New Giuliettas: Three fast ladies

2011-01-13 10:06

Alfa Romeo launched its new Giulietta range in South Africa this week – just three models, each with a unique turbocharged engine but sharing the automaker’s new Compact platform with which it promises high levels of grip, grunt and passenger protection.

The steel and aluminium four-door hatchback structure is light and rigid, Alfa says, and rides on a new and sophisticated suspension system directed by “a new-generation steering system” that uses two pinion wheels.

The everyday ride, Alfa adds, can be adjusted to suit mood and circumstance through the cars’ Alfa DNA selector – no, it’s not biological, it’s technological and stands for Dynamic, Normal and All-Weather. It’s standard across the three models and modifies the reactions of the engine, gearbox, steering and electronic differential as well as the dynamic control system.


The new steering system has one pinion wheel connected directly to the steering wheel for maximum feedback to the driver; the second reads the movement of the steering rack and transmits the information to the electric steering box to move the wheels in the desired direction. There’s a safety benefit, Alfa says, in that the steering box is no longer directly in front of the driver and consequently no threat in a head-on collision.

The shell is only 4.35m long, 1.46m high and 1.8m wide but, Alfa says, the boot can hold 350 litres.

THREE SISTERS: These images are of the 1.4 Giulietta Multiair but its sisters in speed share the good-looking Compact shell. A six-speed auto is standard but an auto box is to follow.

Most remarkable, however, is Alfa’s continuing determination to squeeze maximum power from each cubic centimetre of engine cylinder volume. Each of the three four-cylinder Giulietta engines is turbocharged, but even so the kW output is huge. And the automaker has forestalled many potential buyers’ worries about high revs and turbines with extended factory guarantee periods and long service contracts (see end of text).

For now, three turbo petrol engines will be available, each Euro 5 emissions compliant and with a fuel-saving stop/start system on the two 1.4 models - an 88kW/206Nm 1.4TB and 125kW/230 or 250Nm (the latter with Dynamic engaged) 1.4TB Multiair. (For the less-technical, the Multiair produces 21kW more than a 1980’s three-litre Ford V6 – wouldn’t it be nice if other industries made such eco-friendly leaps?).

The third model, the direct fuel-injection 1750 TBi Quadrifoglio Verde, is capable of 173kW and 300 or 340Nm, the latter with Dynamic engaged. Its specific power of 99.92kW/litre is the highest yet from an Alfa Romeo production engine.


All three engines drive through a six-speed manual gearbox but, Alfa says: “Waiting in the wings is an all-new dual-clutch auto transmission that will debut in the Giulietta during the second half of 2011.”

The three cars are capable of 195, 218 and 242km/h respectively and claim “perfect conditions” combined-cycle fuel consumptions of 6.4, 5.8 and 7.6 litres/100km with 0-100km/h times of 9.4, 7.8 and 6.8 seconds.

FINDING THE WAY IN THE WAY: Alfa will bolt a TomTom satnav system to your new Giulietta - if you realy want such a lump in your eye. It's portable, though.

There’s no doubting that the latest Giulietta is a beautiful car. The nose has a new interpretation of the iconic shield and the headlights use LED (light-emitting diode) technology that includes a daylight function – won’t that excite the Lead SA crowd!.

“The profile of the Giulietta,” Alfa says, “is likewise brimming with personality, giving the impression of an agile and sturdy car. This is above all due to the side windows which recall the appearance of a coupé, emphasising the dynamism and fluidity of form.”

The rear door releases, as on other Alfas, are concealed.

“The ribs on the sides of the vehicle seem to elongate the car while the clean lines which end at the rear accentuate the angular shape of the body. The rear has styling which emphasises the feeling of a muscular car.”

Alfa believes the dominant concept in the Giulietta’s cabin is “lightness” and adds that “every switch is ideally located, the main ones grouped at the centre of the dashboard with the same retro, toggle-design as those on the 8C Competizione”.

There are practical open storage compartments throughout the cabin and closed bins on and under the fascia – the glove box can be chilled.

The Giulietta 1.4-litre Turbo is available in two versions, Progression and Distinctive. All the devices linked to active and passive safety are fitted across the range, including six crash bags, front belts with dual pre-tensioners and anti-whiplash head restraints.


Also standard are manual aircon, 16’’ alloy rims, four power windows, audio system with dual tuner radio, six speakers and MP3 CD player and the Blue&Me connectivity system.

The Multiair Distinctive adds 17" alloy rims, dual zone auto aircon, leather-wrapped steering wheel with audio controls, trip data computer, front armrest with storage compartment, cruise control, fog lights, reconfigurable control panel, seats upholstered in Competizione fabric and a chromed insert framing the side windows.

Optional is Blue&Me TomTom portable satnav that integrates with the car’s systems through Bluetooth.

There’s a special trim specification for the 1750 TBi engine - Quadrifoglio Verde (four-leafed clover), a legendary brand that has competed on tracks all over the world. Only available on this engine type, this special version is distinguished by its lower ride height (15mm front, 10mm rear), 17” special alloys, an enhanced braking system with red callipers and leather and micro-fibre upholstery.

PRICES (including VAT and emissions tax)

1.4 TB Progression (88kw) -  R243 000
Multiair 1.4 TB Distinctive (125kW) -  R279 900
1750 TBi Quadrifoglio Verde (173kW) -  R330 275

Alfa is claiming a “first” for a preimium brand with a five-year or 150 000km warranty on the new Giulietta. That comes with a six-year or 90 000km service plan for the 1.4-litre models (service intervals 30 000km) and a six-year or 105 000km service plan for the flagship 1750 TBi (35 000km service intervals) – “a benchmark in the highly contested C-segment”, the automaker says.

Three years of AA roadside assistance is included.

  • Trevor - 2011-01-13 11:07

    I want that 1750

      The Baas - 2011-01-15 06:51

      Alfa's are rubbish - always have been and always will be !!!!!

      BardofAvon - 2011-01-16 09:52

      @The Baas: Google "passion".

      Rudolph - 2011-01-16 20:18

      Lol @ the baas, dude, if you are so ignorant, better not to reveal it in public.

      BringDit - 2011-01-17 14:06

      Slain on topgear? What episode would that be?

      Rudolph - 2011-01-17 14:17

      Strange then that our 156 and 147, having 264000km and 235000km on the clocks respectively, have only given minor problems like starter brushes and alternator bearings? Just as with any car, if it is not maintained by the owner, it's gonna give you headaches. And referring to your statement ( @ baas ) concerning the expensive repairs, I suggest you go compile a list of spare prices between the various brands, again, just so you can hide your ignorance.

  • daveneethling - 2011-01-13 11:24

    Awesome. Think I'm gonna meander down to the dealership today and check it out.

  • steve45 - 2011-01-13 12:42

    Fabulous car....the looks...and i hope the engines have that Alfa snarl. Just wish Alfa had more dealers and gave better after sales service. Signs of "promises" from Alfa SA to do this in a recent "Car" issue....but lets see. Either the 1.4 multiair or 1750 for me thanks! Tests i've read suggest the multiair to be the pick of the bunch.

  • RancoR - 2011-01-13 13:30

    Not a Alfaholic but esp. the 1750 looks like fun to drive. Mmm...3 years of free AA assitance. Do they know something we don't?

      Francois - 2011-01-13 19:18

      This is because they do not have the back-up as the Germans, think BMW on call, even the best cars breakdown, not that this BEAUTY will!!!!

  • Trevor B - 2011-01-13 15:11

    +1 This car might tempt me to trade in my BMW 1 series. It's just a perfect car. Something fresh, new, and innovative as well.

      edward.abrahams - 2011-01-14 16:10

      @ Trevor - You will NOT be sorry my friend! I've read reviews of the Giulietta from all over Europe and some other countries. The conclusion? VERY, VERY GOOD! Alfa has finally delivered a car that is up there with the best in terms of refinement and performance(not that it lacked performance before). It is solid. Fresh and innovative(like you say). Dynamic. Extraordinary eye-catching. And yes, you guessed it, very, very special like only an Alfa, can be. I test drove a 1750 on Wednesday past for about 2 hours. WHAT AN IMPRESSIVE CAR. Go check it out. It will knock the socks of a Golf GTI, which has a bigger turbo-charged engine and it will give an A3 and a BMW 1 series a run for their monies(not that these are bad cars-we all know they are brilliant cars). But Alfa was and always will be a truly unique and special brand. They're finally on the up...and this time...for good! Enjoy!!!

      The Baas - 2011-01-15 06:48

      @ Trevor B - I like everything about it BUT, pay 330 now you will get 200 if you are lucky in 2 years. Also there are too few dealerships. An emotive buy rather than a clever one....

  • - 2011-01-14 08:03

    1750tbi or the countryman? Tough choice

      dools - 2011-01-14 08:15

      countryman... no brainer!!! have driven the giulietta and it ain't all it's cracked up to be!

      - 2011-01-14 09:18

      leaning towards countryman but tbi sounds wicked

      BringDit - 2011-01-14 11:04

      Countryman cant match this in performance or spec...

  • donovan.vanwyk - 2011-01-14 09:31

    Small typo under the second image. 'A six-speed auto is standard but an auto box is to follow.'

  • Black.dude - 2011-01-14 09:35

    I think I will still wait for the all new FocusST next year, will offer much better package than the 1750 TBi. And it looks 10 times better.

      Black.dude - 2011-01-14 09:36

      That Satnav is just in your face and obstructing your view.

      Chewbacca - 2011-01-14 10:39

      Why wait, get the Magane RS now as it's already got the 184 kw that ford will have in 2 years time only. Megane has built in tomtom, bluetooth, in fact everything (5yr/150000 warranty + 5yr/100000 service plan) and only 20k more that this 1750... Nice looking Alfa but Arnold Chatz service sucks. Also, why do all the new alfas have such big overhang past the front axel, surely this is the wrong place to put weight? Satnav looks retro-fitted

      edward.abrahams - 2011-01-14 17:10

      @ Chewbacca - Megan RS? A very good car indeed. I agree! But this is only a 1700 cc motor and the Megan is 1900 cc motor also turbo charged. The 1750 does 0-100 in 6.8sec. Top speed 242kph. NOT BAD for a 1700 turbo charged motor. Now just do the maths. If Alfa took a 1900cc motor and added their patented multi-air technology to it...what would be the outcome then??? Lets compare apples with apples. No. I'm not shooting the Megane, I respect it as much as you and many other enthusiasts do, but think about it. Remember, Alfa, will still be developing GTA versions of the Mito and Giulietta. When that day comes I will feel uneasy for a lot of car companies out there. Oh, and the price of the Megane is R399,000.00. Check 'TOPCAR' Magazine, the February 2011 edition(there's a brilliant right-up about the RS in there). Alfa. You either love it or you hate it. For those who hate it, that's ok, your opinion is well respected. Only thing is you just don't know what your are missing. Own an Alfa. Then you will understand...

      edward.abrahams - 2011-01-14 17:33

      @ Chewbacca - CORRECTION: Giuletta 1750 QV 1. 1700 cc motor - turbocharged 2. 173kw 3. 0-100 IN 6.8sec 4. 242kph top speed. Megan RS 1. 2000cc motor - turbocharged 2. 184kw 3. 0-100 6.1sec 4. 250kph top speed Now....... Imagine what Alfa will be able to do with a 2000cc motor WITH their REVOLUTIONARY patented Multi-air technology. They will get very close to, if not over 200kw out of that motor without even having to add an extra piston like in the Focus RS. All through the years, Alfa, was always renowned to out-perform bigger cars with a much smaller pot...they are going back to their roots! Now, remember this. The 1750 QV, was not developed to contest the likes of Megan RS or Focus RS(the Golf GTI already got MORE than its match from a much smaller engine in the 1750 QV)...these cars are going to get their long awaited day when the GTA comes onto the scene. For that day, I cannot wait!

  • Devon - 2011-01-14 10:39

    Beautiful car, but Alfa always deliver on that. What they dont deliver on, is reliability for that matter. At least there's an extended warranty and service plan on this though.

  • Peter Carvell - 2011-01-14 12:58

    Wait for the Audi A1 or get this? I know which one will be worth more in 2 years time and it is already near impossible to find an A1 it is that popular, but this does look just as good!

      Cy - 2011-01-14 13:20

      I suppose you meant to compare the A1 with the MiTo and not this Giulietta. There is hardly any sense sense in comparing this car to the A1 even if you wanted to highlight the value in the Audi, perhaps you shoud think of putting it alongside the A3 instead.

      Chewbacca - 2011-01-14 15:47

      Can't do that. It's like putting 1 VW next to another, you'll get confused as to which one is which

      ZACKIE - 2011-01-24 14:35


  • KDP - 2011-01-14 16:32

    The Multiair is the pick of the bunch! But, these service intervals are just too "looonnggg" for the terrible SA poor quality unleaded fuel we have in SA. These cars, like all the other new global models, are not designed to run on this type of inferior fuel!

  • BardofAvon - 2011-01-14 23:29

    Like having a relationship with a beautiful woman... it's SO worth the pain...

      Reza - 2011-01-24 12:45

      Jeremy Clarkson say's : " it's like sleeping with a super-model, waking up the next morning and complaining that she has unruly pubes!" nuff said huh?

  • carmadman - 2011-01-15 10:47

    I have owned four Afla's and drove the QV(1750) and 125kw Giuliettas and this is definately the best Afla Romeo EVER! All have been serviced at Chatz - Excellent!

  • MarcusMagnus - 2011-01-15 12:49

    Im just waiting to pick up my new 1750 Giulietta

  • BardofAvon - 2011-01-16 09:50

    Other manufacturers can only dream of making something as glorious as an Alfa-Romeo. The announcement of a new Alfa is not an event... it's an occasion.

      edward.abrahams - 2011-01-16 11:45

      BRAVO, BardofAvon!!!! BRAVO!!! You've said it absolutely well my friend. Alfa Romeo,...there is NOTHING like it out there...PERIOD! And it does not matter WHAT anybody says or feels about it!

  • perrebyriaan - 2011-01-18 13:08

    I was the first private owner of the new Alfa Romeo Giulietta in South Africa. Took delivery of my car early December already. I have the 125kw MultiAir and let me tell you it makes the Golf 1.4 TSI feel like a snail. And the Alfa sounds SO SO much better than any other marque. Have 5200km on the clock and zero problems so far. The unreliability tag will fade. The MiTo has shown that Alfa's can last and is solid and reliable. To me the people that still claim Alfa is unreliable just cant afford an Alfa so they try and bad mouth it...

  • ohwell - 2011-03-02 17:32

    @the baas. you would know a wheel spanner if it come off your bakkie and hit you in the face. drive it and then make a comment.

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