Alfa Romeo SA reveals pricing and line-up of the all-new Giulietta

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100 years in the making…
It’s here! The wait is finally over – undoubtedly this year’s most highly anticipated new car is officially unveiled. A fitting symbol of the brand’s 100-year motoring evolution, the all-new Giulietta appropriately enjoys pride of place at the impressive, glass-domed Alfa Romeo Centenary display at Melrose Arch Piazza, Johannesburg.

This latest incarnation of the Giulietta shares the ‘stage’ at Melrose Arch with seven of its iconic predecessors: ranging from a 1982 Giulietta 1.8 to an extremely rare 1959 Giulietta Sprint Speciale (Low Nose) owned by Dawn Manelis with an estimated value of around R1 million.

The Giulietta story began in the 1950s when this extrovertly-styled sedan caught the imagination of the driving public with its racy appeal, attractive looks and accessible pricing. Now, over 50 years later, the Italian sporting car manufacturer is celebrating its centenary with an all-new namesake which goes on sale in South Africa. (All 16 Alfa Romeo dealers across the country will shortly have demonstrator Giuliettas – sales, however, only begin in earnest in January 2011.)

The latest incarnation of the Giulietta has been designed to beat the best in the mid-size C segment – and that’s no easy task considering the excellence of the competition in a category that now accounts for the second largest number of passenger sales in South Africa.

To take on this challenge, Alfa Romeo has penned an all-new car that sits on an all-new Compact platform. This employs a combination of advanced engineering and sophisticated technical solutions to ensure the Giulietta can accommodate the needs of all customers in this category. The result is a model that combines impeccable safety credentials, Italian style, comfort and functionality with the dynamic qualities taken for granted in Alfa Romeos.

In addition, every customer can adapt the new car to their specific driving requirements thanks to Alfa Romeo’s D.N.A. (Dynamic, Normal or All-Weather) selector. But this is just one of the electronic systems that the Compact platform was designed to integrate and exploit. Others, fitted as standard to every model in the range, include the Electronic Q2 differential and the VDC (Vehicle Dynamic Control) system.

At launch, the new Giulietta range comprises three turbocharged petrol engines (all Euro 5 compliant) with complementary high levels of kit:

  •  1.4 TBi Progression – 88kW @ 5000rpm /206Nm @ 1750rpm
  •  MultiAir 1.4 TBi Distinctive – 125kW @ 5500rpm/ 250Nm @ 2500rpm
  •  1750 TBi Quadrifoglio Verde – 173kW @ 5500rpm/340Nm @ 1900rpm

Highlighting the eco-friendliness of the new Giuliettas, it’s noteworthy that both 1400 turbo variants combine Start&Stop technology and a gearshift indicator to enable drivers to achieve the best economy possible. The most powerful petrol engine in the range is the 1750 TBi, a twin overhead camshaft, direct injection, variable valve timing engine that brings the classic 1750 capacity back to the Alfa Romeo range but with a modern twist. This innovative turbocharged unit provides more horsepower and torque per litre than any other four-cylinder petrol engine found in this class of car. The resulting performance is equivalent to a three-litre while economy remains in line with a compact four-cylinder engine.

But the Giulietta isn’t just about being fun to drive or having an interior trimmed with all the creature comforts one has come to expect from a premium brand (electric windows, remote central locking, high-end stereo system, steering wheel controls, and Blue&Me communication are just some of the standard interior niceties). Whichever the model, owners will get one of the safest cars on the road. The new Alfa Giulietta was recently awarded a Euro NCAP five-star crash safety rating and an overall score of 87/100: an impressive result that makes it the safest compact car built to date.

Evidence of this, for instance, is provided by the adoption of the most advanced electronic dynamic control systems (for braking and traction): the Vehicle Dynamic Control system which manages key functions like Hill Holder, traction control and emergency braking; the MSR system which prevents wheel locking when the throttle is released; the DST (Dynamic Steering Torque) system; Electronic Q2 which electronically simulates the presence of a self-locking differential, and the brand-new Pre-Fill system, which alerts the braking system that the accelerator pedal has been released, to decrease intervention time and consequently braking distance.

Pricing

  • 88kW 1.4 TBi Progression – R243 000 (incl. VAT and emissions tax)
  • 125kW MultiAir 1.4 TBi Distinctive – R279 900
  • 173kW 1750 TBi Quadrifoglio Verde – R330 275

As a first for a premium brand, Alfa Romeo offers a five-year 150 000 km warranty on the new Giulietta. Linked to this is a six-year/90 000km service plan for the 1.4-litre models (with service intervals of 30 000km) and a six-year/105 000km service plan for the flagship 1750 TBi which features 35 000km service intervals – once again a benchmark in this class.

The new models are covered by the AA Fleetcare roadside assistance for three years. The service is active 24 hours a day, 365 days a year and is available by calling the dedicated toll-free number 0800 223 727.

THE HISTORY OF GIULIETTA

The 1954 Turin Motor Show was a particularly special occasion for Alfa Romeo. Talk of the Show was a stunningly beautiful coupé styled by Bertone and powered by a new twin cam engine that was to become the heartbeat of Alfa’s bright future. The timing was perfect for the car-hungry mass market.  With its delightful mechanicals, hyper-responsive driving charm, and price positioning, the new model, compared to its rivals anywhere in the world, was unbeatable.

These early Giuliettas are highly significant in Alfa Romeo’s glorious history, and were very influential to car designers for decades to come. In 1998, during the selection of the award for Car of the Century, the jury of 135 respected automotive journalists voted the 1954 Giulietta Sprint Coupé among the top nominations. “One of the great things about the Giulietta was the way it brought elegant Italian looks to a showroom where buying, rather than looking was possible for many people,” claimed the Car of the Century panel.

Work on this automotive jewel, called Project 750, started at the end of 1951 with a team of passionate and talented engineers headed by Orazio Satta Puliga and Rudolf Hruska, a pupil of the great Ferdinand Porsche. With a light aluminium block and crankcase, the engine was designed to be adaptable for a wide variety of models from commercial van to sports car. Until 1954, only Jaguar had put a twin-cam engine into true quantity production, but by the start of the 1960s Alfa Romeo had overtaken Jaguar’s figures.

The Bertone coupé was the first of the Giulietta family, but its brilliant qualities of superb engine, good handling, and great value were present in all the body styles including Saloon 1955, Spider 1955, Estate 1957, and even a long wheelbase ceremonial version by coachbuilder Colli.

When introduced in 1954, the newly-designed four-cylinder engine produced 80bhp from just 1290cc and gave the little car a top speed of 164km/h. At the time, this was outstanding performance and naturally made the Giulietta an excellent competition car.

In 1956 Alfa modified the engine to give an extra 10bhp and introduced the Sprint Veloce model which gave a top speed of 180km/h. Seven years after its introduction, the Giulietta was still competitive, as proved by a Ti saloon winning the 1300cc class of the FIA Grand Touring Championship, beating much more modern cars.

The Giulietta also inspired some of Italy’s most illustrious coachbuilders, with Bertone creating the memorable Sprint Speciale, and Zagato the formidable SZ. These limited production, high performance versions are among the most coveted classic Alfa Romeos.

More than any other model, the Giulietta changed Alfa Romeo’s public image, moving away from exclusive, expensive cars to affordable thoroughbreds with world-wide appeal.

ALFA ROMEO CENTENARY

Seductive style and rewarding performance have been synonymous with the peaks of Alfa Romeo’s rich history.  From Grand Prix winners to city taxis, Alfas are renowned for being great driving machines that have always inspired a passionate following. Throughout the illustrious manufacturer’s last century, Italy’s most renowned engineers and stylists have created some of the greatest cars which are now prized in top automobile collections around the World.

From the earliest 24 HP designed in 1910 by Giuseppe Merosi for the newly formed Anonima Lombarda Fabbrica Automobili (ALFA) of Milan, to the latest Giulietta unveiled 100 years later at this year’s Geneva Motor Show, the great Italian marquee has consistently stirred the soul of automotive enthusiasts world-wide.

Alfa Romeo 

  • 1910 The first company A.L.F.A (Anonima Lombarda Fabbrica Automobili) is started at the Portello factory in Milan
  • 1911 Alfa competes for the first time in the Targa Florio.
  • 1914 Count Marco Ricotti builds the amazing streamlined 40-60hp saloon with egg-shaped bodywork by Castagna that looks like it could have landed from space.
  • 1915 Industrialist Nicola Romeo takes over the company.
  • 1918 The cars built after WW1 carry the name Alfa Romeo for the first time.
  •  1920 The first sporting Alfa, the 20/30ES is launched, with a top speed of 87mph.  Enzo Ferrari finishes second in the Targa Florio driving this remarkably fast car.
  • 1923 First four wheel brakes are fitted to the handsome 3-litre RL range. Ferrari wins the Circuit of Savio, a performance that so impressed the parents of fighter pilot Francesco Baracca that they gave Ferrari their son’s prancing horse badge. This was carried on all Alfa team cars which Ferrari managed.
  • 1924 Alfa Romeo wins the French Grand Prix with the P2 designed by a talented ex-Fiat engineer, Vittorio Jano, who would be responsible for such greats as the 6C 1750, 8C 2300 and the Tipo B.
  • 1926 Jano, one of the greatest automotive engineers, replaces chief designer Giuseppe Merosi.
  • 1927 The 6C-1500 touring car designed by Jano goes into production.
  • 1928 The supercharged 6C Gran Sport established Alfa Romeo as a premier sports car manufacturer, particularly when fitted with beautiful bodywork by Zagato.  Campari and Ramponi win the Mille Miglia, the first of 10 dominant victories in this epic Italian road race before WW2.
  • 1931 The 8C-2300, the ultimate pre-war sports car, is ready for sale. Only 188 of these exotics were made in four years and Alfa made no profit from them.
  • 1931 British aces Earl Howe and ‘Bentley Boy’ Henry Birkin win the Le Mans 24 Hours in an 8C-2300. Alfa dominated the French endurance classic in 1932,1933 and 1934.
  • 1935 The great Tazio Nuvolari beats the Mercedes-Benz and Auto Union teams to win the German Grand Prix in a Tipo B.
  • 1935 The 8C-2900 with all-independent suspension  and supercharged 180bhp engine has spectacular 120mph performance. With bodywork by Touring, this is one of the most beautiful cars of the 1930s. Just 30 were built in spider and coupe form.
  • 1950 Production policy changes result in a move to mass production on a new assembly line with the new 1900 designed by Orazio Satta. With unitary construction, this was the first Alfa to have left-hand drive.  Over 17,000 were built.
  • 1950 Giuseppe Farina becomes the first World Champion driving the unbeatable Alfetta Tipo 158, taking three Grand Prix wins at Silverstone, Bremgarten and Monza.
  • 1951 Juan Fangio is World Champion driving the Alfetta in its last season.
  • 1951 Alfa returns to sports car racing with the Disco Volante (Flying Saucer), so named after its distinctive streamlined bodywork by Touring.  The great Fangio drove a 6-cylinder version to victory in the 1953 Supercortemaggiore GP.
  • 1953 Turin coachbuilder Bertone creates the sensational BAT 5 dream car which launched a brilliant young stylist called Franco Scaglione into the limelight. The design recorded a low drag coefficient of 0.23. With scrolled body form and wild tail fins, the BAT Alfas 3,5 and 7 were the sensation of motor shows in the 1950s.
  • 1954 The Giulietta is born, a landmark in Alfa history. Designed by Orazio Satta Puliga, this twin-ohc 1290cc engine is the smallest twin-camshaft motor to be made in such quantity.  The exquisitely formed Sprint GT was the star of the Turin Show.
  • 1963 A new factory at Arese near Milan is opened to produce the Giulia in greater numbers.
  • 1966 The new Pinin Farina-styled Duetto 2-seater spider is launched and stars in the cult movie The Graduate, in which it’s driven by Dustin Hoffman.  Production continued in various forms until 1994.
  • 1967 The Tipo 33 Stradale, a road-going version of the sports prototype appears at the 1967 Monza Racing Car Show with stunning bodywork by Franco Scaglioni. Just 18 of these 160mph supercars were built by Autodelta, and were the most expensive cars in the world at that time.
  • 1971 The Alfasud is announced at the Turin Motor Show with plans for production at a new factory in the south of Italy. With brilliant styling by Giorgetto Giugiaro of Ital Design, this front-wheel drive, flat four cylinder 1186cc powered small car was a new direction for the marque.
  • 1976 The Giulietta name was revived for new, boxy saloon using Alfetta engines and transmission.
  • 1985 To celebrate Alfa Romeo’s 75th anniversary the Giulietta is replaced by the 75.
  • 1986 Alfa Romeo is sold by the government-backed IRL to Fiat.
  • 1989 Historic links with Zagato are revived with the dramatic SZ. This chunky coupé was powered by a 210bhp version of the glorious Alfa V6.
  • 1998 Alfa Romeo wins Car of the Year with the stylish 156 saloon.
  • 2001 Alfa Romeo wins Car of the Year with the 147 compact hatchback.
  • 2003 The fabulous 8C Competizione concept car is introduced at the Frankfurt Motor Show. Production starts in 2007 with a limited series of 500, which sell out immediately.
  • 2010 The evocative Giulietta name is revived for a dazzling new Alfa five door compact that is launched to great acclaim at the Geneva Motor Show.