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What’s new for 2024’s revised Alfa Romeo Giulia Quadrifoglio?

Words: Wayne Batty | Photography: Alfa Romeo

A new version of the Alfa Romeo Giulia Quadrifoglio has arrived – and, much like the cars wearing the four-leaf clover badge that came before, it is so gifted it makes its own luck.

It’s not an exaggeration to suggest that you could ask anyone from across the automotive spectrum whether their ideal collection would include an Alfa Romeo, and they’d more than likely answer in the affirmative. Whether that’s an 8C 2900B Lungo Spider, the bonkers SZ or even a 145 Cloverleaf, this is a brand that throughout its 114-year history has consistently managed to pull something extraordinary out of what has, at times, been quite thin air. You could call it luck – but no one is lucky for that long. While there are clearly other reasons for this, a healthy appreciation for Alfa’s own heritage arguably plays a role. It is one of those brands that doesn’t forget its past when forging its future.

It’s appropriate, then, that Alfa Romeo UK had a beautiful step-nose Giulia Sprint GT Veloce sporting the four-leaf clover badge on display at the recent launch of its revised Giulia Quadrifoglio. Light, quick, dynamic and so desirable, this mid-1960s marvel is a timely reminder of the particular mix of attributes that resonates so strongly with enthusiasts. And they are all in play with the latest Quadrifoglio, a car that once again demonstrates this storied Italian brand’s magical ability to create something extraordinary when you least expect it.

The Quadrifolgio badge was first used on a road car more than 60 years ago, affixed to the flanks of the Giulia TI Super. It has always stood for hardware-backed enhanced performance, as opposed to the cynical marketing exercise it could so easily have been. In that same spirit, and despite appearing to be a minor ‘facelift’, this newly revised model features significant mechanical upgrades and interior changes.

The Giulia Quadrifoglio once again demonstrates this storied Italian brand’s magical ability to create something extraordinary when you least expect it

The Giulia Quadrifoglio once again demonstrates this storied Italian brand’s magical ability to create something extraordinary when you least expect it

When it comes to style quotient, the Giulia, as with most Alfas, was born loaded with the stuff. Even nine years on, it’s still a looker. Unsurprisingly, the company’s exterior designers were given just one job, to incorporate new full-LED matrix adaptive headlight units that feature the brand’s latest triple-segment light signature.

Dark, five-circle, 19-inch stylised ‘telephone dial’ wheel rims are standard, along with a carbon boot spoiler and active front splitter. As before, the bonnet, side skirts and driveshaft are also made from the lightweight material. A mostly explosive paint colour line-up includes Etna Red, Vesuvio Grey and Vulcano Black, alongside Misano Blue, the standard Alfa Red and the bold but oh so beautiful Montreal Green – another fine heritage reference.

The excitement doesn’t end with the looks. Alfa knows a sporting saloon needs a sporting heart. As a result, its performance-oriented engines seldom disappoint. For 2024, the sublime 2.9-litre twin-turbo V6 has had its electronics massaged, raising the power output by 10bhp to 513bhp. At 2500rpm, the amount of torque on tap remains a hefty 443lb ft. A remarkably low kerbweight of 1660kg allows the Quadrifoglio to hit 0-62mph in just 3.9 seconds. As before, all that motive force is channelled to the rear wheels, but the new car has been treated to a mechanical limited-slip differential. This replaces the previous e-diff, which Alfa admits lacked the required consistency.

Tweaks to the double-wishbone front and multi-link rear suspension have paid off, endowing the Giulia Q with a ride quality that is surprisingly supple for the performance on offer. The adaptive damping plays a part here, but there’s decent bump absorption built in across all settings, resulting in a car that prefers to roll with the terrain rather than skip along it. That relative compliancy might have been detrimental on track (where most will never go), were it not for the trick new diff. Its job is to deliver maximum grip to whichever rear wheel needs it most, enhancing stability, quelling understeer and allowing faster exit speeds – a task that it absolutely nails. Six laps around a small but useful handling circuit highlighted the car’s light, accurate steering, balanced 50:50 weight distribution and improved handling prowess.

The Quadrifoglio is thrilling, fast and playful in varying degrees, thanks to the selectable drive settings, which range from numbed-down Advanced Efficiency to far more visceral Race mode, with requisite changes to throttle mapping, gearbox response, steering weight, ESC and suspension firmness. The only slight reservation is with the brakes. Our test car was fitted with the optional carbon-ceramic discs, which while hugely effective as anchors, don’t offer much in the way of pedal feel. Other than that, it’s a car you instantly gel with on almost every front.

Results for the interior upgrades aren’t quite as positive. The cabin itself remains a great place in which to spend an afternoon blitzing a mountain pass or just tootling along the motorway, thanks to comfortable seats, a decent range of driving-position adjustment and pleasing tactility to the major touchpoints. However, while the configurable 12.3-inch digital instrument cluster and the customisable 8.8-inch centre touchscreen with auxiliary rotary input bring a fresh contemporary feel, they’re constrained by the ageing dash architecture. That said, who wouldn’t want physical ventilation controls, a starter button on their steering wheel, or instruments nestled in a classic Alfa twin-cowled housing?

We’re not quite as enamoured with the new textured-carbon finish used on the dashboard, centre tunnel and door inserts, though. It’s comforting to know that real carbonfibre is used, but it looks and feels more like a blackened grass weave. Perhaps it has something to do with the fact that you wouldn’t see it used in this form in motor sport, an arena intrinsic to the Quadrifoglio badge? A detail so trivial (and subjective) simply cannot detract from what is now an even more worthy contender to the sector crown.

Light, quick, dynamic and oh so desirable, the new Giulia Quadrifoglio is one of those increasingly rare delights – a powerfully handsome, petrol-powered, four-door family sedan that is built to be driven just for the thrill of it. It’s a car that continues Alfa Romeo’s (lucky) streak of automotive hits, and is therefore almost certainly a future classic. Available to order now, priced from £78,195.

More details on the Alfa Romeo Giulia Quadrifoglio here.

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