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Alfa Romeo’s Giulia promises 510 horsepower of Italian bravado

Alfa Romeo launched its new Giulia sedan earlier this year and made the new model the centerpiece of its Frankfurt Auto Show display today.  While Alfa has not formally announced specific dates and pricing for the United States, Alfa brand chief Harald Wester said today that the high-performance Quadrifoglio version of the Giulia would be available in the Spring of 2016, with the more basic versions following later in the year.

The new Alfa is built to compete in the European sports sedan market. The Quadrifoglio edition features a 510 horsepower twin-turbo V6 engine, six-speed manual transmission, and rear-wheel-drive. With a 0-62 time of 3.9 seconds, the car is designed to take on BMW’s M3 and Audi’s RS4. An all-wheel-drive version is expected later next year.

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Jeff Zurschmeide

Alfa has packed the new Giulia with technology and performance-oriented design, gifting the car with perfect 50/50 weight distribution, an exclusive new 4.5-link rear suspension design called Alfalink, electronically-controlled shock absorption, and torque vectoring. The Giuliua comes with three driving modes that Alfa calls DNA: Dynamic, Natural, and Advanced Efficient (a new energy-efficiency mode introduced on the Giulia). The Quadrifoglio edition also includes a Racing mode.

For the Quadrifoglio, Alfa has developed an active aerodynamic front splitter that helps the Alfa achieve about 220 pounds of downforce at 186 MPH, and this deserves special note as a meaningful innovation.  A splitter is a flat plane spoiler that sticks out at the base of a car’s front grille. It works by allowing air to pass under the car, while air hitting the front surface of the vehicle “piles up” and creates downforce – at the expense of wind resistance. The Alfa design raises the splitter in high-speed straight-line driving to reduce resistance, and lowers the splitter under braking or cornering to maximize downforce when it’s needed.

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The Giulia Quadrifoglio also comes with carbon-ceramic brakes handed down from Alfa’s sister company, Ferrari. These brakes will stop the Giulia from 62 mph in just under 105 feet. Finally, the bodywork generates a low .25 coefficient of drag, and the Giulia Quadrifoglio weighs in at a slender 3373 pounds.

The result of all this work is that the 2016 Alfa Romeo Giulia laps the Nurburgring’s Nordschleife race course in less than 8 minutes.

If all this sounds good enough to have you thinking about a purchase, the European price of the Giulia Quadrifoglio is expected to be about $80,000. It’s reasonable to expect the American price will be about the same.