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Alfa Romeo’s spice girls

Alfa Romeo’s hot hatch sister act, the MiTo and Giulietta, just got hotter…

Life doesn’t get much better than an invitation to Alfa Romeo’s historic proving ground near Milan to drive new sportier versions of the MiTo and Giulietta.

I drove both cars over a 70km road route, followed by several white-knuckle circuits of the test track.

But first, a quick history lesson. The lucky four-leaf clover emblem has graced Alfa Romeo’s racers and high performance road cars since 1923. Up until now, these hot road-going cars have been known as known as “cloverleaf” models in the UK.

Now, Alfa’s making us go Italian, so the new performance versions of the MiTo and Giulietta will be known as the Giulietta Quadrifoglio Verde and MiTo Quadrifoglio Verde when they go on sale later this summer.

And yes, you’ve guessed it, “Quadrifoglio Verde” is Italian for four-leaf clover. It’s a mouthful though, so expect them to be known as QVs.

Alfa’s Quadrifoglio Verde hatchbacks benefit from new engines and transmission, plus styling tweaks, sports seats, steering wheels, to name but a few.

And if sales success was purely based on looks, the Quadrifoglio Verde versions of the already pretty MiTo and Giulietta sisters would win hands-down. The car equivalent of Kate and Pippa, they’re cute and also embrace their Alfa heritage, but how do they shape up? Click on the images below to find out…

Alfa Romeo MiTo Quadrifoglio Verde
Click here for a first impression of the Alfa Romeo MiTo Quadrifoglio Verde
Alfa Romeo Giulietta Quadrifoglio Verde
Click here for a first impression of the Alfa Romeo Giulietta Quadrifoglio Verde

Quadrifoglio Verde facts

  • The four-leaf clover emblem, or Quadrifoglio Verde, has been a symbol of Italian motor racing since 1923
  • The first car to sport the lucky charm was Ugo Sivocci’s ‘RL’, which was driven to victory in the first of Alfa Romeo’s 10 Targa Florio wins
  • Soon, the other Alfa Romeo drivers – including Enzo Ferrari, Antonio Ascari and Giulio Ramponi, decided to adopt the lucky Quadrifoglio Verde for their cars as well
  • Since then, the Quadrifoglio Verde, has been the symbol of Alfa Romeo racing cars, also gracing high-performance versions of Alfa’s road cars since the 1960s
  • In 1950 and 1951, Giuseppe ‘Nino’ Farina and Juan Manuel Fangio won the first two Formula 1 World Championship in an Alfa Romeo 158 and 159 respectively – the renowned ‘Alfettas’
  • Alfa Romeos have also competed in numerous other race series and boast victories in the DTM and British Touring Car Championship
Alfa Romeo Gran Premio Tipo 159 "Alfetta" from 1951
Alfa Romeo Gran Premio Tipo 159 “Alfetta” from 1951

About Gareth Herincx

Gareth is a versatile journalist, copywriter and digital editor who's worked across the media in newspapers, magazines, TV, teletext, radio and online. After long stints at the BBC, GMTV and ITV, he now specialises in motoring.

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