I ENJOYED a couple of hours in Trafford on Sunday taking a look around the new Alfa Romeo Giulia and meeting the team responsible for it’s launch here in the UK.
Victoria Warehouse in Trafford is a little spooky – even in the daylight – and certainly had lots of atmosphere as we were led around some huge video displays depicting the history of Alfa Romeo and later, some of the technology underpinning the Giulia.
All quite informal for our group of around 8 people and there didn’t appear to be any hard sell from the sales people – just friendly banter and all the info you could need if you’re lucky enough to be in a position to order one of these stunning looking cars.
The Big Reveal at the end was all lights and trumpets as you would expect but felt a little silly to be honest. After all, I’m sure everyone in attendance has seen plenty of pics and videos of the Giulia so it was no suprise really.
Anyway, we then had the opportunity to get up-close and personal with the 4 vehicles in attendance – two Quadrifoglios (one manual, one auto), a 2.2 180bhp diesel version – and a BMW M3. Er, what?
The BMW was, of course, only there for comparison – which just goes to show how confident Alfa are in the Giulia. Having the bench-mark sports saloon sat alongside your new baby was very ballsy and very clever – it also worked tremendously well as virtually no one took any notice of it. As attractive as the BMW is, you would walk straight past it if there’s a Giulia present – and people did.
Our hosts were very generous about the M3 though and acknowledged that it is a brilliant piece of engineering and was the motivation behind getting the Guilia Quadrifoglio so right. “It’s a superb piece of engineering but get behind the wheel of the Giulia and you immediately feel more connected. More a part of the drama.”
And they’re right. I sat in both and both felt special. The BMW is, as you would expect, very well put together indeed. Everything is to hand and has a premium feel to it. It does look very classy.
But the Giulia – and I’m talking even the lower-spec diesel model too – just has something about it that makes you want to stay sitting where you’re sitting right now. It feels like a good friend has invited you home and is making you comfortable rather than the posh colleague who is showing off his contemporary studio flat to you – it’s all very nice but you don’t feel “connected”.
Am I biased? Yeah, maybe but I still love BMWs – I just REALLY love Alfas – and for a good reason; they just make you feel so damn good even when you’re just sat in one, stationary on a display stand. Even with no fuel being burnt and no wheels turning you get a sense of occasion that you just don’t get from any other car.
Anyway, here are the pix. Sorry they’re a bit crap but I should have changed my camera settings for low-light but didn’t. Oops.
And here’s a video (thanks to Richard Murtha) of some fuel actually being burnt!