The see-sawing sedan speed battle between Alfa Romeo and Porsche at the Nürburgring has just swung back in the Italian’s favour with a coccyx-jarring thud.
In June, Porsche announced that its new Panamera Turbo had set a Nürburgring lap record for production sedans with a 7m 38s lap that beat the previous record holder, the Alfa Romeo Giulia Quadrifoglio, by one second.
Alfa Romeo has responded by shattering Porsche’s mark by an incredible six seconds, lapping the iconic circuit in 7m and 32s. In a world where numbers after the decimal point matter, that’s a staggering result.
To put that time into perspective, the Guilia is an appropriate daily driver yet its Nürburgring time is equal to the 2010 Porsche 911 Turbo S and a second faster than the 2010 Porsche 911 GT3 RS.
So what did Alfa do to the Giulia to smash its previous record?
The original 7:39 time was set with a manual Alfa Romeo Giulia Quadrifoglio, so the Torinesi decided to tackle the track with a new eight-speed automatic-equipped Giulia QV.
But far from letting the automatic transmission do all the work, Alfa Romeo and Maserati test driver Fabio Francia showed what a demon he is on flappy paddles during his fearless record-breaking run.
The Italian driver must now be a hero for anyone who’s ordered a 2017 Alfa Romeo Giulia Quadrifoglio. The model packs a 2.9-litre twin-turbo V6 that punches out 376.5kW, while the optional eight-speed ZF gearbox used in the record-breaking run can shift in 150 milliseconds.