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Wednesday, February 8, 2017

2017 Alfa Romeo Giulia QV new car


Current owners of the BMW M3 or Mercedes C63 AMG had better check their rear-view mirrors: there may be a new compact performance sedan champion approaching fast from behind.
The Alfa Romeo Giulia QV has arrived in Australia priced at $143,900 before on-road costs and the stats read like a headache for its better known German rivals.
The Italian sports sedan has rear-wheel drive, 375kW of power and 600Nm of torque from its twin-turbocharged 2.9-litre V6, claimed acceleration of zero to 100km/h in 3.9 seconds and, for those who like to dream of speed, a 307km/h potential top-whack.
These are all figures that have been known since the QV appeared overseas last year but the good news is, we've been able to drive it on Australian soil.
Well, on tarmac actually, or more specifically for a handful of laps around Sydney Motorsport Park prior to the first batch of 100 cars being delivered to owners.
Despite being based on the $59,895 standard Giulia, the much more expensive QV is not difficult to pick thanks to its deeper front bumper with a lip that extends at speed, new rear bumper including the obligatory diffuser, side skirts, lots of blacked-out parts and the quadrifoglio verde (four-leafed clover) badges that give it its name.
As well as the war paint the QV gets many carbon fibre bits including the bonnet and roof panels that help keep overall weight below 1600kg to aid performance.
There's plenty of that with instant acceleration from standstill, backed by a deep, guttural soundtrack that may be different to its V8 rivals, but is no less appealing.
Any doubts the QV might have difficulties channelling its power to just two driven wheels are quickly dispelled - there's traction control of course, but the combination of an electronic limited slip differential, chunky 285/30R19 rear tyres and torque that's limited at lower revs all help to negate wheelspin.
It's a similar story when it comes to cornering because the QV has the handling precision of a scalpel, rather than the expected broad sword.
The steering is quick and precise with just two turns lock-to-lock, its active suspension virtually eliminates body movement and the amount of traction available means it powers out of corners after hitting an apex at speed you wouldn't dream about on the road.
Of course, having the luxury of some racetrack time means all sensibility can go out the window and with the driving mode selector set to "race" (that is, with stability control turned off among other parameters) and a goodly amount of throttle in play in lower gears, the QV will power slide on opposite lock all too easily.
The gearbox is a conventional eight-speed automatic with torque converter and most of the time it's able to keep up with the action via its paddle-shift manual changes. Occasional it will baulk at manually selecting another gear, but it's unlikely to be an issue on normal roads.
It stops well too, especially when fitted with the optional carbon-ceramic Brembo brakes. One other performance-oriented option is lightweight Sparco racing seats that offer a welcome amount of extra side-support to the standard eight-way power operated items.
Standard equipment levels are high, however, with everything from an 8.8-inch infotainment display, a powerful Harman-Kardon 14-speaker stereo, auto stop-start, active cruise control and blind-spot monitoring included.

The interior is attractive as well as functional from the deeply sculpted instrument panel hiding TFT-display projected instruments to the comfortable driving position behind the three-spoke, flat-bottomed steering wheel.
As to what the Giulia QV is like to drive once you throw in some speed bumps, pock-marked surfaces, passengers, luggage and all the other accoutrements of more normal low-speed driving, that'll have to wait until we get it on the road.

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