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By William Maley
I couldn’t believe my eyes as to what stood before me. In the driveway stood an Alfa Romeo Giulia Quadrifoglio. I had to touch it to see if I was imagining it. Okay, I am being a bit hyperbolic, but considering the long time it took Alfa Romeo to get its affairs in some semblance of order, it is amazing that the Giulia is on sale.
Still, I had a bit of trepidation with spending a week in the Giulia Quadrifoglio. The past year has seen a number of outlets reporting various gremlins pop up on their test vehicles. Would my particular one be spared? If so, what does the Giulia Quadrifoglio offer over the competition?
Alfa Romeo is known for styling vehicles that stand out and Giulia Quadrifoglio is no exception. Up front resides the traditional Alfa triangle grille and large openings in the bumper with mesh inserts. The carbon fiber hood features gentle sculpting and a set of air vents in the channels. The side profile features more of the gentle sculpting on the doors, along with carbon fiber side skirts and 19-inch wheels finished in dark gray. The rear is where the Giulia Quadrifoglio makes its intentions known to the world with a carbon fiber lip spoiler and massive rear diffuser with large exhaust pipes sitting on either end. Finishing off the vehicle are cloverleaf badges on the front fenders and a dark blue finish.
At first glance, the Giulia’s interior looks elegant. The dash has a flowing wave shape that is higher on the driver’s side to make space for the instrument cluster and infotainment system. Material choices such soft-touch plastics, carbon fiber accent trim, and a small-rimmed steering wheel with Alcantara and carbon fiber help set the Quadrifoglio apart from other Giulia models. But Alfa Romeo earns some red marks as the center console is littered with cheap plastics - the controller for the infotainment system and gear lever being the key offenders.
Our test Giulia Quadrifoglio came with the standard leather and Alcantara sport seats. A set of carbon fiber Sparco racing seats are available as an option, but it is one we would recommend trying out first. Sitting in a Quadrifoglio with the optional seats, I found that I could not fully settle into them due to my wide shoulder blades. The standard seats offer increased bolstering to hold you and a passenger when the road gets twisty. I would like to see a little bit more cushioning in the seats as it becomes somewhat uncomfortable the longer you sit in them. The back seat in Giulia is average for the class, offering a decent amount of head and legroom for those under six-feet. Getting in and out of the back seat is not easy due to a narrow opening.
All Giulia Quadrifoglios come equipped with an 8.8-inch infotainment system. Controlling this is a rotary knob in the center console, along with using voice commands. The system itself is very frustrating for a number of reasons. For one, the system is slow when put against competitors. It takes a few moments to switch between various menus. Also, certain functions don’t work as you might expect. For example, turning the knob in the navigation system doesn’t zoom in or out. You have to scroll the navigation menu to find the Zoom command to allow this function. Other issues I experienced during my week-long test of the Giulia included,:
The system wouldn’t play my iPod if I had it paused for more than minute or if I switched to another audio source and then back to the iPod. Connecting my iPhone 7 Plus to the system via Bluetooth took on average about 45 seconds. I had the system crash on me twice during the week I had the Giulia. One of those crashes required me to turn off the vehicle and start it back up to get the system working again. Alfa Romeo needs to go back to the garage and do some serious work with this infotainment system.
Underneath the carbon fiber hood lies the beating heart of the Quadrifoglio, a 2.9L twin-turbo V6 with 505 horsepower and 443 pound-feet of torque. Drive is sent to the rear-wheels via an eight-speed automatic transmission. Quadrifoglio models have four drive modes - Race, Dynamic, Natural, and Advanced Efficiency and each one alters the engine’s behavior. Advanced Efficiency and Natural are about the same with the throttle being a bit more laid back. But that isn’t to say the Giulia isn’t quick in either mode. It has more than enough oomph to leave other cars in the dust when leaving a stop light or merging. But the engine really comes alive when in Dynamic or Race. The throttle sharpens up and the exhaust opens up to deliver a tantalizing soundtrack. Mash the pedal and hold on because this engine will throw you back. The engine sings at mid and high-rpms with speed coming on at an astonishing rate. Alfa says the Quadrifoglio can hit 60 mph in 3.8 seconds and I can say they are right on the money.
The automatic transmission is quite impressive. In Normal and Advanced Efficiency, the transmission delivers smooth gear changes. Turn to Dynamic or Race and the gear changes are snappy and fast. Oddly, the automatic transmission exhibits some hesitation when leaving a stop. This is a problem more attune with dual-clutch transmissions.
EPA fuel economy figures for the Giulia Quadrifoglio are 17 City/24 Highway/20 Combined. My average for the week landed at 19.7 mpg.
Handling is where the Giulia Quadrifoglio truly shines. Enter into a corner and Giulia hunkers down with little body roll and gives you the confidence to push a little bit further. Steering is another highlight, offering quick response and decent weight. The only complaint I have with the steering is that I wished for some road feel.
There is a trade-off to Giulia’s handling and that is a very stiff ride. Even with the vehicle set in Advanced Efficiency or Natural mode, the suspension will transmit every road imperfection to your backside. Wind and road noise isolation is about average for the class.
It is time to address the elephant in the room and that is Alfa Romeo’s reliability record. Since the Giulia went on sale last year, numerous outlets have reported various issues from a sunroof jamming to a vehicle going into a limp mode after half a lap on a track. The only real issues I experienced during my week dealt with infotainment system which made me breathe a sigh of relief. Still, the dark cloud of reliability hung over the Giulia and I never felt fully comfortable that some show-stopping issue would happen. This is something Alfa Romeo needs to remedy ASAP.
Now we come to end of the Giulia Quadrifoglio review and I am quite mixed. Considering the overall package, the Quadrifoglio is not for everyone. No, it isn’t just because of reliability. This vehicle is a pure sports car in a sedan wrapper. It will put a big smile on your face every time you get on the throttle or execute that perfect turn around a corner. But it will not coddle you or your passengers during the daily drive. Add in the material quality issues and concerns about reliability, and you have a mixed bag.
To some, that is the charm of an Alfa Romeo. Within all of those flaws is a brilliant automobile. For others, it is something that should be avoided at all costs.
Disclaimer: Alfa Romeo Provided the Giulia, Insurance, and One Tank of Gas
Make: Alfa Romeo
Engine: 2.9L 24-Valve DOHC Twin-Turbo V6
Driveline: Eight-Speed Automatic, Rear-Wheel Drive
Horsepower @ RPM: 505 @ 6,500
Torque @ RPM: 443 @ 2,500 - 5,500
Fuel Economy: City/Highway/Combined - 17/24/20
Curb Weight: N/A
Location of Manufacture: Cassino, Italy
Base Price: $72,000
As Tested Price: $76,995 (Includes $1,595.00 Destination Charge)
Driver Assist Dynamic Plus Package - $1,500.00
Harman Kardon Premium Audio System - $900.00
Montecarlo Blue Metallic Exterior Paint - $600.00
Quadrifoglio Carbon Fiber Steering Wheel - $400.00
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By William Maley
Last year at the SEMA Show, Chevrolet teamed up with American Expedition Vehicles (AEV) to produce the Colorado ZR2 AEV concept. This truck was fully kitted out for overlanding duties with a revamped suspension, new bumpers and skid plates, a snorkel, Warn winch, bed rack, and an air compressor. It seems Chevrolet is planning to make this into a production model.
Off-Road.com learned from a Chevrolet dealer that GM at their annual dealer meeting showed off a model called the Colorado ZR2 Bison.
“The AEV truck they revealed looked nearly identical to the concept vehicle with some minor differences,” the unnamed dealer said in email.
The differences are most likely the absence of the bed rack and air compressor from the concept. What would likely carry over are the larger fenders, meaty off-road tires, upgraded suspension, and underbody protection.
The dealer also said that the Bison will be available at dealers soon according to Chevrolet officials at the meeting.
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By William Maley
It seems the Cruze, Malibu, and Spark weren't the only cars that got enhanced for 2019. Today, Chevrolet revealed the 2019 Camaro which has gotten a number of changes.
The most apparent change is a new face. Chevrolet has added various aerodynamic elements and new LED headlights to have the LS/LT, RS, and SS models stand apart. The RS Appearance Package features a reshaped black grille and lower chrome inserts. SS models get additional LED lighting, two-piece grille design, and the new 'flowtie' air intake emblem on a black crossbar. It's different to say in the least. We'll leave it to you to decide whether it is better.
Other exterior changes include LED taillights, specific diffusers on RS and SS models with the dual-mode exhaust, and new wheel designs.
Changes for the interior are minor with new ambient lighting options, a choice of a 7- or 8-inch touchscreen with the brand new Chevrolet Infotainment 3 software, and a rear camera mirror coming standard on the 2SS and ZL1 models.
New for 2019 is the Turbo 1LE model. Taking the 2.0L turbo-four (275 horsepower and 295 pound-feet of torque), Chevrolet pairs it up with a six-speed manual, FE3 suspension (larger stabilizer bars, specifically tuned dampers, and stiffer bushings and ball joints), Brembo brake package, and new Track Mode and Competition Mode settings. Interestingly, Chevrolet benchmarked the Turbo 1LE model against the likes of the Honda Civic Type R and Volkswagen Golf R.
SS models get the option of a 10-speed automatic.
The 2019 Camaro arrives at Chevrolet dealers later this year.
Press Release is on Page 2
CHEVROLET INTRODUCES BOLD 2019 CAMARO
New designs, available tech and first-ever Turbo 1LE energize broader lineup DETROIT — Chevrolet today introduced a reinvigorated 2019 Camaro lineup with distinctive designs, new available technologies and the first-ever Turbo 1LE.
“Lauded since its introduction for its balance of driving fun, refinement and value, the restyled 2019 Camaro reaches even higher with more of the design, technology and choices that customers want,” said Steve Majoros, Chevrolet marketing director for Cars and Crossovers. “It’s a performer with few competitors and a pillar of Chevrolet’s energized car lineup.”
Camaro SS now offered with 10L80 10-speed paddle-shift automatic transmission featuring custom launch control and line lock Chevrolet Infotainment 3 systems, including available navigation New available Rear Camera Mirror* New available Forward Collision Alert* Performance-driven design
The 2019 Camaro’s updated designs are not only striking but also help to improve performance. For instance, the grille details and hood and fascia vents were designed for optimized air flow, either to cool components or help minimize drag or lift. Camaro designers follow the mantra that all elements must not only be beautiful but also enhance performance.
Design highlights include:
New front-end styling with distinct differences between LS/LT, RS and SS, including the fascia, grille, LED dual-element headlamps and reshaped hood (ZL1 retains its airflow-optimized front-end styling) SS-specific front fascia with “flowtie” open bowtie grille emblem and aero-enhancing air curtains, specific headlamps with new LED signature and extractor-style hood RS Appearance Package available on LT adds unique polished black grille with Galvano Chrome lower inserts, new LED headlamps with LED signature light bar, specific rear fascia with rear diffuser and 20-inch wheels New rear fascias for all models, with specific diffusers on RS and SS when equipped with Dual Mode Exhaust New LED taillamps with a more sculptured evolution of Chevrolet’s signature dual-element design; red lenses are featured on LS and LT, with RS, SS and ZL1 featuring dark-tinted neutral-density lenses New 20-inch wheel designs on RS and SS Turbo 1LE
The new Camaro Turbo 1LE joins the V6 1LE, SS 1LE and ZL1 1LE to round out Camaro’s lineup of 1LE track stars. Leveraging the impressive performance and ideal weight distribution enabled by Camaro’s 2.0L turbocharged engine, the Turbo 1LE comes exclusively with a six-speed manual transmission and a tailored chassis package derived from the V6 1LE to offer track-capable performance. Highlights include:
FE3 suspension with larger diameter front and rear stabilizer bars, specifically tuned dampers, stiffer rear cradle bushings and cross-axis ball joints in the rear tow links that enhance lateral stiffness Split front/rear summer-only tire sizes: P245/40R20 (front) and P275/35R20 (rear) 2.0L turbo engine with 275 hp (205 kW) and 295 lb-ft of torque (400 Nm) Brembo brake package with low-metallic performance pads Nearly 50/50 weight balance Driver Mode Selector with Sport Mode and new Track Mode; Competition Mode (within Sport and Track Modes) includes performance instrument readouts, launch control, shift lights and more Standard sueded flat-bottom steering wheel and shift knob plus available Recaro seats Camaro tech: next-generation infotainment, rear camera mirror and more
The 2019 Camaro offers Chevrolet’s next-generation Infotainment 3 with all-new systems that provide a more personalized experience and a more intuitive interface.
They’re the most advanced infotainment systems ever from Chevrolet, with functionality that mimics the latest smartphones and tablets, and cloud connection designed to enhance personalization, available navigation, voice recognition, apps and more. They even allow vehicle software updates to be automatically uploaded over the air.
The standard system features a 7-inch-diagonal color touchscreen. An 8-inch diagonal touchscreen running Infotainment 3 is available, including one with navigation.
Additional new technology features and enhancements include:
Standard Rear Camera Mirror on 2SS and ZL1 models offers a wider, less obstructed field of view using a camera display that eliminates potential obstructions such as rear body pillars or seat headrests; a conventional rearview mirror view is also available Improved standard rear-vision camera system* with a new, digital high-definition camera that offers improved view quality Forward Collision Alert joins Camaro’s roster of available active safety features Enhanced Performance Data Recorder system The 2019 Camaro joins Cruze, Malibu and Spark as part of Chevrolet’s revitalized 2019 lineup of cars.
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By William Maley
Chevrolet has revealed the two extremes of the Silverado family, the 1500 and the Class 4, 5, and 6 trucks. But the HD variant has yet to make its debut. Today, Chevrolet dropped a teaser for the upcoming 2020 Silverado HD. This would be ok if it was a couple of months out from being shown, but Chevrolet isn't planning to show until late 2019. That's right, we have an 18-month wait.
The photo shows the top half of the Silverado HD's front end and it looks tough. We can see the headlights being similar in shape to the 1500 and the Chevrolet script running the whole length of the grille. We're expecting a number of grille inserts depending on the trim. A chrome-ringed hood scoop provides extra cooling for the engine - possibly a diesel engine.
Press Release is on Page 2
CHEVROLET TO REVEAL THREE ALL-NEW SILVERADOS IN 18 MONTHS
Next-gen Silverado HD previewed prior to its 2019 reveal DETROIT — Chevrolet announced that the next-generation Silverado HD will debut next year, as a 2020 model. It will be the third all-new truck in the Silverado lineup revealed in just 18 months, joining the 2019 Silverado 1500 and the 2019 Silverado 4500/5500/6500HD.
“Chevrolet already fuels the most successful truck manufacturer in the industry,” said Alan Batey, global head of Chevrolet. “With a completely new, expanded range of Silverado models on the horizon, we expect to see even more truck buyers in Chevrolet showrooms.”
The next-generation Silverado HD is designed for the specific priorities and needs of heavy-duty truck customers. On-road testing of the new Silverado HD prototypes will begin in the near future to reach Chevrolet’s increased durability and validation standards, and the bolder, larger proportions of the truck will be instantly apparent. More product information will be provided next year, with the first production models scheduled to roll off the assembly lines in Flint, Michigan, in the third quarter of 2019.
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By William Maley
Chevrolet has introduced mid-cycle refreshes for the bulk of their passenger car lineup. New faces are the big change of note for the 2019 Cruze, Malibu, and Spark. But there are other changes for these models which we will detail below.
Out of the three, the 2019 Malibu gets the most significant updates. It begins with the introduction of the RS package that adds a black grille, black badge, dual-outlet exhaust and special 18-inch wheels. Those hoping for some changes with the suspension are out of luck since there are none.
Models equipped with the 1.5L turbo swap the six-speed automatic for a CVT. All Malibus will get an 8-inch touchscreen with the new Chevrolet Infotainment 3 system.
We first reported this back in December and it has now been confirmed. The manual transmission will no longer be available on any version of the Cruze. This means only automatics will be available - six-speed for gas and nine-speed for diesel. The Cruze Hatchback lineup gains a new LS variant to serve as the base. We're expecting the LS hatch to be somewhere in the $20,000 to $21,000 range for its base price.
Other changes include the introduction of the Chevrolet Infotainment 3 system, and LT and Premier models getting automatic climate control and remote start as standard.
Last up is the 2019 Spark. It gets new styling for the rear and optional low-speed automatic emergency braking.
No word on pricing, but we expect to find out when all of these models go on sale later this year.
Press Release is on Page 2
NEW RS TRIM LEADS RESTYLED 2019 CHEVROLET MALIBU LINEUP
DETROIT — Updated styling across the lineup — led by the first-ever RS trim — introduces additional choices to the 2019 Chevrolet Malibu and improves its presence.
“We see an exciting opportunity with the 2019 Malibu to give customers new, distinctive choices, exemplified by Malibu RS,” said Steve Majoros, Chevrolet marketing director for Cars and Crossovers. “It offers athletic design and amazing features at an attractive price point starting between Malibu LS and LT trims.”
The first-ever Malibu RS offers a sporty, personalized appearance starting at around $25,000, driven by styling cues that include 18-inch machined wheels, black sport grille, black bowtie emblems, a rear spoiler and a dual-outlet exhaust. Inside, Malibu RS features a leather-wrapped steering wheel and shifter, black cloth seats and a standard 8-inch diagonal color touchscreen running the Chevrolet Infotainment 3 system.
Offered on five 2019 models, the RS trim is a Chevrolet success story that gives customers distinctive choice, strong value and performance-driven design.
The new, standard 8-inch diagonal touchscreen running Chevrolet Infotainment 3 system and new CVT transmission mated to the standard 1.5L Turbo engine further refine the 2019 Malibu line. The Premier trim retains its 2.0L Turbo paired to a nine-speed automatic.
The Malibu’s front fascia, grilles and headlamps are all-new. The headlamps are integrated with the upper grille and the larger, bolder lower grille, giving the car a more powerful presence. High-performance LED lighting are integrated into the headlamps for Premier models, and there are new LED signature daytime running lamps for LT and Premier. There’s greater attention to detail in the grille and headlamps, with bold chrome accents reinforcing Malibu’s premium appearance.
A new rear valance pushes the dual-exhaust outlets farther toward the corners, emphasizing the car’s width, while new taillamps deliver a more dramatic execution of Chevrolet’s signature dual-element design. The LT and Premier trims feature LED taillamps.
“The Malibu’s fresh look refines and enhances the sculptural beauty of the Malibu,” said John Cafaro, executive director, Global Chevrolet Design. “It will also be an obvious member of the Chevrolet car family.”
Additional 2019 updates across Malibu’s lineup include:
A new, standard 8-inch diagonal color touchscreen radio running Chevrolet Infotainment 3 New 8-inch diagonal reconfigurable driver information center display on the Premier model Rear Vision Camera1 system is now standard on the Malibu L model The up-level Malibu Premier features standard heated outboard rear seats New available interior and exterior colors New wheel designs available in multiple sizes, including 16-, 17- and 18-inch The restyled Malibu joins the 2019 Cruze and Spark as part of Chevrolet’s freshened car portfolio. It goes on sale this fall.
RESTYLED 2019 CHEVROLET CRUZE POSITIONED TO STRENGTHEN MARKET MOMENTUM
DETROIT — Chevrolet today introduced the restyled 2019 Cruze with a more premium appearance that enhances its on-road presence and strengthens its value for customers. The updates for 2019 position Cruze to continue its success in the compact car segment.
“Cruze is a cornerstone of Chevrolet’s car strategy, bringing new customers to the brand,” said Steve Majoros, Chevrolet marketing director for Cars and Crossovers. “In fact, 53 percent of Cruze customers in 2017 were new to Chevrolet. Cruze has been so successful at attracting new buyers to Chevy because its lineup offers something for every customer, from body style to fuel choice to trim and design.”
Recent introductions of the Cruze Hatch and Diesel models helped push the car to a 0.6-percent retail market share gain in 2017 and helped Chevrolet secure its third consecutive year of higher overall retail market share.
The 2019 Cruze’s front fascia and grilles are all-new. Revised grille designs reinforce Cruze’s premium appearance. In the Premier trim, Chevrolet’s signature dual-element taillamps now feature LED accent lighting, which adds to Cruze’s sculptural beauty.
“Cruze’s refreshed styling gives Cruze a more upscale look while maintaining its Chevrolet design DNA,” said John Cafaro, executive director, Global Chevrolet Design.
What’s new for 2019
Chevrolet is the most awarded, fastest-growing brand for the last four years overall* and as part of that, the first-ever Cruze Hatch LS continues Chevrolet’s commitment and momentum in offering a broad car portfolio with choices for every budget and need.
Additional updates include:
New Chevrolet Infotainment 3 running on a standard 7-inch diagonal color touchscreen radio Remote start and automatic climate control standard on LT and Premier models New wheel designs Black window moldings, bowtie emblems and 17-inch (and available 18-inch) machined wheels for Cruze’s RS package New available Umber interior color The 2019 Cruze goes on sale later this year, offered in sedan and hatchback models, with 1.4L turbo and available 1.6L turbo-diesel engines. It also features 4G LTE connectivity and a built-in Wi-Fi hotspot (with limited service trial), and one of the segment’s biggest rosters of available active safety features, including:
Lane Change Alert with Side Blind Zone Alert Rear Cross-Traffic Alert Rear Park Assist Following Distance Indicator Forward Collision Alert Front pedestrian braking Lane Keep Assist with Lane Departure Warning Low Speed Forward Automatic Braking CHEVROLET INTRODUCES RESTYLED 2019 SPARK
DETROIT — An updated face and new available active safety technology for the 2019 Spark add attitude and purpose to Chevrolet’s feisty, segment sales-leading mini-car.
“Customers can easily personalize Spark, which is a main reason why it leads its segment in sales, attracting both young buyers and women to the brand,” said Steve Majoros, Chevrolet marketing director for Cars and Crossovers. “Spark is an excellent value for customers seeking an affordable car that offers great safety technology and connectivity.”
Spark’s fresh front-end styling takes its cues from the Chevrolet line, while new, available Low Speed Forward Automatic Braking1 can help drivers prevent or reduce the severity of low-speed front-end collisions by applying the brakes or enhancing the driver’s braking.
The new styling boosts Spark’s premium appearance with a rich use of chrome in the grille. Available projector-style headlamps further enhance Spark’s chic styling. The available LED daytime running lamps are moved lower, giving Spark a more powerful presence and a family resemblance to the rest of the Chevrolet car lineup.
At the rear, dual-element taillamps further the signature brand cue. Spark continues its tradition of offering customer personalization through bright and distinctive paint colors.
The 2019 Spark is offered in LS, LT, 2LT and ACTIV trims, with the ACTIV featuring crossover-inspired design cues and a ride height raised by 10mm. All trims feature standard air conditioning, 10 standard airbags2 and a rear-vision camera system.
New, segment-exclusive Low Speed Forward Automatic Braking joins the available Driver Confidence Package, complementing the package’s additional active safety features, Forward Collision Alert1 and Lane Departure Warning. 1
When it comes to connectivity, Spark delivers a standard Chevrolet infotainment system featuring phone integration compatibility with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, a limited trial of OnStar and connectivity access at no additional cost, plus access to the MyChevrolet mobile app.
Spark is powered by a 1.4L DOHC engine offered with a manual transmission or an available continuously variable transmission (CVT).
The refreshed Spark joins the 2019 Malibu and Cruze as part of Chevrolet’s updated car portfolio, which offers new styling, new technologies and more choices and value. It goes on sale later this year.
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