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Alfa Romeo Giulietta scores 4C power

Trim and terrific: New Giulietta QV scores major makeover both inside and out.

‘Series One’ Giulietta QV adopts hot four from 4C as Alfa scales back rest of range


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17 Feb 2015

ALFA Romeo has upped the stakes with its Giulietta QV, transplanting the engine and transmission package from the Italian brand’s flagship 4C sportscar into its VW Golf GTI-fighting hot hatch.

The company has also “rationalised” the Giulietta line-up in Australia, deleting the entry-level 1.4-litre petrol variant as well as the diesel option from the Progressive and Distinctive trim levels.

“When we launched the Giulietta, our approach was to get a hold of everything and really test the waters, but since then we’ve been listening intently to our customers,” said Fiat Alfa product manager Aitezaz Khan.

“It helps us shape the intended direction and it was the same with the Giulietta, so this time around we’ve heavily infused the Alfa DNA into a leaner and rationalised line-up.”

Pitched into the heart of the hot-hatch bracket, the revised QV – priced from $39,000 plus on-road costs – will go up against the category-leading Golf GTI at $41,990 and Ford’s Focus ST at $38,290. The Renault Megane GT220 Premium is also a logical competitor at $39,490.

The QV (short for Quadrifoglio Verde) sits proud of its lesser siblings, and now comes equipped with the all-aluminium 1.8-litre direct-injection turbocharged four-cylinder engine from the mid-engined Alfa range-topper.

It develops 177kW of power at 5750rpm and 340Nm of torque from 2000-4000rpm, which is enough to give it a 0-100km/h dash of just 6.0 seconds in TCT automatic guise (it drops to 6.8s in manual guise). Top speed is said to be in excess of 240km/h.

Peak power drops slightly to 173kW at 5500rpm when the QV is optioned with the manual, although torque output remains the same. The QV weighs 1299kg in both transmission types.

The front-drive QV, previously only available with a six-speed manual gearbox, can now be optioned with the same TCT twin dry-clutch transmission as the 4C.

It is also fitted with the same launch-control functionality as the 4C, while the Q2 electronically controlled limited-slip differential also makes an appearance between the 18-inch front wheels.

Suspension-wise, revised dampers and lowered springs combine with the standard MacPherson strut front/multilink rear arrangement. Brakes have been upgraded to Brembo four-piston callipers over 330mm front and 278mm rear rotors.

Externally, the lowered suspension combines with 18-inch rims fitted with 225/40 R18 Pirellis, twin exhaust tips, tinted rear glass, bespoke badging and blacked-out doorhandles, grille surrounds and foglamp bezels to set the QV apart from its siblings.

An all-black interior is boosted by leather/Alcantara sports seats, a leather-wrapped steering wheel and gearshifter boot and alloy pedals. The leather items are also stitched in contrasting red or white thread.

A 6.5-inch Unconnect multimedia touchscreen unit with satellite navigation, voice control, USB ports and Bluetooth supplements the kit that carries over from the Distinctive. The Uconnect is complemented by a nine-speaker Bose stereo system.

A brace of 50 Launch Edition QVs are scheduled to arrive in Australia this year, from an international run of just 200 cars. In addition to the standard QT kit, it will feature carbon-fibre mirror caps, five-hole grey alloy rims, a carbon-fibre spoiler and bespoke aero kit.

With 25 in Alfa Red and 25 in Matte Magnesio Grey, the QV Launch Edition will only be available with a TCT transmission and, at $45,000 plus on-road costs, will carry a $3000 premium over the regular QV TCT.

Now known as the Series One, the biggest interior change to the five-year-old Giulietta line-up is the addition of new infotainment systems, as well as leather trim in the Distinctive model, rear air vents across the range and a control-equipped steering wheel.

Externally, the Giulietta’s nose has been updated with a bold version of Alfa’s V grille, while revised foglight bezels and new 16-inch alloy wheels are fitted to both the entry-level Progression and the mid-line Distinctive.

Three new paint colours – Moon White, Anodized Blue and Bronze – have also been added to the palette.

The 1.4-litre turbocharged four-cylinder petrol engine carries over for the Progression, priced from $29,000 plus on-road costs. It produces 88kW at 5000rpm and 215Nm at 2500rpm, enough to propel it from 0-100km/h in 9.2 seconds and on to a top speed of 194km/h.

Fuel economy is 6.4 litres per 100 kilometres on the official combined cycle, and the Progression is equipped with a fuel-saving automatic engine idle-stop system.

The Progression is only available in Australia with a six-speed manual gearbox, and comes standard with Alfa’s Q2 LSD.

Also fitted standard are five-spoke 16-inch alloy wheels, a tyre pressure monitoring system, rear parking sensors, automatic wipers/headlights, a Uconnect five-inch touchscreen stereo with Bluetooth connectivity, leather-wrapped steering wheel, heated side view mirrors and LED daytime running lamps.

Priced from $32,000, the Distinctive similarly carries on with Alfa’s 1.4-litre MultiAir turbocharged petrol four. Good for 125kW at 5500rpm and 250Nm at 2500rpm, the Distinctive can dash to 100km/h in 7.6s on its way to a top of 217km/h.

The Distinctive can be optioned with either a six-speed manual gearbox or Alfa Romeo’s own TCT dual dry-clutch six-speed transmission, which can be operated via paddles behind the steering wheel.

Fuel economy for the manual car is 7.6L/100km, while the TCT version returns 6.6L/100km. It also sports the Q2 front diff as standard.

Over and above the Progression, the Distinctive picks up turbine-style 16-inch wheels fitted with 205/55 R16 tyres, front/rear parking sensors, tan, red or black leather upholstery, heated front seats, memory function on the driver’s seat, folding side view mirrors, electro-chromatic rearview mirror, foglamps, dual-zone climate control and rear air ducts.

Both cars are equipped with Alfa’s DNA engine mapping system, which can be scrolled through All-weather, Natural and Dynamic modes. The system will also remap shift points in a TCT-equipped Distinctive.

Suspension comprises MacPherson struts up front and a multilink arrangement in the rear. Anti-roll bars are standard front and rear. The Progression runs 284mm front rotors under sliding callipers, while the Distinctive runs 305mm items. Both cars sport 284mm rear rotors.

The Giulietta measures 4351mm in length against a wheelbase of 2634mm, with an overall width of 1798mm against a track of 1554mm front and rear. It sits 1465mm high. The Progression weighs in at 1259kg, and the Distinctive is 10kg more in both auto and manual guises.

Fuel tank capacity is 60 litres and the Giulietta will tow 1300kg in all variants. The car is equipped with six airbags and has earned a five-star safety rating from Euro NCAP.

Alfa Romeo Giulietta pricing*
Progression $29,000
Distinctive (a)$35,000
QV (a)$42,000
QV Launch Edition (a)$45,000
*Excludes on-road costs.

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