Alfa Romeo is consistently on the cusp of greatness. Perennial talker, not so much walker.

Every few years, a new person heading up the brand in Australia trots out a script, that I for one, have heard multiple times.

‘This is a renaissance for a famous and storied brand, blah, blah, blah, motorsport heritage, blah, blah, blah, 5000 units per annum within five years, blah, blah, blah, our cars are reliable and don’t rust anymore, blah, blah, bloody blah.’

The Giulia sedan is the car Alfa Romeo now believes will catapult it into the luxury performance mainstream, and there are signs some walking has actually taken place.

More than 500 Giulias have found homes locally this year, helping Alfa climb up off the canvas, and post a year-to-date sales number 36 per cent up on 2016.

Yes, that’s coming from a low base, but with the new Stelvio set to jump into the ever-growing pool of premium mid-size SUVs, and Giulia supply likely to flow more freely, 2018 has the potential to be even better.

So, should we push our crusty cynicism to one side, and dare to imagine Alfa Romeo has the product capable of genuinely setting it on an upward trajectory? Time to drive the Giulia Veloce and find out.