2017 Alfa Romeo Giulia Quadrifoglio

The gorgeous Giulia Quadrifoglio seduces the soul and sears the senses with a beautiful balance of aggression and finesse. Alfa flaunts its racing pedigree with the four-leaf-clover badge displayed on the Giulia’s shapely flanks. Its Ferrari-derived twin-turbo V-6 sings a sinister tune, belting out 505 horsepower. Its clever, communicative chassis can conquer a race course with unfiltered ferocity or coolly traverse the tarmac without commotion. An excellent eight-speed automatic transmission and rear-wheel drive are standard; sadly, a manual gearbox is missing. Alfa Romeo’s past and present reliability issues also remain an unknown quantity. Still, the Giulia Quadrifoglio, or QF, is an exotic sports sedan that sets a new benchmark for the genre—which is why it made our list of 10Best Cars for 2018.

What’s New for 2017?

Following Alfa Romeo’s drawn-out return to the U.S. market, which was led by focused sports cars like the 4C coupe, the company released an all-new sedan, the Giulia. At the same time, Alfa unleashed the Giulia’s white-hot Quadrifoglio counterpart on hi-po competitors such as the BMW M3, the Cadillac ATS-V, and the Mercedes-AMG C63. Unlike the lower-spec models, the track-tuned Giulia is only available with rear-wheel drive and features extensive carbon-fiber materials to save weight. It also proved its mettle by setting a record as the fastest sedan to lap the famous Nürburgring.

Trims and Options We’d Choose

No one is calling the Giulia Quadrifoglio ($73,595 to start) affordable, and direct rivals such as the ATS-V sedan ($61,690) and the M3 ($64,995) are cheaper. Likewise, the pint-sized Audi RS3—a wild card in this comparison—is a performance revelation for only $55,450. But the spiciest Giulia is an entirely different experience, with a seductive personality, nuanced driving dynamics, and a unique Italianate design. Those solely concerned with going fast for less can find a suitable alternative. We prefer a sedan that weakens our knees with its sexy styling and beguiles our minds with its 200-proof performance. Without adding a single option, the QF has a substantial list of standard equipment, such as:

• Heated and power-adjustable leather-trimmed front seats
• Blind-spot monitoring and rear cross-traffic alert
• 8.8-inch infotainment screen with navigation
• Adaptive dampers and torque-vectoring rear differential

We’d love to opt for the carbon-ceramic Brembo brake package, but $8500 is too rich for our blood. The Driver Assistance Dynamic package ($1500), however, makes a lot of sense. It includes adaptive cruise control, automated emergency braking, automatic high-beam headlights, and more. That elevates our total to $75,095.

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