‘Blown away!’ ‘Wiped out!’ ‘Confused?’ That’s the Alfa Romeo Quadrifoglio for me after just one week…
Alfa’s Porsche – eater has at its heart a 2.9-litre, 510 bhp V6 engine that can shoot you to 62 mph in a mere 3.9 seconds. Madness, really—who needs it?
Ah, well there’s still room in this world for petrol-heads. And you need to be just that if you are to own a car like this…even if it’s already been around for two or three years.
Because, and this is why the ‘confused?’ bit up top: although you don’t always HAVE to engage ‘Race’ on that little knob below your left hand and select ‘manual’ and boot the throttle and hold on tight, the other bits that go with it, remain even when you doddle along at thirty. First, I’m talking about the seats. SPARCO is their name and they are lightweight, tight, but HARD — this causes a problem, at least on the ordinary, poor condition, sleeping policeman, traffic-calming, bumpy and undulating surfaces that abound near where I live and, unless I’m very much surprised, around your place, too. There were times when, driving within the 30 mph limit, I was thrown about like a rag-doll. The suspension relayed the surface fluctuations right through my body. Over time, frankly, I found it all a bit too dramatic.
Now let’s consider the brakes. Although emblazoned with the Alfa Romeo name and visibly unmissable yellow calipers, they are, of course Brembo carbon fibre. Just what you need to anchor 510 bhp down from its maximum 192 mph…but exactly what you don’t need when pootling through town to get to the shops. Why? Because every time you try to come to a nice smooth stop, those brakes don’t give you the finesse you quite need; ever-so-gently that you might be in slowing to a standstill, for the benefit of your passengers, the end is always a jerk forward.
This might all seem trivial in cold print, but if the Giulia you must have is to be not only a hugely fun car, but also practical family transport, with seats in the back and a decent boot, think again. Hard.
However, if the Quadrifoglio is going to be your purely massively-engaging, long-distance, high-speed continental flyer for more than two people, then ‘yes, yes, yes!’ Not forgetting that it just loves the open road, especially when your heart leaps as you can see those ups and downs and twists and bends for miles ahead.
That, ’though, is not the end. There’s the cost, later, when you need to service this and that, and those brakes. You might even want to convert to steel brakes for comfort. Expensive, too. You have been warned.
Fuel consumption was OK at an indicated 31.0 mpg…stop-start and that the car can rest half of its six cylinders if appropriate helps.
The test car’s price? Get a deal starting from £60,000? Mmmm…
Car reviewed: Alfa Romeo 2.9 Turbo petrol Quadrifolglio, on the road price from £63,540 0-62mph 3.9secs Top speed 191mph Engine 2891cc 6 cylinder unleaded Euro 6 Fuel Economy Combined 34.4mpg CO2 emissions 206g/km Max Power 510hp@6500rpm Torque 600Nm@2500rpm Transmission 8-speed automatic with manual mode
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.
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