- Alfa Romeo celebrated its 105th anniversary in its renovated museum near Milan, Italy
- It unveiled its all-new Giulia 4-door sedan that will go on sale in the U.S. in 2016
- Giulia is the first in a series of new cars in the renaissance of the brand
The all-new Alfa Romeo Giulia Quadrifoglio rolled on stage Wednesday evening in front of the international automotive press gathered for a celebration encompassing the brand’s 105th anniversary and the reopening of its freshly renovated museum near Milan, Italy.
Targeting similarly sized European performance competitors such as the BMW M3 and Mercedes-Benz AMG C63, the Giulia Quadrifoglio will be the top-of-the-line Giulia, a model leading the rebirth of Alfa Romeo, according to Sergio Marchionne, the CEO of FIAT Chrysler Automobiles (FCA), in remarks delivered at the unveiling. It’s a renaissance in which FCA will eventually invest more than 5 billion euros and launch a series of all-new vehicles. Marchionne predicted that global sales for Alfa Romeo will reach 400,000 units worldwide by 2018. It’s an ambitious goal requiring an increase of nearly 600 percent over 2014’s sales total of 68,000 units.
Although FCA released few details about the sporty new 4-door scheduled to go on sale in Europe early next year and the U.S. (probably as a 2017 model) a few months later, it did announce that a 510-horsepower twin-turbocharged V6 engine will provide its power. A manual transmission will be available. Claiming a 0-to-60 time of 3.9 seconds, the Giulia Quadrifoglio boasts the ideal 50/50 weight distribution across its two axles. Providing Giulia’s foundation is an all-new rear- and all-wheel-drive platform.
One bit of technology that was revealed is the introduction of a new double-clutch torque-vectoring system that allows the rear differential to control the torque delivery to each wheel independently. This will improve traction in low-grip situations, minimizing the impact of what the automaker’s engineers consider an invasive stability-control system.
Engineers managed to maintain an optimum power-to-weight ratio of approximately 6.6 lbs to 1 hp with some ultralight materials, such as the liberal use of aluminum in the engine, fenders and doors, as well as carbon-fiber elements in areas such as the front seatbacks, hood and roof. Doing a little basic math translates that 6.6-to-1 ratio into a total vehicle weight of less than 3,400 pounds.
FCA is a long way from announcing prices for the Giulia lineup, but most guesstimates put the base model, with what will probably be a turbocharged 4-cylinder engine, at around $40,000, and the Giulia Quadrifoglio hovering in the $75,000 range.
Alfa Romeo returned to the U.S. in 2014, first with its 4C and then the 4C Spider convertible. It sold roughly 68,000 cars worldwide that year.
What it means to you: Alfa Romeo is back in a big way.