What is it?
The Alfa Romeo Giulia Quadrifoglio, or Giulia Cloverleaf to us linguistic imperialists who still prefer Venice and Florence to Venezia and Firenze, is an all-new sports saloon from the people who brought you the original Giulia, Alfasud and 75 – handling greats, all.
There has been regrettably little from Alfa with which keen drivers might indulge themselves since, of course. Which makes this a bit of a watershed car for the Italian firm, one to give us reason to feel excited by the Alfa brand again and to begin a long reputational rebuilding process. This company can rightly claim to have made some of the best-handling sports cars and saloons in the world in its pomp, and it has ambitions to do so again.
The Cloverleaf is the headline version of the all-important Giulia saloon and standard-bearer for Alfa’s new philosophy in taking on the likes of Audi, BMW and Mercedes. The car is its first new big-volume model in more than 20 years to be driven by its rear wheels and it also has a powerful and innovative engine and a class-leading power-to-weight ratio – all of which, Alfa hopes, will add up to a convincing selling point. We’re assured to expect the same from any Giulia compared to its German peers, petrol or diesel-powered.
Made predominantly of high-strength steel, the Giulia’s platform is modular and will also be used on larger models coming down the pipeline in future. Aluminium wings and doors and a carbonfibre bonnet and roof keep the Cloverleaf’s kerb weight down. Double wishbone suspension is used up front while a multi-link system serves at the rear, in both cases with aluminium subframes and chassis arms. ZF Sachs continuously variable dampers feature as standard.