The latest addition to the Alfa Romeo line-up is the Quadrifoglio Verde (QV) edition of the Alfa Romeo 159.
Translated as “green cloverleaf”, this is a proud reference to the four-leaf clover that has been the good luck charm of Alfa Romeo racing cars since the 1920s.
In more recent decades, the badge is used to distinguish luxury variants of Alfa Romeo models.
Distilled down to what it offers, the Alfa Romeo 159 QV is basically the 2010 model embellished with a cloverleaf on its back.
There are no major changes except for the upsized 18-inch alloys, chrome-tipped twin exhausts and Brembo brakes, while on the inside, the sports steering wheel is new, as are the red inner dial rings.
The cockpit also comes newly equipped with Bluetooth connectivity.
These are all good stuff, but as far as “Cloverleaf luxury” goes, try to think of this as the butler’s day off rather than a major revolution at the White House.
Nevertheless, the Alfa Romeo 159 remains the handsome car that it has always been, with all the right curves and creases in all the right places.
Its aggressive face can stare any thug into cowering submission and will definitely leave an impression.
Alfa Romeos have been accused of many things, but never for behaving like a cold fish.
A frigid response is the last thing you will ever receive because you can expect to get out of an Alfa Romeo exactly what you put in, maybe more.
The Alfa Romeo 159 QV demands to be driven in a particular way and has no patience for any half-hearted manoeuvres.
The unmistakable jerk of the automated manual transmission that precedes each gear shift is still present, and the way to overcome this is by driving it as you would a manual car; that is, to lift off the accelerator every time you clutch in.
Mastering the Selespeed transmission takes as much practice as pronouncing “Quadrifoglio Verde”, but once you get the hang of it, you will be well rewarded.
Driving the QV in sequential mode eliminates most of the gear jerks. Complemented by the Electronic Q2 system (which was introduced here two years ago), the Alfa Romeo 159 QV is a pleasure to drive, both on straight roads as well as tight corners, making it a welcome part of Alfa Romeo’s centennial celebrations.
Alfa Romeo 159 Quadrifoglio Verde 2.2 (A)
ENGINE 2198cc, 16-valves, inline-4
MAX POWER 185bhp at 6500rpm
MAX TORQUE 230Nm at 4500rpm
GEARBOX 6-speed automated manual
0-100KM/H 8.8 seconds
TOP SPEED 222km/h
CONSUMPTION 11km/L (combined)
PRICE INCL. COE $129,800 (as of August 2010)
Check out the Alfa Romeo Giulia