Although no performance upgrades are applied, the Giulietta Sport gets 17in five-hole alloy wheels and a sporty body kit, with red exterior trim marking out the model. The blue paint usually reserved for the Veloce model is also available.
Enlarged exhausts also feature, while on the inside, equipment has been bolstered with a leather steering wheel, cruise control, a 5in touchscreen Uconnect infotainment system and a front armrest.
It’s available with either Fiat Chrysler’s 1.4-litre TB engine with 118bhp, or a 1.6-litre JTDM-2 unit with the same power. The former starts at £20,965, putting the Sport just above the entry-level car in the Giulietta line-up. Sales have already begun.
The 0-62mph time is unchanged over the standard Giulietta, at 9.4sec for the petrol and 10sec for the diesel, placing performance in league with the 1.4-litre TSI and 1.6-litre TDI-engined versions of the Volkswagen Golf, with pricing to rival SE-spec cars. An Alfa Romeo spokesman said: "In a competitive segment the Giulietta Sport offers customers a higher spec car, with even more eye catching design at a compelling price point."
Alfa Romeo had a considerably better January than the rest of its FCA stablemates, with only a 2.5% fall in registrations across the month compared with January 2017 and beating the overall 6.3% decline in total UK registrations. The Stelvio helped to beef up the brand’s range, filling a large-selling segment ahead of the other models Alfa is planning ahead of 2020.
The Giulietta remains a crucial car in Alfa's lineup despite its relative old age to the Giulia and Stelvio - across 2017, the brand sold 1618 Giuliettas, compared with 2219 Giulias.
The brand returns to F1 later this year with existing team Sauber, and this – in addition to a reported renewal of its sports car efforts with a facelifted 4C due next year and a new 6C sports car due subsequently – is part of a plan to boost Alfa's sporting image among its German peers.