Earlier this year, British marque Jaguar made a splash when it debuted the XE, it’s smallest sedan that will undercut the XF and XJ and help solidify the brand in the annals of luxury sedan history. Positive reception, cutting edge tech, and a variety of powertrains are said the offer the BMW 3 Series — the gold standard of the class — a serious run for its money, but the Jaguar’s latest challenge may not come from Germany at all — it might come from Italy, and its name is Giulia.
The Alfa Romeo Giulia was presented on Wednesday by Alfa’s parent Fiat-Chrysler Automobiles’ CEO, Sergio Marchionne. After a few leaked teasers and spy shots, the car finally debuted in full. And it looks utterly spectacular.
You’ll realize first-off that the car features flavors found from all over. There’s definitely some BMW M235i language in there, and the headlights speak to the recent Audi A6. There’s more than a little Maserati Ghibli in there too — Alfa’s stablemate, so don’t expect the similarities to end with the looks. There’s some Jag styling language, a taste of Acura, and even some Mazda6 around the backend. It’s all tied together with Alfa’s signature grille, those rotary dial wheels, and it looks completely derivative — but still as premium and sporty looking as an Italian car should be; everything just fits.
Despite it’s conveyance of power and prestige, the Giulia is still reasonably restrained. There’s a small carbon fiber lip spoiler on the rear deck, and and the flowing, sculpted hood is punctuated tastefully by two small vents. Even the rear splitter, an easy spot to get carried away, is more subtle and restrained than it would be on, say, a Mercedes AMG.
The Giulia sits on a brand-new rear-wheel drive platform, and was developed by Alfa’s in-house engineers. That’s important, because in today’s climate of consolidation and platform-sharing, it shows that it’s still worth the investment to do things from the ground up. In other words, the Giulia is a true Alfa – it isn’t riding on a borrowed Dodge Charger or Maserati Ghibli foundation.
A slew of engines will be available on Alfa’s new whip, including a hot, 510-horsepower V6 option for the Quadrifoglio version (think of it as a direct answer to the question the M3 never asked). Reportedly, that will be potent enough to ship the Giulia from zero to 60 in just 3.9 seconds. That’s exciting and all, but we’re especially excited to hear the exhaust note that the Quadrifolio will produce. We’re pretty sure it will land the Giulia in the pantheon of greatest-sounding sixes ever.
There are other perks too — torque vectoring, active aerodynamic components, and electronically-controlled adaptive dampers — stuff that’s normally found on more expensive cars, including composite materials. Pricing hasn’t yet been announced, nor has distribution or transmission options. Interior specs and photos haven’t been released as of press time.
Though Alfa is returning to the U.S. (it made it’s entrance with the 4C sports car), it’s unclear as to what extent the Italian marque will develop its presence here. But one thing is true about the Giulia — it’s the car that Alfa needs, and the headache that Jaguar doesn’t.