Alfa Romeo has recently followed in the footsteps of both Volkswagen Group and BMW and introduced its own in-house twin clutch transmission (aka TCT, DSG, DCT) to the UK after six years of development in Turin.
On the receiving end, initially at least, is the Giulietta, Alfa Romeo’s popular C-segment competitor and, in short, the addition of TCT has served only to embellish the car’s already considerable appeal. The Giulietta already has a 2.8% share in it’s market making it Alfa Romeo’s greatest commercial asset.
Available on the best-selling 170bhp versions of the petrol and diesel engined Giuliettas, fuel consumption has improved to an impressive 62.9mpg for the diesel due to increased transmission efficiency that’s also coupled with stop-start technology. CO2 emissions are down to just 119g/km. For reference, those figures trump Volkswagen’s 2.0 TDI, which is also less powerful to the tune of 30bhp, so on paper at least, the Italian marque’s days of flagging behind its Germanic counterparts in the technology stakes seem to be fading.
The petrol engined Giulietta’s figures are similarly impressive, with an almost identical CO2 emissions figure and achieving 86% of the diesel’s fuel economy. It’s the diesel, however, that makes more sense in the real world. Swift, relaxing progress is the order of the day and the diesel doesn’t disappoint, allowing its driver to utilize an impressive torque figure of 320Nm from the unobtrusive 2-litre engine. Fitting this transmission to the diesel Giulietta makes even more sense when you consider the car’s demographic – approaching fifty years old and happy to forgo a revvy 4-cylinder powerplant.
Impressive as the Giulietta’s internals are, there’s a very obvious reason why you might choose it over an Audi A3, Volkswagen Golf or even a BMW 1-Series: visual impact.
On sale for a little over two years now, the Giulietta’s striking aesthetics haven’t dimmed in any sense of the word. When the new A3 and Mk7 Golf are released over the next 18 months, this car will still attract more attention. Especially when specified in this particular colour, ‘8C Red’.
Lorenzo Ramaciotti and his team at the Alfa Romeo Centro Stile have applied various design cues to make the Giulietta stand out. These include an unusual shoulder line that originates from just behind the headlight and then curves upwards almost imperceptibly towards the rear haunch. It’s also becomes less pronounced as it travels under the B-pillar – something Ian Callum applied to great effect on the 2006 Jaguar XK. Other noticeable creases are the ones emanating from the traditional Alfa Romeo grill that fan out over the bonnet to form a ‘V’ shape. These, although striking, contribute to the idea that the Guilietta looks a little ‘pinched’ from straight ahead – something that the Mito has inherited.
From behind, the Giulietta’s unique tail lamps look the part (enough to convince people that the car in front is more akin to a Maserati at night) and the rear window slopes at an angle that sits between the Mito and the Brera’s aggressively raked form. As a whole, the Giulietta continues Alfa’s ‘hatchback in a coupe’ theme and if the front wasn't as distinctive as it is, you might describe the car as passive aggressive.
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