Alfa Romeo reveals Giulia and Stelvio Quadrifoglio Racing models
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Brace yourselves for Geneva Motor Show overload.
The Swiss motoring extravaganza takes place next week. Having been first held in 1905, with events unfolding annually since the '40s, it's one of the world's oldest and most illustrious auto shows. And this makes it a particular target for European manufacturers like Alfa Romeo.
In preparation for Geneva 2019, the Italian marque have whipped the covers off six new limited-edition models; two Quadrifoglio models, plus an extra pair of Stelvios and dual reworks of their Giuletta hatchback.
Leading the charge are Alfa's new Giulia and Stelvio Quadrifoglio Racing pairing. Revealed with the aid of Kimi Raikkonen and Antonio Giovinazzi, the pairing draw clear lines to the brand's efforts in Formula 1 by implementing a rendition of the team's red and white paint-scheme.
Beyond the race paint, changes to the duo are relatively minor. Inside they both come with carbon-shelled Sparco race seats, a Mopar gearknob, and an Alcantara steering wheel. Outside, they get an exposed carbon-fibre roof, polished wheels (19-inch on the Giulia, 20-inch on the Stelvio), and standardised carbon-ceramic brakes with red calipers.
While it sports the same paint-scheme as Alfa Romeo Sauber's C38 Formula 1 car, both the Giulia and Stelvio sound far, far superior to the open-wheel rocket thanks to their shared Ferrari-derived twin-turbo 2.9-litre V6 engines. In standard trim, it's an engine that develops 375kW of power and 600Nm of torque, with the ability to hurl each vehicle to 100km/h in 3.8 seconds and 3.9 seconds respectfully (the Stelvio gets there a touch quicker by virtue of its all-wheel drive system).
For these Racing models, Alfa Romeo say that power has increased thanks to the inclusion of a bespoke Slovenian-made Akrapovic titanium exhaust ... although they don't mention what that power boost actually amounts to.
These aren't Alfa's first special edition Giulia and Stelvio models. Last June they unveiled NRING editions for each nameplate. The pairing sported flat paint, generous smatterings of carbon fibre parts, Sparco seats. Although unlike these Racing editions, they didn't feature any upgrades to power.
Among the other announcements from Alfa Romeo is an update to the Giulia and Stelvio Ti models.
Again it's a case of evolution instead of revolution. Both get mild visual updates, including a few Quadrifoglio-flavoured carbon-fibre hand-me-downs, larger wheels, and yellow brake calipers. It's a funny one, given that the shouty brake calipers are countered by the new inclusion of more restrained tinted windows and gloss-black window surrounds.
Neither model has had any changes to its power, with the turbocharged 2.0-litre four-cylinder in each still producing 206kW of power and 400Nm of torque in each car. In Q4 all-wheel drive SUV spec, it's a powertrain good for 0–100km/h in 5.7 seconds — not bad for a supposedly mid-spec model.
Rounding out the line-up of releases are a pair of new Giulietta models. The first is the new luxury-angled Executive (pictured above) and the second is the revised Veloce hot hatch.
Changes to both cars are minor from the existing Giulietta — a shame, given that the model turns nine-years-old this year. The Executive gets a sheen of Visconti Green paint, and some new satin detailing on the front facia.
The Veloce, meanwhile sports some minor visual updates — most of which are housed in the new sports bumpers. New 18-inch wheels and larger Brembo brakes are certain to improve on the model's already significant street presence.
There is one change that's got us down, however, and that's the engine. The new Veloce will ditch the current model's fabulous 1.7-litre turbocharged four pot for a 2.0-litre JTDM diesel engine instead. Although the current Veloce is a flawed machine at best, the power-train is one of the most exciting of the segment. While the new diesel engine is larger, it also makes less power; 122kW to the current car's 177kW.
Curse those Europeans and their undying love for small diesel cars.