"There is nothing quite like motoring under vast skies with the autonomy to select your next destination. It’s an excellent tonic for taking a breather from the stresses of everyday life while broadening the mind. You don’t need "
Tim Tests It: The 2017 Alfa Romeo Giulia Quadrifoglio
The new Quadrifoglio as experienced by Tim Barnes-Clay
Let’s get one thing clear; the 2017 Alfa Romeo Giulia Quadrifoglio has absolutely nothing to prove. The Italian brand might have been known for its unreliability and rust once, but that never stopped Alfa aficionados loving the sporting DNA that coursed through the veins of every model produced.
The doubters may have doubted, but the believers always believed, and in the end the latter won. They were always going to win, because what was a little corrosion and volatility between man and machine?
Fast forward to 2017 and, if anything, there’s more love being aimed at Alfa than ever. In fact, there’s a frenzy whipping around one name right now – and that’s the Giulia Quadrifoglio. This is Alfa Romeo’s new supreme ruler – the most powerful model it has ever created for road use.
But where, oh where can we, on our little island, drive a brute like this without getting the book thrown at us? Nowhere – except perhaps on track, or even better – an airfield.
So, that’s exactly what we did. We took the 2017 Alfa Romeo Giulia Quadrifoglio to Kemble Airfield in Wiltshire to see why petrolheads with deep pockets should fork out the best part of £60,000 for this four-door tour de force.
We were expecting a shrieking engine note; we were envisaging steering rooted on the lock-stops, and we were anticipating the rear tyres ruthlessly spraying rubber in oversteer derring-do. And, you know what? We got it all.
With its 0-62mph time of 3.9s and top speed of 192mph, the Giulia Quadrifoglio could well be the ultimate high-performance rear-drive saloon on the market. Not only does it look awesome with its bulldog-like stance and its aluminium and carbon-fibre trimmings, it’s 50:50 balance, lightweight body, hardcore braking talents and firm suspension make it an utter jewel to drive.
Step inside, and the Giulia means business. Carbon-fibre, leather and suede tell you you’re in something special. Grip the chunky wheel, set the DNA switch to Dynamic, and the Alfa screams off towards the horizon in a planted, adrenaline-pumping way.
Tilt into a double-apex, made possible by a complex arrangement of cones on our otherwise arrow-straight runway, and the Quadrifoglio shows it’s the real deal. The throttle is on the ball, the steering is light and the engine response is hard-hitting, while shifting cogs via the steering paddles is more satisfying than a date with a blonde. Loaded up on its outside rear corner, the Alfa’s chassis does jig around without much goading, but the result shows this car has a spirited and larger-than-life character.
It should come as no surprise that this car has enough clout to send your brain into orbit. The Giulia Quadrifoglio’s engine has a double dose of Italian DNA. It is Ferrari derived and, like the Maranello-based legend, this Alfa Romeo uses a paced torque delivery, which yields energy in an even and undeviating style.
After just five laps of the makeshift track on our desolate Cotswolds airfield, we are convinced that this 2.9-litre twin-turbo V6 petrol powered Italian stallion is a Bavarian brand beater. It is just so refreshing and really seizes your soul in a way that the Teutonic marques just don’t. BMWs, Audis and Porsches are clinically quick, but the Giulia Quadrifoglio has real passion and fire in its belly.
The 2017 Alfa Romeo Giulia Quadrifoglio is undeniably attractive and very seductive – in every sense.
CLICK TO ENLARGE