The Alfa Romeo Giulia Quadrifoglio is a bit of a fringe choice in the compact super sports-sedan sweepstakes, but it's a singularly rewarding drive.
It's also gorgeous.
Powered by a Ferrari-developed 2.9-liter twin-turbo V6, I wish you could hear this engine.
For 2020 Alfa Romeo has updated the Giulia's interior with higher-quality switchgear, plastics, and a substantially renovated infotainment system.
It needed it.
While welcome improvements, FCA may not have been ambitious enough -- even these updated bits still don't feel as polished as those of German rivals.
The Quadrifoglio has a great driving position, with supportive, heavily bolstered seats, well-placed pedals, a thick, three-spoke wheel and massive Batwing-style paddle shifters.
This Alfa's speedometer consistently read 4 to 5 mph higher at freeway speeds than its actual GPS-verified rate, an unusual and disappointingly large delta.
A new 8.8-inch multi-touch infotainment screen is a huge improvement, but it's neither as quick nor as well laid-out as FCA's own UConnect architecture, let alone as sophisticated as rivals' setups.
The Quadrifoglio's 2.9T funnels 505 horsepower and 443 pound-feet of torque to the rear wheels.
Redline? 6,500 rpm.
Chief rivals for the Giulia Quadrifoglio include the Audi RS5 Sportback and Mercedes-AMG C63 S.
BMW's M3 will be a rival... when the Bavarians bring it back to market.
The Giulia features a torque-vectoring limited-slip rear differential.
Italian curves are something, eh?
If you care about such things with a car like this, EPA fuel-economy estimates call for 17 mpg city, 25 highway and 20 mpg in mixed driving.
The immediacy of the Quadrifoglio's ultra-quick steering has to be experienced to be believed.
The Giulia's compact proportions means that rear-seat space is particularly tight, even by class standards.
While base Giulia models start at a smidge under $40,000, the much-higher-performance Quadrifoglio runs $74,445 before options and delivery.
With options like $2,200 in Trofeo White Tri-Coat paint, the Active Driver Assist Package ADAS suite ($2,000) and a hulking $8,000-worth of carbon-ceramic Brembo brakes, this model's MSRP totals an eye-watering $90,840 delivered.
The Quadrifoglio is chock full of inlets and vents. And yes, they're functional.
The legendary Alfa Romeo cloverleaf ("Quadrifoglio") is an evocative nod to Alfa Romeo's racing heritage.
This car features the new $350 Nero Edizione styling pack, including Dark Miron finish grille, mirror caps and badging.
The adornment first appeared on the company's racecars in 1923 as a way for spectators to identify the car.
For 2020, forward-collision warning with automatic braking is standard.
This tester featured the $2,000 Active Driver Assist Package with adaptive cruise with lane centering, lane-keep assist, active-blind-spot assist and traffic-sign recognition.
Unfortunately, Alfas continue to be bedeviled by low reliability and quality survey scores.
The Quadrifoglio's ride is understandably firm, but the suspension tuning is far from harsh.
A modest lip spoiler is rendered in carbon fiber.
These optional dark-finish alloys ($500) are wrapped in 19-inch 245/35-series rubber.
Since my review week occurred in the midwest's early Spring, it's riding on Pirelli Sottozero winter rubber.
This car features a set of high-performance carbon-ceramic brakes from Brembo, a wallet-wilting $8,000 option that's tough to justify because the standard iron brakes do a great job.
The QV features a dual-mode exhaust with two outlets on each side of a substantial rear diffuser.
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