But back to the different driving modes and Alfa Romeo's DNA system, which is present on all models.
The Alfa Romeo Giulietta's turbocharged MultiAir has a system that takes over control of the ignition and, compared to a conventional engine of the same size, is said to boost power by 10 per cent, torque by 15 per cent and cuts fuel consumption and emissions by 10 per cent. This is expected to be the best-seller and having tested both this and the 2.0-litre JTDm-2, diesel engine I can well believe it.
The other diesel in the Alfa Romeo Giulietta range is the 1.6 JTDm-2, which produces 105bhp at 4000rpm and a hefty 280Nm starting way down at 1500rpm. Moreover, it has a combined fuel economy of 64.2 and the lowest emissions of the bunch at 114g/km.
Going back to the 2.0-litre diesel; it has a variable geometry turbocharger and produces 170bhp at 4000rpm and up to 350Nm of torque at around 1750rpm. It too has a respectable fuel economy of 68.9 for the combined cycle and emissions of 124g/km. However, it does feel as if it is being retarded in some way, which is something that you don't sense with the 1.4 MultiAir. The combined fuel consumption is not as good at 48.7mpg, which is more than the 'straight' 1.4TB and it is cleaner too, with emissions of 134g/km.
All engines are mated to a 6-speed manual gearbox and again for some reason the shift felt a lot better in the MultiAir and next year there will be the option of a dual-clutch system, in combination with this unit.
But back to the different driving modes and Alfa Romeo's DNA system, which is present on all models. It acts on the engine, brakes, steering, suspension and gearbox, in response to the driver's instructions and the road conditions. Dynamic for enthusiastic driving, Normal for urban - a sort of default setting that allows the VDC 'Vehicle Dynamic Control' and Dynamic Steering Torque (DST) to quietly go about their business.
Pushing the lever to D means that the ASR 'Anti-Slip Regulation' is less intrusive; the steering becomes more positive and firmer. In short, it allows for a bit more playtime before stepping in. The final position is A for All-weather, which is for slippery conditions and as such, the ASR comes in much more quickly in an effort to maintain traction.
Whenever a completely new car arrives on the scene, there is much to talk about and I have run out of space, but a visit to an Alfa Romeo showroom will fill in the blanks, but be sure to take a special interest in the Alfa Romeo Giulietta MultiAir.9 July 2010
Alfa Romeo Giulietta Road Test Data
|Model Reviewed||Alfa Romeo Giulietta 1.4 TB MultiAir Lusso|
|Performance (manufacturers data)|
|0 - 62 mph||7.8 Seconds|
|Top Speed||135 mph|
|Fuel Type||Unleaded Petrol|
|CO2 Emissions (NEDC Figures)||g/km|
|Economy (NEDC Figures)|
|Extra Urban||61.4 mpg|
|Euro NCAP Rating||TBA|
|Warranty||3 years / Unlimited miles|
|Price (when tested on the 09/07/10)||£19,495|