Alfa Romeo may be unfamiliar to many Americans, but its beautifully curved and brutally powerful Giulia Quadrifoglio is a kick-ass way to kick-start awareness. Based on the superb Giulia sedan, the QF (for short) boasts a 505-hp twin-turbo V-6 and countless track-focused modifications. While both variants serve different masters, their impeccable ride quality and precise handling were primary reasons that we named them 10Best winners. Enthusiasts will appreciate the QF’s rousing exhaust note and communicative chassis but may question the automatic-only gearbox as well as Alfa’s build quality and reliability. Still, this sports sedan is worthy of a centerfold and guaranteed to arouse your—ahem—senses.
What’s New for 2018?
The Giulia Quadrifoglio enters 2018 without any cosmetic or mechanical changes. However, Alfa has upgraded its standard features to include a Harman/Kardon sound system and forward-collision warning with automated emergency braking (both were options in 2017). Apple CarPlay and Android Auto are new for 2018 and standard on all Giulia models. These updates also increase the Giulia’s starting price by $1700. While there isn’t much new to report on the QF sedan this year, we believe Alfa will eventually build a two-door version using the company’s iconic GTV nameplate.
What was New for 2017?
Following Alfa Romeo’s drawn-out return to the U.S. market, which was led by focused sports cars such as the 4C coupe, the company released an all-new sedan, the Giulia. At the same time, Alfa unleashed the Giulia’s white-hot Quadrifoglio counterpart on hi-po competitors including the BMW M3, the Cadillac ATS-V, and the Mercedes-AMG C63. Unlike the lower-spec models, the track-tuned Giulia is only available with rear-wheel drive and features extensive carbon-fiber materials to save weight. It also proved its mettle by setting a record as the fastest sedan to lap the famous Nürburgring.
Trims and Options We’d Choose
No one is calling the Giulia Quadrifoglio ($75,295 to start) affordable, and direct rivals such as the ATS-V sedan ($62,590) and the M3 ($67,495) are less expensive. Likewise, the pint-sized Audi RS3—a wild card in this comparison—is a performance revelation for only $55,875. But the spiciest Giulia is an entirely different experience, with a seductive personality, nuanced driving dynamics, and an emotive Italianate design. Those solely concerned with going fast for less can find a suitable alternative. We prefer a sedan that weakens our knees with its styling and beguiles our minds with its 200-proof performance. Without adding a single option, the QF has a substantial list of standard equipment, such as:
• Heated and power-adjustable leather-trimmed front seats
• Adaptive dampers and torque-vectoring rear differential
• Blind-spot monitoring and rear cross-traffic alert
• 8.8-inch infotainment screen with navigation
We’d love to opt for the carbon-ceramic Brembo brake package, but $8000 is too rich for our blood. The Driver Assistance Dynamic package ($1200), however, makes a lot of sense. It includes adaptive cruise control, lane-departure warning, automatic high-beams, and more. That elevates our total to $76,495.