Engine options, top speed, acceleration and refinement

There’s a reason that the Alfa Romeo Giulia Quadrifoglio’s interior foibles seem as petty as they are, and it’s to do with the way the car drives. The V6 fires to a purposeful, if not spiteful, idle, with the impression that air is being moved around in gruff amounts.

It's no AMG V8, but neither is AMG’s latest offering. So notch up another win for this old stager.

The handbook warns you to expect ‘instability’ when selecting Race mode, but it’s actually referring to the action of the selector and not to the car’s handling

If you twist the DNA drive mode selector to D (for dynamic), it increases the exhaust woofle, sharpens the throttle response and affects which gear the transmission opts to put itself in.

On part throttle, mind, there’s an occasional hesitancy: sometimes it gives you more than you ask, sometimes less, but it’s very slight and only just enough to prick your consciousness.

The eight-speed auto’s movements are nicely matched, although at anything more than a gentle cruise we found we wanted to take charge ourselves via the column-mounted shift paddles.

Do so and the Alfa fairly flies. In our 2017 road test, in good perfect conditions and on new tyres it hit 60mph from rest in under four seconds. As a two-way average, with two people aboard and fully fuelled, there’s still nothing wrong with the 4.5sec the car returned in our hands. It’s unlikely the extra 10bhp added at the start of 2024 will make much difference.

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Turbo lag becomes negligible once you have 3000rpm or so wound on, and the V6 runs to a soulful 7300rpm, with a noise that’s smoother than V8s and more engaging than BMW’s straight-six.
Its gearbox operates with greater smoothness than that in most alternatives, too. The Giulia mooches through gears with the ease of a tight torque converter auto, and is arguably better for it.

It also stops well, even on worn P Zero Corsas and in the wet, although brake pedal feel as you come to a halt could be improved. Initial feel is good, as is retardation, on carbon ceramics or otherwise, but often after you stop you have to adjust pedal pressure to prevent the Giulia creeping forwards.