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

    The Giulia continues to be as engaging as ever.
    Chris Paukert/Roadshow
    Let’s be trustworthy. You do not buy any Alfa Romeo — not to mention this high-performance 2020 Giulia Quadrifoglio — for its security tech, its infotainment smarts, and even its inside furnishings. No, you purchase it as a result of it seems like this, and since it appears like this. You purchase it for its heritage. You purchase it to not see your self coming and going. Perhaps most significantly, you purchase an Alfa Romeo due to the way it makes you’re feeling, whether or not you are clipping an apex on a racetrack, your favourite canyon highway or that one switchback in your commute. Alfas should not about practicalities, they’re about ardour. You purchase one as a result of you possibly can’t bear to not — shortcomings and reliability query marks be damned.

    LikeAlways-on, always-visceral driving experienceStunning, gained’t-confuse-it-with-anything-else look

    Don’t Like2020 tech and trim enhancements nonetheless lower than stage of rivalsQuestionable reliability

    Once you settle for this actuality, the Italian automaker’s main job is all about eradicating justifications for passing by their showroom in favor of the safer, extra predictable selections provided by the likes of Audi, BMW and Mercedes-Benz. For 2020, Alfa Romeo has expended appreciable effort sanding down among the tough edges on its tech and cabin experiences in hopes of changing dithering dreamers and wanna-be iconoclasts into consumers. Has the corporate carried out sufficient with this Giulia Quadrifoglio? Let’s dive in and discover out.Impressive specsUnder its attractive, unchanged-for-2020 pores and skin, the Giulia’s powertrain continues to be the identical as when it first hit US sellers in late 2016. If you are studying this, chances are high you already know the pertinents of range-topping Quadrifoglio mannequin. Just in case you have forgotten, know that this rear-wheel-drive sedan contains a Ferrari-derived, 2.9-liter, twin-turbo V6, delivering not solely 505 horsepower and 443 pound-feet of torque, but in addition a 0-to-60-mph time of 3.8 seconds (a time that neatly coincides with estimates for its chief rivals, the Audi RS5 Sportback and Mercedes-AMG C63 S). Top pace? Glad you requested: 191 mph.

    What these (admittedly superlative) figures fail to telegraph is how alive and fizzy this Alfa feels. From the second you plant your again pockets into its deeply sculpted bucket seats, poke the steering wheel starter button and listen to the six-pot engine bark to life, the Quadrifoglio bristles with vitality and potential, by some means managing to really feel on-the-balls-of-its ft at parking-lot and freeway speeds alike.A eager steerIt begins with the steering. Even at city-street velocities, it is each insanely fast (2.2 turns lock-to-lock) and correctly communicative from proper off heart to the endstops. Allow me to underline the previous. I merely cannot recall the final time I drove something with 4 doorways the place so little steering enter translated into a lot directional change. As a direct outcome, the Quad feels instantly and sublimely on the assault once you’re hammering on a curvy stretch. In change, the flat-bottomed three-spoke wheel calls for extra consideration, even on flat stretches of freeway and in on a regular basis city driving. You’ll make extra small corrections than you is perhaps used to, and there is 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’s price it. 

    In an period of precise-but-dead-feeling electrically power-assisted racks — and even driving on my early-spring tester’s 245/35-series 19-inch Pirelli Sottozero winter tires — the Giulia stands out for its alertness and suggestions. Way out. That mentioned, for those who’re the kind of driver who prizes isolation, refinement and automation over engagement, you most likely should not be wanting on the sportier variations of any compact luxurious sedan, and also you positively should not be taking a look at this Alfa. Hold the (ceramic) brakesThat identical sense of vigilance and immediacy is clear within the brakes, too. On show beneath my tester’s attractive five-spoke dark-finish alloys ($500), you will discover a set of generously sized carbon-ceramic stoppers (15.4-inch discs fore, 14.2-inch aft). With six-piston calipers up entrance and 4 out again, these brakes are, frankly, overkill for the road. I’ve pushed a Quadrifoglio with the usual iron discs, and the brakes are nonetheless unbelievable. These Brembo CCM models price a wallet-wilting $8,000, and except you are an everyday track-day attendee, you are higher off spending that cash elsewhere. (Heck, even for those who’re a recurring circuit rat, you’d virtually definitely higher served placing that dosh in the direction of a high-performance driving faculty and a few track-spec rubber and pads.) As it’s, these brakes supply an abundance of stopping energy, although their immediateness takes some getting used to (the uninitiated will dismiss them as grabby). Did I point out these identical brakes used to price $5,000? Porca vacca!
    2020 Alfa Romeo Giulia Quadrifoglio is a fab Ferrari-tuned 4 door
    See all pictures

    Holy shiftOne factor price noting: It is perhaps simply my reminiscence enjoying tips on me, nevertheless it feels just like the calibration of the Alfa’s ZF 8HP50 eight-speed computerized has improved because the final time I drove a Quadrifoglio just a few years in the past. As earlier than, no matter what mode the DNA Pro drive-mode selector is in, you will discover a quick-shifting transmission with calibration that facilitates well-timed gearchanges and spirited driving. Even although the 2020 mannequin nonetheless has a delicate throttle, my tester’s cogswapper feels happier tooling round city than the final Quad I drove — that automotive’s transmission sometimes clunked at gradual speeds, as if to passive-aggressively let me comprehend it was sad on a brief leash.One factor that did not want altering with the gearbox: these huge, column-mounted, aluminum paddle shifters. Yes, some folks will initially be aggravated they will not discover the same old quantity of hand clearance between the steering-wheel rim and the turn-signal stalk, however except you have acquired catchers’ mitts for fingers, you will get used to it. The payoff is splendidly tactile and responsive paddle shifters that you’re going to wish to use many times, if solely to listen to the engine lunging in the direction of its 6,500-rpm redline whereas doddering off to Starbucks.The suspension is splendidly tuned, as nicely. Firm, sure, however removed from sponsored-by-the-American-Dental-Association agency. Cornering is flat, and between the aforementioned aggressive turn-in up entrance and the torque-vectoring limited-slip differential out again, this 3,800-pound sedan feels unerringly balanced and nimble, as if its wheelbase is a foot shorter than its 111 inches. The Giulia’s cabin will get improved contact factors for 2020.
    Chris Paukert/Roadshow
    Fuel efficiencyDespite no vital powertrain adjustments, in response to EPA, the Giulia Quadrifoglio has mysteriously managed to eke out higher freeway gasoline financial system for 2020. Official estimates name for 17 miles per gallon metropolis, 25 freeway (up 1 vs. 2019) and 17 mixed. While these figures will not win you any citations from the Sierra Club, they’re primarily the identical as rivals.So that is the 2020 Alfa Romeo Giulia Quadrifoglio’s driving expertise: At as soon as spectacularly visceral, fast and great, all in a means that even these completed Germans do not fairly handle. Of course, you already knew all that, or no less than, you most likely may’ve intuited a lot of that simply by mulling Alfa’s popularity and taking a look at these photos. 2020 updatesSo… what about these enhancements to the comfort and security tech, and to cabin furnishings?In a nutshell, regardless of a wonderful driving place and principally nicely carried out key driver touchpoints (seats, steering wheel, pedals and the aforementioned paddle shifters), pre-2020-model-year Giulia cabins had been underwhelming. They got here throughout as hollow-feeling melanges of subpar plastics, insubstantial switchgear and sub-par infotainment that might’ve been disappointing to seek out in a garden-variety Mazda or Volkswagen, by no means thoughts in a sport sedan aiming to cost upwards of $75,000. Alfa Romeo’s up to date infotainment system is housed on an 8.8-inch touchscreen, nevertheless it’s nonetheless not so good as Fiat-Chrysler’s personal Uconnect tech.
    Chris Paukert/Roadshow
    I’m blissful to report that issues are comprehensively higher this yr. On the infotainment entrance, there is a new 8.8-inch show from Magneti Marelli, and it contains a extra intuitive, configurable structure together with higher graphics and new options. There’s additionally Apple CarPlay and Android Auto integration, plus a WiFi hotspot and accessible wi-fi charging. The system is touchscreen-based, however there’s additionally a revised management knob with improved building and handwriting recognition, together with voice-control capabilities. Additional options embrace efficiency pages and a brand new Alfa Connect app in your telephone with car heath monitor, distant begin, and so forth). The new {hardware} even permits for over-the-air firmware updates.Ultimately, whereas an incredible enchancment over 2019 fashions, this new structure stays inferior to FCA’s personal Uconnect, not to mention present variations of Audi’s MMI or Benz’s MBUX. That’s true in something from boot-up time to characteristic richness, intuitiveness or normal slickness of look.The identical might be mentioned for the up to date supplies and switchgear. There’s a restyled leather-wrapped gear selector, new rotary knobs with better-feeling actions, plus a thoughtfully redesigned heart console with improved storage and higher cupholders. Again, whereas these adjustments characterize not-insubstantial victories for ergonomics and really feel, they nonetheless do not measure as much as the components used on competing choices.As examined, this 2020 Giulia Quadrifoglio prices $90,840, placing it in keeping with go-fast opponents from Audi, BMW and Mercedes-Benz.
    Chris Paukert/Roadshow
    Pricing and ADASFor 2020, your entire Giulia vary, from the bottom mannequin ($39,400 plus $1,295 vacation spot) on as much as this loaded-up Quadrifoglio ($74,445 base; $90,840 as examined together with its oddly pricier $1,595 vacation spot price), advantages from commonplace forward-collision warning with computerized emergency braking. In addition, my automotive comes geared up with a brand new Active Driver Assist Package, a $2,000 Level II tech bundle that options adaptive cruise management with lane centering, plus visitors signal recognition, lane-keep help and energetic blind-spot help.Clearly, efficiency and keenness does not come cheaply, however the Quadrifoglio’s pricing is definitely proper on the cash for the phase, and this automotive’s beautiful seems and relative rarity means you are extra prone to get nods of approval at your native Cars & Coffee draw than those that roll up in RS, AMG and M rivals.Still one for the iconoclastsIn the tip, the 2020 Alfa Romeo Giulia Quadrifoglio continues to ship singularly superlative, participating efficiency whereas benefiting from a bevy of considerable enhancements to its weakest factors. While I believe these updates finally will not be sufficient to lure a complete new crop of consumers into Alfa showrooms, those that had been on the fence beforehand will probably have a a lot simpler time justifying going out for Italian.

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