To Dream of Flying Cars

Stay tuned for the Alfa Romeo halftime report.

Wha?!? Not sure what was more surprising– hearing those words on national TV, or the fact I happened to be watching the Super Bowl to hear them!

alfa-romeo-quadAlfa Romeo made a big splash yesterday. A Super Bowl-size splash with an inspiring advert for the new Giulia sport sedan called Riding Dragons. The commercial beckons, “You’ve always dreamed of flying cars. Your dream just became reality.”

I can hear the jokes already.

Fly? I’ll just be happy if it starts.

The oft-maligned Italian marque has made its return to the US market after a twenty-year hiatus. The sporty, limited production 4C sports car was the first offering. But the car that will determine the success of Alfa Romeo in America is a slippery sedan called the Giulia (please say JEWEL-ya). Its Ferrari-designed V6 offers up to 505 hp to smoke through rear tires like you owned controlling shares of Pirelli. Car and Driver gave the Quadrifoglio (four-leaf clover) version a five-star rating, and ranked it over their perennial favorites like the BMW M3 and Audi S4.

I’m optimistic the new wave of Alfas headed to our shores can find a niche. The infrastructure is there, with Fiat firmly planted in the US through their ownership of Chrysler. But there’s a lot of competition in the sporty all-door market that will take time (and money) to penetrate. Fiat’s commendatore, Sergio Marchionne, claims to be devoted to making Alfa Romeo a success in America. There’s even talk of Alfa returning to Formula 1 as a development team supporting Ferrari!

Riding Dragons, indeed.

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