2016 Alfa Romeo Giulia Design Review

Here it is, the long-awaited 2016 Alfa Romeo Giulia, nice and official.

2016 Alfa Romeo Giulia design review: original image from The Truth About Cars.
2016 Alfa Romeo Giulia design review: original image from The Truth About Cars.

It has the overall proportions of a BMW 3 from back in the day when these were proper compact sport saloons. The bonnet bulges for pedestrian-safety reasons. This is the Quadrifoglio version; it could look more appealing if there are versions with some more brightwork. What do you think?

Author: richard herriott

I like anchovies. I dislike post-war town planning.

30 thoughts on “2016 Alfa Romeo Giulia Design Review”

  1. As a positive, at least this break means that they have dumped the dire puckered front of current Alfas. But generally I find it disappointing – and I wasn’t expecting that much. All the many ‘artist’s impressions’ I saw were better looking, more elegant. Elegance was a reasonable adjective for the 156 and 159. Even allowing this is the QV, M3 chaser, it doesn’t really suggest any reason why I’d choose one over a Jaguar, let alone any of the obvious safe choices. The boot looks remarkably small. Do you really think this was worth the wait Sergio?

  2. Thanks for this first-look design review Richard, always a highlight for me. This wasn’t the new Alfa Romeo look I was hoping for, but I think that the new Alfa Romeo (affordable cars with a fun-to-drive ethos, distinctive style and a sense of inventiveness to the engineering – basically post-ww2 populist Alfa Romeo) I have been longing for is actually coming out of Hiroshima in a variety of shapes and sizes wearing Mazda badges. I didn’t need rear drive at all costs and a neo-Hoffmeister kink to the C-pillar to decide that Alfa Romeo was alright.

    As I mentioned previously, I’d like to see a Giulia Super that has simpler silver-grey alloy wheels, a more workaday tyre aspect ratio and some chrome brightwork, along with a dialed-down level of lower bodywork addenda and engine venting. It would have a four cylinder turbo engine (not necessarily the full-on 1750TB from the Giulietta QV, that could be saved for the TI) and a nice interior available in a range of colours. Perhaps some kind of large glass roof or opening sunroof as well, so hardly the manly-man’s tail-wagging mass-optimised M-car brawler that was shown today. Although the TI would be the basis for the WTCC car anyway so the QV will be left as a bit of a poseur’s performance car.

    As Sean says, I’d probably buy a Jaguar XE if it came down to it. I really like Italian cars but Mr Tata’s team have done a better job winning my confidence than Mr Marchionne’s plucky band of underdogs have (Sorry Harald, generally love your work but you really shouldn’t have picked on the 164). In the meantime, please give someone in the Modena skunkworks a contact phone number for Pininfarina and a picture of the 2uettotanta.

  3. I take Richard’s point about pleasantly compact proportions, but it does look old fashioned. It’s hard to think that they’ve laboured 10 years over a 159 successor. Feel another series coming on Eoin? Also, it seems to me a mistake to announce it with the boy-racer version. It suggests lack of confidence with the basic shape, which I fear is justified.

    1. JLR could be accused of doing a similar thing with the XE – showing the (current) top line ‘S’ version first before offering images of the rep’s special version. Having seen the XE in the flesh, it’s obvious why they did that, but if a design doesn’t really ‘hang’ in basic unadorned form, surely that suggests something’s lacking, no?

      Re: Giulia, I refuse to even acknowledge its existence until I see evidence of them going down production lines in quantity. The whole thing reeks of Eau du Bahar if you ask me.

  4. Stale seems to sum up the car. Is it more stale than a Jaguar XE though? The entire class is very uninviting stylewise. Mazda are making the driver’s car and one has to take or leave their styling.

    1. I suspect BMW might disagree with you about who builds the driver’s car in the class, but do agree about the class lacking innovative styling. That needn’t be a bad thing with a three-box saloon but I’m getting tired of the BMWesque profile to the side windowline (DLO?) on the Giulia and the XE. Audi don’t seem to be suffering saleswise for having a different windowline on their saloons, and they’re just up the Autobahn from Munich. But without deep financial reserves and a history of failing to meet market expectations I suppose we can’t blame Alfa Romeo and Jaguar for erring on the cautious side to start with.

    2. Sean, that’s a fair point. But perhaps Mr or Ms aspirational lifestyle junior executive needs to have the car appear superficially similar enough to a BMW that they can reassure their fellow aspirational lifestyle junior executives that they’ve got a proper car, with just a hint of edginess to stand slightly out from the crowd. At least for the 10 seconds or so before talk returns to property prices and ignoring each other to check their smartphones.

    3. Quite right Marky Boy … oh, I’ll have another pint of Stella please … now where was I? Yes, I remember JC on TG back in the day when it was worth watching before that bloody ginger haired disc jockey got the job saying that, apparently, the Hoffburger kink on all Beemers is there for aerodynamic reasons. You see the UDM (that stands for absolute driving ,,,, er. mm mechanism by the way) doesn’t have a thing on it that isn’t there for logical reasons to give the best …. er …. interface as they say, between man and machine in perfect harmony. Do you know if they had a straight door edge that would add 0.2 seconds to the 0-60 time… Fact old boy. I wouldn’t even consider a car that didn’t have the old kink. Oh yes, there’s a lot people don’t know about the world of motoring. For example, did you know that Bugatti means ‘violent wind’ in Sanskrit … or maybe Urdu. Oh yes. Absolute copper bottomed fact! Refill Mark?

    4. Sorry mate, what was that? Just checking facebook. Your round is it? Cheers.

  5. Richard

    No comment on the base of the A-pillar and how it joins witht the front wing? Are you assuming we already know what you’re going to say, or are you waiting for close-up pictures?

  6. Eoin – yes, you are right to be cautious. Maybe they´ll build a few like Saab did with the 9-5 so Martin Buckley can write a wistful “what if” story just prior to his retirement.

  7. My twopenneth is that the designers spent far too long staring at the 3 Series pinned to their Inspiration Board, as the stance, proportions and details are near identical. Check out the panel fits along the flank; they’re the same as a 3 Series. Ditto the top of the front wing panels where door meets tumblehome meets bonnet. This is outrageously poor from a marque with years of its own design cues to plunder.

  8. I am a bit late to this debate and seem to have no further original thoughts to add. I seem to have had a very similar set of thoughts to Eoin. And, I am pleased to see we have another Mazda fan!

  9. I think the front part is actually quite good. The slim headlights and the vertically oriented ‘scudetto’ (grille) make a good contrast. And while the bulging bonnet may be dictated by pedestrian safety, it actually looks good and powerful. Too bad that what starts good is entirely flawed as soon as the A-pillar is passed. There’s just too much BMW copy. Interesting that you mention the small boot, Sean. This is something I quite like. It makes the car look more sporty and compact, and despite having RWD proportions, it doesn’t look too back-heavy. (Does it have RWD anyway?)

    1. Simon. I agree about the proportions looking well with the small boot. But, bearing in mind it really is supposed to be RWD, there won’t be much luggage space which, in the end, would surely cost sales.

      I look forward to seeing it in, say, blue without the QV stuff. If it really is a return to Alfa’s old driving characteristics with 50/50 weight distribution, etc, then I suspect that, in the world most of us inhabit, the lower spec models will be most rewarding.

  10. Wait! I think I have thought of something new (never original) to write on what must be the most commented upon car on the tinternet at present! Does anyone else find the font/ script of the GIULIA badge on the boot to be quite wrong? Somehow, it looks too thick-set and bold for this car. I also think it is positioned in the wrong place, too high up and prominent – more like an old Mk IV Cortina, sorry CORTINA, than an Alfa. Given how current-generic is the styling of the rear, maybe FCA felt the need to assert an identity?

    1. I agree SV. It looks utterly wrong. FCA have thrown the baby out with the bathwater in more than one area with this announcement. More to come on that subject…

    2. Sorry, not visible on this site …. You’ll have to try TWBCM’s site (other car magazine sites are available).

    3. Yes, I feel like both the mild serif typeface they’ve used on the revised Alfa Romeo badge and the techno-edgy GIULIA badge are poor form as pieces of graphic design – which is weird because I think FCA has been very good at this sort of thing previously in the absence of compelling products to sell. They mustn’t have had a graphic designer in the mythical Modena skunkworks? The problem is that they probably feel that Maserati owns the angular linked script name badge look that Alfa had been using on the current Giulietta, and didn’t want to use the looping linked Alfa Romeo script for the name either. Or maybe the odd-looking Mito badge was a hit and they’ve decided to just throw convention out the window?

  11. The badge with the individually styled font fits in with other recent Alfas as well as with some Fiats (think of that strange “Punto.” badge). The font is bold and not italian-elegant, which can also be said of the car itself. But there is still a mismatch between the round, muscular body and the almost 1980s computer style letters.

    By the way, I had another look at the front, having looked at more pictures. And sadly, I have to revise my judgment. The lower grilles are too bold, and ugly, too, with these messy plastic parts inside. And has anyone noticed the strange vents in the bonnet? Hopes here are clearly on the lower spec versions, should the car ever come to market. Who needs 510 hp anyway?

  12. I always found the original Giulia’s rear script inappropriately florid. As with these things, it’s now part of the package, but it seemed at odds with the car at the time.

    I actually find the rear “Maserati” badge rather clumsy and clunky.

  13. Ugh. It looks as if the amorphous Infiniti Q50 had sex with an M3, producing a cross-eyed child with tacky, aftermarket-looking (or Lexus-looking) plastics glued to the bumpers.

    I’m sure it will sell like hot cakes just to make us cringe on every corner.

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