The wife and I are still debating the purchase of a new Giulia. SHE (!) wants to drive the Quad to see if it would be comfortable enough to use as an every-day driver.The local dealers have all sold their first Quads, and state that indeed one can order a new Quad, but that they don't know when there will be enough of a supply that they will have them in stock such that they will be available for test drives. Hmm, I guess that patience is required. On the flip side, I'm still working on getting answers to some basic questions about the Base / Ti models. After my initial visit to a Maserati / Alfa Studio, where the sales rep, when asked if she had driven the new Giulia (she had), and what her impressions were, she replied, "well, I don't hate it", and then during our "build" session when she couldn't answer 3 out of 4 questions about the options available, she replied that "Alfa didn't send us any information about the cars", I knew that I would have to look elsewhere for answers. The next stop was the "Live Chat" portal on the Alfa USA web site. After about 45 minutes, Chad (I think) couldn't answer one question, but assured me that he would escalate the questions and that I would get my answers asap. That was a month ago. I didn't stop there. A few days after not getting any reply from Chad, I contacted Alfa via email. Felicia replied with answers to about 50% of my questions and a promise to get the other questions answered. A couple of weeks of back and forth, and still no more answers. My next step was to send a (snail mail) letter to Reid Bigland, the "Head of Alfa Romeo and Maserati US Sales". That was 31 days ago. No reply. UGH! On the up side, the local Maserati / Alfa Studio is hosting a "Launch" event tomorrow, and our local Alfa Club has coordinated with them. In advance of tomorrows event, I revisited my initial experience from last month (an email sent on Monday, this week), and once again gave a list of my (technical) questions to the event coordinator (another female sales rep). To my surprise, she answered all of my questions (!), and said that she is looking forward to seeing me at the Launch Event. I will now discuss the questions that I have been asking, and the answer(s) that I have received.
My first question concerned the all wheel drive system. Who is the manufacturer? What is the torque split (when no wheel slip is detected, then when slip is detected how much percentage can transfer to the front wheels)? Now, two members of this forum, Max Pershyn and Sketchl, have posted that the system is made by Magna and is called the Actimax, and even included links to very nice videos that show how the Actimax system works. I have been told, by the Studio rep, that the system IS NOT made by Magna, that it is made by ZF. That it operates in 100% rear wheel drive and when "wheel slippage occurs, or is FORESEEN(!), the system transfers up to 60% of the drive torque to the front axle in real time". The system also uses a "high mechanical over-slippage (up to 2.5%) between the front and rear axles to promote extra traction and directional stability in turns". The all wheel drive system is NOT configurable outside the DNA selector, nor is it defeatable. In addition, the ESC (electronic stability control) also is not defeatable, except in the Quad, when used in Race Mode.
My second question concerned the Performance Package. I asked, when choosing the PP, does anything other than the standard shocks to the adjustable shocks change? Like the ride height-coil spring rates-bushing compliance-sway bars, etc. Interestingly, Felicia, from the Alfa web site stated that the only difference was the shocks. The Studio rep stated that with the PP, you also get "larger anti roll bar sizes front and rear". Other than that, the rest stays the same. She also stated that the adjustable shock system is made by Koni. The system has two settings, firmer and softer. The input to the shocks is electronic and it changes both the compression and rebound settings.
The third question concerned the difference between the standard Bi-Xenon head light system and the optional High Performance Bi-Xenon Headlamps. The reply is that the standards are 25 watts and the HP are 35 watts AND that the HPs have "adaptive forward lighting, are self leveling, and turn with the steering wheel".
Next, I asked about the brake by wire system. I asked who is the manufacturer of the system. The reply was: Alfa Romeo
I'm looking forward to tomorrows Launch Event. I'm hoping that they will have a car on the lift so that we can view the underside. I'll report again this weekend.