI or Benz’s MBUX. That is accurate in anything at all from boot-up time to function richness, intuitiveness or basic slickness of visual appeal.

The exact can be mentioned for the up-to-date components and switchgear. You will find a restyled leather-wrapped equipment selector, new rotary knobs with much better-emotion actions, moreover a thoughtfully redesigned heart console with improved storage and much better cupholders. Yet again, even though these adjustments depict not-insubstantial victories for ergonomics and come to feel, they nevertheless you should not evaluate up to the pieces made use of on competing offerings.

As tested, this 2020 Giulia Quadrifoglio fees $ninety,840, putting it in line with go-rapidly opponents from Audi, BMW and Mercedes-Benz.


Chris Paukert/Roadshow

Pricing and ADAS

For 2020, the total Giulia range, from the foundation design ($39,400 moreover $one,295 location) on up to this loaded-up Quadrifoglio ($seventy four,445 foundation $ninety,840 as tested which includes its oddly pricier $one,595 location fee), rewards from normal forward-collision warning with computerized crisis braking. In addition, my vehicle comes geared up with a new Energetic Driver Assist Package, a $two,000 Level II tech bundle that functions adaptive cruise handle with lane centering, moreover targeted visitors sign recognition, lane-continue to keep help and energetic blind-spot help.

Obviously, overall performance and passion isn’t going to occur cheaply, but the Quadrifoglio’s pricing is essentially correct on the revenue for the segment, and this car’s stunning seems to be and relative rarity usually means you happen to be additional most likely to get nods of acceptance at your regional Cars & Espresso draw than those people who roll up in RS, AMG and M rivals.

Still just one for the iconoclasts

In the end, the 2020 Alfa Romeo Giulia Quadrifoglio proceeds to deliver singularly superlative, partaking overall performance even though benefiting from a bevy of significant improvements to its weakest points. When I suspect these updates in the end will not be enough to entice a complete new crop of consumers into Alfa showrooms, those people who have been on the fence previously will most likely have a a great deal much easier time justifying heading out for Italian.