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First drive: Alfa Romeo Giulia Quadrifoglio (2024MY). Image by Alfa Romeo.

First drive: Alfa Romeo Giulia Quadrifoglio (2024MY)
Supersaloon perfection: achieved?

   



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Alfa Romeo Giulia Quadrifoglio (2024MY)

5 5 5 5 5

Alfa Romeo has another go at refreshing the mighty Giulia Quadrifoglio, which - as you may remember - first appeared way back in 2016. Always brilliant to drive, we're here to tell you that this round of updates is far more than a new set of headlights for the Italian four-door warrior, as the company has rather incredibly improved on the older cars in quite a marked way.

Test Car Specifications

Model: 2024 Alfa Romeo Giulia Quadrifoglio
Price: Giulia from 39,995, Quadrifoglio from 78,195
Engine: 2.9-litre twin-turbocharged V6 petrol
Transmission: eight-speed automatic, rear-wheel drive with mechanical limited-slip differential
Power: 520hp at 6,500rpm
Torque: 600Nm at 2,500-5,000rpm
Emissions: 229/km
Economy: 28mpg
0-62mph: 3.9 seconds
Top speed: 191mph
Boot space: 480 litres

Styling

Every other model of the Giulia has recently enjoyed a facelift, which sees the distinctive '3+3' Matrix LED headlights from the Tonale making their way throughout the entire Alfa range. They're a nod back to the SZ and RZ models of the late 1980s and '90s, and they look good set against the beefier styling of the Quadrifoglio. Otherwise, though, it's all as you were, including colours like the spectacular Montreal Green paint and the option of tri-coat Etna Red, while the standard wheels are utterly gorgeous 19-inch 'Teledials' with the chance to upgrade to 20s if needs be. Overall, while the Giulia Quadri might be eight years old now, like a fine wine it is just getting better and better with age.

Interior

In 2020, Alfa enacted the first facelift on the Quadrifoglio and sorted out the ropey interior finishing of the earlier and launch models, so this Italian supersaloon has long had a cabin that can pass muster - even if its 8.8-inch infotainment system, which continues here, is nowhere near the cutting edge in this department. To be fair, not a lot has changed elsewhere in the Giulia Q's passenger compartment this time around, but there are one or two welcome alterations to talk about. Specifically, the 12.3-inch digital instrument cluster is new for the 2024 model year, while the carbon-fibre trim in the dashboard, on the transmission tunnel and studded into the door cards is a new, exposed-weave effort which Alfa says is 'real' carbon. Which invites the thought that it was fake before, but we'll skip over that part...

Practicality

The Alfa Romeo Giulia has never been the most spacious four-door car in this class, thanks to its (commendable) focus on being rear-wheel drive, but there's enough space in the back of the car for two average-height adults to get comfortable. The boot's a decent 480-litre effort, too, while storage compartments and various neat tech solutions - like the slot for the wireless smartphone charging pad in the central armrest area - make the Quadrifoglio a fine machine for practicality measures. Visibility is good out of the vehicle, too, while the luscious sculpted seats in the front are supportive and offer a superb driving position.

Performance

The familiar 2.9-litre V6 twin-turbo petrol continues under the bonnet of the 2024MY Giulia Quadrifoglio and what a stunning thing it remains. There's no chance of familiarity breeding contempt with an engine as exquisite as this one. More good news, too, as the new Quadris are actually more powerful than they were before; they're not at GTA or GTAm levels (540hp), mind you, but a 10hp power hike takes the peak output to 520hp for the facelifted cars, while maximum torque is pegged at the 600Nm it has been since launch.

A mere 1.96 per cent uplift in power does nothing to the Giulia Quadrifoglio's on-paper benchmark stats, which are a 3.9-second 0-62mph sprint and a top speed of 191mph, but then as you can clearly see they're not numbers which really require any enhancement. And the Alfa remains an absolute gem in terms of powertrain. The noises the car makes are entirely all the right ones, running all the way from a menacing idle and low-revs grumble, through mid-range snarling and then out to a hard-edged bark at the redline. If you want, there's an Akrapovic exhaust upgrade offered for an extra fee, which will no doubt sound phenomenal, but you honestly won't be dissatisfied with the vocals of the 2024MY Giulia Q as standard.

It's not just noise, but sheer speed too. Epic roll-on acceleration is only the merest flex of your right ankle away, even with the car in the Normal or Advanced Efficiency modes of its DNA rotary settings dial, and if you decide to pin the throttle to the bulkhead then make sure you've got plenty of room in front of the Alfa's pert nose - because the engine and gearbox respond almost instantaneously to ram power and torque at the rear tyres with utterly devastating effect.

One of the main benefits here is the Alfa's relative lack of mass. Tipping the scales at just 1,660kg, the Giulia Quadrifoglio is admirably trim for this type of car. Compare that to its only real, direct surviving rival (sorry, Mercedes-AMG, but a four-cylinder C 63 plug-in hybrid weighing 2.1 tonnes? No thanks), which comes in at 1,805kg in rear-drive format and even more if you spec up xDrive, and you can see the Alfa has a significant edge. It's a ferocious performer, yet one with such a nicely judged throttle response in all modes that it's also incredibly genial to drive in low-speed urban situations and your typical, everyday traffic flow. Oh, and it still has one of its star attractions all present and correct - simply the greatest paddle shifts ever fitted to a road-going car, which make the humdrum act of changing gear into a semi-epiphanic experience, each and every time.

Ride & Handling

Let's get one thing straight: we've always adored the Giulia Quadrifoglio. It is arguably the one genuinely world-beating Alfa Romeo that has been built and released to market in our lifetime (don't ask how old we are, thank you), although we'd vehemently contest that the related and almost-as-brilliant Stelvio Quadrifoglio also deserves consideration in this regard, and as cars which engage their driver to the best possible standard go, the Giulia Q is well up there in our own personal top ten - and will probably remain so forever more.

That said, the pre-this-particular-facelift models could be... spiky sods. We saw it on the international launch at Balocco eight years ago, where streaming rain on Alfa's northern Italian test track made the Quadri outrageously, er, lively in the hands of a very talented racing driver doing a demo lap for us, and then we were reminded of its nervousness in adverse conditions on one buttock-puckering, rain-drenched journey down south when we drove an example for the week in the UK. A close friend also has a 2020MY Giulia Q in Montreal Green (the lucky so-and-so) and he tells us it's a different car in damp/wet conditions.

For 2024, Alfa has fitted a mechanical limited-slip differential to the car. This replaces the electronic torque-vectoring set-up previously employed, while the company's engineers have also retuned the Synaptic Dynamic Control (SDC) dampers to suit the car's new hardware and power capabilities.

The resulting effects are not transformative, bearing in mind how highly we already rated the Giulia Q, but the car is so much more organic in its movements when you get on the power out of tight corners now that it's hard not to be completely stupefied by just what Alfa has managed to achieve here. We drove it in both Dynamic and Race (traction fully off in the latter) on track, and admittedly it was a small layout that didn't really flatter the Alfa Romeo, yet even so it was clear to see how progressive and fluid it felt as it transitioned to oversteer. It's perhaps disingenuous to describe a 520hp, nigh-on-200mph performance car as 'benign'; that's what the Quadrifoglio felt like, though.

And there's simply masses of feel coming through both the steering wheel and the base of the driver's seat, so that the Giulia Q is fully exploitable - even in low-grip conditions. For road use, the car remains as sublime as it ever was, although the firmer damping that engages in Dynamic and Race is perhaps a little too much for comfort at times. Thankfully, Alfa still has the damper-symbol button in the middle of the DNA dial which you can press and hold, so that you can have the drivetrain and steering in Dynamic, but the SDC in its softer, more accommodating setting. This is the ideal combination for bumpy and sinuous British back roads.

It also excels for ride comfort and rolling refinement, perhaps a modicum too much tyre roar at higher speeds on poorer surfaces being the one slight black mark against the Giulia Q's kinematic performance, but for something which can drive as scintllatingly as this when the mood takes you, the fact it will quietly and confidently ooze along dual carriageways at 70mph in a supremely cosseting fashion is quite remarkable.

Honestly, we are struggling to think of how you could execute an engaging, fast, enjoyable and talented supersaloon any better than this, now. The only ultra-rapid four-door we can think of that would challenge it is the hyper-rare, hyper-expensive (and hyper-unavailable, now) BMW M5 CS. But, thinking about it, we'd probably still have the Alfa over the German, even then. The 2024 model year Giulia Quadrifoglio is very, very, very close to perfection. So close it might not be possible to see the gap.

Value

When the Giulia Quadrifoglio arrived in 2016, it cost from 61,595 here. It now starts at 78,195. Which looks like a big increase, especially for a car which has only received some minor interior fettling, 10hp and a mechanical diff in the meantime, but inflation-adjusted 61,595 amounts to 80,455 in 2024. So, if anything, Alfa has reduced the price for something which is even more gobsmackingly good to drive than it was before.

Obviously, you have to take into account that wages haven't moved in line with rising prices, so we can't exactly sit here and say a near-80-grand four-door car is anything like close to being a 'bargain', especially when it costs almost double what the base-spec model in its own range retails for. But, for what you're getting? For the chassis talent on such breathtaking display here? For a standard kit list that is generous almost to a fault? Yeah, you can... probably easily deduce the inferences we're making for yourself.

Verdict

The 2024 model year Alfa Romeo Giulia Quadrifoglio looks wonderful on the outside, it has an excellent interior, it's practical, it's comfortable, it's quiet (when you want it to be), it's smooth, it's rewarding, it's stupidly fast, it sounds splendid, it handles like a dream, its steering is majestic, its damping is otherworldly, it's thrilling, it's joyous, it's delicate, it's fierce, it's adjustable, it's biddable, it's just... thoroughly magnificent in every detail.

Could you improve it? Short of sticking a better infotainment system in it, no - we don't think you could. Absolutely outstanding stuff from Alfa, delivering one of the all-time great performance cars of any shape or size. Buy one. Now. You will not regret it in the slightest.



Matt Robinson - 12 Mar 2024



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2024 Alfa Romeo Giulia Quadrifoglio. Image by Alfa Romeo.2024 Alfa Romeo Giulia Quadrifoglio. Image by Alfa Romeo.2024 Alfa Romeo Giulia Quadrifoglio. Image by Alfa Romeo.2024 Alfa Romeo Giulia Quadrifoglio. Image by Alfa Romeo.2024 Alfa Romeo Giulia Quadrifoglio. Image by Alfa Romeo.

2024 Alfa Romeo Giulia Quadrifoglio. Image by Alfa Romeo.2024 Alfa Romeo Giulia Quadrifoglio. Image by Alfa Romeo.2024 Alfa Romeo Giulia Quadrifoglio. Image by Alfa Romeo.2024 Alfa Romeo Giulia Quadrifoglio. Image by Alfa Romeo.2024 Alfa Romeo Giulia Quadrifoglio. Image by Alfa Romeo.








 

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