We at cinch are big fans of the Alfa Romeo Giulia saloon. It’s the first Italian car to have given the big three German brands – BMW, Mercedes and Audi – something to think about when it comes to making mid-sized executive saloons. Handsome, well-equipped and brilliant to drive, the Cassino-built (as in the Italian city, not a gambling hall with a double ‘s’) four-door has really shaken up a storm, and not just when it comes to the sensible stuff, because Alfa Romeo has confirmed that all 500 examples of its £150,000-plus Giulia GTA have been sold. Turns out the super-saloon breed isn’t dead just yet.
While 500 car sales wouldn’t normally be something to write home about for a big manufacturer like Alfa Romeo, the Giulia GTA is a really very significant model indeed. It turns up the Giulia base by about one thousand percent, creating a car that’s more racing machine for the road than saloon car on steroids. 540hp twin-turbocharged V6 engine, lots of carbon fibre bodywork and a race-track-tuned suspension setup combine to unlock the Giulia’s most hardcore potential. This writer can confirm that it all adds up to create one of the most beguiling automotive experiences ever made. Alfa might never top it.
It’s therefore perfectly understandable that 500 people worldwide were convinced into buying one of these mad Italian saloons, even at the slightly eye-watering price of £150,000 each. But for those who missed out – or, to be frank, those who couldn’t dream of purchasing a car this expensive, us included – there’s good news. The magic of this motorsport-inspired, sold-out Giulia GTA does genuinely trickle down into the less extreme models. All Giulias are brilliant to drive, not to mention wonderfully pretty, so you can buy into a bit of this special story for a fraction of the GTA’s price.
Handily, cinch has a Giulia in stock as you read this to prove the claim, with Alfa Romeo’s punchy 2.2-litre turbo diesel engine under its bonnet and a set of 18-inch wheels beneath the arches to accentuate those Latin lines. Inside, the seats are wrapped in black leather and the car comes with parking sensors, heated seats and even a heated steering wheel - which is nice to know now that autumn has decided to arrive with a vengeance. Best of all for the lovers of driving out there (high five), this automatic saloon is rear-wheel drive – just like the GTA – so it’s an authentic little brother to the sold-out king of the range. Oh, and at £18,250, it’s also an eighth of the price.