There are certain things in the world that some people will never understand. How that loving couple came to be; how a “car guy” can become utterly besotted with a machine that boils down to four wheels and an engine; and how Alfa Romeos are just so special.
We’ll, I recently got married to the most loving, special person I’ve had the privilege of knowing; became besotted with a vehicle that has four wheels and an engine; and well, you can probably guess where this is going…
You see, I was fortunate enough to be given the use of the Giulia QV spread over this page as our wedding car… Maybe it was the endorphin rush of the day and all but – and I can say this now because, well, the wedding can’t be called off anymore – I nearly eloped with the car that stole my heart.
Actually, now that I think about it, so did my better half – and most people who were able to take in the QV’s combination of gorgeous proportions, thuggish muscularity and purposeful carbon-fibre detailing. Where the BMW Ms, Mercedes AMGs and Audi RSs of the world have become invisible in their ubiquity, the QV gleans admiring glances from most and nods of approval by those who know their cars.
You’d probably wonder, though, while it looks all snazzy, why one would want a big-wheeled (they’re 19-inch, by the way), hard-riding sports saloon with firm, body-hugging, carbon-fibre backed sports seats with which to drive to their wedding-night destination? We’ll, this is where one of the QV’s biggest strengths comes to the fore – this is no one-trick pony.
You see, the QV has a few chassis and suspension tricks up its sleeve that allow it to vary its personality between razor sharp track weapon or comfortable, quiet, refined long-distance cruiser. The basic Giulia double-wishbone front and 4.5-link rear suspension is coupled with three-way adaptive suspension in the QV. You’re free to choose between All-Weather, Natural, Dynamic and Race modes via the DNA Pro rotary selector; so adapting the car’s character to your mood or environment.
Moving through the various modes also adapts the engine response, exhaust note, gear-shift ferocity and steering feel to the various driving situations. And with a 375 kW/600 Nm turbocharged V6 of 2,9 litres, and an eight-speed automatic gearbox, at your disposal, there are not many driving situations the QV can’t handle. The drivetrain is that well tuned…
The marvellous engine offers an unrelenting power delivery and – especially in Race mode – makes what can only be described as very naughty noises. The gearbox shifts smoothly when driven gently or can slam home the next gear with race car-like efficiency when the accelerator is flat.
And, as it should be in a car that can reach 100 km/h in 3,9 seconds and top out at 307 km/h, the QV also handles like a dream. The chassis is ideally balanced with a 50/50 weight split, and mechanical grip and traction are fantastically well tuned. Here, the bespoke Pirelli PZero Cosa AR tyres, as well as the QV’s Torque Vectoring and a front Active Aero Splitter, are also to thank.
The steering offers great feel when it counts – if it is a bit light. My only real gripe with the drive are the brakes, which – despite being strong when used aggressively – are either “on or off” and difficult to modulate.
Nonetheless, there was no one point in my – sorry our – time with the QV that it felt too hard, too soft, too wild or too boring. It is so competent, so well-rounded, so satisfying to drive hard, and so easy to live with day to day.
In this regard, the cabin is comfortable and lined with red-stitched leather and alcantara. Space is good all round and those optional Sparco sports seats are probably the best I’ve yet sampled in any car. You’ve got just about all the mod-cons too: an 8,8-inch Connect Nav infotainment system (that even warns you when you’re approaching a speed camera!); 900W, 14-speaker Harman Kardon sound; and a brace of driving-assist systems that includes Forward Collision Warning, Autonomous Emergency Braking, Adaptive Cruise Control, Lane Departure Warning, Blind-Spot Monitoring and a rear parking camera.
In summary, then, the Giulia QV is a stunning all-round sports saloon; a powerful bruiser and surprisingly capable cruiser. It would have no problem going toe-to-toe with the finest from BMW, Mercedes-Benz or Audi.
It stole my heart but, thankfully, my marriage will survive – because from R1,4 million (although it has a three-year/100 000 km warranty and six-year/100 000 km maintenance plan) the Giulia QV is no cheap date. It is a helluva special one, though.
CyberStoep rating: 9/10