I know our boss thinks the little Quadrofoglio is a cheater, but I still had to try it for myself. I got a short overnighter with the new Italian sedan, here’s how it went.
Somehow, someone thought it was a wise decision to let me keep a five hundred horsepower Italian sport sedan for the night. It’s not my place to question the reasonableness of that decision, just smile, nod, and say thank you. My instructions were “make good decisions”. Yes, sir. Now, because of the nature of that agreement, there were a few restrictions implied. So no burnouts, no top speed runs, and no Tokyo Doritos. But it did leave ample time for the Quadrifoglio to try and get into my head and into my pants.
I had a decent highway slog with which to get used to the Quadrifoglio, and the initial impressions weren’t stellar. The brake pedal was surprisingly touchy, and some of the interior trim, especially the indicator stalks, felt a bit cheap and flimsy. I also found it a bit odd that there was no release switch for the storage compartment in the center console, but instead you just pull it open, and it stays closed with just a friction latch. However, the AUX and USB ports inside it are lit, which made plugging my phone in much easier than in other cars.
But enough of all that. Basically the whole interior is the same as the base Giulia, aside from some badging. So if you’re interested, go sit in one at a dealer. We’re here to talk about what happens when you poke it with a stick.
The longer you’re in it, the harder it becomes to remember that there are, in fact, laws of both the legal and physical variety that you should probably listen to. You start having to try to push back against that beguiling influence. It’s like being on a prom date with a charming, yet handsy, date.
“Darrick, I told you, I don’t want to do that.”
“No…we can’t, I’m a good girl.”
“Quit it, someone will hear!”
“My mom told me not to…but that feels so good.”
Then, the next thing you know, you’re waking up in a cornfield.
The Quadrifoglio pulls relentlessly, and forces you to keep a very close eye on your speedometer. On public roads, there is never a feeling of the power waning. You never run out of grunt, just out of road, or you find the limit of your disregard for traffic laws. But unlike other cars in this spectrum, it never felt overwhelming or dangerous. The Alfa gives up about fifty horsepower to the F10 M5, but that’s not necessarily a bad thing.
The last M5 I drove was an absolute monster. Wheelspin was the rule, rather than the exception. While having your car try to crab-walk sideways at sixty miles an hour is amusing, it can be a bit more exciting than you need. So dropping the power a notch means that you now have usable levels. The Quadrifoglio never walked around, or squirmed, or complained. It would just bellow and surge onwards, like a linebacker full of GHB and tequila. I don’t watch sports, so I’m hoping that’s accurate. Will? (Sounds correct, good sportsballin – Ed.)
Normally I tend to bash all these paddle shifted automatics, as they tend to be a bit lazy, unless you’re into the double clutch PDK or DSG range. But the automatic in the Quadrifoglio, at least when in Diabolical mode (I don’t know what the letters stand for on the drive modes, so I’m guessing) snaps off upshifts with delightful precision. Each shift at wide open throttle is matched to a wonderful whomp from the exhaust. It’s like your drunken buddy congratulating you each time and slapping you on the back.
“BWAAAHHHHHH WHOMP *slap* BWAAAAAAHHHHH
The steering is direct and competent, if not overwhelming talkative. This is a sedan, keep in mind. Darty and twitchy steering is exciting on the right country lane, but is a bit tiresome on the highway commute. So giving up a bit of playfulness for an increase in composure is welcome. Composed is really the best word I can use to describe the Quadrifoglio at speed. It never felt stressed or bothered, and I got the feeling that I would never near the limits on a real road. Roll on the throttle as hard as you wish as soon as you can see all the way through the bend, then bury the brake pedal before you enter the next one. No muss, no fuss. The oversized shift paddles are right where your fingers expect every time, and will happily bang up and down all day long with nary a hesitation.
The Quadrifoglio will do absolutely everything your wicked little heart can desire, even as it urges you to give in to your most base urges. It will beguile you, flatter you, encourage you, and make your neighbors painfully jealous. As for what you do with it? Well…just be safe. And don’t let your mom find out.