Hop in the 2017 Alfa Romeo Giulia Quadrifoglio and grip the small, thin steering wheel and you start to get the idea that this car means business. Fire up its rumbling, shrieking twin-turbocharged V-6 and start to turn the steering wheel, with its ultra quick 11.8:1 steering ratio, and you are soon sure of it.
The Giulia Quadrifoglio is a purpose-built performance car with somewhat awkward road manners. We rate it a 9 for performance, awarding it points for power, handling, steering responsiveness, and track-ready performance. (Read more about how we rate cars.)
On the street, drivers will mostly want to use the DNA selector's Natural mode. Even in this mode, the 505-horsepower V-6 can be a bit high-strung, feeling jerky from a launch, and the 8-speed automatic transmission won't deliver the smoothest of shifts. The steering ratio is so quick that you'll have to recalibrate your hands to avoid twitchy motions. You may also experience a delay when getting back underway at stops due to a sometimes slow reacting stop/start feature. And the ride quality can be overly firm over rough pavement, though not so much so that it will liquefy your kidneys like the Alfa Romeo 4C can.
The payoff is incredible performance. Opt for the Dynamic or Race modes, and the Quadrifoglio's reactions become immediate. The V-6 has plenty of grunt from a stop, but the turbos spool up and ramp it up even higher over 4,000 rpm. The 8-speed automatic delivers quick, sharp shifts and has massive steering column-mounted shift paddles that are easy to reach no matter where your hands are. That quick steering is a boon to high-speed cornering, and it becomes incredibly direct in the sportier modes. The ride quality becomes busier in these modes, too, but the car hunkers down through corners and reacts with seeming clairvoyance to driver inputs.
But how does it handle? Quite well and with a pleasing neutral character. Drive it too hard into a corner and you can overcome the grip of the 245/35R19 front tires and cause the car to wash out instead of rotate. Control the entry speed, however, and the Quadrifoglio will rotate nicely, remaining pleasantly flat. Goose the throttle and the car will kick out the rear end. Stay on it and you can induce a glorious drift—if you're into that type of that thing.
The Quadrifoglio has a brake-by-wire system that uses a rubber block to simulate pedal feel and an electronic sensor that detects pedal movement, then translates this to a computer signal that activates the brakes for you. While the brakes are plenty effective during performance driving, they can be touchy to modulate at low speeds.
The steering may be quick, but it also doesn't offer much feel, and the lack of a manual transmission in a performance car like this is a slight to enthusiasts.
As an end result of all this power and performance, the Quadrifoglio puts up impressive performance figures. The 0-60 mph run takes just 3.8 seconds, the top speed is a lofty 191 mph, and the car's handling and power came together to put up a 7:32 lap time at the Nürburgring.