Alfa Romeo Giulietta launched in Australia

Alfa Romeo Giulietta

Alfa Romeo’s spunky little Giulietta has just arrived down under. There’s currently two models on offer, the entry level Giulietta, priced from $36,990 (not including delivery or statutory fees), while the powerful “Cloverleaf” QV model starts at $41,990. Both models can also be optioned with metallic paint ($995) and a full leather/sunroof package ($4000).

In the base spec you get a 125kW 1.4 litre MultiAir engine capable of reaching 100km/h in 7.8 seconds. A lighter foot will reward you with a combined fuel consumption figure of 5.8l/100km. That’s quite reasonable performance, really.

If that’s not enough, though, the 173kW 1750TBi unit is the one for you. As the name suggests, it’s a 1.75 litre four-pot turbo, and can propel you to the speed limit in 6.8 seconds. With a healthy 340Nm of torque on tap from 1900rpm you can access that power at virtually any time, as well. When you’re not in a mad rush you can expect to sip fuel at the rate of around 7.6l/100km.

Actually, the QV looks the value proposition here. For an extra five grand you get the go faster engine along with sports suspension (10mm lower), fancy seats with red stitching and microfibre trim, a Bose stereo and 18″ alloys to go over your flash red brake calipers.

It’s a pretty car, the Giulietta, but for similar pricing, does it make more sense than a comparable Volkswagen Golf, for example? Your heart might well say yes, but we’d love to hear if you’d actually go through with the deal.

More pics and detail from Alfa Romeo after the break. Alfa’s latest price list is also available.

Alfa Romeo Giulietta

Alfa Romeo Giulietta

Alfa Romeo Giulietta

Alfa Romeo Giulietta

Alfa Romeo Giulietta

Alfa Romeo Giulietta

Alfa Romeo Giulietta

Alfa Romeo Giulietta

Romeo brings his Giulietta To Australia

Alfa Romeo has reborn one of the most evocative car names in automotive history with the arrival of the Giulietta in Australia and endowed it with a wealth of performance, styling and technology to ensure that it worthy of both its evocative name and the task of taking over the small car mantle that started with the classic AlfaSud and includes the award winning Alfa Romeo 147.

“There is no doubt that the new Alfa Romeo Giulietta has very large shoes to fill,” says Andrei Zaitzev, General Manager of Alfa Romeo in Australia. “It carries one of the all-time great car names which graced some of the best cars of the last century and it must pick up the reins of a line of a cars that started with the AlfaSud, a true classic in its own right, through to the Alfa Romeo 147. It also steps into one of the most challenging sectors of the market, the prestige small car sector.”

“But there can be little doubt that the new Alfa Romeo Giulietta is fully equipped to succeed. The Giulietta has styling, both inside and out, that can only have come from the genius of Italian design; it is powered by two acclaimed and award-winning engines, the MultiAir and 1750 TBi units that set new standards for performance, economy and emissions and it sits on a new platform and chassis to ensure it has the handling, roadholding and natural balance of a thoroughbred,” explains Mr Zaitzev. “Add a comprehensive standard equipment list and a benchmark price and it clear that the 21st Century Alfa Romeo Giulietta is ready to open a fresh chapter in the catalogue of classic Alfa Romeo sports cars.”

The heart of the success of the new Alfa Romeo Giulietta is an all-new platform that encompasses the chassis, the floorpan and the basic structure of the car as a whole. The new Compact platform employs a combination of advanced engineering and sophisticated technical solutions to ensure the Giulietta can accommodate the needs of all customers in this category. The result is a model that combines impeccable safety credentials, Italian style, comfort and functionality with the dynamic qualities taken for granted in Alfa Romeos.

In addition, every customer can adapt the new car to their specific driving requirements thanks to Alfa Romeo’s D.N.A. selector. But this is just one of the electronic systems that the Compact platform was designed to integrate and exploit. Others, fitted as standard to every model in the range, include the Electronic Q2 differential and the VDC (Vehicle Dynamic Control) system.

To ensure that the Giulietta fully lives up to the Alfa Romeo performance and sporting image, the new model arrives in Australia with a choice of two engines. The 1.4 litre Alfa Romeo MultiAir engine in its 125 kW form arrived last year to power the top version of the Alfa Romeo MiTo, the QV. In the Giulietta its blend of performance and economy makes it the ideal power unit for the entry level Giulietta. It provides a 0-100 kmh time of just 7.8 seconds, yet its official fuel consumption is as low as 4.6 litres per 100 km on the open road cycle and with a combined fuel figure of 5.8 litres per 100 km, it is as all but an economy car, something also illustrated by its CO2 figure of 134 gm per km.

The Alfa Romeo Giulietta QV gains the latest version of the 1750 TBi engine first seen late last year in the Alfa Romeo 159, with its output lifted from 147 kW to 173 kW, while the torque peak is outstanding for both its potency – 340 Nm in the DNA’s dynamic mode – and for the engine speed at which it is achieved, just 1900 rpm. This means that the Giulietta QV not only offers excellent straight line performance – the 0-100 kmh time is 6.8 seconds and it maxes at 242 kmh – it also provides a quality of in-gear performance that is more redolent of performance provided by a 3.0 litre V6 engine. Yet, like its smaller sibling, this engine merely sips at the fuel tank. Its combined fuel figure is just 7.6 litres per 100 km.

But the Giulietta isn’t just about being fun to drive. Both Giuliettas share a long and healthily list of standard equipment. Electric windows all-round along with dual zone air conditioning and electrically heated and adjustable door mirrors are all standard as are automatic dipping interior mirror, fog lights, alloy wheels, rear parking sensors, leather steering wheel with audio controls, automatic wipers and lights, as well as the Blue&Me™ hands-free infotainment system.

The Cloverleaf model gets sports suspension lowered by 10 mm, Sports Seats in mircofibre and leather with red stitching, Bose HiFi, dark tinted windows, sporty red brake callipers and 18” spoke design alloy wheels with a dark titanium finish.

Whichever the model, owners will get one of the safest cars on the road.

The new Alfa Giulietta was recently awarded a EuroNCAP five-star crash safety rating and an overall score of 87/100: an impressive result that makes it the safest compact car built to date in its class.

The rating is even more significant considering that since 2009, EuroNCAP has adopted new judgment criteria composed of four areas of accident assessment, namely Adult Occupant, Child Occupant, Pedestrian Protection and a new area: Safety Assist. Injury avoidance and mitigation functions, such as seat belt reminder, ESP and speed limiter, are also rated. Achieving a five-star rating will become increasingly tough year by year (2009, 2010-2011, 2012). In this scenario, the rating achieved by the Alfa Giulietta (97% Adult Occupant, 85% Child Occupant, 63% Pedestrian Protection and 86% Safety Assist) means that the car will also have a five-star rating in 2012 when the assessment system will have reached maximum severity.

This major accolade yet again confirms Alfa Romeo’s special commitment to all aspects relating to the protection of all road users. The Alfa Giulietta was designed and built to obtain maximum passive and active safety performance.

Thousands of hours of virtual simulations have gone into the creation of the new Compact platform, which is making its debut in the Giulietta. The quality of virtual design has been materially confirmed by running 200 tests on components and subsystems, some 150 Hyge slide shock test simulations and more than 80 crash tests (frontal impact, side impact, roll-over and shunting, taking various speeds, different types of obstacles and the need to protect occupants, physically very different from one another, into account). These numbers confirm Alfa Romeo’s profound commitment to making the new Giulietta one of the safest cars in Europe by ensuring that it contains the most advanced safety systems.

Six airbags are standard (two of which are Multistage), plus three-point seatbelts with double pretensioners and load limit limiters, and SAHR (Self Aligning Head Restraints), a new second-generation device built into the backrests of the front seats that moves the head restraints closer to the occupants’ heads in the event of an impact, to lessen the effects of whiplash. There is also a highly significant contribution to occupant and pedestrian protection provided by the body, the bonnet, the doors and the dashboard crossmember, in addition to the seats and steering column.

The efficacy of all these systems is maximised by a three load line front structure that guarantees structural uniformity and consequently uniformity of response in the event of frontal impact, regardless of the type of obstacles or vehicle that the car is in collision with. This is a breakthrough in partner protection, because the vehicle is less ‘aggressive’ when crashing into the front or side of another vehicle, and in self protection, because uniform deformation makes the retaining systems more effective, regardless of the type of accident.

Finally, in the field of preventive safety, the new Giulietta uses headlights with Daytime Running Lights that are automatically switched on when the engine is started – to meet a specific European standard that will come into force in 2012 – and LED tail lights, brighter than conventional bulbs, for extra safety.

The Giulietta has a full complement of airbags plus an array of electronic devices designed to let drivers extract the maximum from their Alfa Romeo while staying safe at all times. There’s ABS anti-lock braking with Electronic Brake force Distribution (EBD); Vehicle Dynamic Control (VDC) – Alfa Romeo’s interpretation of Electronic Stability Programme; Cornering Brake Control (CBC), Dynamic Steering Torque (DST), Hydraulic Brake Assistance (HBA) and the new Pre-Fill function for the brakes.

It ensures that drivers can concentrate of getting maximum pleasure out of their driving while safe in the knowledge that the car is looking after them.

The Alfa Romeo Giulietta arrives in the Australia market with a price excluding statutory charges and dealer delivery costs of $36,990 and the range topping Giulietta is priced at $41,990 excluding statutory and dealer delivery charges.

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Alfa Romeo Giulietta

Alfa Romeo Giulietta

The Alfa Romeo Giulietta in Detail

RIDE AND HANDLING

  • All-new platform
  • Weight saving technology throughout
  • D.N.A. system standard for extra adjustability

The Alfa Giulietta sits on an all-new platform called Compact which will underpin all future Fiat Group mid-size vehicles and so has a high degree of modularity for multiple applications. From the outset the aim was for it to be ranked best in class for handling, steering feel, performance to weight ratio, ride comfort, noise, vibration and harshness (NVH), active and passive safety and climatic comfort.

This enables the Giulietta to offer two different types of driving experience. The Giulietta with the 125 kW MultiAir engine sits on a ‘comfort’ chassis while the QV has a more sport-oriented set-up, featuring 10mm lowered suspension.

This has been possible because the latest Alfa Romeo Giulietta platform has been built with 90 per cent of its structure employing either high or ultra-high strength materials. This has led to the Giulietta having a minimal (1.5 per cent) weight increase compared to its smaller, less lavishly equipped predecessor, the Alfa 147.

A magnesium dashboard support shaves 6kg; giving the pedal board a plastic support along with a plastic clutch pedal saves 3kg; and a new rear seat back that employs thermoplastics in both structure and cushions pares 7kg.

Aluminium has been employed in the MacPherson front suspension pillars, making them 8kg lighter than the 147. At the rear a sophisticated multi-link suspension solution has been used because it ensures the best possible exchange of forces between the road and tyres for excellent handling, while also offering good ride comfort and minimal boot intrusion. Manufacturing the wishbones and rear cross member from aluminium has reduced weight by 10kg compared to conventional multi-link systems used by competitors.

This has an impact on performance. Keeping weight, particularly that of non-suspended (unsprung) masses, to a minimum, gives even greater ride comfort. Improved stiffness and low mass give the structure a high natural frequency to give good vibration performance and insulate the cabin from the road, reducing driving noise.

The electric power steering system is also new. This employs two pinions on the steering column. The control pinion mechanically connects the steering wheel and rack for direct and precise steering that feels natural. The second power pinion transmits the torque generated by the electric motor to the rack. The result reduces fuel consumption by 3 per cent compared to a regular hydraulic set-up, gives variable performance depending on driving conditions and speed, and allows the steering to be influenced by the car’s electronic systems.

Brains

The new platform has been specifically designed to integrate and optimise different electronic systems in order to make the Giulietta one of the safest and most enjoyable drives in its sector. The brains behind this is Alfa Romeo’s D.N.A. system which is fitted as standard across the entire range and acts on the engine, brakes, steering, suspension and gearbox to allow drivers to hone the car’s responses to the conditions.

For sporty reactions, it offers Dynamic mode; there’s Normal for the urban environment and All-Weather for maximum safety in low grip conditions. It achieves these adaptations by modifying the operating parameters of the engine, steering, brakes and Electronic Q2 differential.

Normal mode is designed for relaxed driving, so every component controlled by the DNA system is in its regular configuration. This offers a lively engine, discreet Vehicle Dynamic Control (VDC) and Dynamic Steering Torque that controls oversteer. By simply moving the switch positioned ahead of the gear lever to Dynamic, the VDC and Anti-Slip Regulation (ASR) become less intrusive, the engine is made more responsive, the steering enjoys less power assistance for a sportier feel, and the Electronic Q2 system is enabled.

This works in conjunction with the VDC and uses the braking system to simulate the behaviour of a Limited Slip Differential. When the driver accelerates through corners it constantly distributes torque between the driving wheels, modulating the braking of the inner wheel while feeding power to the outer loaded wheel. The result is better traction and a more agile feeling from behind the wheel. The steering also helps make the Giulietta feel sportier by sensing lateral acceleration that’s greater than 0.6g and providing increased resistance to the steering wheel to help the driver’s feel of the road, particularly through fast bends.

D.N.A.’s Dynamic setting also activates a new function called Pre-Fill. This has been designed to give the brake pedal the feel of a racing car. It recognises that the driver is about to brake when the accelerator is released and increases the pressure inside the braking system by between five and seven bars. This reduces pedal travel by 30 per cent and ensures quicker braking response.

On its third setting, All-Weather, DNA makes the ASR more responsive and ensures the Giulietta is easier to control on low grip surfaces.

ENGINES

  • Two Euro 5 engines
  • Class-leading performance and economy
  • Return of the ‘1750’

The latest Alfa Giulietta has a range of five high performance engines, all of which conform to the latest Euro 5 emissions criteria.

The most powerful petrol engine in the range is the 1750 TBi, a twin overhead camshaft, direct injection, variable valve timing engine that brings the classic 1750 capacity back to the Alfa Romeo range but with a modern twist. This innovative turbocharged unit provides more horsepower and torque per litre than any other four-cylinder petrol engine found in this class of car.

The resulting performance is equivalent to a three-litre while economy remains in line with a compact four-cylinder engine.

At the core of this power unit are a number of major innovations. It makes far better use of the turbocharger than conventional turbocharged petrol engines thanks to new scavenging technology. An ECU installed with ultra-modern engine parameter management software monitors and optimises fuel dosage, ignition advance and timing. This ultra-precise valve timing generates a direct flow of air from intake to exhaust manifolds, activating the variable geometry turbocharger instantly. Maximum torque at 1500 rpm is 70 per cent greater than a conventional turbo engine, with response times more than halved. And maximum torque can be accessed at only 1900 rpm, dramatically improving driveability at low engine RPM.

This engine also employs direct injection with innovative seven-hole injectors to help reduce emissions. And it has dual variable valve timing while the next-generation turbocharger optimises the use of exhaust pressure waves to increase torque at low speeds.

While the 1750 TBi is the undoubted jewel in the Giulietta’s crown, there is another gem – the 1.4 litre MultiAir engine.

Giulietta owners keen on cutting costs while still wanting plenty of power will find that the 1.4-litre TB MultiAir engine with its fixed geometry turbocharger ticks those boxes. It combines a small cubic capacity with a high power output, 125 kW, yet emits just 134 g/km of CO2. This is thanks to the MultiAir system which could be as important to the development of the petrol engine as common rail was to diesel power more than a decade ago. MultiAir takes the control of engine ignition to previously unthinkable levels of efficiency. Compared to a conventional petrol engine of the same capacity, this technology boosts power by 10 per cent and torque by 15 per cent, yet slashes fuel consumption and emissions both by 10 per cent.

All engines feature a state-of-the-art manual six-speed gearbox. This is from a new family of three axle transmissions that have an improved change quality and are more compact than transmissions with two axles. The six-speed also means that at motorway speeds the engine revs lower than with a five-speed box, giving less noise and lower consumption.

INSIDE

  • Handsome and practical
  • Class leading occupant comfort
  • Well equipped throughout the range

Alfa Romeo’s aim has been to guarantee that any journey undertaken in the Giulietta should be a pleasure for driver and passengers. The interior space was devised to make it practical for everyday use, while inspiration from the 8C Competizione ensures it maintains the firm’s core strength of driver appeal.

The result is a car that has best-in-class headroom for tall drivers when the seat is pushed back and lowered, and is equally class topping for rear leg room. It is also ahead of its rivals for noise suppression thanks to a sound-proofing film in the windscreen, thicker side windows, and damping material to counter body vibrations.

Carefully crafted materials use subtle shades to make the interior feel light and therefore spacious. And it doesn’t just look good; it feels good too thanks to enhanced ergonomics ensuring every switch is ideally located for driver access. The main switches, which share their design with the 8C Competizione, are grouped together at the centre of the dashboard for easy access.

Ahead of the driver there’s a sporty three-spoke steering wheel while the seats are supple yet still supportive. To make the Giulietta easy to live with, it’s been crammed with storage solutions. In front of the gear lever, on the centre console and in the doors there are open compartments. There are closed compartments on top of the dashboard, under it opposite the front passenger, and in the front and rear arm rests. The front storage bin may be cooled with dual-zone climate control.

Optimum

The Giulietta range is split into two equipment levels, Giulietta and Giulietta QV. Standard equipment across the range is comprehensive but a lot of thought has gone into differentiating the various models. One example is the steering wheel. It’s vital for transmitting the feel of the car to the driver, so each trim level gets a different looking and progressively sportier one.

No Giulietta driver will feel short-changed when it comes to kit. The Giulietta features remote central locking and boot release, electric windows front and rear, height adjustable driver’s seat, 60/40 split folding rear seats and split climate control air-conditioning which has been completely revised so that it now keeps the passenger compartment at the optimum temperature while consuming 30 per cent less fuel than a conventional system.

The standard Guilietta also offers a steering wheel with ‘infotainment’ system controls, chrome effect window sills, cruise control, 17” Turbine design alloy wheels with 225/45 R17 tyres and the Blue&Me™ hands-free system with voice recognition and media player with USB port.

Finally, top-of-the-range QV versions add to Veloce specification with Cloverleaf badging, lowered suspension, red brake callipers, dark tinted windows and 18” Spoke design alloy wheels with a dark titanium finish and 225/40 R18 tyres.

Blue&Me is the Fiat Group’s ground-breaking hands-free system that allows mobile phones and sound system to be accessed and controlled either from the steering wheel or using Bluetooth and advanced voice recognition and is standard equipment on all variants. There’s a choice of two navigation systems.

The Giulietta is a bigger car than its predecessor and this is reflected in its luggage space. At 350 litres it’s on a par with its main competitors and 16 per cent bigger than the Alfa 147. Usefully, it’s a regular square shape and its width of 1022 mm is 21 per cent up on its predecessor.

SAFETY

  • Most comprehensive equipment in its sector
  • Integrated safety engineering from the platform up
  • Vast array of electronics limit potential for accidents and damage

One of the cornerstones of the Alfa Romeo Giulietta is class-leading safety. During its development the car underwent 15,000 hours of mathematical modelling, 80 crash tests, 150 tests on a HyGe slide and more than 200 tests on components and sub-systems. This has been reflected in its five-star EuroNCAP performance.

As a result every model features the most comprehensive range of safety equipment in the segment. This includes six airbags (front multi-stage, side and curtain), five three-point seat belts with double pretensioners and load limiters, a collapsible pedal unit and steering column, a second-generation anti-whiplash system, and Isofix attachments.

To absorb energy from low speed impacts and support the bumper in a collision with pedestrians, there’s a third load path element. This allows the front to deform uniformly, making the car less ‘aggressive’ in head-on and side-on collisions. But because engineers have used aluminium for elements surrounding the front beam, 8.5kg has been pared from the weight. The rear bumper beam and third load path energy absorption elements have been made from thermoplastic Xenoy, giving a weight reduction of 4kg compared with a more traditional solution.

Every effort has been made to prevent Giulietta drivers being involved in an accident in the first place. Thus the hydraulic power assisted braking system comprising two crossover independent circuits has been specifically designed for progressive braking with shorter stopping distances.

The size of the brakes varies according to the engine. The 125 kW 1.4-litre MultiAir is fitted with 305mm self-ventilating discs and cast iron floating callipers and 264mm solid rear brake discs and cast iron callipers. The most powerful version in the range, the 173 kW 1750 TBi features 330mm self-ventilating front discs with aluminium fixed callipers. The rears are fitted with 278mm solid discs, again with cast iron callipers.

Sophisticated

The ABS anti-lock braking system that governs these brakes is one of the most advanced currently available. It has four active sensors and features Electronic Brake force Distribution (EBD) to spread braking force over all four wheels. It also adapts to the prevailing conditions, depending on grip and brake pad efficiency.

In addition to these fundamentals, every vehicle in the range features a sophisticated suite of electronics designed to reduce the chances of an accident taking place and improve occupants’ safety if one does.

This is spearheaded by Vehicle Dynamic Control (VDC). As Alfa Romeo’s ‘take’ on Electronic Stability Programme (ESP), this system remains in the background monitoring tyre grip in longitudinal and lateral directions, the car’s yaw and the angle of the steering wheel. These are then compared with set parameters so that it can judge whether the situation is about to become unsafe.

An integral part of VDC is Anti-Slip Regulation (ASR). This employs the ABS anti-lock braking sensors to calculate the degree of slip. If it finds excessive power is causing both front wheels to slip, it decreases the throttle opening. If only one wheel is slipping the appropriate brakes are applied.

The Giulietta’s VDC also works in conjunction with Dynamic Steering Torque (DST). This improves both safety and handling by working alongside the VDC to provide feedback torque through the steering wheel that helps the driver respond to critical situations before VDC intervention is needed. Combined with its Mu-Split control function (MSF) it’s particularly effective when, for instance, two wheels are on ice and two on tarmac.

Another of the ways the Giulietta combines safety with performance is courtesy of the braking system. The Hydraulic Brake Assistance system increases brake circuit pressure under emergency braking situations to shorten stopping distances. And the system includes a Hill Holder which automatically simulates a traditional hill start by stopping the car rolling backwards on an incline.

DESIGN

  • Inspired by the past, designed for the future
  • Dynamic like a coupe, practical like a saloon
  • Innovative light show

The Alfa Romeo Giulietta is a unique blend of sportiness and style that draws inspiration from the firm’s rich heritage and brings it into the 21st Century. Yet despite styling which inherits much of its emotion from the 8C Competizione supercar, the Giulietta is a practical machine with excellent on-board space and comfort.

The front is typical of the new generation of Alfa Romeos, forceful but attractive with an off-set number plate and a brand new interpretation of the classic shield grille suspended between the air vents and headlights.

In profile the Giulietta has the dynamism and fluidity of a coupe, despite having all the practicality of a five door. This is further enhanced by the concealed rear door handles, muscular wheel arches and deep side skirts.

The rear is similarly beefy, giving the Giulietta the appearance of a car that really grips the road. The bumper meanwhile accommodates the number plate and integral exhaust tail pipes.

This is complemented by head and tail lights that employ LED technology. Compared with conventional bulbs, these lights are brighter, more reliable and don’t use as much power, thereby cutting running costs. The Giulietta also features Daytime Running Lights that will become a European standard in 2012. These guarantee maximum visibility but use less energy.