Beauty, as the old adage goes, is in the eye of the beholder. It would take a pretty stone-hearted beholder, however, not to be swept off their feet by the some of the stunning pieces of automotive artwork crafted by Alfa Romeo over the years. The original 1962 Alfa Romeo Giulia is just one example of classic Italian elegance leaving its stamp on the otherwise mundane and functional remit of the utilitarian post-war European family runabout. Fast-forward several decades, and the modern day equivalent of that relic, the 2016 Giulia, has taken over the mantle by bringing seductive style and no small measure of adrenaline to Alfa’s premium saloon line-up.
Taking on the German performance saloon goliaths at their own game is undoubtedly a hefty undertaking. But not necessarily a futile one. Jaguar’s excellent compact XE brought the fight to the Teutonic trio of Audi, BMW and Mercedes, winning over hearts and minds on the way, and Alfa’s uniquely flavoured Giulia soon followed suit. Already available in several trim options, the Italian stable is now expanding the Giulia range by introducing the Alfa Romeo Giulia Veloce.
Pitched as a more affordable alternative to the awesome Mercedes-AMG C63 S-bothering Giulia Quadrifoglio, the new rear-wheel-drive Veloce variant debuts a range-first 2.0-litre turbo petrol engine. Mated to an eight-speed automatic gearbox, this new-look beating heart uses direct injection to pump out 280hp and 295lb/ft, launching the Veloce from 0 to 62mph in just 5.7 seconds and on to a top speed of 149mph. Keeping that power in check is a newly upgraded braking system with larger diameter front and rear brake discs.
Whilst these figures won’t match the flagship Quadrifoglio’s breath-taking stats, the Veloce more than fulfils its remit by bridging the gaping performance gap between the aforementioned king of the castle and the far more down to earth Giulia Speciale edition.
Talking of the Speciale, the new Alfa Romeo Giulia Veloce gets the same sports bumpers and rear diffuser with dual exhausts as its less potent stablemate. However, the shiny new set of 18-inch 10-spoke alloy wheels with black brake calipers is a range exclusive, as is the arresting Misano Blue colour scheme. Inside, sports seats upholstered in either black, tan or red Italian leather are joined by new-look aluminium shift paddles on the steering column.
On top of the dual-zone climate control and 8.8-inch Alfa Connect infotainment system, front and rear parking sensors and headlamp washers make up the Giulia Veloce’s standard equipment package.
If you’re smitten with the Giulia’s Italian charm but can’t stump up the best part of 60K to get your hands on an admittedly brilliant range-topping Quadrifoglio, the new Veloce edition could be the one for you. Already available to order, pricing for the Alfa Romeo Giulia Veloce starts at the more palatable sum of £37,935 OTR.