Born from an extremely ambitious vision, the modern Alfa Romeo Giulia plunged its creators into a “trap” where compromise and mediocrity had no place, making the choice of the best elements imperative regardless of cost in time and financial resources.
A small group of engineers and designers walk briskly through the winding corridors of the Mirafiori industrial complex in Turin. Between machine shops, offices, warehouses and rest areas, they are directed to a space that is reserved exclusively for them. The rest of the employees look at them with jealousy, perhaps with suspicion, since it is known that the president of the company has chosen them one by one for an extremely important – and at this stage still secret – mission. The door marked “952” is the last thing from this hidden world that the “ordinary mortals” of Mirafiori can see, before the chosen ones close it decisively behind them.
In the early 2010s, Alfa Romeo had already spent two decades without a mass-produced rear-wheel drive saloon, following the completion of production of the legendary 75 in 1992. The brand in the meantime had made significant strides with front-wheel drive models. such as the 156, 147 and Brera / Spider, but the rear-wheel drive – inextricably linked to sportiness and racing – could not be represented exclusively by the special purpose 8C Competizione. It was necessary to create a new base that would express all the traditional values of Alfa Romeo, in style, technology and driving pleasure. A mission for a few who would have the talent and knowledge, but also the freedom to use them as they would like. A rare and dreamy case in the world of compromising car, which could develop into the perfect trap for participants. The demands from the brand and much more from its fanatical followers did not leave escape points for those involved even in the slightest mistake.
Isolated from the rest of the company and completely focused on their purpose, the team of “project 952” set as a basic principle, that the parts of the new platform should evolve based on the top version and mainly be common regardless of the engine or the model equipment level. That way, the top performance and especially the feel for the driver would be flawless throughout the range. Low weight and high torsional rigidity, elements that often determine the performance of a chassis, should be combined with careful adjustments throughout the mechanical parts, to offer another feature that is crucial for driving pleasure and safety. Progressiveness. The new set should offer top performance, lightning fastness in commands and at the same time friendliness,
From the design department and the simulations on the Balocco test track and back again, the team soon came to the conclusion that there was no short cut to reach its goal. Extensive use of lightweight materials such as aluminum and carbon fiber parts was imperative, as was the choice of innovative solutions at every level. For example, the creation in collaboration with Brembo of a new brake system “brake by wire” with top performance and less than half the weight compared to conventional systems. The carbon fiber drive shaft, the Alfa Link suspension and the “diet” in every possible component became a reality without cost compromises. The Giorgio platform began to take shape, with painstaking tests yielding results and the first application in the “952” model, the new Giulia,
The presentation of the new Giulia, initially with the top version Quadrifoglio Verde and the bi-Turbo V6 510 hp engine, among other things, expressed the team’s strategy to implement all the solutions that evolved throughout the model range. From advanced electronic systems and suspension, to the 8-speed automatic transmission and carbon fiber drive shaft, each Giulia has a common ground. Whether with the 2-litre Turbo 200-horsepower gasoline engine, or the 2.2-litre Turbodiesel, or with the top V6, no Giulia is compatible with anything less than what the select team of Alfa Romeo has chosen and developed.
Today, the Giorgio platform has justified the agony and effort of its creators, being the basis for Giulia and Stelvio, but also an important asset for the brand with multiple potentials within the Stellantis Group. The “trap” into which Alfa Romeo engineers fell, the heart of the car being common, is the key element that allows all versions of the Giulia to offer the ultimate driving feel of an Alfa Romeo, whether it is the basic version (2.0T 200hp), or the top (QV 2.9T 510hp), or even the collectible GTA and GTAm.