Six cylinders and approximately 500 hp in a premium D segmenter, do you want to get it thrown on your plate in Italian style or German style?
The world of the thickest D-segmenters has recently been shaken up again by the car that once started it all. The new generation M3 is internally referred to as the G80 by BMW as well as by the fanb0iZ, who have a warm heart for the brand. It is already the sixth generation of an icon that saw the light of day in 1986 with the E30 M3. The thickest still applies Dreier as the benchmark in its class, despite frantic efforts by the competition to change that.
“But wait!”, The Italophiles will now excuse. They will not recognize the 3-Series and therefore the M3 at all as the founder of the term ‘sports sedan’. More than ten years before the 3-Series even existed, Alfa Romeo already had the Giulia. And there was already a fast version of this, namely the Giulia Super TI. At the time, it already had disc brakes all around and a five-speed gearbox. BMW Years later, a fine Italian concept only worked with a little more consistency and gründlichkeit from.
A new Giulia has been on the market for several years now, of which there is also a very fast version, the Quadrifoglio. Not so long ago, that car got a facelift. Thus, the Giulia can now directly compete with the car ever her legacy stable. So on to an exciting match between Germany and Italy.
Engine: BMW M3 and Alfa Romeo Giulia, both without V8
There was a while when the number of cylinders in these D-segment bleppers only seemed to increase. After all, just like the Giulia Super TI, the original M3 had only four cylinders. That later became six and then even eight. After all, you also got such an eight-cylinder engine at Audi and Mercedes, so BMW could not lag behind. However, due to new regulations on emissions, the peak seems to be behind us. The S58 in the new M3 is a further development of the engine from the F80 M3: a 3.0 six-seater with two turbos. Depending on the version, the power is 480 hp or 510, the torque 550 Nm or 650 Nm.
Alfa Romeo has not opted for an eight-cylinder engine, although it is an open secret that the engine in the ‘Giulia Q’ is derived from Ferrari’s F154 CB V8. The bore and stroke are exactly the same, only two less cylinders are available. Nevertheless, the Giulia Quadrifoglio delivers on paper just as much power as the thickest new M3s: 510 hp. The torque is with 600 Nm exactly in between that of the weaker and stronger M3s.
Score: an early opening goal for BMW because of the most Nm’s (in strong spec), but a connection goal for Alfa due to Ferrari genes: 1-1.
Alfa Romeo gives customers less choice than BMW
With these types of cars, the question is always: is it available with a manual gearbox? This is becoming less of an issue, but real dinosaurs think that such a sporty sedan should still have three pedals. Alfa Romeo offered that option when the Giulia Quadrifoglio was launched, but no longer. Apparently the demand was simply too low.
The Giulia Quadrifoglio is therefore only supplied with ZF’s 8HP75 gearbox. Basically an old-fashioned torque converter, although it is one of the finest of its kind you can get. The power always goes through the box of the Alfa to only the right wheels. The slightly less hot Veloce is available with AWD, but the Giulia Quadrifoglio is not.
At BMW, on the other hand, the choice seems huge. Manual gearbox, M Steptronic, different engine specifications, rear-wheel drive, four-wheel drive, everything is possible. At second glance, however, it is disappointing. For example, if you want a manual gearbox, you can, but only if you go for the M3 ‘Pure’ with 480 hp. The competition with 510 hp always has the M Steptronic gearbox and four-wheel drive. At least for now, maybe BMW will come up with more combinations in the future.
Apart from the engines, there are of course also things like colors and options that you can use to make your car your own. We can be brief about this, at BMW these possibilities are available to a greater extent. After all, the brand has the lucrative Individual program for that. There is no such thing at Alfa Romeo, although you might get something done if you just put a big bag of money on the table.
In principle, leather is not even an option in the Giulia Quadrifoglio, because it is always equipped with clunky Alcantara on the seats. A huge mistake in my eyes, especially for an Italian. After all, beautiful leather is often a great plus in the interior in fat Italians.
In terms of options and gadgets, the Giulia is of course a bit older than the brand new G80. The navi in the car has been updated with the facelift and just fine. In addition, the screen is nicely incorporated in the dash and works (in 8 ″ variant) both with touch and with an iDrive-like button. Can Audi still have a tip on both fronts. iDrive nevertheless remains the benchmark in terms of navis. The BMW (laser) LEDs and the Giulia also have nice and familiar bi-xenon headlights. That kind of marks the relationship. You cannot (completely) blame this on the Italian, it is simply a result of the fact that the car has been around for some years.
Score: BMW at first glance offers the customer more choice, but in terms of engine / gearbox / drive combinations that is actually disappointing. There are simply more options and colors available, also but not only because the model is newer. The decision, however, is the impossibility to order ex-factory leather in the Q: 2-1.
Unadulterated driving pleasure both offer (probably)
The Alfa Romeo Giulia was widely praised at launch for its fabulously tasteful driving characteristics. They were even rated higher than – yes – those of the 3-Series at that time. At BMW, it had all secretly become a bit softer and woolier over the years. It is not for nothing that the facelift of the F30 received a somewhat tighter suspension tuning.
The Giulia Q takes that base and turns it up to ‘position eleven’. Like Ferraris, the fastest Gjuul has a super fast steering rack. Just look sideways at that beautiful lady who overtakes you on the highway and you’re in the guardrail. The Giulia Quadrifoglio will keep you awake that way, but highway blowing may not be its strongest point. Especially on winding roads the steering is very pleasant. It is a car with an ‘edge’, as enthusiasts like it. That the chassis is good, proves the fast times that the ‘Q’ records on circuits, such as the Nürburgring. Alfa even came up with a special to remember the sharp time on the legendary circuit.
For the sake of convenience, we assume that BMW has tuned the M3 quite nicely. The new regular 3 Series could at least get the approval of @wouter carry away, with sharper handling than that of its predecessor. In particular, the later variants of the previous M3 were also on point, so we have (again) confidence in M GmbH. However, it remains to be seen which of the two drives better.
Score: the extension is exciting but still without goals: 2-1.
Well and then there is the elephant in the room: design. Most would agree that Italy takes points here. It is funny that you can see in the photo above this article that there are of course many similarities. Also take a look at those carbon rear spoilers for example. Seems like they have tested in a wind tunnel that this is how it works best. BMW has only given the M3 a crazy nose. The design is also just a bit busier. We say benefit Alfa.
Score: a shot from the inside of the post for Alfa Romeo as far as Grande Bellezza is concerned, but BMW still taps it in the rebound: 2-2.
And so we end up in an extremely cowardly draw in terms of score. But that’s why I kick it off by saying that I have pain in it cuore would still go for the M3. And that is purely because I hate alcantara. And if we are talking about pure: it must of course be a ‘Pure’ with manual transmission, standard wheels, in terms of colors something of ultraviolet with peanut butter leather, shadowline window frames and no further carbon. Whose deed. Which would you choose? Or do you dare to show yourself as a culture barbarian, by stating that you go for an AMG or RS? Let it all know, in the comments!
In the rear spoiler of the Giulia I always saw an echo of the boot lid of the Giulia 105. It is very striking that BMW now chooses exactly this shape for the spoiler on the M3. Would it really be the most effective form…?
For me as Alfista, the choice is a foregone conclusion, but BMW does not make any attempt to complicate that choice with the design of the G80. Fortunately for BMW and unfortunately for Alfa Romeo, I don’t just have one and a half tons to break on a new car. So will be a fourth-hand Giulia Q in 5 years.1
I would choose the alpha, also because of residual value… I did not expect that I would say that again of an alpha. The BMW has too many rappers content.2
I would take alpha. Just because it’s standard to take the m3 and I want to hear that alpha howl when I hit the gas. Such a horny bin instead of those piggy nose of the m32
As a BMW enthusiast I say (unfortunately); 100% the Alfa!1
Now the Alfa, in about 8 years the BMW.
The BMW please! But that’s purely because I’m just a BMW enthusiast. The Alfa is also an absolute stunner.
The M3 is and will definitely remain the big star of its class!
Do the alpha please
Of course the Alfa, beautiful car and engine, and what a beautiful design.
The BMW. Distinctive appearance, beautiful interior, you know for sure that it starts, choice between RWD and 4WD and seems to have improved enormously compared to the F80. And the F80 was already a good car.
No doubt about 1000% the Alfa Romeo
If you had asked me this question a few months ago after some spyshots, I would have chosen the Alfa. Have now seen the car a few times on ‘real life’ photos and I have turned 180 degrees with my opinion. Without a doubt the M3.
Alpha of course!
Tesla Model 3 is faster, better, cooler and less harmful to the environment. It is time to move with the times. Alfa launched a car in 2016 that would be modern in 2010. The M3 is so ugly that you shouldn’t even consider it. Tesla Model 3 Performance all the way. It probably lasts longer with a full battery than an M3 with a tank of gas …
Neither. I think for what these cars cost, and much nicer cars are for sale. And for less also … And whether they have 200 or 300 or 500 horsepower, really, that does not interest me.
The Giulia is so paper my first thought. Now just see what remains of that thought in practice;)
alfa !!!!!!!! looks good on him that green what is that BMW ugly