Two new and vitally important Italian motors hit dealerships as we write.
Alfa Romeo Giulia
They say, everyone who loves cars should own an Alfa at some point in their lives. No marque has the pedigree, the panache and the driving spectacle that the mere mention of that illustrious name evokes in the hearts and minds of dedicated petrol-heads. In fact, you don’t even have to be a petrol-head to appreciate Alfa’s appeal.
For a couple of decades car fans have desperately wished for an Alfa that they could justify buying. Alas, that’s not always been easy – often great to look at, and good to drive, there’ve been some crucial short- comings or compromises that can’t be overlooked. All that’s set to change with Alfa’s brand new 3 series, or should that be Mondeo, challenger, the Giulia. Heart-achingly good looking and with early reports suggesting it’s great to drive, if Alfa’s attempts to nail reliability have been successful, then petrol-heads the world over will be rubbing their hands with glee. We aim to find out next issue.
Maserati. Say it again, slowly. Sounds great doesn’t it? And what a pedigree. Shame then, that despite a recent return to form it’s still not perceived as being up there with the big beasts, such as Porsche or Jag. Which is why the Levante is probably the most important car in Maserati’s history. As an SUV, it can tap into a market that’s far bigger than the marque’s traditional stomping grounds of posh GT’s and sports cars, the cash from which can be used to further build and improve the brand and put it on an even footing. It also represents something of a new dawn being the first model in ages to be designed and built without external meddling and with the benefit of state of the art design and production facilities, making it a true measure of what we can expect going forward.
It’s off to a great start. While other big SUVs look awkward, as they try to marry familial design cues with the height and form required for an SUV, or flash, in an attempt to make them more interesting, the Maser succeeds in creating something elegant and GT-like that’s a far more attractive and better resolved proposition than anything else in the sector.
Next issue we’ll be finding out if the drive lives up to its great looks.