Frankly, the Race mode is a bit much for me, especially when I’m connecting the big dots on the GPS map of Italy between Milan, Maranello and Florence – a 1300km route in my case, including major detours.
The well-balanced Natural mode works best for long-distance driving, below and occasionally above the posted speed limits, yet it remains ready to provide maximum momentum at a moment’s notice.
Activating the GQ’s Race mode is like inviting the Ferrari F1 drivers into my Alfa test car – Sebastian Vettel telling me to drive flat out no matter what, Kimi Raikkonen leaving me alone because I know what I’m doing, and Antonio Giovinazzi speaking with his hands like a typical Italian.
Speaking of hands, the GQ’s steering wheel is an Alfa work of art. It’s a wonderfully artistic combination of black leather, blacker Alcantara, grey carbon fibre inserts and red stitches, with neatly integrated switches which include a red ignition button.
The material I grasp depends on where my hands hold the wheel – mostly leather at the 10 and 2 o’clock positions, mostly fabric at the 9 and 3 o’clock positions, mostly carbon at the 8 and 4 o’clock positions. My hands feel so happy.
And they stay happy while twirling the thing. Because the steering is perfectly weighted, properly calibrated and appropriately animated (never agitated) in every scenario – parking, pottering, cruising, cornering, rushing.
The steering is also accurate, enabling me to point the prow and plant the tenacious front tyres precisely where I want them.
This Alfa handles exactly like how it looks – steadfast and purposeful. With a firm resolve it grips the tarmac, zips along and rips through corners. The entirety of the driving machine synchronises with the driver as it powers ahead and roars away.
It’s time for the Alfa to take a break and this failed Romeo to enjoy a caffe mocha, so let me evaluate the interior aspects of the car.
The front seats are superbly supportive, the rear seats are spacious for two adults and the 480-litre boot is roomy. The rear air-con vents are the same as those at the sides of the dashboard and have a similarly effective throughput.
Everything in the cabin – controls, colours, materials, lids, bits and pieces – works well and feels well-made, but the plastics are more Fiat-Chrysler than Ferrari-Maserati.
Not impressive either are the doorbins (too small), front seatback nets (not very useful), sat-nav input (sluggish) and the trip computer’s range calculator (uncertain).
I am certain, in conclusion, that the Giulia Quadrifoglio has all the Alfa armaments it needs to make any petrolhead feel like a Roman ruler in the sports saloon arena. Gladiator Maximus, I salute you!
Alfa Romeo Giulia Quadrifoglio 2.9 (A)
Type V6, 24-valves, turbocharged
Bore x stroke 86.5mm x 82mm
Compression Ratio 9.3:1
Max power 510bhp at 6500rpm
Max torque 600Nm at 2500-5000rpm
Power to weight 314.8bhp per tonne
Gearbox 8-speed automatic with manual select
Driven wheels Rear
0-100km/h 3.9 seconds
Top speed 307km/h
Consumption 12.2km/L (combined)
CO2 emission 189g/km
Front Double wishbones, coil springs, adaptive dampers
Rear Multi-link, coil springs, adaptive dampers
Front / Rear Ventilated discs
Type Pirelli P Zero Corsa
Size 245/35 R19 (front), 285/30 R19 (rear)
Traction aids ABS, ESC
Kerb weight 1620kg
Turning circle 11.4m
Price incl. COE To be announced
Warranty To be announced
+ Design of exterior and interior is bellisimo, performance, handling, engineering and character are fantastico
– A few quirks inside which may irritate, relentless road noise, thirst for petrol when playing sports saloon