VIDEO: Chris Harris drives the Alfa Romeo Giulia Quadrifoglio

BMW M3, News, Videos | August 22nd, 2016 by 30
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Chris Harris, British motoring journalist and new host of Top Gear, is one of the most well-respected journalists in our field. If someone wants to …

Chris Harris, British motoring journalist and new host of Top Gear, is one of the most well-respected journalists in our field. If someone wants to know how a performance car is to really drive and slide about, they ask one of two people: Jeremy Clarkson or Chris Harris. Harris has been known, over the years, to tell it like it is and even give very harsh reviews of beloved cars. So when he tested the new BMW M3-fighting Alfa Romeo Giulia Quadrifoglio, we took notice.

At first, Harris tests the Giulia Quadrifoglio on some epic and gorgeous Italian roads. On the road, he claims the Giulia to be more comfortable than the BMW M3 and that’s an important factor in choosing one of these cars. Being that they are mostly going to be driven on the road, they need to be comfortable. Plus, the BMW M3 has always been the everyday performance car, so it should be comfortable and the new one sort of isn’t. The Giulia, however, is said to be much nicer over rough pavement. It’s also quieter than the M3.

But everyone wants to know if the new Alfa Romeo is a better driver’s car than the M3. To find out, Harris takes it to the track at the home of Alfa Romeo to find out.

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There, the Giulia Quadrifoglio is rather impressive. Its 2.9 liter twin-turbocharged V6 develops a whopping 503 hp and that makes it very, very fast. Harris also claims that it might be the best turbocharged engine he’s ever driven, in terms of being responsive all the way through its powerband. Many turbocharged engines deliver all of their grunt in the mid-range and start to run out of breathe at the top of the rev range. The Alfa’s engine revs all the way out nicer than the M3’s does. It also sounds better, with a lovely, typically Alfa V6 growl.

Harris also feels that the Alfa is probably a bit quicker than the M3. But it doesn’t launch off the line like the M3, because its torque doesn’t punch you in the face immediately, like the M3 does. It needs revs, but that makes it a bit more exciting.

The six-speed manual transmission Harris had in his tester didn’t get the same rave reviews. He felt the throw was rubbery and the clutch wasn’t very good. He actually claimed that he wasn’t upset by the manual not coming to the UK, as the ZF eight-speed auto would probably be the better choice.

In terms of handling, the Alfa supposedly has a very good front end. The steering is nicely weighted and very responsive and the front-end grips very well. The back end also likes to slide quite a bit and the chassis is very well balance, so it will hold those slides nicely. Harris claims it isn’t quite as sharp as the M3, and there might be some added rubber subframe bushings to blame for that, but it’s not far off. It is most certainly fun to drive, though.

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In the end, Harris’ opinion of the car is about spot-on with what we had assumed prior to the Alfa’s release: Objectively, as a performance car, it’s not quite as good or as sharp as an M3 is. However, it’s more comfortable to drive, it’s better looking and has a lot more character. So while it is only about 8 or 9/10ths of the sports car that the M3 is, it makes up for that by being more exciting, more interesting and more comfortable. I think that when this car goes on sale, it will give M3 buyers some serious doubts. I’m a BMW fan and, personally, it would be a very tough decision for me as well.

30 responses to “VIDEO: Chris Harris drives the Alfa Romeo Giulia Quadrifoglio”

  1. Giom says:

    Not so much for me… after all these years of seeing M3/M4 on the roads, I’m still favoring its looks to the newer Alfa. It’s not only subjectively, that feeling in ones knees don’t lie…

  2. TheBingoBalls says:

    If I had money to buy, I would strongly consider the Alfa simply because it looks fresh from all the years of seeing M3’s and C63’s. But the thing that would hold me back is the reliability. The Germans may not be the poster child of reliability, but if something were to go wrong, there are a lot of resources out there that can help you out (BMW’s more than Mercedes). If something were to go wrong with the Alfa, I don’t think I could google and find detailed DIY.

    • Max says:

      Considering how many M3s and other 3ers are still on the racetracks of this world for many weekends, reliability isnt the big deal. Its amazing that all these E30, E36, E46 etc. are still running and running and running. And as u mentioned, there is always a relatively cheap and easy way to find a solution.
      Tha Alfa looks fresh maybe at the moment, but in 5 years its not interesting anymore and the M3 will shine forever ;)

  3. Oliver G. says:

    BMW and ride comfort are on opposite poles. That’s why bmw continues to lose customers. Either bmw engineers don’t have a slight understanding of making a comfortable suspension setup or they’re just blind. Honestly, if you produce passenger cars, how can you neglect such an important factor as ride comfort? I own a 1997 E39 523i (on 15-inch discs), and it’s more uncomfortable on a bit rough pavement than my friend’s 1998 VW Golf, let alone my another friend’s MB E320 on 18-inch discs. Now I surely will switch to MB, since you feel completely relaxed when travelling on any kind of pavement, unlike the rubbish bmw.

    • Max says:

      Who cares? BMW is about sheer driving pleasure and not grandmas rocking chair.. If you like driving a boat, go and buy the Merc. BMW customers usually dont want that shit, thats the reason why they buy a BMW..

      • StupidZombie says:

        BMW is too soft now, no more as hard-core, that is why I have no more interest. Looking at a Lotus of Alfa 4C now, or maybe a modified Toyota GT86 or Mazda MX-5

        • Oliver G. says:

          How can the rubbish bmw be soft? bmw is the only rubbish brand among the premium car makers. If a car ride is harsh even on an even surface, how can we call such brand anything but rubbish? And I keep askingmyself how I could own the rubbish 5 series for about 9 years. It was just a waste of time.Now I’ll drive the king of midsize premium segment – MB E-Class. Even the A-Class rides smoother than the useless 7 series.

      • Oliver G. says:

        Those customers care who realized that bmw is the only useless brand among premium car makers. Not even an acceptable level of comfort in their cars. But once they even sit in an A-Class, they sell their idiotic 7 series and swith to Mercedes-Benz. This is the ultimate truth.

      • Jo Dub says:

        I couldn’t agree more; why in the world does Oliver troll this forum?

        • Oliver G. says:

          It’s not trolling, kid. It’s anobjective review of a driver who has experience with both. Even in the most “comfortable” 7 series when you drive over small imperfections, you keep jumping up and dwn in your seat. You don’t feel such imperfections even in the C-Class. Do you call this driver enjoyment? Like I said, bmw is the only useless rubbish brand among premium car makers.

          • Jo Dub says:

            I’m a kid says Oliver G. who’s butt hurts when he drives a BMW–just because you don’t want a sports car doesn’t mean you need to TROLL BMWBLOG you @$$ hat. Take your sore ass somewhere else you freaking clown. Jesus save us from your inane nonsense–nobody buys it. Do you see Chris Harris saying stupid ass shit nobody believes. As if you run over small imperfections you’d jump in your seat… LOL GO AWAY.

          • Oliver G. says:

            And you keep driving the rubbish bmw. But one must be an absolute idiot, if they once sit in a Mecredes and after that still want to drive the idiotic bmw. Like I said, even an A-Class drives much smoother than the so-called “comfortable” 7 series.
            bmw is for those who don’t have brains.

          • Jo Dub says:

            I’m reporting you and blocking you. I think you’re making a lot of friends here.

      • Senne says:

        EXACTLY!

  4. Oliver G. says:

    Hit even a small pothole, andy ou’ll have a heart attack. Recently I’ve driven home in my 1997 E39 523i for about 170km some section of which was an undulating road and tnd a slightly coarse pavement. My neck was in severe pain because of shameful level of ride comfort, my baby was crying because of the road noise. This is what the useless bmw is all about. Then I drove along the same section in my friend’s 1998 MB E320 on 18-inch discs, and I was astonished just how smoother the Benz rode over the same road. This is what I call driving enjoyment. Bye-bye, rubbish bmw. Full stop!

  5. Matt says:

    btw. this video was available on topgear.com quite a while ago

  6. John d says:

    There is a troll that comes here, under different names, every day, to sing his strong an unconditionel love for the mercedes brand.
    Not his mom, not his dad, not some family member. No. Just for a car brand. Metal and plastic.
    I am amazed…

  7. Jo Dub says:

    Options only improve the segment!

    • Kaisuke971 says:

      I’d love to see a contender from Jaguar but apparently they don’t want it as much as i do.

      • StupidZombie says:

        I don’t see why there would be no XE-R. In case you don’t know it, the XE V6, its 90 deg. V6 block is almost exactly the same block as the V8 engine. The V6 just has two “empty” cylinders, in contrast to two “chopped-off” cylinders. So the V8 will bolt-on directly and directly connect to the gearbox, the XE V8 would not even be significantly nose heavier than V6, as it is the case with C63 compared to C43.

        • Kaisuke971 says:

          Jaguar hasn’t said a word about it yet, and we’ve never even seen a mule of a V8 XE, or one with four pipes, while the car has been out for over a year. That’s why i say it’s more likely not gonna happen, or at least not anytime soon.

  8. Oliver G. says:

    There’s a famous saying: “I love Mercedes-Benz, but unfortunately I can’t afford a one, so I have to drive a bmw”. Fortunately for me, I can afford an E-Class, and I’ll switch to Mercedes-Benz and keep laughing at stupid bmw drivers who are closely keeping their eyes on road surface instead fo road signs, since they know if their useless car faces an even slight imperfection, their eyes will jump out of their stupid face. There’s no need to even remind what car all the people and automotive world call the best car in the world: it always was and will always be Mercedes-Benz S-Class, and not the idiotic 7 series. Another fact: even a 10-year-old A-Class rides much better than the latest 7 series. So eat that, stupid bmw drivers.

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