At first glance (or even second for that matter) you’d say that the 2021 model of the handsome and very Italian Giulia Veloce has barely been altered, however my friends, the latest model’s tech has been brought up to speed and if you’ve got a few extra bucks it can come sprinkled with Carbon Fibre. The 2021 Giulia Veloce Carbon is here and Alfa Romeo New Zealand let us test it out.
The Alfa Romeo Giulia nameplate (well three actually) dates way back to the 4-door sports compact of the 1960’s, it then subsequently featured on the performance end of the spider and speciale Giuliettas and then around 2016 the revised and upgraded Giulia model (952) rolled off the production line.
Set to go toe to toe with the likes of the 3-Series, A4 and C-Class (German foes that for many reasons are rarely ever challenged), the 952 took up the mantle with admirable success.
In looks alone the Giulia is a bit of a stand out, from its iconic Trilobe shield grille and 35W Bi-Xenon Headlamps, through its 19-inch cloverleaf style dark alloys, to its rear exhaust tips and diffuser there are little strokes of artistic genius and a beating heart under the bonnet that is sure to make your’s race.
It’s a turbocharged 2L that gives you 206kW of power and 400Nm of torque. 0-100km/h comes in at 5.7 seconds with reported figures of 6.1L/100km in fuel economy (I got nowhere near that) and CO2 emissions of 141g/km.
Anyway, arguably having a ‘mid life’ upgrade (Alfa do seem to extend the life of their nameplate generations much longer than other brands), the new Giulia retains all its looks but accents them with carbon.
Carbon borders the Trilobe, its mirror caps are carbon, the sills are carbon and the boot lid features a carbon spoiler. There’s more carbon in the Giulia’s cabin too. There’s a carbon panel that extends across the dashboard and breaks up the soft leather that also features across the top. There’s carbon on the centre console, on the door handles and carbon fibre tread plates that greet you the moment you venture inside the cabin. Plus there’s the colours of the Italian flag near the gear stick to top it all off.
The bigger news for this latest iteration though is the tech. The infotainment screen is now 8.8-Inch and Multi-Touch with 3D Navigation. It comes with much of the apps and connectivity that’s expected in everyday vehicles now although things like the reversing camera is still a little bit tiny. The Instrument Cluster Display still (reassuringly) comes with analogue dials but its 7-Inch Colour TFT in the centre offers up extra driving data that some will be keen to know about – like the fuel economy.
For the 2021 Giulia Alfa Romeo have added in some extra driver/safety aids that help but not hinder the experience behind the wheel. There’s active blind spot assist that both alerts and delivers a steering correction to help you avoid collisions with vehicles hidden in your blind spot. Lane Keep Assist alerts (and corrects you) if you stray out of your lane and it now has Active Cruise Control that keeps an equal distance to the vehicle ahead, automatically slowing down if necessary. Like I said, these are modern aids but they are also subtle enough so as not to intrude.
Now about that drive. The Giulia makes you feel that little bit more special (as do the carbon touches). It’s a different kind of Euro 4-door sedan and acts as such. The engine note responds to anger with glee and in many ways the Q2 (rear wheel drive) acts more like a 4WD in the corners.
There is a certain road I like to take performance vehicles to that showcases their cornering (any fool can go fast in a straight line right?) and the Giulia, with its 225/40 rubber on the front and 255/35 on the back and Alfa Active Suspension seems to simply relish the bends. In Dynamic, the turn in is quick and responsive (seemingly better the faster you go) and the confidence for the tail end to stick to the tarmac is almost overwhelming – AND THIS ISN’T THE QUADRIFOGLIO Q4 VERSION.
The new Alfa Romeo Giulia Carbon really puts a smile on your face. It’s mild mannered with the family on board and yet a thrill a minute when you’re alone with your thoughts and on an empty road. Sure it does have it’s Italian quirks, but that just endears you to it more and $10k for carbon may seem excessive but rest assured it will last much longer than that trip to Disneyland.