1750, VELOCE … Two names which already promise very well in the world of Alfa Romeo. The Alfa Romeo Giulietta VELOCE that we have for a test drive has this two names. This new facelift comes close stylistically to the Giulia and also involve the name change from “Quadrifoglio Verde” to “VELOCE” (Italian for fast).
The the name changes but not the substance; under the hood of the VELOCE we find the brilliant 1750 turbo petrol engine with 240 hp which also equips the 4C, in conjunction with the double clutch TCT gearbox. What are the differences between the other models and the VELOCE?
The top range Giulietta VELOCE is aesthetically different from the other models but without ending up on the vulgar. Side skirts, extractor, red trim on the front and rear bumpers, headlights with carbon look aesthetic, and the big red brake callipers enclosed in the beautiful 18′ alloy wheels make the Giulietta VELOCE extremely attractive in appearance. A great mix that manages to emphasize the already very successful line of Giulietta, which has become one of the most desirable cars in the hotly contested C segment.
The interior of the Giulietta VELOCE receive less customization than the outside. The design and ergonomics are excellent, most of the functions are collected in 6.5-inch UConnect system coupled to the excellent Bose audio system. Always on the screen is possible, through the Alfa Performance, to have a series of digital measuring instruments able to provide real-time information concerning the vehicle and to record statistics on the smartphone.
The feeling of quality is generally good, the red leather seats are beautiful, comfortably accommodate occupants of any stature both front and rear. Perhaps too much hard plastics on the dashboard and on the door panels, in particular in the locations where it is not present the carbon look finish. An option to definitely take into consideration is the glass sunroof, aesthetically beautiful to look from outside and inside the cabin.
I can not resist much to look only. I want to drive. I sit in front of the steering wheel, electric seat adjustments allow you to find the right position in an instant. The steering wheel is adjustable for both height and depth, so easy to find the perfect position. To want to be picky, it would be necessary that the steering wheel had an extra inch to hike deep and an inch less than the crown diameter for an even sportier position.
Finally turning the engine on I am expecting quite a roar but I remain disappointed. The 1750 at least looks like a diesel. I try to move the car slowly; same effect. I want to check if is really “VELOCE” in the straight so I decide to stop driving gently and going full attack. Wonderful! Passed 2,500 rpm you will hear a fantastic sound from the engine, varying shades depending on the pressure on the gas rather than the revs.
The mind goes straight to the glorious Alfa Romeo DOHC and its great suction noise. This is the reason because is surprisingly quiet at low speeds. When we hear an engine there are two main noise sources: the aspiration, which moves generally of medium frequencies and the exhaust, for the low frequencies. Create a loud exhaust sound is easy, you can do even with any after market ones.
For aspiration (the real engine noise) is another story. On older carburetted engines, as well as the Alfa Romeo DOHC they put the noise pipes in place of the air filter. Today on the Giulietta VELOCE this system is called Intake Engine Sound. Having a good sound in a turbo engine is quite difficult and I must say that the result on the VELOCE is great. Sound enters into the cockpit really well. All this without affecting the comfort, which remains excellent at constant speed and at low speeds. From the outside the Giulietta VELOCE is loud too, you can hear a loud sound at every gear change.
As I continue to enjoy the beautiful music that comes into the driver’s seat driving a twisty road. I move the DNA hand lever in Dynamic in order to have a more responsive car, with less electronic controls, an heavier steering, pre-fill brakes (effect almost unnoticeable) and the Q2 electronic differential turned on. We deliberately chose a tortuous mountain route rather tight, to verify the aglity of the Giulietta VELOCE, often critical point of the longest sporting 4 meters with no low center of gravity.
Plus, we are in a road similar to the MiTo VELOCE test drive in order to have a good comparison between the two cars. The Giulietta VELOCE is surprisingly agile, more enjoyable and also more effective than the MiTo. The gearbox seems faster, it fits perfectly the 1750. Even the brakes are more powerful, while having a too long pedal travel for a sports car. Compared to its predecessor, namely the Alfa Romeo 147, there is a step back in terms of suspension but the result, unless you really push yourself to the limit, the handling is great.
Understeering is minimized with the Q2 electronic differential that does a great job. The car has an excellent traction despite the front-wheel drive and the great power. For a car like this maybe a more communicative steering wheel would be appreciated.
Let’s talk about the engine. The 1750 is always ready to push. You can push it to high revs. The series of turns follow one to another quickly and the driving pleasure offered by the Giulietta VELOCE is remarkable.
This car has a fantastic compromise between comfort and drive pleasure during a sporty driving. In conclusion, given that it is not a pure sport car, is an excellent vehicle to address the any type of trip. When you want, his car also also allows you to go very “VELOCE”.
Text: Leonardo Stefani
Photos: Edoardo Mascalchi, Marco Dellisanti