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Alfa Romeo Giulia Quadrifoglio – long-term review
Surprise! Our Alfa Romeo Giulia has broken down
As the golden sun set over the M23, the Giulia Quadrifoglio started to shudder. Moments later, RJ66 KYZ came to rest in one big, fat Alfa cliché on the hard shoulder.
Yep, after just three months of ownership the Alfa has broken down. Go on, laugh your little head off and tell me you told me so. Haha! Ha. Ha. Ha. You done yet?
Given the car was developed in just two and a half years, we were expecting some electronic gremlins – even Charlie’s McLaren is riddled with then. What we weren’t expecting was the toys to be thrown out the of pram this early. And by toys, I mean fundamental mechanical parts.
Before the Giulia came to a stop, the pistons sounded like they wanted out of the cylinders ASAP, the valvetrain tapped away like Michael Flatley, and a full house of warning lights glinted away on the dash.
“I’ve never seen so many engine fault codes in my life,” the RAC man said with raised eyebrows. He wasn’t wrong. Thank God his grey box had a digital display, otherwise we’d have needed a fax paper roll: multiple cylinder misfires, low fuel rail pressure, low idle speed – the list went on…
Mr RAC managed to clear some of them and get the car going again. Worried, he chaperoned us 30 miles back to London. But then, when he left – and a mile from home – it conked out again. We waved it off on a low-loader the next morning.
Alfa’s techies went back and forth as to what the issue was. And getting a clear answer hasn’t been easy. They told us it was because it had no fuel. I proved to them it had more than half a tank. They then said it was a fuel sender issue. Then the fuel pump and lines. Then a missing ball bearing was to blame. Hmm. Either way, I got it back. And was delighted. So I took it to meet its competitors on the RS5 group test. Where, after one last triumphant drift, the ‘Check Engine’ light came on and the car retreated into limp-home mode. Blast! It’s now back in the Alfa workshop.