Want a performance-oriented version of the handsome new Alfa Romeo Giulia sedan, but can’t quite spring for the top dog, M3-baiting, 510 hp Quadrifoglio? No matter, as the Milanese carmaker has revealed a slightly hotter version of the standard car, evocatively badged the Alfa Romeo Giulia Veloce.
Under the bonnet sits a new all-aluminium 2.0 litre turbocharged, direct-injected MultiAir four-cylinder engine, developing 280 hp at 5,250 rpm and 400 Nm of torque at 2,250 rpm. Those who prefer an oil burner can opt for a high-output version of the 2.2 litre MultiJet II turbodiesel that kicks out 210 hp at 3,500 rpm and a stonking 470 Nm at 1,750 rpm.
Both engines are mated to a ZF eight-speed automatic transmission, and the new Q4 all-wheel drive system makes its debut here. The latter uses an Alfa-specific front differential with a compact and lightweight design – the system only adds around 60 kg – that is capable of handling high torque in a prompt manner. An active clutch within the transfer case distributes up to 60% of torque to the front wheels.
Distinguishing the Veloce visually are the new, more aggressive front and rear bumpers and 19-inch “telephone dial” five-hole alloy wheels that bring a little bit of that Quadrifoglio look, as well as dual exhaust exits. Inside, you get black leather sports seats, a grippier sports steering wheel, aluminium trim inserts and gloss black door trim.
Standard kit includes xenon headlights, dual-zone climate control, the Alfa DNA drive mode selector and a Connect infotainment system with a 6.5-inch touchscreen. Active safety features are also present, including Forward Collision Warning (FCW) with Autonomous Emergency Brake (AEB) and pedestrian recognition, Integrated Brake System (IBS) and Lane Departure Warning (LDW).
Alfa Romeo is also using next week’s 2016 Paris Motor Show – where the Veloce will make its debut – to unveil a new, more efficient variant of the Giulia to battle BMW’s EfficientDynamics models. Called the Giulia AE (Advanced Efficiency), the new model is available on the standard and Super trim levels, and will come with the 180 hp version of the 2.2 litre diesel and an eight-speed automatic.
Specific enhancements include a low-pressure exhaust gas recirculation (EGR) valve, an air-water intercooler, a secondary engine cooling circuit and unique gear ratios. Also fitted are new 16-inch alloy wheels shod with 205/50-section low rolling resistance tyres, while a 5 mm reduction in ride height drops the drag coefficient to just 0.23 Cd.
As such, combined fuel consumption figure is rated at just 4.2 litres per 100 km, and carbon dioxide emissions at 99 grammes per kilometre. It’s still no slouch, though – the sprint from 0-100 km/h takes just 7.2 seconds, and it will go all the way to a top speed of 230 km/h.