The chief engineer for Alfa Romeo’s new Giulia sedan has spoken about the car’s low-key birth, revealing a relatively simple but rapid development process from design to construction.
Speaking with UK mag Car, Philippe Krief said the Giulia was designed and developed in just two years and two months, and with just a ten-strong design team.
The Giulia was unveiled late last month, and it’s fair to say public reaction to the car’s styling may put it in the rare ‘instant classic’ category.
But it could have ended up differently for the Giulia, with Krief saying his key brief was to come up with “something different”.
“You ask every carmaker: doing a car in two years, everyone will tell you it’s not possible,” Mr Krief said.
“The industry standard says four [years], the longest say five years, everywhere in the world. We had to do it in two-and-a-half years.”
The design chief recalls Marchionne’s phone call, when the FCA CEO said “you have to come and do the new Alfa, we have to do something totally different - so please take a bunch of guys, go somewhere and think about that.”
“You have two years and two months!”
Kreif said the enforced isolation was helpful, as it ensured his small design team was always in contact and could settle ideas quickly.
Getting the right power-to-weight ratio meant developing lightweight parts of aluminium and carbon-fibre. The goal weight was less than 1500kg in the top-shelf Quadrifoglio Verde model (pictured).
Conventional steel components have still been used in the suspension to keep the overall cost down.
Kreif said he adopted some Ferrari know-how with the rear-wheel-drive layout to maximise handling ability, and that the Quadrifoglio Verde version is able to send all its torque to a single rear wheel, if required.
Alfa’s classic 3.0 litre twin-turbocharged V6 will be in the line-up (naturally); Kreif also said that six-cylinder diesel and four-cylinder petrol engines could also be available in some models.
Development of the Giulia is ongoing, with a second unveiling scheduled for the Frankfurt Motor Show. More details will be revealed then. Stay tuned.