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Alfa Romeo calls out BMW with new Giulia

A bigger, bolder, more brash Alfa Romeo is gunning for its prestige rivals with its all-new Giulia sedan, with the company announcing a four-model line up that will be spearheaded by the hot rod QV early next year.

"It's the relaunch of the Alfa Romeo brand," said Fiat Chrysler Australia's new managing director Steve Zanlunghi, as he revealed a right-hand-drive early production version of the car in Australian spec in Melbourne. "It's what the future is all about."

Launched overseas earlier this year, the Giulia – was which developed in part with Ferrari's help – is a rear wheel drive four-door sedan that has the like of the BMW 3-Series, Audi A4 and Mercedes-Benz C-Class firmly in its sights.

Four variants will be launched in Australia from February next year, with the range-topping QV (short for Quadrafoglio) the first into dealerships – though it's not destined to hang around for long, according to Alfa Romeo, who told CarsGuide that there are already more than 100 solid orders for the car in the system, despite no specs or prices being available.

The QV is based on an all-new platform for the company – which will also underpin the forthcoming Stelvio SUV.

Mr Zanlunghi said that pricing information would be available shortly. "It'll be priced in line with its competition," he said.

The QV is based on an all-new platform for the company – which will also underpin the forthcoming Stelvio SUV – and it's powered by a 2.9-litre twin-turbocharged V6 petrol engine developed with the help of FCA stablemate Ferrari.

It produces a handy 375kW at 6500rpm and 600Nm from 2500 to 5000rpm. With a claimed weight of just 1555kg, Alfa reckons the Giulia QV will do 0-100km/h in just 3.9sec and can top out at 305km/h. It'll return a claimed 8.2 litres per 100km, too.

These figures put BMW's M3 and M4 in the shade quite decisively; the Bimmer twins make just 331kW and 550Nm in Competition spec.

The Giulia QV, meanwhile, matches the Mercedes-AMG C63 for power, but falls 100Nm short of the German car's mighty 700Nm mark.

The rear-drive Italian will have active torque vectoring on the rear axle, a limited slip diff and an eight-speed traditional automatic as standard. A six-speed manual is available as a no-cost option.

It also gets adaptive dampers as standard, along with six-piston front and four-piston rear Brembo brake calipers.

Standard equipment will include 19-inch alloy wheels with bespoke Pirelli tyres, bi-Xenon headlights with adaptive front lighting system and automatic high beam, powered and heated leather seats, carbon and aluminium trim and an 8.8-inch multimedia screen with satellite navigation.

A carbon fibre spoiler and front chin bar adorned the sample car, too, along with quad exhausts.

On the safety front, it will have forward collision warning with autonomous emergency braking and pedestrian awareness, blind-spot monitor, lane departure warning and active cruise control.

A quick scramble around inside the car reveals a handsome, workmanlike cabin with low-slung sports seats, a small, chunky steering wheel and a comfortable driving position.

Headroom and knee room in the rear is surprisingly good, though toe room is a little compromised with the low-slung sports seats of the QV.

The Veloce can zip to 100km/h in 5.8 seconds, and will use a claimed 6.1L/100km on the combined cycle.

The next Giulia down will be the Giulia Veloce, which is powered by a 2.0-litre four-cylinder turbocharged petrol engine, producing 206kW and 400Nm.

The Veloce can zip to 100km/h in 5.8 seconds, and will use a claimed 6.1L/100km on the combined cycle.

Two versions of the mid-spec Giulia Super will be offered. The first will offer a lower-tune version of the Veloce petrol engine, making 147kW and 330Nm, while a new 2.2-litre turbocharged diesel will offer 132kW and 450Nm.

The diesel powerplant is claimed to return 4.2L/100km.

A base model known simply as the Giulia will use the Super's 147kW/330Nm petrol engine.

The entry level car gets leather trim, 18-inch alloys, bi-Xenon headlamps, keyless entry, satellite navigation, dual-zone climate control, automatic wipers, rear parking sensors and a reverse parking camera, but misses out on blind-spot warning.

The Super gains better leather and blind spot monitoring, while the Veloce gets adaptive suspension, limited-slip diff, 19-inch alloys and an uprated braking package, with red calipers.

Inside, the Veloce's cabin gets aluminium dash inserts and pedals, sports leather seats and steering wheel and a better sound system.

Is Alfa set to surge on the back of the Giulia's arrival? Tell us what you think in the comments below.

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