When 18 Giulia Quadrifoglios meet… you know it’s going to be an intense and thrilling Italian day.
Big Alfa Romeo or even general car meetings are exciting, there are a lot of awesome cars about and you don’t know where to look first. I love it when you get bombarded with all kind of sensorial informations and overwhelmed with visual impressions. But if you want to experience more than just visual impressions, namely to experience what Alfa Romeo really stands for, special kind of vehicles and people are required. Therefore a day on the race track with 18 Giulia Quadrifoglios is exactly the right way to go. And this is exactly what I was able to experience at the end of April, thanks to a good friend, who happens to own such a 510 HP beauty in rosso competizione, and let my enthusiasm for Alfa Romeo run free – because I was in the company of other Afisti and their Giulia Quadrifoglios for a whole day at the Bosch testing centre in Boxberg. So before you knew it, the tires were smoking and the engines were roaring in their most beautiful tones as only an Alfa Romeo 6 cylinder can… and that lasted for about 7 hours!
The day started with a warming up session with braking maneuvers performed at high speeds, after that we went into the slalom part of the track. Everything done of course in Race mode, because Giulia is supposed to dance and show off on the asphalt today. This feeling, when the engine is roaring all the time like an angry lioness who wants to be let go and the driver is always fighting to control the very dynamic rear axle, maneuvering the vehicle at high speeds through the narrow slalom, all this is phenomenal! One can see and really notice the power struggle between car and driver. But the drivers know their Giulias and know how to control this Italian temperamental diva surprisingly well.
After the first drift curve to the left, this power struggle continues into the next lap. The rear axle goes into a skidding momentum when the drivers turn the steering wheel to start drifting, but Giulia is not an easy car to oversteer, she resists it and doesn’t make it easy for the drivers to break the ideal trajectory. I will never forget how awesome was to experience this fight for control from the passenger seat and then to watch it all over again from the outside, behind the camera. Because even without holding a steering wheel in your hand, one can notice exactly when Giulia has the optimal angle of the front axle and is letting the rear axle skid. Or if the driving skills in that particlar moment for this demanding vehicle are not enough, then Giulia will also prove to be very restive and difficult to stop from spinning. But once she starts dancing from side to side – almost like in the brilliant Alfa Romeo “Wicked Game” commercial of two years ago – I can’t imagine a more elegant, dynamic and passionate look.
A personal highlight for me was the handling course. There were a lot of tight and wide curves that were taken with the highest possible speed and demanded all the skills of the drivers at the ready. Here you could see which of the drivers were confident about their driving skills and even more, just how much confidence the Giulia Quadrofglio was giving them to really push it to the limit. Lap after lap the engines roared, the tires squeaked and more and more courage was gained, so the laps became faster and at some point it felt like flying over the hilltops and through curves – a dream of what this Giulia Quadrifoglio can do and how she masters every curve.
Another highlight of the Boxberg racetrack is the high speed oval, but unfortunately we only manged to visit it briefly. Because of the rain that had started at noon, it was too wet for proper usage of the 3km track on which you can otherwise reach speeds of close to 300 km/h. We continued with another skidding curve to the right and got on drifting on the blue basalt part of the track – this blue basalt makes the tyres loose grip instantly and all Giulias started dancing incredibly, with their tails swinging as if they were children frolicking in the snow. From the outside it looked effortless, but the steering wheel was worked relentlessly to keep up with the lively, swinging tail. Around 4.30 pm everything was over – an intense and grandiose day on the proving grounds where you didn’t have to worry about any traffic rules, but could only concentrate on your vehicle, let Giulia go and enjoy it – especially from my co-driver position.
The crowning finale came for me just now. Some of the participants wanted to conclude the day with a dinner in nearby Bad Mergentheim and I got to mingle my Giulia Veloce Ti with the remaining 14 Giulia Quadrifoglios on a beautiful ride over some winding and hilly country roads. It was a great feeling! As a crazy Alfa girl that I consider myself to be, driving my Giulia Veloce Ti I managed to suprise one or two Quadrifoglio drivers by keeping up with them during this spirited drive. My Veloce might have ‘only’ 280 hp but it demostrates the same agility through the twists and the same willingness to put its power on the road. Because in the end we kept up quite well in the field of the 510+ HP Giulias.