Humbler versions of the long-awaited 2016 Alfa Romeo Giulia sedan made their world premiere at the Geneva motor show this week.
Nine months after the premiere of the Ferrari-inspired Giulia Quadrifoglio flagship, mainstream versions of Alfa Romeo’s new BMW 3 Series rival are here for all to see.
The rear-drive sedan that spearheads Alfa’s planned renaissance as a serious global luxury car player will come in three specification levels, the base Giulia and mid-range Giulia Super being the before-now-unsighted variants.
From April 15, the Alfa Romeo Giulia range will be available to order in Europe and the Middle East, with other global markets to follow. An Australasian premiere is likely in 2017.
“The new Giulia,” says Alfa, “with its distinctively Italian design, features an impeccable sense of proportion, simplicity and superior surface quality finish, enveloping and placing the driver centre stage”.
Powering the Giulia are six new engines: 110kW and 135kW 2.2-litre diesels with six-speed manual or eight-speed automatic transmissions, a 150kW 2.0-litre petrol with eight-speed automatic transmission and the 380kW 2.9-litre V6 BiTurbo petrol with six-speed manual transmission we’ve all seen.
Torque is sent in proper sports style to the rear wheels, promising a class-leading and “exhilarating” drive.
Weight distribution is optimised to 50/50 for dynamism, the in-house active suspension is “sophisticated” (torque vectoring will be available on the Quadrifoglio) and the steering is claimed to be the “most direct” in segment.
Weight is said to be 1374kg in diesel guise. Alfa Romeo also promises “ample use” of ultralight materials such as carbon-fibre, aluminium, aluminium composite and plastic, to obtain the best weight-to-power ratio.
Inside, the Giulia Super versions on display in the Swiss city feature high quality leather interiors with full-grain leather seats and dashboards, combined with a real wood interior trim, as well as 18-inch wheels, an 8.8-inch Connect 3D Nav infotainment system with Apple/Android mirroring, and aluminium shift paddles fixed to the steering column.
Expect other safety and assistance systems to include autonomous emergency braking, forward collision warning, optional adaptive cruise control and blind-spot monitoring.
The new Alfa Romeo Giulietta is joined on stage by updated versions of the Giulietta and MiTo. It also precedes the next step in Alfa's projected global expansion, which is to be a new crossover SUV called the Stelvio.