Alfa Romeo returns to the super-saloon class, but does the Giulia Quadrifoglio have enough about it to dislodge the Mercedes-AMG C63 and BMW M3 off their perches?

Few car makers inspire such unwavering loyalty and enthusiasm from those who purchase their products as Alfa Romeo – and fewer have been so guilty of taking such passion for granted in the recent past.

Ah. The Alfa Romeo Giulia Quadrifoglio. In the 25 years since the last rear-wheel-drive Alfa saloon, the 75, ceased production, we’ve seen Italy’s once world-leading automotive power under-invest and neglect the true sporting values of its brand – and watched as the company’s fortunes have declined.

Green cloverleaf motif features prominently, although Alfa has now dropped the ‘verde’ part from its old ‘quadrifoglio verde’ performance model nomenclature

Alfa Romeo gave us a procession of relatively plain-handling front-wheel-drive cars, such as the Alfa Romeo 156, Alfa Romeo 147, Alfa Romeo 159 and Alfa Romeo Brera, while its German rivals began to fully capitalise on the dynamic advantages of a rear-wheel drive layout.

Now for the brave new dawn. As part of a huge investment plan running until the end of the decade, Alfa will renew its entire range, putting each new model in a market-leading position on power-to-weight ratio and driver appeal.

Alfa Romeo Giulia Quadrifoglio First drives