Alfa Romeo unveiled today the new Giulia (pronounced “Julia”), a midsize sedan that aims to bring the brand into the luxury-car limelight. Revealed in a high-performance “Quadrifoglio” version (that’s Italian for “quatrefoil,” which signals Alfa’s high-performance division and its four-leaf-clover insignia), the Giulia will have an available turbocharged V-6 that’s good for 510 horsepower. It scoots the rear- or all-wheel-drive Giulia Quadrifoglio to 60 mph in less than 4 seconds.
Related: 2015 Alfa Romeo 4C Review
Low-slung with a short tail and long, humped hood, the Giulia has Alfa’s trademark “trefoil” nose, complete with a triangular grille that sits between menacing headlights. The lighting hints at a few Chrysler vehicles, but that’s the only apparent styling link to Alfa’s parent company, Fiat Chrysler Automobiles.
In back, the taillights look rather Acura-like; we see a lot of TLX going on. But the hulking bodywork below them is all Alfa. The Quadrifoglio (“Quad-riff-oh-glee-oh”) gets offset quad tailpipes. Alfa Romeo touts 50/50 (front/rear) weight distribution, a unique double-wishbone front suspension and the industry’s “most direct steering.” Other technologies include torque vectoring and an active front splitter for better high-speed aerodynamics. Lightweight materials include a carbon fiber roof, hood and seat structures, plus aluminum doors; the resulting power-to-weight ratio is as low as 6.6 pounds per horsepower. A BMW M3, by comparison, saddles each horse with at least 8.3 pounds.
FCA spokesman Jiyan Cadiz told us the Giulia is a midsize car that’s built on an all-new, rear-drive platform, but it will compete with cars like the 3 Series and Mercedes-Benz C-Class. The automaker said the driver-oriented cabin boasts a Formula One-style steering wheel with many auxiliary controls, but it showed no interior photos. The exterior shots suggest tidy dimensions, and FCA concedes the Giulia has “one of the most compact bodies” in its class. Still, the automaker says the car’s wheelbase is the longest in its segment.
It’s still undetermined whether the Giulia is a 2016 or 2017 model; Cadiz said the automaker is still determining that. Like the 4C sports car, the Giulia will be sold at select Alfa Romeo dealerships (mostly alongside other FCA brands, including the automaker’s Maserati division) when it goes on sale sometime in early 2016. Pricing will come closer to the car’s on-sale date, and you can expect more-mainstream engines and trim levels to arrive closer to then, too.