Seasoned Alfa Romeo watchers will, of course, be familiar with the cycle of raised hopes, huge expectation and then - upon driving - ultimate disappointment. Yes 4C, we're looking at you. And so to the initial phase of that cycle with the new Giulia which, with pugnacious aggression, squares up to the likes of the BMW M3 and Mercedes-AMG C63 on their home soil. You've got to admire the chutzpah. Please, please, please let the car deliver...
No suprise to find it busy hereNo suprise to find it busy hereIn the metal it looks, if not beautiful, certainly purposeful. There's a hint of SZ 'Il Mostro' in its bluff front end and the stance is very much on its toes and spoiling for a fight. Pleasingly compact in its proportions, there's a similar muscularity in its demeanour to the BMW M3. Which is probably no coincidence whatsoever, is it?
As we know, the range-topping Quadrifoglio (best get brushing up on those Italian pronunciations to pull that one off with suitable style) has a healthy 510hp and 442lb ft from its Ferrari-built, Maserati-derived twin-turbo V6. By the numbers that immediately puts it well ahead of the M3 and on equal terms with the V8-powered C63, though the AMG's two extra cylinders help maintain a torque advantage with a thumping 516lb ft. Good start though. 0-62 is in just 3.9 seconds and it tops out at 191mph - enough to beat the M3 and C63 S, both of which are over four seconds and limited to 155mph in the usual style. The launch price of 'about' 79,000 euros in the Italian market is also bang on the money, given an M3 costs 78,950 euros there.
A 'lightest, best performing and exclusive' version costing 95,000 euros is available to order direct from the Frankfurt stand, showcasing all the optional goodies like ceramic brakes and carbon Sparco seats.
There's a fair old bun fight around the Giulia at the moment but we'll return to it later on in the hope we can have a proper look around it. For now the familiar promise is there. We just have to hope it delivers.