New Alfa Romeo Giulia sports sedan headed for Australia: UPDATED
A new top-end sports sedan is coming our way, the Alfa Romeo Giulia.
The Giula is a four-door, four-seater sports sedan and Alfa Romeo are pretty excited. As indeed are we. Details are a bit sparse, but we do know it’ll have a 380kW, six-cylinder turbo motor, petrol of course in the top-end Quadrifoglio version. This propels the car from 0-100 in 3.9 seconds, so we’re guessing at a kerb weight of around 1500kg.
UPDATE: the 3:1 power/weight ratio is horsepower to kg (because of course you mix metric and imperial), so that means 510*3 = 1530kg. That makes this car a lot lighter than the BMW M5 which is 1950kg, and the Mercdes C63 (current version) which is 1730kg. That’s impressive, if it’ll be approximately the same size. A bigger engine lets heavier cars match acceleration, but when it comes to braking and the corners then there’s nothing quite like lightness. Good on Alfa Romeo for reversing the trend of ever-lardier cars, and in fact good on them in general for making this in the first place.
The acceleration figure puts the car into BMW M3 or M5 class, depending on how large it ends up, and certainly into AMG and Jaguar territory. I could quote whether it’s a tenth or a second quicker or slower, but that would be pointless. Either way, this new car will play at the top of end town for four-door fast. I mean, just look at it it:
The car will be either rear or all wheel drive, and have torque vectoring on the rear wheels. The brakes combine stability control and a normal servo brake to deliver “record breaking stopping distances”. No word on what that means, and we have asked. Electronic brake distibution we get, stability control doesn’t make sense at first glance.
Speaking of stability control – “spirited driving is always fun without ever having to run up against an invasive stability control system.” Good news there.
Alfa make much of the “perfect” 50/50 weight distrubition. The advantages of such a weight distrubition are overstated by Alfa and indeed by many others such as Mazda and BMW. It is possible to get a 50/50 distribution with heavy weights at either end of the car, and it’d handle worse than horribly. What’s better is to centralise the weight rather than try for precisely equal distribition, and indeed Alfa do say they’ve made some effort to that effect. More on the 50/50 myth here. Not that 1530kg is a lot of mass to worry about.
An interesting development is the “Active Aero Splitter – a front system which actively manages downforce for higher performance and better grip at high speed.” We will have to see whether this generates any useful downforce at public-road speeds. At speed, sports cars like this generate lift which reduces traction. Spoiler systems disturb the airflow and reduce the lift, thereby reducing the reduction in grip. However, most of the time such systems only work at trackday speeds and even then the benefit is more marketing than material as it’s only a small percentage of vehicle weight involved, not like a ultra lightweight racing car with big wings. But let’s see how this one works.
The car will have four modes – Dynamic, Natural, Advanced Efficient and Racing on higher performance versions. This kind of spoils the DNA acronym. Maybe DNA-R?
There will also be diesel versions. UPDATE: No word on pricing, or when it’ll land in Australia, but we do know RHD production will begin in the third quarter of 2016.
UPDATE: And we’ve left the best till last. Check this out:
That is indeed a manual gearshift. Now, we don’t know if that’ll be in the right hand drive versions, and even if it is whether it would make its way to Australia, but that’s great news it even exists. Why? Because these days you never bother with a manual transmission in cars of this nature unless they are true driver’s machines. So…yay!
Alfa’s press release certainly sets a high expectation for the car’s design, performance and general all-round ability. Fiat Chysler’s local head says “The Alfa Romeo Giulia takes all the excitement of the 4C and 4C supercars and pairs it with the kind of impeccable design and sophistication only the Italians can deliver. It’s an instant classic, and I can’t wait to welcome it to Australia.”
Neither can we.