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Alfa Romeo Giulia Quadrifoglio – long-term review
Get in! Our Alfa is alive and skidding again
Huzzah! The Alfa is alive and skidding again. Yes, after not one, but two stints back at Alfa’s garage, the Quadrifoglio’s heart is beating properly, and the world is a better place for it.
Thanks to a nose around the fuel system, wiring check and two new turbo overboost valves (plus a brake clean to stop low-speed squeaks and fresh rubber all round) it took all of a twist of the DNA knob to Race, a blip of throttle and a thrash along my favourite road to turn my frown upside down.
See, like any slightly forgiving parent, I wasn’t angry that the Giulia went wrong. Just really, really disappointed. Unreliability is a stigma that has overshadowed the brand to the point that it’s now quite literally a joke. Rectifying Alfa’s reputation must have been the one thing highlighted and underlined many times on FCA’s marketing team’s to-do list when the big-budget brand revival was announced. But the marketing team can only do so much, as it’s ultimately down to the engineers. And our QV isn’t the only one to have gone wrong. Just go online and read the forums.
To get M and AMG stalwarts out of M3s and C63s and into another £60k super-saloon, Alfa has to beat the Germans at their own game: reliability. And this hasn’t happened so far. It’s frustrating because those stalwarts should have a go, as the Quadrifoglio is one of the best driver’s cars you can buy: the body control and balance is phenomenal, steering elegantly quick, engine characterful and it can be an entertaining handful if you want it to be.
I’m smitten with it but, as a test of – ahem – reliability, I handed the QV straight to Chris Harris to see if it’d go pop. Out of the frying pan into the fire? No siree. It danced around beautifully without a glitch. Now, let’s hope it stays that way, as Alfa Romeo idiosyncrasies (a manual that doesn’t make any sense, lack of engine and oil temp gauges and a wonky door aperture) I can live with, but breakdowns I can’t.