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Alfa Romeo has released full details of its highly-anticipated BMW 3 Series rival, the new 2016 Alfa Romeo Giulia, ahead of its on-sale date sometime later this year. Unveiled last June in M3-baiting Quadrifoglio guise and in standard form at the Geneva Motor Show in March, the Giulia a big deal for the Alfisti, as it’s the first rear-wheel drive sports sedan from Milan since the long-departed 75.

The standard Giulia will be available in regular and Super variants, powered at launch by a sole 2.2 litre four-cylinder turbodiesel. It’s Alfa’s first all-aluminium oil-burner – equipped with MultiJet II commonrail direct injection with Injection Rate Shaping (IRS), as well as a variable geometry turbocharger – and puts out 150 hp at 4,000 rpm and 380 Nm at 1,500 rpm. A high-output version is also available, churning out 180 hp at 3,750 rpm and 450 Nm at 1,750 rpm.

Those yearning for much more power can opt for the Quadrifoglio, which sports a Ferrari-inspired 2.9 litre twin-turbocharged V6, pushing out a massive 510 hp and over 600 Nm of torque. So equipped, the Giulia will sprint from 0-100 km/h in a blistering 3.9 seconds before hitting a top speed of 307 km/h.

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It’s not all power, though – the engine also has a cylinder deactivation system to improve fuel consumption, as well as delivering carbon dioxide emissions of just 198 grams per kilometre with the manual – impressive for a car with those performance credentials. All models are available with either a six-speed manual transmission (in left-hand drive markets only) or a ZF eight-speed automatic.

Enhancing performance is the lightweight construction employed on the Giulia. Aluminium is used on the doors, wheel arches, bonnet, suspension system and brakes, and even the standard model gets a carbon fibre propshaft. The result is a dry weight of just 1,374 kg and a perfect weight distribution front-to-rear.

Punt for the Quadrifoglio and you’ll get a carbon roof, bonnet, front splitter, side skirt inserts and rear spoiler thrown in as well, and you can also specify carbon ceramic brakes and Sparco seats with a carbon fibre structural frame. Weighing 1,524 kg dry, it has a weight-to-power ratio of just 2.99 kg per horsepower.

Under the skin, the Giulia features a new front double wishbone suspension to ensure a constant tyre footprint in the corners and high lateral acceleration, with a semi-virtual steering axis for improved steering feel filtering and a quicker, more accurate rack. At the rear sits a patented AlfaLink four-and-a-half-link rear suspension that ensures maximum performance, driving enjoyment and comfort.

An Integrated Brake System (IBS), a world first, is available on higher-end models – it’s an electromechanical system that integrates the stability control system with a traditional brake servo, to provide instantaneous braking response. With the system, the Giulia stops from 100 km/h in just 38.5 metres, or 32 metres on the Quadrifoglio. Does the name sound familiar? We tested a pre-production system at the ZF TRW Global Press Event last year, and it certainly provided the lightning-quick braking response claimed.

The Quadrifoglio adds torque vectoring via twin clutches integrated to the rear differential, along with Chassis Domain Control (CDC) that controls the car’s electronic features. These include the torque vectoring, active front splitter, active suspension system and stability control, each adapted in real time according to acceleration and rotation data.

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Various powertrain and chassis settings can be selected through the new Alfa DNA control switch, which has three different drive modes – Dynamic, Natural and Advanced Efficiency (the latter is a frugal setting, much like BMW’s Eco Pro mode, that debuts on an Alfa for the first time). The Quadrifoglio’s DNA Pro system has an added Race setting that turns off the stability control system.

Elsewhere, available kit includes adaptive bi-xenon headlights (yes, unlike its rivals, the Giulia isn’t available with LED headlights, even as an option) with LED daytime running lights, LED tail lights, a Connect 3D Nav infotainment system with an 8.8-inch display (replacing the standard 6.5-inch screen) and a either a 3.5-inch or a seven-inch colour multi-info display.

In terms of safety, the Giulia comes fitted with Forward Collision Warning (FCW), Autonomous Emergency Braking (AEB) and Lane Departure Warning (LDW) as standard, while Blind Spot Monitoring (BSM) is available as an option.

GALLERY: 2016 Alfa Romeo Giulia


GALLERY: 2016 Alfa Romeo Giulia Quadrifoglio