Let's say you're a successful business-type with a decent taste in cars who's recently gone out and bought a new BMW M3. Congratulations, you've bought a car that looks good, handles extremely well, and has enough power to keep pretty much anyone else on the road in your rearview mirror. Now imagine pulling up to a red light when, all of a sudden, a sinister-looking shape appears in your mirrors. You try to remain calm as an aggressive, red, four-door shape approaches the intersection and comes to a stop in the lane next to you. You look forward as the light turns green and, in a wave of roaring engine noise, you're left behind by that sinister-looking machine. What was it? It couldn't have been an Audi; it was too dramatic. It couldn't have been an AMG; it lacked the V8 soundtrack. So what other manufacturer makes something to compete with the likes of the M3? Yup, you guessed it: the Italians have entered the fight.
After the introduction of the achingly-beautiful 4C coupe and spider, the Giulia is Alfa Romeo's latest move towards reinventing itself as a manufacturer. In order to make that possible, they need to make good cars. They need to look good, drive well, and give people a reason to stray away from their many other European rivals. Luckily, the people at Alfa know that very well, which is why they've recently revealed their new fire-breathing rival to BMW's aforementioned M3, the Giulia. Powered by a 3 liter, twin-turbocharged, "Ferrari-inspired" V6, the Giulia is capable of 503 horsepower, propelling the family sedan from 0-60 in a blistering 3.9 seconds.
But, like the M3, the Giulia needs to be able to corner, not just go fast in a straight line. In order to make the car agile through the bends, Alfa's engineers have fitted the Giulia with an extremely sophisticated suspension, complete with a torque-vectoring rear differential (which, in addition to the car's RWD setup, means going sideways shouldn't be a problem). Of course, reducing weight also aids cornering ability, and the Italians have gone berserk trying to keep the Giulia's weight down. This car's received its fair share of carbon fiber components, which do wonders to lower weight and strengthen the car. The Giulia also has a perfect 50:50 weight distribution, meaning it should have the handling to match its exquisite looks.
For years, pretty much every automotive journalist I've ever paid attention to has seemed to say the same thing about Alfa Romeo. Despite the questionable reliability and sometimes dreadful depreciation, they're absolutely wonderful cars. They have character, charm, and Jeremy Clarkson once said, while referring to manufacturers as parts of the human body, that Alfa Romeo was the heart and soul. This new Giulia looks and sounds the part, and we'll find out in the coming months if it drives as well as I'd hope it would. I really hope it does, because in a segment full of snarling, angry German cars, a wonderful Italian option would be warmly welcomed.