Quadrifoglio = !!*?@+~!

Quadrifoglio = !!*?@+~!

In 1923 a logo appeared on an Alfa for the first time. It was the ‘quadrifoglio verde’ or green cloverleaf. Legend has it that Ugo Sivocci, who was a middle ranking Alfa works driver in the early 20th century, painted a green cloverleaf on his car before the 1923 Targa Florio and promptly won the race! The white background had four points to represent the number of works drivers. Later that year during practice at Monza he died. The QV had not yet been painted on his car. After this tragic event the factory removed one of the points to honour the fallen Sivocci and the historic symbol was born.

If you do a bit of surfing you will find images of loads of racing Alfas with this symbol on them. The factory also used the symbol on their best road cars to signify that they were the most powerful in their particular model range.

After a few thousand miles to acclimatise myself to the delights of the Giulia ‘normale‘ I figured it was time to sample the full fat Quadrifoglio version. As usual, team Donnelly were very accommodating and let me have a drive in their beautiful red demonstrator around some ‘driving roads’ so that I could experience what Alfa Romeo have achieved with the car.

Driven normally, the Quadrifoglio has the same light touch that the regular car has. Rumour has it that the factory spun the normal car off the hot one which is an ‘upside down’ engineering approach. It is quiet and smooth and feels just like its normal relation. The ride is very supple and well damped and even at normal speeds you can feel the extraordinary engineering integrity that Alfa Romeo have bestowed on this car. As I said in my Giulia ‘normale‘ piece, this is what Alfisti have waited 30 years for- a return to the principles that made the legend.

Next I upped the ante and tried the car on the some nice corners in Dynamic mode. This modifies the various algorithms that control engine, gearbox and suspension and it also allows the valves in the exhaust to open to let the new v6 engine sing. In this mode the engine becomes exactly what you expect from Alfa Romeo. It has a fantastic bark that in some ways is not like a twin turbo engine should be. It has torque, but it also has a decent rev range. Most people who like engines cite the original ‘Busso’ Alfa v6 as one of best engines ever produced and it is, but it never had the potential in this new age to make tough emissions targets AND make over 500hp. The new Alfa engine meets BOTH these opposing targets. This gives this car incredible corner to corner speed which means that you need to really concentrate on your braking point for the next corner. One of the performance statistics that best illustrate the punch that this car has is that it will do 0-150mph in 20s! Back in the day if a car did 0-100mph in less than 20s it was considered reasonably brisk.

In handling terms the Quadrifoglio is like its normal brother only it has more of everything. More brakes, more turn in bite, more lateral grip, more corner exit speed and even more of an adrenaline rush. All of this comes with the lightness and delicacy of touch that an Alfa should have.

After my fun I cruised back to the dealership and reflected on my experience. I loved it! Hopefully David Hanna enjoyed it too! As I drove off in my Giulia ‘normale‘ I did not feel at all short changed. That is the wonder of this new dawn for Alfa. They have built a car that is great regardless of what version you buy. ‘Upside down’ engineering works!

Alastair McIlroy

Club Chairman