I’ve had the Alfa bug since I paid $800 for a 1978 2.0-litre Alfetta Saloon when I was a uni student almost 30 years ago. Owner: Josh
- Gobsmacking power delivery
- Physics-defying handling
- Beauty that makes me smile every time I open my garage door
- That I don’t have a private track that I can flog it on every day
I’ve had the Alfa bug since I paid $800 for a 1978 2.0-litre Alfetta Saloon when I was a uni student almost 30 years ago, so when Alfa Romeo launched the Giulia Quadrifoglio it was pretty much inevitable I would end up with one parked next to my 1967 Giulia Sprint GT Veloce.
However, we were planning a knockdown/rebuild and I wouldn’t have access to secure parking for quite a while, so I promised myself that once we were in the new house, I’d treat myself.
Last October a 2019 Quad in Rosso Competizione came up on the classifieds a day before the concrete was to be poured on our new driveway. I’m pretty sure that I was the easiest sale the dealer had had in a while. I had to book a storage unit for a week while the concrete dried! The Quad became my fifth Alfa.
The day after I picked it up I took it to Sydney Motor Sport Park for a track day. As a driver who was used to driving slow cars fast, it was pretty intimidating. The flat-plane crank in the Ferrari-derived V6 means that you can build revs like stink.
I found it really helpful to sit in the passenger seat while an instructor showed me what the car was capable of. Because I was used to track days in my 105-Series it felt like the Quad was defying the laws of physics in the corners. I did another day at SMSP, but the best thing I’ve done was to book a day of one-on-one tuition at Pheasant Wood in February with a couple of mates (Golf R and Porsche 968). I’m still no Fangio but my lap times have improved significantly.
A lot of reviews of the Quad make a fuss about how the quality of the interior plastics and the infotainment aren’t on par with its German competitors. I’d argue that if these are your decision-making criteria, you’ll never be an Alfista.
The Alfa driving experience is so enjoyable that I really don’t notice the infotainment (to be fair, it probably helps that my comparison is a car made in 1967).
The seats and steering wheel are delightful though. As many reviewers have noted, the grabby brakes and the extremely direct steering take some getting used to, but they soon become normal.
For me this car is a long-term hold, like my 105-Series. The only way I could see myself selling it would be to replace it with one from its final year of production and then hold on to it until they pry my licence from my feeble old hands.
MORE: Everything Alfa Romeo
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