Giulia – A legend reborn!

Giulia – A legend reborn!

In 1962, at Monza, Alfa Romeo launched a car that would define its sector for a generation. That car was the Giulia. It was the brain child of Orazio Satta Puliga who led the development of all the post war Alfa’s until his untimely death in 1974.

The Giulia was a revelation at the time, with a specification that included an all alloy DOHC engine, 5 Speed gearbox and disc brakes all round. The boxy shape was one of the first to be developed in a wind tunnel and careful attention to detail delivered a drag coefficient of 0.34!

It’s fair to say that Alfa Romeo has had a pretty turbulent time since then, but FCA have decided to give Alfa a proper relaunch- at last! The first car in the new line-up is the Giulia. It has been developed in super quick time by a dedicated small team that have looked to the best parts of Alfa’s engineering history to define its future. Anyone who has ever admired the clever rear suspension of an Alfetta or marvelled at the sophistication of an Alfasud down a twisty road will love the engineering in the new car. An aluminium intensive structure and suspension are combined with a 50-50 weight distribution to create the new ‘giorgio’ platform that will underpin the next generation of cars. That’s enough of the history – what’s it like?



This is a very subjective thing, but Alfa’s always look much better in the flesh than in photographs. The Giulia (even in standard trim) looks much more muscular than rivals like the Jaguar XE. The proportions accentuate its front engine/rear drive architecture.


This is a massive step up for Alfa Romeo. The driving position is sit in rather than on, and the materials used create a simple elegant interior that is a pleasure to sit in. Unlike some rivals there isn’t a tablet strapped to the top of the dash! Buttons and knobs are kept to a minimum. You can see the connection between this interior and the one in the 1962 original.

Handling and ride

This is where the Giulia needs to score. If you look at the back catalogue, driving dynamics and pleasure were what defined an Alfa. The Giulia goes back to that core value. It is nimble and precise. Isn’t it fantastic to have an Alfa that steers with one set of wheels and drives with the other? The new brake by wire system is strong and progressive and the car also has good wheel travel to help ride comfort. The steering is quick, so you need to be precise with your inputs. In Dynamic mode the car will allow a degree of slip. The balance is very neutral, and the car has a light, sharp turn in.


The new 2.2 JTDM engine has the load of torque- the auto has 330Lb/ft which is 50Lb/ft more than the manual. This, combined with the spread of ratios in the ZF 8 speed box, gives the car real punch. It will be interesting to see if the new 4-cylinder petrol engine delivers enough ‘Alfaness’ in its character. The mapping of the DNA system has also taken another step up in sophistication.


The Giulia is a realised statement of intent from a company that has breeding and history like no other. However, for the last 25 years anyone who considers themselves an Alfisti has always talked about the old days and the old cars. Until now there has not been the connection between the new cars and the old. In one single act the new Giulia corrects this, but also looks forward. It is good enough to stand against any of its rivals and it brings a freshness to the category that it will compete. If Alfa Romeo can build commercial success from this car and the SUVs that will follow it, we will hopefully see a new GTV and Spider in the future. Maybe we will even see a return to the track!

Drive it- you will enjoy! Drew McVeigh and the sales team at Donnelly Alfa Romeo will be more than happy to welcome club members to the showroom and let them take a car for a test drive.  So, go on, you know you want to!!

Alastair McIlroy
Club Treasurer