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Alfa Romeo Giulia 2018 Review

Alfa Romeo’s Giulia is aggressively priced and generously equipped. It deserves to disrupt your Audi A4/BMW 3 Series/Mercedes C Class buying decision. Start money is $59,895 for the 2.0-litre four-cylinder turbopetrol Giulia, with 147kW of power and an eight-speed automatic, in a rear-wheel drive layout.

Giulia Super, with more fruit and the same drivetrain, is $64,195; with a 132kW 2.2-litre turbodiesel, it’s $65,895.

Veloce, at $71,895, looks like the value/performance/equipment sweet spot in the Giulia line-up. It gets a 206kW version of the 2.0-litre turbopetrol engine, plus premium performance hardware including adjustable suspension, a limited slip rear differential, and exquisite traditional Alfa five-hole 19-inch alloy wheels.

Alfa also needs to make a heroic, forceful statement of intent with the Giulia, and that it certainly does with the top-of-the-range Quadrifoglio, priced at $143,900.

Up against BMW’s M3 and the Mercedes AMG C 63 S, the Quadrifolglio (or four-leaf clo…

2018 Abarth 124 Spider Review

Abarth is a name you may not have heard of. It belongs to Karl Abarth, an Austrian engineer who, in 1955, built his fi rst car, the 750GT, and during the 1960s had much success with his Fiat 500-based 595 rally cars. In 1971 his company was bought by Fiat, which still owns it today. Karl Abarth died in 1979.

The Abarth 124, which in its styling pays homage to legendary designer Pininfarina’s 1966 Fiat 124 roadster, is the product of a model-sharing arrangement between Fiat and Mazda. It’s a Mazda MX-5 — made on the same production line in Hiroshima — with a longer, wider body and a 125kW 1.4-litre four-cylinder turbo-petrol engine from Fiat, matched with six-speed manual or six-speed automatic transmissions. It’s equipped with premium hardware too, including four-piston Brembo front-brake calipers, mono-tube Bilstein dampers, a preloaded mechanical limited slip differential and 17-inch alloy wheels with Bridgestone Potenza tires.

Priced at $41,990 for the manual or $43,990 for the a…