Climbing the Italian Alps in the Alfa Romeo Giulia QV

IT WAS a trip many of us only dream about: an all-new Italian sports sedan with three pedals and 375kW, three whole days and unlimited access to some of the best mountain roads that Italy has to offer.

Yet that was exactly the opportunity presented to Englishman, and Wheels scribe, Mike Duff in late 2016 when he grabbed the keys to a white Giulia QV in Turin.

It was our first real chance to bag some decent miles in Alfa’s new sports sedan flagship, and first impressions were Australia isn’t missing out on much through FCA’s decision not to engineer the Giulia with a manual gearbox for right-hand-drive markets.

“Its combination of a high-biting clutch and an awkward shift action make it impossible to get a smooth low-speed change,” wrote Duff of his manual Giulia.

More impressive was the engine. With a 1500km round trip and 10,000 metres of vertical ascent waiting, Duff delved deep into the ‘Ferrari-inspired’ 2.9-litre twin-turbo six.

“It’s bloody impressive,” he wrote. “The blue touchpaper moment is about level with the ‘4’ mark on the tachometer. Until then it feels quick, though not exceptionally so, but from that point onwards it pulls with brutal enthusiasm all the way to the 7250rpm rev-limiter while making the sort of angry noises you’d normally have to taser a lion for.”

The chassis was up to the task as well, carving through hairpin turns and high-speed sweepers with assured precision. Better news is we now know the QV’s supple chassis and assured ride translate to Aussie tarmac – you can read our full local 2017 Alfa Romeo Giulia QV review here.

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