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Alfa Romeo Giulia Quadrifoglio Road Trip – Part One

Alfa Romeo Giulia Quadrifoglio Road Trip – Part One
15th June 2017 Jo Donnelly
Craig and Alpha

The first installment from our man on the road....

Every now and then, amongst the brown Ford B-Max’s, entry level volume hatches, and capable but dull premium saloon and estates, a car comes along that really gets my pulse racing, one that deserves more than a schlep up and down the M5 on my usual commute. A car that is worthy of basing an entire weekend’s activities around.

That car, dear reader, is the mighty Alfa Romeo Quadrifoglio.

That is how, on a Wednesday evening, I found myself floating the idea to my partner (who thought that a Quadrifoglio was something available from Domino’s), of a 300 mile round trip to north Wales, via the legendary A470 (one of the best driving roads in Europe) returning via the Black Mountain pass.

Come Saturday, with the hotel booked, the petrol tank full, the route planned, picnic arrangements put in place, a playlist chosen (The The’s back catalogue) it was time to head to the land of my fathers.

We left Worcestershire on the Saturday morning, heading to Machynlleth, our first way point. I have to admit, I was initially nervous about driving this car; that combination of 510 bhp, bi-turbo, rear wheel drive, V6 brawn was intimidating, but as I passed through the villages dotted along the A489, any reservations I had gradually vanished, like the vowels on the road signs.

This car is versatile; happy to burble along at 30 mph, but if conditions allowed, ready to explode with a glorious, sonorous exhaust note, that would send birds flying from the trees and raise the eyebrow of every traffic officer within a 5 mile radius. As with every Giulia, there is a DNA rotary switch on the centre console, allowing mode selection between D(ynamic), N(atural), or A(dvanced efficiency). The difference with this Giulia is the addition of one more mode – Race, which disables all driver assists, including the traction control, and unleashes the full fury of the engine. Don’t touch that. The very last thing this car needs is less traction.

So, it’s on to Machynlleth, where we had visited 5 weeks previously for the comedy festival. The only person having a laugh this time round was the proprietor of the town’s petrol station, where ordinary petrol was pushing £1.30 PER LITRE. At this point, nearly 2.5 hours into the journey, I still hadn’t worked out how to display how much fuel I was using. I suspected it was a lot. What I had managed to display was a meter showing how much lateral G force I was pulling. It’s that kind of car.

It was also in Machynlleth that I experienced another characteristic of driving the Quadrifoglio; the adulation that people have for it. A man crossed the forecourt and asked if it was the one “with the 6 cylinder Ferrari engine”, I confirmed that it was, and he gazed at it adoringly. There is no recorded instance of that happening to the driver of an Audi A4.

From Machynlleth, we entered the Snowdonia National Park. With its twisting mountainous roads, it’s this car’s natural habitat. Sticking to the speed limit at all times, I savoured every blip of the throttle, every one of those fake downshifts. The A470 is a simply stunning road. Stretching from coast to glistening coast, this Northern section takes in Dolgellau, Blaenau Ffestiniog, through Betws y Coed and onto Conwy. In a car such as this, on a road such as this, the purest essence of motoring pleasure is distilled.

We’re heading towards Llanberis, which means taking the A5, then another 18 miles on the A4086 Llanberis pass. We park the Alfa in the Padarn Hotel, where, after another conversation with a group of Alfa fans, we check in, relaxed, and unruffled, after some 5 hours on the road, ready for the return trip via the Brecon Beacons.

Alfa Romeo Giulia Saloon 2.9V6 BiTurbo 510 Quadrifoglio

P11D £60,445.00

RANGE AND ECONOMY

Fuel Tank Size   58 litres

Range  439 miles

Fuel Consumption (EC Combined) 34.4

Co2 189.00      

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