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The Alfa Romeo Giulia Veloce is armed with sizzling hot performance figures and a razor-sharp steering but its trump card is its emotionally-appealing design inside and out.

30 Apr 2018



The Giulia has an important role in the Alfa Romeo lineup. It's seen as the model that will re-establish the Italian carmaker as a serious contender against the German establishment. On the performance front, the range-topping Quadrifoglio and its Ferrari-inspired 510bhp V6 has already proven to mean serious business.

It's not exactly easy competition for the rest of the range, though, especially when you consider the last saloons it built were the 159 and the 166.

But what if you aren't ready to shell $393,800 on the Quadrifoglio, yet itch for something more exciting and more powerful than the entry-level model. The answer, then, is the Veloce, a model that looks a lot like the range-topper but for a lot, lot less.

The Veloce packs more power than the base model and offers a much more affordable alternative to the Quadrifoglio

A Velo… what?

Veloce, my friend. As mentioned above, the Veloce sits below the Quadrifoglio in the Giulia range and is powered by the most powerful iteration of the Giulia's turbocharged four-cylinder engine.

It employs the same basic all-aluminium unit as the entry-level variant but reworked to produce 279bhp and 400Nm of torque.

Married to an eight-speed torque converter automatic built by ZF, the Veloce sprints from 0-100km/h in 5.7 seconds, just a second shy of the powerful Mercedes-Benz C-Class Saloon C 43 AMG.

279bhp and 400Nm of torque from a tuned-up turbocharged all-aluminium 2.0-litre

The Veloce certainly feels quick from the driver's seat and while not particularly a linear performer, its engine is punchy, with a rorty exhaust note that encourages you to explore the higher half of the rev range. Just as impressive is its transmission that's generally smooth at lower speeds and delightfully sharp in the sportiest mode.

So it's fast enough, but is it any good to drive?

Well, for one, switching up and down the gears with the large column-mounted aluminium gearshift paddles (much like those on a Ferrari 488) is an absolute joy.

Then there's the steering, which is light enough for comfortable everyday driving yet lightning quick and razor sharp to satisfy the discerning enthusiast.

Biggish paddle shifters fall very nicely in your hand and encourage spirited driving

The rack's alertness around dead-centre makes the Veloce feel exceptionally nimble and very easy to place from corner to corner, nearly effortlessly.

The car's remarkable agility is also due to the fact that it's lighter than everything else in its class by a noticeable margin. Coupled with an extremely compliant suspension setup and grippy Bridgestone tyres, it's a car that enjoys being driven fast without ever really breaking a sweat.

At the same time, it offers BMW levels of ride quality; probably even better, given the way it brushes off bad road surfaces like dirt of its shoulder.

The quick steering helps the Giulia Veloce make fast and easy directional changes

So it's quite the driver's car, but how's life on the inside?

Design wise, it's mighty impressive. Aside from the paddle shifters, there are other Ferrari-inspired accents, such as the air-con vents that sit at the end of a stylishly sweeping dashboard line.

While the cabins of its German rivals tend to take a more luxurious approach, the Giulia's is refreshingly sporty. But it's not without flaws.

Look closely and those with a keener eye will spot a few quality issues. For example, some bits of the switchgear are a tad too plasticky and there are some carelessly uneven gaps between a couple of the interior panels.

If there's anything Alfa is great at, it's design, both outside and in

Its 8.8-inch infotainment and its centrally mounted dial interface, too, is a little sub-par compared to those offered in Audi or BMW.

Luckily, it makes up for that with a decent amount of rear head and legroom and a 480-litre boot that rivals those of the BMW 3 Series and the Mercedes-Benz C-Class.

Do you reckon it's worth $238,800, though?

You definitely won't be able to get something that looks this good or is as much fun to drive from the German stable at this price. And, it doesn't have a direct head-on competitor given its price. So in many ways, we'd say yes the Giulia Veloce does make a strong case for spending $238,800.

It is plenty fast enough to spread a smile across your face and also costs more than 150 grand less than the Quadrifoglio.

The Veloce's rear end differs from the standard model with a specific bumper and a double exhaust pipe

Plus, it's the best sedan that's come out of Alfa Romeo in quite a long while now.
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Car Information

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Price

: $212,000

Engine Type

:

4-cylinder in-line 16-valve Turbocharged

Engine Cap

:

1995cc

Horsepower

:

208kW (279 bhp)

Torque

:

400 Nm

Transmission

:

8-speed (A)

Acceleration (0-100 km/h)

:

5.2sec

Top Speed

:

240km/h

Fuel consumption

:

16.3 km/L

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