New Alfa Romeo Giulia makes Geneva Show entrance

2 Mar, 2016 6:10pm Sam Naylor

The stylish new Alfa Romeo Giulia saloon has been launched in Geneva - UK specs to follow

The new Alfa Romeo Giulia saloon has made it's appearance at the 2016 Geneva Motor Show, and it looks like an interesting contender in the popular executive saloon sector.

We'll have more insights into how the new Alfa fares against competitors like the BMW 3 Series and Mercedes C-Class when UK specs are confirmed. For the moment we've full details of the engine range, as well as getting our first look at how the mainstream models shape up. (Previously we've seen only the hot Quadrifoglio model, so this is the first time we've been able to check out the versions that most people will buy.)

New Alfa Romeo Giulia review

Compared to the Quadrifoglio, the vents on the bonnet are gone along with the sporty rear diffuser, boot spoiler and quad tailpipes. Twin exhaust pipes replace them, and smaller wheels and front air scoops are present on this toned-down version - but the Giulia retains a sporty look even in a lower specification thanks to its flowing lines and sharp headlight and taillight designs.

The engine line-up isn't confirmed for the UK yet, but includes a 2.2-litre diesel with 148bhp or 178bhp as well as a 2.0-litre petrol unit producing 197bhp and the twin-turbo 2.9-litre V6 we've seen already in the Quadrifoglio, putting out 503bhp. The Giulia is available in rear-wheel drive or all-wheel drive, with a manual or automatic gearbox.

• Alfa Romeo Giulia Quadrifoglio review

The 2.2-litre JTDM-2 diesel with 180bhp is available in an ECO specification as well, which cuts emissions to less than 100g/km - despite having 450Nm of torque. Both this and the 148bhp version are available with a six-speed manual gearbox or an 8-speed automatic. The turbocharged petrol is automatic only, and offers 330Nm of torque to go with its 197bhp output.

The Italian firm claims the Quadrifoglio model can lap the Nurburgring’s fearsome Nordschleife circuit in just 7:39 - a new record for a saloon car if true. It is powered by a 503bhp turbocharged 2.9-litre V6 and can hit 0-62mph in just 3.9 seconds, in part thanks to 600Nm of torque.

It’ll rival models like the BMW M3Audi RS4 and Mercedes-AMG C63 when it arrives in the UK next year. It’ll do 190mph, and thanks to its carbon fibre active aero splitter, will generate an impressive 100kg of downforce at top speed. Plus, Alfa says it's more efficient than its rivals, with emissions of 198g/km in the manual model.

• Best executive cars on the market

Alfa Romeo claims that all models feature 50/50 weight distribution and a sophisticated rear suspension set-up, which go hand-in-hand with a rear-wheel drive layout for better handling. Carbon fibre has been used in the car's construction as well, with aluminium and plastic used as well to keep the weight of the car down to 1,374kg in the 2.2-litre diesel and 1,524kg in the hot Quadrifoglio.

An 8.8-inch display screen inside is controlled via a dial, and can connect to both Apple and Android mobile devices for phone calls and music streaming. There's also a TomTom sat-nav system and the dash also features Alfa's DNA driving mode switch.

Behind the wheel there's either a 3.5-inch or 7-inch screen depending on the trim level, and the Giulia features a Harman Kardon 14-speaker stereo system. Autonomous emergency braking with pedestrian detection will be available on the car, plus a collision warning, lane departure warning, blind spot monitoring and adaptive cruise control.

Optional equipment includes leather seats, bi-xenon headlights, a heated steering wheel, gear-shift paddles for auto models, a limited-slip differential, keyless go, parking seniors and powered heated front seats.

UK specs haven't been outlined yet, but expect 13 different body colours and 18 different interior combinations, and prices should start at around £29,000, comparable to an equivalent BMW 3 Series.

What do you think of Alfa Romeo's Giulia saloon? Can it beat the BMW 3 Series? Let us know in the comments section below...