Italian cars are just different. Picture what comes to mind - avant garde styling, sumptuous interiors, performance engines. Sure, there's the occasional reliability issue, but that's small price to pay for automotive bliss.
I've been a fan of Italian cars since I played with Hot Wheels, but I've never owned one. I may have just found my first.
Alfa Romeo is a marque known by car aficionados across the globe. The brand's style and racing heritage is legendary. Though recent troubles have tarnished its image somewhat and it's been struggling a bit under Fiat ownership, things appear to be getting brighter.
After exiting the US market in 1995, Alfa returned in 2008 with the high-end 8C Competizione coupe and more recently debuted the 4C couple in in 2014. But the car that could really put them back on the US map is its latest four-door, rear-wheel drive sedan, the Giulia.
My colleague Rick Newman and I had the opportunity to get behind the wheel of the sportier version of the Giulia-dubbed the Giulia Quadrifoglio.
For me, it was love at first sight. The Giulia is simply bellisima. The flowing, organic lines of the car, the triangle-shaped grill, the active front aero splitter-and don't get me started on the Ferrari-based twin-turbo V-6 engine spooling 505 horsepower, which sounds like a race car engine to boot.
But at a base price of $72,000, the Giulia Quadrifoglio is quite dear. But I think it's a steal given what you get: BMW M3-like performance, high style, plus Italian-made craftsmanship (don't laugh).
For Newman, a man with more practical tastes but still an appreciation for fast, sporty cars, the Giulia is a great car, but not at that price. Was he convinced after the test drive?
Watch the video above to see if my skeptical colleague will be exclaiming ?bravo Alfa Romeo!? at the end of our ride.
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