Published on March 5th, 2016 | by Daniel Sherman Fernandez0
Alfa Romeo Giulia débuts at the Geneva International Motor Show
The new Giulia is no exception.In particular, the proportions are based on the technical architecture of the entire car: for Alfa Romeo the key elements were the weight balance and rear wheel drive. In order to balance the weights perfectly, the engine and the mechanical parts are arranged between the two axles. This is why the Giulia has very short overhangs, a long bonnet and front wings, a retracted passenger compartment “settled” on the drive wheels and muscular rear wings which visually mark the point where power is unleashed onto the road. All this translates into a very generous wheelbase – the longest in its category – contained in one of the most compact bodies. These proportions draw the dynamic shape of an ellipsis in plan view. In addition, the rounded angles and the enveloping pillars convey momentum to the car creating a “drop-shaped” profile which is reminiscent of the Giulietta Sprint, one of the most beautiful cars ever made.
A second aspect of the Italian style is “simplicity” which enshrouds what is in fact one of the most complex creative processes in industry: designing a car. Indeed, it is up to style to conceal the long, complex work behind a simple, natural line which enhances elegant shapes and sophisticated Italian taste. Alfa Romeo design has always been expressed by means of clean, streaming streaks. For this reason, the new Giulia boasts a strong identity drawn in few simple strokes: a line gouged along the sides which marks the doors and envelops the handles and, naturally, the legendary trefoil nose, possibly the most famous, recognisable style element in automotive history.
Finally, Italian style is characterised by high quality surface finish which means creating rich, harmonious reflections across the volumes. The end result is the new Giulia, a statuesque shape reminiscent of a big cat just about to spring. The same inspiration is found inside the car. Everything is clean, essential and pivots around the driver, like the controls grouped on the small, direct steering wheel designed to adapt to all driving styles. And more. The driver’s position was “cut” like a fabric with a diagonal tunnel, a slightly undulated dashboard and cleverly oriented instruments which convey the impression of a tailor-made suit with hand-crafted care and premium materials chosen for their visual and tactile pleasantness and assembled to make the human touch visible.
Perfect weight distribution and the best weight-to-power ratio
A defining characteristic of the new Giulia is the astute management of weights and materials to obtain a perfect distribution across the two axles. This is fundamental to ensure the typical Alfa Romeo driving satisfaction which was reached by tweaking the layout and arranging the heavier elements in the most central position possible. The suspensions are as essential for ride optimisation as weight distribution. In particular, the layout implemented for the Giulia envisages an exclusive double wishbone suspension with semi-virtual steering axis at the front and a 4.5-link suspension with a solution for toe adjustment (Alfa Romeo patent) for the rear axle.
To obtain an excellent weight-to-power ratio, the new Giulia combines extraordinary engine performance and ample use of ultralight materials such as carbon fibre – for the driveshaft – or aluminium – for the engine and suspensions (including front domes and front and rear frames). Furthermore, the rear crossmember is made of aluminium composite and plastic. The end result is a dry weight of 1,374 kg for the 180 HP 2.2-litre diesel version. In addition, despite all this weight optimisation, the car boasts an excellent torsional rigidity to guarantee quality over time, acoustic comfort and handling even in conditions of extreme stress.
In the Quadrifoglio version, the use of ultralight materials has been extended to other components of the bodywork too: carbon fibre for the bonnet, roof, front splitter, rear Nolder and body inserts; aluminium for doors and wheel arches. Furthermore, the braking system was tweaked using aluminium elements and carbon ceramic discs (optional) and the seats have a carbon fibre structural frame (optional). A dry weight of 1,524 kg was therefore achieved, with an ensuing weight-to-power ratio of less than 3.
State-of-the-art, innovative engines
State-of-the-art engines are another characterising element of a genuine Alfa Romeo. For this reason, the new Giulia range comprises-in addition to the 2.9-litre V6 BiTurbo available in the Quadrifoglio version-an unprecedented generation of petrol engines, and a 4-cylinder diesel engine, that represent the state-of-the-art in terms of Group motoring technology and ranks them at the top of their category for performance and efficiency. All engines in the range are manufactured in Italy at the plants in Termoli (petrol engines) and Pratola Serra (diesel engines) in areas dedicated to Alfa Romeo engines, with cutting-edge processes.
2.0-litre Petrol Engine
The new petrol engine fitted on the Giulia has four in line cylinders and is made entirely of aluminium. The particular features of this engine, in addition to the MultiAir electro-hydraulic valve actuator system, include the “2-in-1” supercharging system and the direct injection with a 200-bar high pressure system, which translate to a particularly quick response to the accelerator commands throughout operation and considerably efficient consumption levels. The configuration envisages 200 HP at 5,000 rpm and a maximum torque of 330 Nm at 1,750 rpm, and it is paired with the new 8-speed automatic transmission.
2.2-litre Diesel Engine
The first diesel engine in Alfa Romeo’s history made entirely of aluminium was also devised for the diesel versions of the new Alfa Romeo Giulia. With four cylinders in line, this engine stands out for its latest-generation MultiJet II injection system with Injection Rate Shaping (IRS) and operating pressures of 2,000 bar. The variable geometry turbocharger with electric actuator implements “Ball Bearing” technology which minimises response times and at the same time guarantees benefits in terms of efficiency. The balancing countershaft offers the most stylish comfort and driving experience.
Two versions are available, with 180 HP at 3,750 rpm (maximum torque of 450 Nm at 1,750 rpm) and 150 HP at 4,000 rpm (380 Nm at 1,500 rpm) respectively. For both configurations – teamed with rear-wheel drive – the new 8-speed automatic transmission is available or, alternatively, the six-speed manual gearbox. (borrowed from the 4C pictured below).
510 HP 2.9-litre BiTurbo Petrol Engine
Exclusive to the Quadrifoglio version, this is a unique engine in terms of technology and performance, destined to become the new benchmark of the brand. Inspired by Ferrari technology and technical skills, the six-cylinder BiTurbo petrol engine is entirely made of aluminium – to minimise the car’s absolute weight, especially on the front axle – and it delivers 510 HP and a torque in excess of 600 Nm, for exhilarating performance: top speed of 307 km/h, acceleration from 0 to 100 km/h in only 3.9 seconds and a maximum torque of 600 Nm. Among other things, although the horsepower and torque values are exceptional, the 510 HP 2.9-litre BiTurbo petrol engine is also best in class in terms of emission levels (198 g/km of CO2 with 6-speed manual gearbox) and it is surprisingly efficient to run, thanks to the electronically-controlled cylinder disabling system.
Innovative, exclusive technical solutions
As a further expression of the Alfa Romeo engineering culture, the design, the build and the choice of materials of the chassis and the suspensions are always perfect. As a consequence, it was decided that electronics should only be used to make the driving experience guaranteed by excellent basic mechanics even more exhilarating. This is demonstrated by the multiple sophisticated systems which, depending on the trim levels of the new Giulia, are offered as standard or on request.
Torque Vectoring (only on Giulia Quadrifoglio)
Thanks to its double clutch, the Torque Vectoring technology allows the rear differential to control torque delivery separately to each wheel. In this manner, power transmission to the road is improved also in low grip conditions. Therefore, the driving is safe and fun without ever having running up against an invasive stability control system.
Integrated Brake System (IBS)
The new Alfa Romeo car introduces in a worldwide preview the innovative electromechanical system which combines stability control and a traditional servo brake. This way, in addition to providing the all-important weight optimisation and reduced pedal vibrations, an instantaneous brake response is guaranteed, and consequent record-breaking stopping distances: from 100 km/h to 0 in 38.5 metres for the Giulia and 32 metres for the Quadrifoglio version.
Forward Collision Warning (FCW) with Autonomous Emergency Brake (AEB) and pedestrian detection
This system, standard across all versions, automatically slows or brakes the car to avoid an imminent crash. Specifically, the device uses a radar sensor and a camera integrated in the rear windscreen to detect the presence of any obstacles or vehicles, warning the driver of the risk of imminent collision. If the driver does not take action, the system automatically activates the brakes to avoid impact or reduce the consequences. In addition, the Autonomous Emergency Brake System on the Giulia interprets information from the radar and camera together, in order to activate the brake system also when pedestrians cross in front of the vehicle.
Active Aero Splitter
Together with an excellent Cx (0.32), a perfect balance of forces on corners and downforce behaviour, the Quadrifoglio version has Active Aero Splitter, a front system which actively manages downforce for higher performance and better grip at high speed.
Alfa DNA and DNA Pro (only on Giulia Quadrifoglio)
The new Giulia also fits a new Alfa DNA selector, which modifies the car’s dynamic behaviour according to the driver’s selection: Dynamic, Natural, Advanced Efficiency (energy efficiency mode implemented for the first time on an Alfa Romeo) and Race (only on Giulia Quadrifoglio).
Chassis Domain Control (only on Giulia Quadrifoglio)
Developed jointly with Magneti Marelli, the Chassis Domain Control (CDC) technology is the car’s “brains” and coordinates all the onboard electronics. The system manages the action of the various features – such as the renewed DNA Pro selector, the Torque Vectoring, the Active Aero Splitter, the active suspensions and the ESC – and assigns specific tasks of optimising performance and driving pleasure to each one. In detail, the CDC adapts the ride in real time making the DNA Pro mappings dynamic according to acceleration and rotation data detected by the sensors. Critical solutions are prevented and managed by informing the specific control units involved in the electronic system of the car in advance: chassis, powertrain, suspensions, braking system, steering, power steering and differential on curves.
Exclusive AlfaTMLink technology suspension
On the front, a new double wishbone suspension with semi-virtual steering axis was developed to optimise the filtering effect and guarantee rapid, accurate steering. This Alfa Romeo exclusive keeps the constant caster trail on corners and can tackle high lateral accelerations as a result of the always-perfect footprint. In any situation and at all speeds, driving the Alfa Romeo Giulia with the most direct steering ratio on the market segment (11.8) is natural and instinctive. The four suspension arm solution on the rear axle – patented by Alfa Romeo – ensures top performance, driving pleasure and comfort.
8.8″ Connect 3D Nav
The 8.8″ Connect Nav 3D system on the Alfa Romeo Giulia – developed in collaboration with Magneti Marelli – offers a sophisticated series of features and functions, including a next-generation HMI human-machine interface. The system is controlled by means of the Rotary Pad and by using the 8.8″ high-resolution display integrated in the dashboard. In addition, thanks to “optical bonding” technology, the user benefits from an excellent level of visualisation and readability on the display.
Connect 3D Nav is equipped with an advanced voice recognition system for complete connectivity with all mobile devices (mobile phones, smartphones, tablets with Apple iOS and Android operating systems). In addition to allowing phone calls using the Bluetooth connection in hands-free mode, the infotainment system plays audio contents from USB device and smartphone by means of Bluetooth technology, in addition to managing the DAB digital radio and the Hi-Fi digital audio. Finally, the system implements navigation functions with high-resolution 3D maps. The system is quick to calculate routes and can be used even if the GPS signal is missing by exploiting Dead Reckoning technology. It also allows updating of the TomTom maps via USB and view driving system information regarding driving style and the display of the type of ride linked to the Alfa DNA/Alfa DNA Pro selector.
The passenger compartment of the new car offers the best in terms of quality, safety, equipment and comfort with a specific, profoundly Alfa Romeo style element: the centrality of the driver.
Not by chance, all the main controls, including the start button, are incorporated in the steering wheel while the human-machine interface consists of two simple, user-friendly knobs for adjusting the Alfa DNA selector and the 8.8″ Connect 3D Nav infotainment system.
Depending on the trim levels with 3.5” or 7” colour display, the device fitted behind the driving wheel offers the driver all the essential information about the car. Organised in four screenshots, the visible contents depend on the DNA mode selected by the driver and offer lateral acceleration and fuel consumption readings as well as suggested gear changes.
Sound Theatre by Harman Kardon
The sophisticated Sound Theatre system by Harman Kardon, which satisfies the desire for superior, detail-rich audio output, is débuting on Alfa Romeo Giulia. The heart of the system is a 900 W 12-channel class D amplifier which secures high performance but is compact at the same time. The amplifier distributes clear sound through a system of 14 speakers inside the car for superior listening quality. Logic 7® technology is used to obtain a surround effect from 5.1 different high-resolution sources and harmoniously uniform stereo playback. With this sound system, occupants can experience the premium quality for which Harman Kardon is famed.
Front and rear light clusters: a compendium of style excellence and technology
Made by Magneti Marelli in partnership with Alfa Romeo, the front and rear light clusters on the new Giulia reinforce the stylish design and ergonomic silhouette of the car, identifying it at first glance. Specifically, the LED rear light clusters enhance the rear end in a uniquely distinctive manner, in addition to providing significant benefits in terms of safety thanks to quicker activation in the event of braking compared to a traditional light bulb.
Similarly, design and ergonomics characterise the headlights, which are available in three different versions: halogen lamps or implementing latest-generation Xenon technology with 25W and 35W module, fitted with high light tone lamp (equal to 4500°K), capable of increasing the light flux and light diffusion with energy saving and night visibility which, in the case of the 35W module, increases by 200% with respect to normal halogen headlights. Furthermore, they guarantee greater safety because an obstacle can be seen at least one second earlier, which is equal to an advantage of 28 metres of braking distance when travelling at 50 km/h.
The 35W Xenon headlights use AFS technology (Adaptive Front-lighting System) to redirect the light beam while cornering and improve visibility. Lastly, the daylight running lights (DRL), cornering light, side lights and direction indicators use LED technology for better fuel efficiency and maximum performance.
Driving assist systems
The new Giulia features the very best in terms of driving assistance currently on the market. Just consider the multiple sensors fitted throughout the car to guarantee more peace of mind and a safer drive. This is demonstrated by the Forward Collision Warning that detects whether the Giulia is approaching another vehicle or an obstacle on the same trajectory too quickly and it warns or assists the driver to avoid impact or attenuate the consequences. What’s more, the Autonomous Emergency Braking (AEB) system, complete with pedestrian detection, monitors the area at the front of the car to avoid collisions with pedestrians on the vehicle’s path. In addition, the new Giulia features Adaptive Cruise Control (optional, available in the second half of the year) which reduces the speed set when the vehicle approaches another vehicle in the same lane or when another vehicle joins the lane it is travelling on. The system goes back to the speed set when the vehicle in front accelerates or moves to another lane. Lastly, the package of driving assist systems wouldn’t be complete without the Lane Departure Warning (LDW) that detects unintentional lane changes and the Blind-Spot Monitoring (BSM) device (optional) that assists the driver during lane changes and when overtaking or being overtaken by vehicles hidden from view.
Equipment on the new entry-level “Giulia” is rather generous including, as standard, new and efficient active safety systems such as the Forward Collision Warning (FCW) with Autonomous Emergency Brake (AEB) and pedestrian detection, IBS (Integrated Brake System), Lane Departure Warning (LDW) and cruise control with speed limiter. The entry-level version also includes aesthetic and functional features such as, for example, 16″ alloy wheels, bi-zone climate control, Alfa DNA system and Connect 6.5″ infotainment system. In addition to the same equipment as the Giulia, the Super version also includes exclusive internal and external features: leather and fabric upholstery in various colours, special interior trim and 17″ alloy wheels.
The top of the range Quadrifoglio also includes as standard all the functional and aesthetic features which enhance an elegant, sporty appearance: amongst which are highlighted the sports seats in leather and Alcantara, sports steering wheel with red power button, interior carbon fibre inserts and exterior aerodynamics. Comfort and safety features include BSM (Blind Spot Monitoring) technology and rear camera together with Xenon headlights with AFS technology. In addition, specific technical features included are designed to maximise dynamic performance: the Active Aero Splitter system, dedicated brake system, DNA Pro selector with Race mode which communicates with the CDC (Chassis Domain Control) system and Torque Vectoring.
The comprehensive standard equipment can also be enhanced, on request, with the Luxury Pack and the Sport Pack. The Luxury Pack enhances the interior with full-grain leather upholstery for the seats to which is added power adjustment and heating functions, real wood interior finish, chrome trim on the side windows and Xenon 35W headlights with AFS (Adaptive Frontlight System). The Super version Sports Pack includes sports steering wheel with added grip, aluminium inserts on the dashboard, centre console and door panels, and Xenon headlights.