SEAT Leon Cupra
gone all Audified? If you can't quite stretch to an Alfa Romeo 4C but like the sound of its 240hp turbocharged engine and are nerdy enough to appreciate the significance of its 1,750cc displacement (1,742cc in reality) you can now have it
in the Giulietta
. Further plucking of heartstrings assured too with the corresponding return of the esteemed Cloverleaf badge to both Giulietta and the MiTo. Try it in Italian - Quadrifoglio Verde. Rolls off the tongue rather more sensuously than 'GTI', doesn't it?
Giulietta with taste of 4C and Cloverleaf on top
That direct-injected 4C drivetrain means it shares the sports car's six-speed dual-clutch TCT gearbox too, 0-62mph delivered in 6.6 seconds, top speed over 150mph and a 'new intake system highlighting Alfa Romeo's typical full, enveloping engine sound' included. Alfa Romeo doesn't mention it in the initial press release but you'd have to expect the package also includes the 4C's Q2 e-LSD system. The interior gets jazzed up too with enough four-leafed clover dotted around to trick you into thinking you were lost in a field in Tuscany. Not sitting stationary on the M25.
The MiTo version gets a revised 170hp MultiAir 1.4-litre turbo, as well as the aforementioned foliage on its flank. 0-62 comes up in 7.3 seconds and it'll hit 137mph but still return 124g/km. It's a little behind the closely related 180hp 'Twincharger' Polo GTI/Audi A1 1.4 TFSI/Skoda Fabia vRS/SEAT Ibiza Cupra family but close enough to be getting on with and fast enough to be described as 'nippy'.
Warm rather than hot but step in right direction
Launching at the Geneva show, both models will no doubt shimmer voluptuously in their three-coat Competizione Red paint (for the Launch Edition cars) and be accompanied by suitably glamorous chaperones, as is the Alfa Romeo motor show tradition. But will the Giulietta actually be good enough to give class heavyweights like the Golf and Focus ST reason to be worried? As ever you want to think so but the proof will be in the driving. To be continued.