Provided by Sunday World

WHEN you hear the Quadrifoglio name first, you automatically think of one of those four cheese pizzas. Well if this was a pie – I’d want a massive slice.

The word itself means the ‘fourleaf clover’ in Italian and, for anyone not in the know, a four-leaf clover is supposed to bring you luck.

It’s probably just as well, as you would need a lot of luck not to pick up any penalty points in the latest ‘Fast and Furious’ Alfa to roll off the production line.

There is no doubt about it, Alfa Romeo has made some really stylish cars that handle on rails.

They had a bad reputation for rust when I was growing up, but with all the carbon fibre on this baby there is little chance of that happening. Last week, I got behind the wheel of the new Alfa Romeo Giulia range-topping 2.9-litre V6 bi-turbo 510bhp powered model – and it blew me away.

Put it this way, if you didn’t see me driving around on Irish roads in it, you may have heard me.

It’s so fast and loud that I gave my colleague Paddy Murray, who was out for a leisurely stroll with his dog, a massive fright.

I won’t use the expletives he used to me later when I phoned him and told him that it was me. This beast races from 0-100km/h in just 3.9 seconds and can hit a top speed of 306km/h.

If that’s not frightening enough, it’s a rear-wheel drive model where you can nearly see the backside of it coming over your shoulder when you throw it in to a corner.

But all this power and carbon fibre comes at a price – you won’t get much change from €100k.

And the fuel consumption, which is a claimed 8.2 litres per 100km is nowhere near what they say.

I found myself pulling in to top it up twice, and I normally give my test cars back half full.

That price puts it on an even keel with BMW’s M3 and M4, but I think the Alfa handles even better.

Pricing for Alfa Romeo’s advanced new super saloon starts at €99,945 and it comes with lots of standard specification, including 19-inch Quadrifoglio alloy, sports front bumper with Alfa ‘Active Aero’, sports rear bumper, sports exhaust with four outlets, Alfa active suspension and bi-xenon headlamps with LED.

Safety specification includes advanced autonomous emergency braking, lane-departure warning, blind-spot monitoring, Alfa Romeo’s new integrated braking system, forward-collision warning and a rear-view camera with guide lines.

Interior highlights include special sports seats trimmed in leather and Alcantara with front seat heaters, steering-column mounted paddle shifters, a seveninch TFT instrument cluster, Alfa Romeo’s new Uconnect 3D Nav 8.8-inch infotainment system, DAB radio, dual-zone climate control, automatic lights and wipers and cruise control with speed limiter – thank God for the last one! Meanwhile, for those, like myself, who can’t stretch to that €100k mark, there’s more affordable versions of the new Giulia family saloon.

The range comprises of the entrylevel Giulia fitted with either a 2.0-litre 200bhp petrol or 2.2-litre 150bhp diesel engine.

This model comes with 17-inch ‘Style’ design alloys with run-flat tyres, black cloth upholstery and black/satin interior bezels, Alfa Connect 6.5-inch infotainment system with rotary pad control and eight speakers, 3.5-inch TFT colour cluster display and on-board computer, cruise control with speed limiter, rear-park distance control, aluminium brake calipers, forward-collision warning and lane-departure warning.

Provided by Sunday World