If you’re an Alfa Romeo enthusiast you need to be very resilient to keep faith with the brand! From the boxy looking 1960s Giulias (the accident prone grey police cars in the Italian Job) to the Capybara look-alike Mito, they just keep on designing odd looking or uninspiring cars in between the occasional gem like the Alfasud or Montreal. The lovely Duetto Spider sports car (of The Graduate fame) was messed up with ugly bumpers and a chopped off back end, and the Brera looked like a toad. The beautiful 8C and 4C improved matters, and the 156 was a good looking car with some clever details penned by the great Walter da Silva*. Unfortunately its replacement, the current Giulietta, at least from the side, just looks like a nicer Fiat Bravo. The 159 was handsome enough, but Alfa enthusiasts were looking forward to its replacement, the Giulia. Unofficial visuals promised an exciting looking car with sharp lines and coupe styling which could have been the Italian firm’s more adventurous answer to the rather dull German and Jaguar compact saloons.
The new Giulia, outside the Charles Correa designed Fundaçao Champalimaud Research Centre in Belém, near Lisbon – a new Italian car photographed in Portugal!
Now it has been launched – oh dear. What has emerged is a dated design with zero Italian flair, looking nothing like the visuals but more like a mish-mash of all the other conventional sporty saloons, perhaps deliberately so. Only the grille gives a clue that it is an Alfa Romeo! From the side it resembles a BMW 3 series, and the back end is heavy and ungainly without the expected sleek coupe looks. Let’s hope the actual coupe version turns out better. Italian cars can’t compete with the Germans on reliability and perceived quality so they must at least be beautiful! Sadly, the new Giulia is just too ordinary looking to be the game-changer that Alfa need for their grand plan to produce 400,000 cars a year by 2018.
*not Walter de Silva, as is so often written by ignorant journalists, and Wikipedia!
UPDATE: August 2017
Sadly I was right, sales have been disastrous throughout 2017 with less than 2,500 sold in the US so far compared to around 23,000 very boring BMW 3 Series. I have only seen one in my area in the last 12 months, and dealers are already offering massive discounts. Hey ho, another Alfa flop.
Main image by Alfa Romeo; for other official pictures –