Head teacher Brian Stimpson, played by John Cleese in the 1986 film Clockwise, perhaps said it best: “It’s not the despair, Laura. I can stand the despair. It’s the hope!”
Better than that, it has a V6 twin-turbo engine developed by the same people who will be making sure that a similar V6 goes into the upcoming Ferrari Dino. The chassis has been engineered on a shortened Maserati Ghibli platform, by specialist engineers in some kind of skunkworks near Modena, away from where other Alfa Romeos are developed and rather close to where Maseratis and Ferraris are engineered.
It will have more than 500bhp and rear-wheel drive in this form, and although there will be a range of more ordinary, less racy Giulias than this one, they should, fundamentally, look as good as this.
Now look at the other picture above. It’s an Alfa Romeo called the 156 and in 1997 I thought it, too, was gorgeous – and not just for a four-door saloon.
I don’t know what they were putting in the water in the mid-1990s, but in 1997 the equally beautiful Ford Puma and Peugeot 406 Coupé were launched, too.
It’s worth bearing in mind that good-looking cars were a rarity in those days. Perhaps auto makers realised that cars were becoming all quite good but all really dull to look at and needed to differentiate them somehow. I don’t know who exactly started it, but by the time the Audi TT arrived in 1998, it was becoming pretty clear that good design sold cars.