We've been waiting for a proper, rear-wheel drive sports sedan from Alfa Romeo for more than two decades, ever since the demise of the boxy 75 in 1992, and here it is: the all-new Giulia.
To make up for all those years of front (and all-wheel drive) saloons, Alfa chose to debut the rear-wheel Giulia in its most hardcore form, the Quadrifoglio Verde or simply QV, which gets a new 3.0-liter turbocharged V6 petrol engine "tuned by engineers with Ferrari background" that's rated for 510PS or 503hp.
Incidentally, that's the same output as the Mercedes-Benz C63 AMG S, which together with the BMW M3, Audi RS4 and Cadillac ATS-V, form the Giulia QV's main set of rivals.
The Italians added that, "despite the sensational power and torque output, the new engine is surprisingly fuel efficient and implements an electronically controlled cylinder deactivation system".
According to Alfa, the Giulia QV goes from 0-100km/h (62mph) in just 3.9 seconds.
It also features a perfect 50/50 distribution across the two axles. Speaking of weight, while no specific number was given, Alfa Romeo said that the ample use of ultra light materials, including carbon fiber, aluminum, aluminum composite and plastic, gives the QV the "best weight-to-power ratio" at "lower than 3kg/hp", so if you do the math, the curb weight should be under 1,530kg or less than 3,373 lbs.
The chassis of the Giulia is understood to be new, though, it probably does share some components with the one found on the Maserati Ghibli. The 159's replacement uses a multilink suspension at the rear, and a new double wishbone suspension with semi-virtual steering axis for more accurate steering at the front.
It also gets a Torque Vectoring system with a double clutch to allow the rear differential to control the torque delivery to each wheel separately. According to Alfa, "in this manner, power transmission to the road is improved also in low grip conditions. So, the driving is safe and fun without ever having to run up against an invasive stability control system."
The Italians have also introduced a new Integrated Brake System, which they describe thusly: "An innovative electromechanical system which combines stability control and a traditional servo brake for instantaneous brake response and consequent record-breaking stopping distances in addition to the all-important weight optimization".
Other notable features mentioned include an Active Aero Splitter and a renewed Alfa DNA driving mode system with four options: Dynamic, Natural, Advanced Efficient (implemented for the first time on an Alfa Romeo) and naturally Racing (on high performance versions like the QV).
The Giulia will also be offered with a new family of turbocharged four-cylinder gasoline engines as well as with the option of all-wheel drive on certain models.
And just in case you haven't heard, the Giulia will go on sale in North America. We expect to learn more later on.