WE RARELY TAKE note of Nurburgring lap times when judging a car: a) because the only person to derive actual pleasure from them is the test driver (believe us, we’ve been round the German race course in a Jag XK and nobody cares more about that story than we do) and b) when did a track record ever mean anything to someone who solely uses their vehicle to commute to work? However, when we were sat behind the wheel of one of the most gorgeous and fun vehicles we’ve enjoyed in a long while, and its two turbo chargers kicked in to accompany a switch from third to fourth gear with a palpable jolt, that seven-minute, 32 second production saloon Nurburg accomplishment did play on our mind as it will yours. “I’m not surprised it can do it at that pace,” you’ll think to yourself as you accelerate out of a corner at speed and the rear wheels go for a little spin. We’re talking about the stunning Misano Metallic Blue (in our case) Alfa Romeo Quadrifoglio and how we had such a laugh driving it around Dubai, we couldn’t wait to tell you about it for two simple reasons. The first being the noise it produces and the second, the power.
What about that noise?
First some history. Why is this car called a Quadrifoglio (four-leaf clover)? Well, it has a representation of the lucky charm on the front left-hand side to pay homage to track records and race victories from Alfa Romeo and the drivers of the past. When Ugo Sivocci won the Targa Florio in 1923, his four-leaf clover crossed the line before he did. Since then, the Quadrifoglio has accompanied Alfa Romeo on its most legendary victories: from the P2 at the World Championship in 1925 to the Formula 1 World Championship with the ‘Alfetta’ 158 and 159 in 1950 and 1951 respectively. This vehicle makes the same noise as any of those racecars. Believe us. A bellowing roar of a sound, harmonised by the exhaust spitting fury, it is a symphony to which you’re going to want a ticket. Simply addictive.
And the power?
A 2.9-litre V6 bi-turbo engine creates a whopping 505hp and 600Nm of torque. In a compact saloon this is an insane amount of power, which has raised a smile through recall alone. An eight-speed gearbox to shift through harnesses this force well. We found the steering wheel paddles pleasurable to use, and the various driving modes really do make a difference with their levels of assistance. Stick it in race (a feature which we can only recommend on a deserted road) and every electronic aid is turned off. It’s just you and the car and a lot of sideways action. We think you’ll also agree a 0-100km/h time of just under four seconds and a top speed of a smidge over 300km/h are impressive.
Anything you didn’t like?
As with any vehicle there were a few minor niggles. An alarm to draw attention to the fact you’re poking out of your lane is annoying, but can be switched off and the rear-parking camera is sufficient, but not mid-blowing. That’s about it. Reports have said that over longer tests the old reliability question can rear its head, but during our four-day rigorous tangos nothing appeared to suggest any issues.
What else did you like?
The way it looks, the way it fires up (start button on the steering wheel) and the way it makes you feel when that blast of power hits you like a tonne of bricks. The Guilia Quadrifoglio is definitely one of a kind. Not only does it break records, it broke our hearts when we had to return it.
Engine: 2.9-litre V6
0-100km/h: Under 4secs
Price: $98,000 – 110,000