Alfa Romeo focus on Giulia
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It's been the vehicle that Alfa Romeo fans have been holding out for as the start of the revitalisation globally for the famous Italian brand, the sporty Giulia sedan.
Now Kiwis have a chance to buy the top spec Quadrifoglio (priced from $134,990) with the first models now in dealerships. The Veloce ($79,990) will follow in the next few months.
The Giulia is the first of eight all-new models due from Alfa Romeo by the end of 2020, after the brand's boss, Sergio Marchionne, set about rebuilding the company in 2013 with €5 billion (NZ$7.6b) invested in creating new products.
The Giulia was the first from that project with the Stelvio SUV next on the line-up. It was revealed at the 2015 Frankfurt motor show and is due here early next year.
But the focus for Alfa Romeo in New Zealand now is the Giulia, and in particular the Quadrifoglio (QF).
It's powered by a Ferrari-inspired 2.9-litre, V6 biturbo petrol engine producing 375kW of power and 600Nm of torque and paired with eight-speed automatic transmission.
It's the first rear-wheel-drive from Alfa in 30 years since the 75 was discontinued.
The Giulia QF can accelerate from 0 to 100km/h in 3.9 seconds and a top speed of 307km/h but more famously it holds a record at the Nurburgring with a time of just 7m 39.0s. That time is the fastest for a sedan and even beats the Ferrari 458 Italia and Porsche 911 GT3 RS at the famous track.
The Giulia Veloce has a 2-litre turbo petrol engine producing 206kW of power and 400Nm of torque with 0-100km time of 5.7s.
Whereas in the past Alfa has been plagued with reliability issues, the brand is ready to dismiss that reputation.
Each Giulia off the production line at the Cassino, Italy, plant is tested by a professional driver for 150 minutes.