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2016 Alfa Romeo Giulia: Up to 510 Horsepower

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The 2016 Alfa Romeo Giulia was announced on June 24, 2015, with the company only showing the top-end Quadrifoglio (Italian for four-leaf clover), which boasts 510 horsepower in Europe and 505 horsepower in the United States. It's due in midyear 2016 in the U.S., as a 2017 model.

It's powered by a twin-turbo V6, based on the Ferrari V8; the Quadrifoglio is only rear wheel drive, with a manual transmission. More commonplace Giulias, with 2-liter, 276 horsepower engines, will have a wider range of engines and all wheel drive.

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The Quadrifoglio accelerates slightly faster than its German competitors, which the company attributes to weight reduction - an Alfa Romeo trademark as the brand showcases FCA's composites research. Fuel consumption is, according to the company, "surprisingly low," partly thanks to cylinder deactivation, and partly due to the light weight.

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The $62,000 BMW M3, which uses a 425-horse twin-turbo six, has a 0-62 mph time of 4.1 seconds. The Mercedes/AMG C63 S has a twin-turbo 4-liter V8, and claims 0-62 in 4.0 seconds. The Alfa Romeo, with its weight savings, claims a zero-to-60 of 3.8 seconds and 0-62 of 3.9 seconds. The top speed is 191 mph.

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The engine is a 90-degree design, using chain-driven dual overhead cams, and both intake and exhaust have continuous camshaft phasing; all 24 valves are actuated with hydraulic lash adjusters. The right bank has mechanical cylinder deactivation. There are two turbochargers, both single-scroll IHI designs integrated into the manifold, with water-charge air coolers. Side mounted direct fuel injection has a peak pressure of 200 bar.

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The Giulia achieved Alfa Romeo's traditional 50/50 weight distribution. Future Giulias will have a new 2.0 liter direct-injected turbocharged engine with 180, 250, or 330 horsepower (depending on the version) and MultiAir 2, as well as an all wheel drive option. Europeans will also get diesel engines - 135 and 180 horsepower versions of the 2.2 liter Fiat diesel used on the Cherokee, according to Automotive News.

The interior has a well-integrated 8.8 inch display (not a touch screen) with real-time performance pages and telemetry, along with navigation. A new pad has gesture recognition for the navigation system.

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The front uses a double wishbone suspension, while the rear has a multilink suspension. An electromechanical brake system (possibly to arrive at Chrysler under the trademark "gravity control") combines stability control with the brake booster for faster response. Sparco racing seats are optional for support at the track.

A dual-clutch "torque vectoring" system delivers torque to each rear wheel independently for higher traction without invoking the stability control.

Other features shown so far include an active aero splitter and a knob (similar in appearance to Chrysler's shifter knob) that changes the driving characteristics, between Dynamic, Natural, Energy Saving, and Racing.

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Alfa Romeo claims best in class torsional rigidity, and uses carbon ceramic disks and carbon fiber seat structures to reduce weight. Carbon fiber is also used for the transmission shaft, hood and roof; a composite of aluminum and plastic is used for the rear crossbar.

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There have been conflicting reports as to how much Chrysler engineering is involved, but it is likely that the underpinnings and dimensions will be used by Dodge and possibly other Chrysler brands. (The latest we heard is that a large number of engineers were swept in from Auburn Hills to work on the basic platform and architecture underlying both the Alfa Romeo and Dodge versions).

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The 2.9 liter Ferrari V6 has a compression ratio of 9.3:1 in the US; its 505 horsepower are reached at 6,500 rpm. Torque is rated at 443 lb-feet in the US from 2500 to 5500 rpm, with a 6500 redline and 7,250 maximum engine speed. The Italy-built engine takes 91-octane premium. The Getrag six-speed manual has a first gear ratio of 4.055 and a sixth gear of 0.872.

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The front suspension is a double wishbone design with a semi-virtual steering axle. The rear is a multi-link with vertical rod. Steering is rack and pinion, with electric assist. Brakes are Brembos, with 14.2 x 1.26 vented rotors up front and 13.8 x 1.1 vented rotors in back; both have four-piston calipers. A higher performance Brembo carbon-ceramic braking system is optional, with 15.4 x 1.3 two-piece vented rotors up front and 14.2 x 1.1 rotors in back. These have a six-piston caliper up front.

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The car has a 111 inch wheelbase, 182.6 inch length, 73.7 inch width, 56.1 inch height, 3.9 inch ground clearance, and a drag coefficient of 0.32. The car has an active front splitter with two electric actuators for aerodynamics, along with a carbon-fiber front lip. Xenon headlights are standard as is adaptive forward lighting, LED rear fog lamps, and headlamp washers.

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Tires are Pirelli PZero Corsa three-season high-performance designs, P245/35ZR19 in front and P285/30ZR19 in back. There are three optional wheels in addition to the standard ones.

US colors are black metallic, red, two grays, blue, competition red (tri-coat), and white (tri-coat). Interiors are black, black with red stitching, black with white and green stitching, black with red leather and stitching, and black with "ice" and white and green stitching.

Note: Some of the interior shots were taken under less than ideal conditions via cellphone during the Italian debut.

Photos from Frankfurt

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Past Giulias (shown in Frankfurt)

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