Brian Joss – Alfa Romeo is a name steeped in Kyalami folklore, with many local racing championships under its belt at the historic site that plays host to the 2019 Festival of Motoring. And the premium performance brand won’t disappoint, with an exciting line-up on display celebrating the Italian icon’s racing pedigree.
First up is the latest Stelvio Quadrifoglio, the first Quadrifoglio also to be an SUV and the “fastest SUV around the circuit”, having clocked the new record for its class on the iconic Nürburgring: 7 minutes 51.7 seconds.
Stelvio Quadrifoglio is equipped with the exclusive aluminium 2.9 V6 Bi-Turbo petrol engine, developed with inputs from Ferrari technologies and engineering know-how, which delivers maximum power of 375 kW at 6,500 rpm and generates a maximum torque of 600 Nm from 2,500 to 5,000 rpm. What’s more, this power plant is teamed with the specifically calibrated eight-speed automatic transmission that allows gear shifts in just 150 milliseconds in Race driving mode. Stelvio Quadrifoglio can accelerate from 0 to 100 km/h in just 3.8 seconds, with a best-in-class top speed of 283 km/h.
For the first time, the 375 kW 2.9 V6 Bi-Turbo petrol engine is combined with the innovative Q4 all-wheel drive, with its guarantee of unbeatable performance, traction, driving pleasure and safety in all situations. In normal conditions, the Q4 system transfers 100% of the torque to the rear axle. As the wheels approach their grip limit, the system transmits up to 50% of the torque to the front axle in real time, by means of a transfer case.
The Alfa Romeo sports SUV is also incredibly efficient in terms of emission and fuel consumption, thanks to its electronically controlled cylinder deactivation system and the “sailing” function, available in Advanced Efficiency driving mode.
The Alfa Romeo Stelvio Quadrifoglio is a high-performance SUV where style and design are not merely aesthetic considerations but support crucial factors including aerodynamics, speed, power and handling. The centre of the dashboard is dominated by the new 8.8″ Connect infotainment system – with 3D navigation function on request – which incorporates Apple CarPlay and Android AutoTM, the technologies developed by Apple and Google respectively to replicate the smartphone environment on the on-board display, for constantly connected, safe, user-friendly life at the wheel.
Last but not least, to maximise the driving experience, Stelvio Quadrifoglio is equipped with a one-piece aluminium paddle shifter integral with the steering column as standard.
Segment competitors had their status ruffled when Alfa Romeo brought the Giulia name back to the market, not least the incredibly quick Giulia QV.
The second model on the stand wearing the Quadrifoglio – the green clover leaf synonymous with Alfa Romeo performance – the Giulia QV shares its 2.9-litre twin turbo V6 engine with the Stelvio Quadrifoglio: they are the most powerful Alfa Romeo production cars ever.
The Giulia QV sprints from zero to 100km/h in an astonishing 3.9 seconds and carries on to a top speed of 307km/h. It isn’t all about sheer speed, however and the Giulia’s 50:50 weight distribution and innovative AlfaLinkTM suspension design makes it masterful through the corners, too.
The Giulia QV features an all-new generation of standard infotainment system featuring a 6.5” high definition display with Bluetooth, USB and steering wheel controls. The driver/machine interface is managed by an intuitive Rotary Pad and a 7” TFT colour instrument cluster.
The Giulia QV can also feature the Sound Theatre by Harman Kardon™ with 900 W of power channelled to 14 speakers, including two surround sound speakers and one subwoofer.
Many of these design features extend through the rest of the Giulia range, the Giulia and Giulia Super. Both these models are powered by Alfa Romeo’s 2.0-litre 147kW turbocharged petrol engine.
The Giulia is equipped with the most advanced active safety systems. The Integrated Brake System (IBS) is a unique electro-mechanical innovative solution that provides immediate brake response, contributing to its achievement as best-in-class braking distance: from 100km/h in 38.5m.
Autonomous Emergency Braking (AEB) with pedestrian detection, Forward Collision Warning (FCW) and Lane Departure Warning (LDW) are also standard to prevent potential collisions through innovative sensor systems. The Giulia is also available with other optional safety systems such as Blind Spot Monitoring (BSM) with Rear Cross-Path Detection and rear-view camera with dynamic grid lines. This allowed the Alfa Romeo Giulia to gain the 5-star Euro NCAP rating with an exceptional score of 98% for adult occupancy protection. The highest result ever achieved for a passenger car.
Whilst not bearing the Quadrifoglio, the sportiest version of the Giulietta bears another Alfa Romeo badge of honour: Veloce.
The Giulietta Veloce is packed with standard equipment and specific elements for an even bolder look, plus technical-racing features for a no-compromise stance on the road. These include sports suspensions with specific set-up, side skirts, sports bumpers with exclusive red Alfa moulding, 17” alloy wheels, privacy glasses, an oversized Brembo brake system with red callipers, four master cylinders and oversized tailpipes. Further unique details are the exclusive “Veloce” badge, headlights with carbon look treatment, plus glossy anthracite finishing on mirror caps, door handles, grille and fog light covers.
The Alfa DNA selector has become synonymous with many Alfa Romeo models and can be used to select the dynamic performance of the car by operating on engine torque, brakes using the Pre-Fill function, the speed at which the TCT transmission shifts, accelerator response, the Alfa Q2 electronic self-locking differential and the ASR traction control. The driver can activate three driving modes according to road conditions and driving style:
Dynamic, Natural, and advanced effciency.
The Giulietta Veloce features a 177kW version of Alfa Romeo’s 1750 turbocharged petrol engine, but the range also includes a 88kW 1.4-litre turbo and 125kW version of the same engine in Giulietta and Giulietta Super guises.
Alfa Romeo’s display at the 2019 Festival of Motoring not only boasts its performance pedigree, but shows Fiat Chrysler Automobiles South Africa continued commitment to the local market.
CAPTION: Fastest SUV at Nurburgring: the Stelvio Quadrifoglio on show at Kyalami. Picture: Quickpic