Senin, 17 Oktober 2011
The Alfa Romeo Giulietta Cloverleaf
The Alfa Romeo Giulietta Cloverleaf (in Italian "Quadrifoglio Verde") is the top spec Giulietta model. The car has the same great styling as the other models in the Giulietta range. Except that for the Cloverleaf version Alfa Romeo has added some special bits and trim elements including; optional 18 inch wheels, discreet chrome trim, and distinctive green-on-white Cloverleaf badges on the front wings. Overall it's one of the more sophisticated, grown-up and stylish designs in the hot hatch segment.
The Alfa Romeo Giulietta Cloverleaf is powered by a soulful, turbocharged 1.8 litre 4-cylinder engine with direct injection. It produces 232 horsepower @ 5,500 rpm and 251 lb-ft of torque from just 1,900 rpm. Top speed is 150 mph, and the 0-60 mph sprint is dealt with in just 7.2 seconds.
The Giulietta Cloverleaf features Alfa's DNA system which offers different dynamic settings for the drivetrain and chassis. When set in 'Normal' mode the throttle response is slower and the car is a bit more relaxed overall - almost too relaxed. Set in 'Dynamic' the car comes to life. Throttle response is sharpened, the brakes firmed up and the steering made weightier. The electronic EQ2 differential also changes its settings, and kicks in to counter understeer with more vigor.
The transmission is handled by a slightly uninspiring 6-speed gearbox which sends the power to the front wheels.
Dynamically the Alfa Romeo Giulietta Cloverleaf isn't near the top of its class. It can cover ground easily and comfortably, but it's more of a tourer than a back road racer. The suspension setup offers a smooth, quiet ride, but during cornering it also offers a degree of sportiness. Unfortunately, and like so many other contemporary Alfa's, the handling isn't anywhere near as engaging as it should be.
Styling has always been one of Alfa Romeo's strong points. And the Giulietta Cloverleaf certainly doesn't let the side down in this department. The design, like the MiTo GTA, is influenced by the Alfa Romeo 8c Competizione. Alfa's designers have done a fantastic job of translating the 8c supercar's shape into a 5-door hatchback. The hidden rear door handles cleverly disguise the rear doors and help contribute to the clean overall profile. Up front the curvaceous front bumper is nicely matched to the triangular shield-like grille. The jewel-like headlights are also a thing of beauty. In the hot hatch market there's a long list of cars which - while dynamically gifted - will also make you look like an idiot thanks to the unnecessarily gaudy graphics and oversized air intakes. This isn't one of them.
If you're looking for a supremely dynamic and focused hot hatch then the Giulietta Cloverleaf probably isn't the car for you. However if you're in the market for a family-friendly car which looks classy and appealing, and at the same time offers up some fun in the corners and a degree of grunt up front, this is well worth taking a look at.