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Discussion Starter #1
The advent of widespread publicity about the Giulia and its performance on the Nurburgring track is a very constructive step in measuring a car's performance.

I've been reading "Road & Track" since it was "35-cents the copy". Originally, it had methodical measures of the tested car's performance. Top speed, acceleration, speed in each gear, steering ratio and the "Tapley" measure of torque in each gear. Of course, every sportscar's shift lever fell "nicely to hand".

Then an opinion on handling, which was subjective. Other characteristics could be summed up by Henry Manney's description of the new E-Type Jaguar in 1961. "The greatest crumpet collector known to mankind", or thereabouts.

Then they got "scientific" about handling and did the skidpad, which was to go as fast as possible around a circle. Thus the "G" measure, of which a "1-G" turn became an objective of sportscar designers.

Then there was the "Slalom" test which provided actual speed comparisons.

Both measures are objective.

However, and at the time the criticism was that both were conducted on a smooth surface. Alfas were designed to perform on any road surface under any condition. Which means they did not do so well on the R&T smooth surfaces. Unless set up for the track.

Too many cars were designed to compare well with this artificial measure.

Later, when I took up white-water kayaking I went to Subaru Legacy wagons, which were very good on rough roads. But not so good on the R&T standard measures.

The compliant and long-travel, but well-controlled suspension does well on "humpy-bumpy" roads.

The lap time on Nurburgring is a realistic and objective test of a car's performance.
 

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The critique of the 'Ring time becoming so standard is that it leads to design choices that are not ideal for street cars being put into street cars. For example, the Giulia Q comes with track day special tires rather than tires that will reliably run for tens of thousands of miles on the street. There's really no reason for that other than laptime bragging rights for a 4 door sedan to ship with those tires from the factory. Anybody who is using a Giulia for serious track duty would have a track set of wheels and tires anyways.

Another problem with the ring is that it's not really a standardized measure. Different conditions and different drivers can make a massive difference in the lap times. Put me behind the wheel, and no way are you setting any records.

That being said, the track is a great benchmark in a lot of ways and I think the current obsession with lap times is creating better handling cars as a whole. It is certainly incredible that for $100k, you will soon be able to buy a comfortable street car that could have qualified in pole position in Formula 1 in the mid to late 70s.
 

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The ultra high performance tires on the QF are street tires. They have moulded tread depth pre-shaved if you like.

It is becoming better known that tires have a service life unrelated to mileage. The higher the performance of the rubber compound the shorter the service life. It makes perfect sense to fit those Corsa tires to the QF, not so much for the four cylinder cars.

Five year old tires are not much good. Seven year old tires are getting dangerous.

Snow tires five years old are done if Q or R rated.

Nurburgring lap times are not important but manufacturers use that circuit because they provide an objective standard against which they can measure the losses caused by choices in favour of other handling factors such as ride, noise and comfort.
 

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Look up the Q.V. tires and you will find them under the "streetable track and competition" category. I think that's a fair description. They are streetable, but a silly tire to put on a car that primarily does street duty.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
I believe that the standard skidpad and slalom tests influenced the design of sports cars to get the best numbers.

Not necessarily the best handling on real roads.

A slammed Corvette was the first to achieve the 1 G. It was reported as having the ride of a go-cart.

Reports on the new Giulia include a relatively compliant suspension and with outstanding tires can pull 1 G cornering.

Alfa got it right now. As a different team accomplished with the Giulietta and earlier Giulias.

On the other hand:

The conventional skidpad and slalom could be made a more realistic test of suspension by having pavement undulating and rough.
 

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Look up the Q.V. tires and you will find them under the "streetable track and competition" category. I think that's a fair description. They are streetable, but a silly tire to put on a car that primarily does street duty.
In reality they are not that extreme, and they also don't seem to be wearing out as fast as people feared they would.

We switched to the Michelin Pilot Sport 4S on a different set of wheels and I can't really say the performance dropped off noticeably, even though the Michelins are not listed as "steerable track and competition" tires.
 

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In reality they are not that extreme, and they also don't seem to be wearing out as fast as people feared they would.

We switched to the Michelin Pilot Sport 4S on a different set of wheels and I can't really say the performance dropped off noticeably, even though the Michelins are not listed as "steerable track and competition" tires.
The P4s is probably a much more appropriate tire. You'd only notice the difference in lap times with an experienced driver- not on the street.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
I finally got over to the dealer and was impressed with the looks of the Giulia, in its different forms.

It appears bigger than my mind's image of an Alfa Sports Sedan. Had the 68 Super for nine years and the 79 Alfetta for 17 years Both as daily drivers.

The 67 Super I bought in 2013 still seems "roomy" enough. Particularly when compared to the 101 Giulia Sprint.

However, Alfa's target is the BMW M3.

The base-model new Giulia is fitted with Bridgestone run-flat tires, which have a stiffer sidewall effect than other choices. Also some 3 pounds more weight.

This is in Vancouver, what tires come with the car in the US?
 

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Dunno the brand, but runflats are standard here too.

Guy I know who has one locally said that changing them to regular tires made a world of difference for the better in ride and handling. He just carries an inflation kit.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
New "Sedan" Record

In late November, Jaguar in a "Project 8 " car got around the "Ring" at 7:21, some 11 seconds faster than the Giulia.

Good is that another manufacturer has developed a performance car for a real road, not a smooth skidpad.

Perspective:

There will be 300 such Jags built at a price of 150,000 BP--each.

Looks like a deliberate marketing ploy.

:)
 

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Michelin Sport Cup 2 tires plus motorsport suspension.....as they say you cannot make a pig into a racehorse but with enough money you can build a very fast pig.

Not that the XE is a pig, it's a very handsome car as is the Giulia. But the XE Project 8 fits a 5.0 litre supercharged V8 developing a whole lot more power and torque than the factory spec Giulia V6, driving awd although very part time awd. Now squeeze a Ferrari twin turbo V8 into the Giulia (and the same awd system) and see the sparks fly....anyone?

Notable is the close similarity between the XE and the Giulia in size and weight (with the stock Giulia QV holding the advantage there) and very similar suspension (the XE holds the edge there with the integral link at the rear allowing stiffer springs without adverse effect on ride). The Project 8 uses Michelin Sport Cup 2 which are one step closer to race tires than the Pirelli Corsa fitted to the Giulia, unless Alfa cheated and fit Trofeo tires for the 'ring run.
 

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I can't believe you guys buying new cars really give a toss about Nurb lap times when about to purchase, or any magazine performance stats!

My considerations are:
1. Brand. Yep some brands i'm simply never going to buy ...
2. Needs for the vehicle, i.e. number of seats, etc.
3. Looks, not whether cool or not, but it can't be ugly ...
4. Quality feel.
5. How it drives. Note I did not even test drive when I purchased our new Mazda 6 ... but had looked at a couple in a yard, sat in one, etc. but I knew being a Mazda that it would be okay ... and it was actually more fun than expected.

How it performs or how fast it is does not matter a snot as all modern cars are fast enough and I'm not buying a RACE car!

Now little men that buy new Ferraris and Lamborghinis I can see being insecure enough to worry about their next purchases' Nurb lap times, but I thought we were on the more mature Alfa Romeo site where we are all adults ...?
Pete
 

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Discussion Starter #14 (Edited)
The first post pointed out that hitherto, performance cars may have been designed to get high numbers on R&T "Slalom" and "G" tests. Done on a flat smooth surface.

Going back to the early days, Alfas were designed to win the Mille Miglia and Targa Florio.

Getting into mass production with the Giuliettas and Giulias continued that engineering.

One can't go backward in time, but if R&T were doing the test in, say, 1960 the 4-cylinder Morgan would get higher numbers than a Giulietta Spider. Has anyone reading this thread ever driven one of those Morgans fast on a "B" road? Knock your fillings out.

Is so many words Alfas were and, now, are designed to be quick on any road surface.

Going for fast times on Nurburgring is a big step towards a more practical measure. And it will likely force suspensions that will excel on real roads rather than look good on R&T's impractical test.

The latter is the main point.

:)
 

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"How it performs or how fast it is does not matter a snot as all modern cars are fast enough and I'm not buying a RACE car!"

True, but it does have to be fun to drive as well. I've ridden in and driven some pretty expensive and capable cars, some of which were just not fun to drive. No sale, regardless of how capable or fancy they may be. I would never buy a car, even a new Giulia, without first doing an extensive test drive to see just how it suits me in at least that regard. My short drive in the Giulia did not make my grin go ear to ear as my first drive in the 91S, or even for my first drive in a Merkur XR4ti. That car was actually fun.

Short story: my father ended up buying one, with an automatic, alas, but still, he thought it was the best car he had ever bought, it having all the bells and whistles he could want, and some performance to boot. Loved to drive it for many a mile for years, driving it back and forth to Montana to visit his bro (kept driving it at ~90-100 mph there, lol).
 

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The first post pointed out that hitherto, performance cars may have been designed to get high numbers on R&T "Slalom" and "G" tests. Done on a flat smooth surface.

Going back to the early days, Alfas were designed to win the Mille Miglia and Targa Florio.

Getting into mass production with the Giuliettas and Giulias continued that engineering.

One can't go backward in time, but if R&T were doing the test in, say, 1960 the 4-cylinder Morgan would get higher numbers than a Giulietta Spider. Has anyone reading this thread ever driven one of those Morgans fast on a "B" road? Knock your fillings out.

Is so many words Alfas were and, now, are designed to be quick on any road surface.

Going for fast times on Nurburgring is a big step towards a more practical measure. And it will likely force suspensions that will excel on real roads rather than look good on R&T's impractical test.

The latter is the main point.

:)
Good points!
Pete
 

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I can't believe you guys buying new cars really give a toss about Nurb lap times when about to purchase, or any magazine performance stats...
How it performs or how fast it is does not matter a snot as all modern cars are fast enough and I'm not buying a RACE car!

Now little men that buy new Ferraris and Lamborghinis I can see being insecure enough to worry about their next purchases' Nurb lap times, but I thought we were on the more mature Alfa Romeo site where we are all adults ...?
Pete
Yes but you drive in NZ....:cool:

I found perhaps two, maybe three sections of straight road in NZ safe enough to drive at let us say 130 km/hr for a short stretch.

Btw, smart buy that Mazda 6, one of the truly great handling cars. Capacious, comfy and corners as if on rails, perfect for NZ. My bro drives an old one he picked up at auction and loves it.
 

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Good points!
Pete
I concur. A great road car must be capable of cornering well when the road surface is not very good. High cornering grip is useless if the weight changes caused by suspension movement lead to a tire losing grip unexpectedly. High roll stiffness makes for great ring times and much hitting of guardrails in real world driving on the limit.

Living as I do in an area with severe frost every year I have two flyover freeway ramps I use to evaluate road cars. At every bridge abutment here the roads develop a rise or depression depending on how the maintenance boys deal with the frost heaving. The bridge decks also require expansion joints to handle temperature ranges of 80 degrees C from winter to summer and back.

These two flyovers are curved, two lanes , and the expansion joints are two sliding metal plates about a foot wide as you pass over them, right after a smooth undulation caused by the bridge abutment not moving while the road surface just before the abutment does move seasonally usually a dip before the abutment. During frost movements the bridge doesn't rise or fall because the abutment rests on footings below frost whereas the road surface floats up and down with the frost. Generally speaking we build our bridges so that the road dips a little before the bridge deck in the heat of summer so that it doesn't rise higher than the deck in winter. Of the two evils a bump is worse than a dip as you transition from the road at ground temperature to the bridge deck at air temperature. You can figure out why.

As you traverse this combination of undulation and a foot of nice shiny steel plate you give a car's suspension the full mille miglia treatment. You corner hard with the suspension compressed on the outside wheels. You hit the undulation which compresses both axles slightly out of time with each other. The front axle reaches the relatively slippery expansion joint just as the front axle begins to unload from the end of the compression in the dip. The rear axle follows the same pattern a split second later. The car will slide in the corner, the question is by how much and which end will slide first and more? I judge the competence of the car by the degree of increased steering angle I must use initially in order to compensate for the drift which is inevitably induced by this road surface. For Porsche's of course reduced steering angle is required just as the front axle compresses to maximum on the up side of the dip. Learned that the hard way.

I will not buy a car for road use if it cannot pass my cornering test. The fastest and best handling car passing my test so far is a good friends McLaren 570S...needless to say I did not approach any grip limit.


So, any road car can be tested for cornering stability under suspension compression and extension basically at any speed you dare. The speed traps are never on the bridge....
 

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My base model Q4 came with 22M package which includes Pirelli run-flats.
I always insist on Pirelli's for my Italian cars. Not that they are the best but because they're Italian
 
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