Ray Massey gets behind the wheel of the new Alfa Romeo

Alfa Romeos are clearly like buses. You wait ages for a new one and then two come along at once.

This week – just ahead of the new ‘17’ plate change on March 1 – I drove the firm’s stunningly stylish new Giulia saloon around the Cotswolds, including the powerful 510 bhp range-topping Quadrifoglio – Italian for ‘four-leaf clover’.

The cars are on sale now and racing into UK showrooms as Alfa seeks to up its game by making cars whose performance, agility and reliability match their undoubted style.

Ray Massey got behind the wheel of Alfa Romeo’s stunningly stylish new Giulia saloon and gave it a spin around the Cotswolds

The cars are on sale now and racing into UK showrooms as Alfa seeks to up its game by making cars whose performance, agility and reliability match their undoubted style

Meanwhile, its first family-friendly SUV, called Stelvio after the mountain pass in northern Italy, will arrive towards the end of the year. The Giulia (Julia in English) may carry a female name, but this pulsating, gutsy and muscular 191 mph beast will woo Romeos too.

With a red ‘start’ button on the steering wheel, it races from rest to 62 mph in 3.9 seconds. It has a crisp eight-speed ZF automatic gearbox with manual paddles.

The various stability aids help keep you on track – unless, of course, you are on the track and switch to ‘race mode’, which allows you to assume almost total control.

The Giulia costs from £29,180, for the entry…

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