Sports sedans are the exact opposite of a self-driving car.
You hold on for the ride — you would never let a computer control your steering.
And yet, in a recent test of the Alfa Romeo Giulia Quadrifoglio, it became obvious that there is more tech under the hood, in front of the fascia, and in the rear exhaust than any Toyota with a few LIDAR sensors. If you’re even mildly interested in technology and innovation, this is a car to study, to dissect, and to appreciate — from behind the wheel or standing next to it in a parking lot. There’s so much going on that I could only pick three major highlights.
1. Electronically controlled splitter
Everything in cars will be electronically controlled someday — the steering, the brakes, the destination. However, for now, we can still drive cars and benefit from some adaptations. A splitter in the front will open and close automatically depending on where and how you drive. On an open road, punching it from a stop sign, the splitter will close to make sure the car pushes forward easily. Brake or hit a curve, and the splitter will open to provide downforce. Driving the car for a few days, I noticed how it had a mind of its own (in a good way), adjusting the splitter to make sure there are no impediments when you punch it and slowing the car on curves.
2. DNA switch
Many cars allow you to adjust between a few simple modes — economy or sport mode, for example. The Giulia Quadrifoglio has four modes, and they are all designed to provide more robust driving mechanics. The first three modes, which you select using a dial in the center console, are for DNA: Dynamic mode opens up the exhaust and provides better handling; Natural is for normal driving around town; Advanced Efficiency helps you save fuel. Then, Race mode turns off traction control and really opens up the exhaust. It’s great for fine-tuning.
3. Owner’s manual in the app
One last perk worth mentioning — the Giulia Quadrifoglio app for iOS and Android includes a full owner’s manual, which is a bit unusual. You can read about the splitter I mentioned, the DNA switch, and how all of the settings in the dashboard interface work. I liked being able to read about all of the finer details and adjustments you can make, especially the ones for lane-departure warnings, blind spot, and the forward collision warning.