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By Martin Hall

It’s Italian. It’s gorgeous. It’s fast. What more do you want to know? Sometimes doing this job (sic) you get an opportunity that you just can’t turn down and you know what? I’ve been waiting to drive this masterpiece for quite some time, and I was most definitely not disappointed. But let’s wind the clock back a little and share a few details as to why this is the only real choice if you’re in the market for an executive saloon in this over sanitised world of ours.

The Alfa Giulia Veloce is powered by a 2.0L inline-4 turbocharged beast of a motor, putting out 280hp through the rear wheels whilst delivering up to 400nm of torque at 2250rpm. And that is more than enough to push you back in the seat and (I’m really not proud to say) giggle with joy every time you push the loud pedal into the carpet. Specs wise, the Giulia Accelerates (driver + 30 kg) from 0-62 in 5.7s and can achieve a top speed of 149mph so not too shabby I think we can all agree. There are more rapid cars out there of course but not many that can comfortably seat five adults and all of their associated paraphernalia whilst producing a not unreasonable combined CO2 (g/km) of 162-169.

Now there are some people out there that say you can’t be a true believer in the cult of the car until you have owned an Alfa Romeo and with the Giulia they might just be right. This is a car that makes you feel alive to all of the opportunities on offer from the moment you sink down into the beautifully stitched leather sports seats and gaze around the well-designed interior. With multi-adjustable heated seats and steering wheel, a 12.3″ Colour TFT instrument cluster and Alfa multitouch 3D nav 8.8″ Infotainment system (Radio, 3D Nav, MP3, Aux-in, Bluetooth of course), irrespective of the multiple driving aids and tech on offer, you are left wanting for nothing and appreciating everything.

Perhaps the biggest difference between the Guilia and its obvious competition is the passion and excitement that has been lavished over every aspect of the cars design language, from the stunningly realised exterior features, who doesn’t love that gorgeous and iconic front grille and offset numberplate, to the beautifully encompassing interior. You just know that you’re in something special.

But none of the above would be of any note if the Guilia Veloce wasn’t able to hold up its side of the bargain you make upon purchase. Underneath and upfront, there’s Alfa™ Link double wishbone suspension with semi-virtual steering wheel axle which keeps the wheels perfectly perpendicular to the road, even during intense turns and at the rear, Alfa™ Link Multilink axle with four and a half links allowing you the best of both worlds between lateral grip and comfort on uneven surfaces Alfa say. Now I have literally no idea what any of the above words mean in relation to suspension and roadholding but what I can say is that during a rather spirited (ahem) drive, the Guilia stuck to the road superbly. You think your way through a sequence of corners, threading bends together with the lightest of touches to the steering whilst balancing the power with precise applications of pressure to the aluminium sports pedals.

And I haven’t even mentioned the additional Q2 system of this particular car, a limited slip differential which provides stability and control in all grip conditions by distributing torque and traction even when exiting corners at high speeds and during acceleration (thanks for the explanation, Alfa). It just works superbly!

Overall, did I like it? I’ll let you know once I’ve been down to the local dealer and paid my deposit as soon as they open tomorrow.