ON THE ROAD- IAN LYNAS PREVIEWS THE NEW ALFA-ROMEO GIULIA
There is always an air of interest with the news of a new Alfa-Romeo and early next year, a new Giulia will appear on the scene. The Giulia first appeared in 1962 and it was the first mass produced car to feature a five speed transmission. Early versions were just that little bit different from the mainstream, offering six seats, bench style front and rear; a very American thing at the time. By today’s standards, power was modest, courtesy of a 1.6 litre petrol engine, its four cylinders pushing out 92bhp which could take it just over the 160kph (100mph) mark. A year later, the faster Ti Super arrived complete with 112bhp and in 1965, the GTA arrived on the scene with its sleek coupe body, a vehicle which won many hearts. Alfa’s racing division Autodelta breathed on the car and it went on to win many races; with 170bhp and amidst its list of many victories was the European Touring Car series.
Last year, Alfa-Romeo celebrated its 110thh birthday and to mark the occasion, launched a GTA based on the Giulia Quadrifoglio with 540bhp. Bringing the story right up to date, a new Giulia will be available early next year and with it comes the perfect blend of performance with Italian styling. A new look with a Trilobo grille, bearing a strong resemblance to the recently introduced Tonale and a link with the SZ Zagota and the Proteo concept car. There are full adaptive matrix headlights delivering greater safety due to less stress on the eyes thus aiding driving comfort. Step inside the new model and you will be greeted by cutting edge technology which will deliver a comfy and connected experience. The most noticeable update will be seen with the instrument panel with its historic telescope design. There is a new complete digital 12.3 in TFT screen, where all the car’s information and parameters related to the autonomous driving technologies can be accessed and the cluster can be configured in three layouts, Evolved, Relax and Heritage. Looking at the three; Evolved represents the future of the brand design and uses the central area of the screen, while keeping its two lateral quadrants in place. Relax has very much the focus on comfort, is free of detailed vehicle info and is without two of the quadrants. Heritage, as the name suggests, is inspired by Alfa’s 60s and 70s models with distinctive details such as inverted numbers at the end of the speedo.
hose who have ever owned or driven a Giulia will know of the legendary handling and I suspect there will be no disappointment in this respect with the new model which I am assured will have that Alfa-Romeo spirit that many have come to appreciate. Since the new Tonale was launched, the brand has been evolving to reach a new level of efficient and high performing sportiness. In parallel with performance must come braking ability and an electro mechanical system combines stability control with the braking system, the result instant response which limits stopping distance. A further sporting touch for the new model is a direct steering which is paired with an eight speed ZF automatic transmission with aluminium shift paddles. Finally we can expect two trim levels, Sprint and Veloce and with 280bhp under the bonnet and rear wheel drive – let the fun begin.