2017 Alfa Romeo Giulia Ti AWD Review — Rolling the Dice in Your Commute (**************************************************).

2017 Alfa Romeo Giulia Ti black front quarter

2017 Alfa Romeo Giulia Ti AWD

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()2.0-liter turbocharged inline four, SOHC (280 horsepower @ 5,200 Utility; 306 lb-ft @ 2000 Utility)

Eight-speed automatic, all-wheel disk

23 town / 31 street / 26 combined (EPA Rating, MPG)

10.5 city / 7.7 highway / 9.2 combined (NRCan Rating, L/100km)

22.8 mpg [10.3 L/100km] (Observed)

Base Price: $42,990 (U.S.) / $54,890 (Canada)

As Tested: $51,490 (U.S.) / $62,540 (Canada)

Prices include $995 destination charge in the USA and $1,895 for destination and A/C tax in Canada

There’s a collection of curves on my route home which may be an absolute joy when traffic is minimal. Beyond a kink on a rise, the road drops fifty feet in a right curve away. For a few moments, I forget the previous nine hours — although it is not a quarter of a mile.

While my normal vehicle for this road is my trusty minivan, a suitable driver’s car makes the route considerably more rewarding. A drive can make me ignore the quirks and idiosyncrasies of the automobile beneath me beyond making me disregard the strain of a day at the office.

Quirks and idiosyncrasies — in roughly equal measure with solid driving dynamics —  have been the hallmarks of virtually every Alfa Romeo since at least the Truman administration, meaning the 2017 Alfa Romeo Giulia Ti has a lot of heritage to live up to. Now that Chrysler is part of the Alfa Romeo parentage, will the Imported From Detroit vibe reflect in this sports sedan that is imported? Or will the Giulia remain, for worse or better, a Italian?

2017 Alfa Romeo Giulia Ti black profile

Ace in the Hole

I’ll admit to being disappointed when I realized the Alfa Romeo being delivered was not the twin-turbo V6-powered Quadrifoglio, but the tame, four cylinder-equipped Giulia Ti. Tame might not be the ideal word, but however, because the base engine 280 horsepower shames other non invasive sports sedans.

()BMW can just muster 180 horses by the 2.0-liter turbo at the 320I, and also 248 hp in exactly the same four at the 330i. Audi’s A4 manages 190 hp in base trim, and also 252 hp with the uprated four-cylinder. Mercedes-Benz provides 241 horsepower at the C300, equivalent to the energy out of Lexus’ IS 200t. Infiniti?   208 hp from the Q50.) Just Cadillac strategies the Italian together with all the 271 hp produced by the ATS’s turbo 2.0-liter.

()The nature of the turbocharged four-cylinder is similar to many Alfa Romeo engines I’ve experienced. Rather than a sonorous sweep till some redline, the torquey engine runs out of steam as the needle glides into the best, using a rev limiter cutting the pleasure in 6200 racket. Again, unlike any other Italians, the exhaust note is quite dull.

()2017 Alfa Romeo Giulia Ti black front

Alfa Romeo claims a 0-60 time of 5.1 seconds for the Giulia Ti — though I haven’t concluded whether that figure is for the rear-drive model( or the non drive car I examined. My instrumented testing (with a Racelogic Driftbox GPS timing program) led to constant 5.8-second 060 dashes — nevertheless fast, surely, although I would really like to try out the rear-drive model for comparison.

I was a little flummoxed by the “DNA” selector dial supporting the shift lever. While I’m accustomed to a drive mode selector, the D, N, and a nomenclature encouraged me to recall my 10th grade Latin classes for acronyms resembling the Italian language.

2017 Alfa Romeo Giulia Ti black rear

Imagine my embarrassment once I realized the modes are Dynamic, Normal, and All-weather.

Double Down

2017 Alfa Romeo Giulia Ti black rear quarter

Much of my driving, obviously, was spent tuned to the Dynamic mode, which holds gears until redline and lets you bounce off the rev limiter while utilizing the automatic transmission’s manual mode. On that note, the manual mode is just one of the few I’ve seen that shifts in the “proper” pattern — that is, forward to downshift, backward to upshift. It’s a motion for a transmission, and shows that FCA engineers did some homework to create the Giulia appeal.

Yeah, a suitable manual transmission would be better, but it’s difficult to justify an option that appeals only to maybe 20 enthusiasts who will actually purchase a car so equipped, together with scores of journalists (like me) who beg for it but refuse to lay down their own money.

2017 Alfa Romeo Giulia Ti front seat

When driving in Normal mode, shifts are as soft as you’d expect from any $50k near-luxury sedan. The Giulia works nicely as a commuter, since the suspension soaks up Ohio’s road imperfections admirably. Its seats proved reasonably comfortable, with adequate support and adjustability, though I’d have preferred a longer thigh bolster.

The kids were happy spending time in the rear seat, with no complaints — the high center tunnel helped keep the overly clingy eight-year-old on her side, away from her brooding older sister.

2017 Alfa Romeo Giulia Ti rear seat

Bust

I dislike the start/stop system. My week with the Alfa Romeo was a particularly warm one, hovering near triple digits, though not as warm (118 degrees! ) as the car’s dash readout would have you believe.

I’m not convinced that the temp gauge is accurate. It is Ohio. #alfaromeogiulia

A post shared by Chris Tonn (@tonn_chris) on Jun 16, 2017 at 1:-LRB-************************************************************************************************)pm PDT

The Giulia’s restart process is unlike any I’ve experienced in a car with a fuel-saving start/stop system. Upon restart, the HVAC blower shuts off for a few seconds, which is unpleasant when attempting to combat radiant heat and a sun from a jet black sedan.

The parking assist is equally annoying. There are occasions when I’ll sit in the vehicle with the engine gathering my wits before subjecting myself to another day at work — running after parking, or negotiating a truce between tweens . When activated, the Giulia’s system emits a warning any time something comes near the front bumper — no matter if the transmission is in Park or not. Therefore, the Giulia chimes away annoyingly until I turn off the ignition or deactivate the system.

Which means I deactivated both the park assist and the start/stop every time that I started the vehicle. It is a shame both systems are so intrusive they can’t be used.

2017 Alfa Romeo Giulia Ti infotainment

The infotainment system, likewise, isn’t great. It’s close, although it is not as bad as the hated generation iDrive. The knob requires clicks, pushes, and turns to control audio and navigation, but navigating the multiple layers of menus takes your eyes off the street for time. Thumb controls on the steering wheel help, but too many functions require the control knob.

Sound quality, on the other hand, is quite good with the optional Harmon Kardon audio system, though I found myself suffering through songs I’d rather not listen to simply because setting radio presets or SiriusXM stations was such a chore.

2017 Alfa Romeo Giulia Ti center stack

With Fiat Chrysler’s excellent Uconnect infotainment systems available from the corporate parts bin, I’m baffled why this system exists. Heck, even the old, low-resolution uConnect screen in my 2012 Town & Country performs more intuitively.

And, yeah, there are panel gap difficulties. See this hasty mobile phone pic of the gap between the fender, hood, and fascia.

2017 Alfa Romeo Giulia Ti panel gap

Hold ’em, or Fold ’em?

I’ve always been one to read a whole lot about a excellent number of subjects. I’m told that before my parents were awake I head out to acquire the newspaper. After I was supposed to be asleep, so that I could read, I’d hide books. And I quickly graduated from Dr. Seuss to Road & Track, thus my appearance at this fine publication rather than some place like Feline Headwear Weekly.

I’d often seek out back issues of my favourite magazines, either by writing letters or stalking my neighborhood library. Most fascinating were new car reviews published in the ’60s and ’70s, which I assumed were an unvarnished assessment of vehicles from the great old days. I was amazed at the positive reviews that casually mentioned, in passing, the need to replace ignition points during testing, or “only” getting stranded once by some magnificent exotic.

As I marveled at the relative reliability exhibited by then-modern cars in the mid-1980s, I often wondered about the issues road test editors experienced that didn’t make it into print. As my dad had an MGB on jackstands in the garage I knew those problems first hand, but I knew that future writers wouldn’t have such experiences.

2017 Alfa Romeo Giulia Ti instruments

In 1984, though, I didn’t know Alfa Romeo would eventually leave the US market, only to return decades later with the Giulia. The writers of today get to go through the uncertainty. Past the start/stop funkiness, and the panel gaps, I didn’t experience any problems.

Maybe I was blessed, but no auto completely redeems its many quirks such as the 2017 Alfa Romeo Giulia does. Ten minutes on any two-lane had me grinning like an idiot. Four hours to southeastern Ohio’s epic backroads needed me contemplating on turning into a home, rolling the dice. I didn’t need to provide the Giulia backagain.

The Alfa Romeo Giulia isn’t a rational option. It’s the car that speaks to the gearhead within who needs to choose transportation that is respectable. It’s for the driver who needs just a little excitement from the uncertainty of whether you will escape the garage, or whether from the drive itself.

2017 Alfa Romeo Giulia Ti black

[Images: © 2017 Chris Tonn]

July 19, 2017

Stevenson Motorsports goes for Infrequent IMSA double in Lime Rock (**********************).

Stevenson Motorsports at Canadian Tire Motorsports Park earlier this month became the first group to win the IMSA Continental Tire SportsCar Challenge along with IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship race in exactly the exact same racetrack on exactly the exact same event weekend.

The first effort was achieved on July 8-9, once the group’s new No. 57 Chevrolet Camaro GT4.R at the palms of co-drivers Robin Liddell and Matt Bell shot the entire and Grand Sport (GS) class success in Saturday’s Continental Tire Challenge race, followed closely by Andrew Davis and Lawson Aschenbach winning the GT Daytona (GTD) course at Sunday’s WeatherTech Championship race aboard the No. 57 Audi R8 LMS GT3.

Stevenson was the final group to achieve a similar feat, winning the Continental Tire Challenge and also Grand-Am Rolex Sports Car Series races at Road Atlanta at 2013. Turner Motorsport includes got the Continental Tire Challenge-Rolex Series dual on its résumé that is rushing.

(**).”Clearly, you have got to operate two cars to acquire one in every category, which we have not done in a little while,” says Stevenson Motorsports Team Manager Mike Johnson. “Together with the Audi, it is remarkable how many times we have only been so near.

“[With the Camaro] it was totally excellent. We joked, saying, ‘When one is won by us the Audi’s likely to acquire one right.’ We simply didn’t know that it was likely to function 24 hours ”

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Robin Liddell and Matt Bell gave Stevenson Motorsports that the GS course win at the Continental Tire SportsCar Challenge race at Canada. Photo from LAT PHOTOGRAPHIC

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Johnson and the Stevenson team feel as they’ve acquired a solid chance to play a starring part in the two races and also have another terrific weekend at Lime Rock.

(**).”In a GS perspective, Pratt & Miller and Chevrolet have consistently assembled a Terrific car for Lime Rock,” Johnson said ” It creates a good deal of downforce, it has got great power coming (works) and exceptional braking.

“Afterward an Audi acquired (that the Lime Rock GTD race) this past season and we had an extremely quick Audi this past year. In GTD, I believe we believe powerful. It can earn a great deal of downforce.”

“It’s all of the capability to occur again. But like anyone that does so, there is a hundred things you have got to perform on a weekend and now you have got to perform all them in case you would like a shot at winning at least one of these races”

Johnson pointed out a couple of events recently — and within the last few years because the group’s 2015 Continental Tire Challenge GS-championship winning period and following hiatus in the series before the debut of the new Camaro GT4.R in May in Circuit of The Americas — at which a single or more of the hundred things did not go exactly perfect.

(**).”You have got to keep in mind that Mosport arrived a week later we had a dual DNF (in Watkins Glen International),” he explained. “We had the engine neglect 20 moments to go in 1 car and we all had a motorcycle issue having three minutes to move at the Audi.

(**).”If you continue having these weekends only fall apart in the last minute youpersonally, it is just so crushing. In Detroit we had been top, obtained a 20-minute guide, full-course yellowish, come from the pits at fourth and also possess an axle neglect together 20 to move.

“It is awesome how strong our staff is and the way (owners) John and Susan Stevenson they do not ever get rid of faith. You are like, whenever you have those DNFs that are dual, ‘What do you do? We can not expect anything to work’ Subsequently, bam-bam from nowhere wins. It brings you back to, ‘OK, we understood we could do so. ”’

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IMSA Saturday program

The Continental Tire Challenge two-hour race starts (**************************************).:-LRB-*********************************) a.m. ET, followed closely by the two-hour, 40-moment WeatherTech Championship Northeast Grand Prix in 3 pm ET. There is also a 45-moment (****************).IMSA Prototype Challenge introduced by Mazda race between, beginning in 12:-LRB-*****************************) p.m. ET. The Continental Tire Challenge race is going to be streamed live on IMSA.com and will be televised on FS1 in (*************************************).:-LRB-********************************) a.m. ET on Sunday, July 30.

(****************).TV: The WeatherTech Championship race will be televised live at 3 pm on FS2, combined with IMSA Radio sound and in-car detectors on IMSA.com. There’ll be live IMSA Radio policy on RadioLeMans.com along with SiriusXM Radio.

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