ALFA Romeo will debut an all-wheel-drive version of its Giulia saloon, at next week’s Paris Motor Show, which bridges the performance gap between the standard model and the Nurburgring-busting 370kW Quadrifoglio.
The Giulia Veloce, due Down Under in early 2017, will come with two engine options – a 2.0-litre, four cylinder turbocharged petrol unit that delivers 203kW, 400Nm at 2250 rpm and a torquey 2.2-litre, inline-four-cylinder turbo diesel that pushes out 155kW 450Nm at 5350 rpm.
The latter is the first Alfa Romeo diesel engine to be built entirely out of aluminium.
Both engines are mated to an eight-speed automatic gearbox and Alfa’s new Q4 AWD system. The Q4 behaves like a standard rear-wheel-drive car in normal conditions but can transfer up to 60 percent of the engine’s power to the front wheels should things get a little slippery.
Alfa reckons the Q4 provides “all the benefits of all-wheel drive - in terms of stability, traction and safety - while also guaranteeing reduced fuel consumption, extra responsiveness and all the driving satisfaction of a car with rear-wheel drive”.
The Giulia Veloce will also differ from the standard model in the looks department with bespoke bumpers and gloss-black door trim and optional five-hole 19in allow rims and Xenon headlights to provide a sportier look to match its superior performance.
The muscular aesthetics are carried on inside with new black leather sport seats, a sports steering wheel and aluminium inserts on the dashboard, central tunnel, door panels.
Standard equipment includes dual-zone climate control, the Alfa DNA system and 6.5-inch infotainment system and advanced driver assistance features including Forward Collision Warning (FCW) with Autonomous Emergency Brake (AEB) and pedestrian recognition, Integrated Brake System (IBS), Lane Departure Warning (LDW) and cruise control with speed limiter.
It’s unlikely the AWD version will be produced in right hand drive, but Wheels understands a rear-wheel-drive Veloce will be making its way to our shores with the rest of the all-new 2017 Giulia range in February. It’s still unclear if this will include the diesel engine.
Local pricing and specifications are yet to be confirmed.