URGENT MESSAGE! If you haven’t driven an Alfa Romeo before, read on…
Mouth-watering, are the choices when you have up to £50K to spend! There’s top-end Brit Jaguar XF; there’s the German lot; and there’s the outsider, the Alfa Romeo Giulia Veloce.
The Veloce, visually-distinguished from other Giulias by its black badging and window-surrounds, is the most exotic (the Giulia QV and GTA are different kettles of fish). After all, – a) it’s Italian and b) compared to the competition, few are sold.
That means a lot of drivers are missing out…big-time. Alfa Romeo has perhaps the most fervent supporters of any car brand.
These ‘Alfisti’ expect and feel something special, if difficult to define, about Alfa Romeo. But with the Giulia Veloce, there’s no difficulty. It’s simply a great car. (That’s not to decry the other manufacturers’ vehicled that are also outstanding examples of car-art.)
Of around 1500 cars that I’ve driven over decades, maybe ten or twelve have made me feel instantly at home. The Veloce is right up there amongst them.
The first Giulias suffered from minor niggles, but these have been sorted; the test car, at least, performed faultlessly.
The seat, at least for my particular height and shape, was perfect. Good start.
The steering is perhaps the best you get in a family car; Alfa Romeo so often get this just right and it underlines how pleasurable it is to drive such a car.
Quickly followed by a complete sense of enjoyment behind the wheel as you get underway.
280 bhp, zero to 62 in 5.7 seconds: the 2-litre turbo engine also shoves out 400Nm of torque at 1750 rpm; this rpm rate equates to almost seventy mph in top, 8th gear, allowing at that point a theoretical massive surge of overtaking acceleration — on an Autobahn, anyway. And of course, at lower speeds, flooring the pedal (or flicking down the Giulia’s extra-large manual paddle) provides the same almost instant take-off.
From standstill, full acceleration is accompanied by a very satisfactory exhaust note with each automatic gearchange, the sound being reminiscent of fast manual changes. Very nice.
The brakes (the Veloce’s callipers in bright yellow) were excellent: powerful, progressive, smooth, unfussed.
It would have been interesting to discover the g-force generated in hard cornering. The test car was on Bridgestone Potenzas and the grip was remarkable. One or two manufacturers have had a g-measuring device on board, but it’s not a good idea, however inadvertently, to encourage hard cornering in the wrong places while not having your eyes on the road! I will hazard a guess at approaching 1g on a dry surface before any squeal or slip…or maybe more, considering that Formula 1 drivers are said to withstand up to 6g.
In the back, passengers are comfortably accommodated and have a USB port and heating controls, while the boot is reasonably spacious at least in its length if not its height. The ride is comfortable wherever anyone is seated; yes, you feel changes in the road surface, as in any car.
The Giulia has been admired for its looks since the launch. The interior is as smart as any and the infotainment operating systems via Alfa’s 3D multi-touch screen are more straightforward and user-friendly and intuitive than some others.
All the connectivity is part of the package, but the main point of this car is the sheer fun it provides.
Oh…thinking about all that fun, I nearly forgot to mention: fuel consumption came out, as indicated on the trip information, at 32.1 mpg, with the official WLTP figure close by at 32.8 mpg, and with the overall average speed in the week at a fairly typical 31 mph.
I loved this car, Bottom line: totally recommended!
Tom Scanlan has written for a wide variety of magazines and newspapers, particularly the Reading Evening Post for ten years, having got into motoring journalism in 1973 via the somewhat unlikely back door of the British Forces Broadcasting Service. BFBS produced a weekly radio motoring show for the services overseas and Tom produced it, as well as interviewing experts and eventually reporting on cars.
He is into classic cars and has owned Porsche, Ferrari, pre-war Alvis and Rileys and currently owns his fifth old Alfa Romeo, a 1984 GTV 2.0.
In his spare time, Tom is a professional cricket coach.