Alfa Romeo Giulia and Stelvio Quadrifoglio – Will a mild refresh keep the Quadrifoglio cars on top of their game?
After the announcement of the GTA and the GTAm, petrol heads all over the world were trying to sell their kidneys on the black market to afford one. The brands 110 year celebration was done in great, and brisk fashion with the announcement of these cars. However, a dark cloud was coming, and it caused chaos. With the death of Sergio Marchionne (may he rest in peace), the man in charge of reshaping Alfa into a brand with not only desirable cars, but cars that could also sell, the burden of anyone replacing him was as clear as day. Clear signs of cracks in Alfas armor with the discontinuation of the Giulietta meant that Alfa now only has two models in its segment. The Giulia, a sedan that is a clear rival towards the BMW 3-series, Mercedes C-class and Audi A4. The more recent Stelvio is a mid-size SUV that, depending on which engine option, challenges everything from an Audi Q3, to a Porsche Macan, or even a Cayenne. Soul, passion, all of the usual Alfa stuff is what makes these two models unique, but the obvious focus on performance has made them a choice for people that want to stand out and be a bit different. And that means a specific corner on the market. For those that want to be even more chooses the Quadrifoglio range, which is an option to the M3, C63 and RS4. In other words, the performance models of Alfa Romeo, and they have got a 2020 refresh. Let´s see what´s new.
As I wrote before, the changes have been mild, but well needed. Focus have been on updating safety features and interior design. The engine is surprisingly left unchanged. Since the GTA produced 540, that was what I was expecting, although the Q never needed any more power, since it pretty much demolished most of its competition regarding acceleration. Suspension and chassis has also been left untouched. Q4 four wheel drive puts the power to the road through a Zf 8-speed automatic transmission. No more manual. Although, this is nothing new.
Three new color options, red, green and yellow, with their respective Italian names are available. I especially like the green with the yellow brake calipers. Speaking of brakes, there is optional carbon ceramic brake upgrade available. Extra options also include a carbon fiber and titanium exhaust system from Akrapovic. The rear lights have been reshaped. If you want some real extra options, you have to turn to Mopar, which will offer you side view mirrors, front v-grille inserts and a rear lip spoiler in carbon fiber. For the Stelvio Q, there are 21 inch rims that are in essence a more extreme set of the original Q rims.
Non optional upgrades are found on the inside. A reshaped middle console with more storage and a bigger, 8,8 inch, screen with an upgraded infotainment system is supposed to make the Q models more usable. The steering wheel has been reshaped and is fitted with leather. There are two seat options with the standard seats fitted with leather and Alcantara. The optional carbon fiber Sparco bucket seats is for the hardcore enthusiast. The interior will be available in perforated leather as an option.
Alfa went to great lengths in order to explain the ADAS safety system, which include level 2 autonomous driving. Many companies are reaching level 3 which is very big step, however legislation has forced them into category 2. It is nice to see Alfa finally catching up to the standard set by the competition a few years ago. Level 2 includes Lane Keeping Assist, Active Blind Spot Assist, Active Cruise Control, Traffic Sign Recognition, Intelligent Speed Control, Traffic Jam Assist, Highway Assist and Driver Attention Assist. I will let you google the names which are not self-explanatory.
There you have it. A rundown of what is new with the 2020 Alfa Q lineup. Prices in Sweden are 70,500 euro for the Giulia Q, and 80,000 euro for the Stelvio Q. Because of Covid-19, it is not clear when the cars will reach the dealers, but a qualified guess would be in July. The updates are certainly needed. However, from the presentation it was not clear if these updates will come for the other Stelvio and Giulia models, and truthfully, that is where the bread and butter is.