Alfa Romeo Giulia Quadrifoglio - Future Classic

By: Alex Affat, Photography by: Thomas Wielecki

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An unthinkable investment was made in the Giulia, but its sales have fallen flat. Will it take on a second life in the future?


Alfa Romeo Giulia QV

For many motorists around the world, Alfa Romeo – now 110 years old – was the first to introduce the notion of the ‘sports sedan’ with the much-loved Type 105 Giulia in 1962. A balanced rear-drive chassis with a characterful engine, and seating for the whole tribe.

It was the volume seller for the brand at the peak of its sales and popularity throughout the 60s and 70s.

In more recent times however, fans of the marque hadn’t had much to write home about. Years of trailing sales and lacklustre dealership offerings saw the historic brand in dire need of a reboot.


The all-new Giulia which launched in 2016 was just that. The name itself speaks to Alfa’s hopes for the car. In fact, it may be one of the most significant cars for the brand, ever.

More than a return to rear-drive form, the first in 25 years; the Giulia represents every one of owner Fiat-Chrysler’s efforts to relaunch the brand entirely.

| Toybox: Alfa Romeo Giulia Veloce

Alfa Romeo invested 5 billion Euros into the development of the Giulia and its underpinning platform. Which is a lot, except its flexible architecture also underpins the Stelvio SUV, with a number of other models road-mapped for the future.

That’s a big gamble though. To handle the task, Alfa Romeo poached a number of engineers and technicians from Ferrari to fill the utmost senior roles of the project.


It all started off very skunkworks, eventually growing to a team of 800 people, split between the technicians and engineers in Modena, and the style centre in Turin.

Design-wise, the team in Turin were tasked with modernising Alfa’s design language, whilst also respecting the brand’s heritage.

| Toybox: Alfa Romeo Giulia Quadrifoglio

Alfa was also well aware of its heritage and past reputation as a driver’s car, and set ambitious weight targets, as well as listing good balance with 50/50 weight distribution being key.

Such a focus on driver involvement was made that even the seating position is placed at the pivot point of the car, and as low as possible. Equally ambitious targets were set for the engine department too.


Three engines were developed for the range, but taking top spot is the 375kW twin-turbo 2.9lt V6.

And it’s a characterful unit too. Despite being developed by a number of ex-Ferrari employees, it’s an all-Alfa construction; a hugely tractable and flexible powerplant, with comparisons drawn to contemporary Ferrari turbocharged cars in its lag-free lowdown delivery.

| Watch next: Alfa Romeo Giulia old & new - video

In the lead up to the Alfa Romeo Giulia’s launch, it lapped the Nurburgring in 7min 39sec becoming the fastest-four door to do so, and launched to much fanfare by the motoring media in 2016.


So how did it do? Well… have you seen many on the road lately? Midway through this year, Alfa Romeo sales were down 40 per cent year-to-date, 46.7 per cent for the Giulia in particular. Far worse numbers than its traditional German rivals – the worst of which report a 20 per cent dip.

Despite its engineering merits, huge investment, luxurious cabin and fantastic driving experience, the Giulia and its high-riding Stelvio offspring have failed to rejuvenate the brand to the extent the company hoped for.

It’s sad to see, as many truly wished for Alfa’s renaissance to come to fruition.


With the Giulia and Stelvio still relatively early on in their lifecycles, and with the way many automakers are struggling under the current global climate, is there is a genuine question to be made about the brand’s future?

And if so, which one do you save?

Well market experience says it’s the top-spec model that always passes the bottom of the depreciation curve first.

In the case of the ballistic Giulia Quadrifolgio, it will certainly be the most desirable in the family tree well into the future, offering an unabashedly Italian alternative to the ubiquitous BMW M3s and Benz AMGs.


A past stigma of Alfa reliability perhaps dampened sales, and early known issues which escaped to press cars and vocal owners certainly didn’t help. However, early known faults discovered since launch; including stalling, and ‘service throttle’ error codes are frequently fixed with routine software updates. More recent ‘christmas tree’ dashboard lights have been troubleshot as bad batteries and voltage irregularities.

As such a modern car, its future classic status is uncertain. However slow sellers frequently are beneficiaries of rose-tinted glasses, are inherently built in lower production numbers, and may prove less price-volatile into the future than its more abundant competitors.


Costing $138,950 new (before on-road costs), you can find used example with less than 20,000kms on the odo on the market for as low as $95,000. That’s a huge saving for any modern car.

If you’re an impassioned Italian collector, the Giulia QV be the perfect daily driver for you.

There is likely still more of the curve for values to slip down, so don’t buy seeking an immediate windfall. Buy a Giulia because you love driving. And if you can, buy the fast one.


• Low volume of sales will ultimately lead to future scarcity
• It’s Italian!
• An honestly great modern driver’s sedan

• A persistent reputation for unreliability
• Is likely many years away from the bottom of the depreciation curve


From Unique Cars #445, October 2020 


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above Modern convenience.
below The QV will happily do this all day.

left The shamrock icon dates back to the 20s.
right Good for 375kW.

left Modern, yet unmistakenably Italian.
right A hint of Ferrari here.


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