The last thing any manufacturer wants is for one of their new sports cars to have major issues while it’s on loan to a major publication. That’s why Alfa Romeo rushed to the phone when Road & Track published an article about its unsuccessful track test of the Giulia Quadrifoglio.
Reid Bigland, head of Alfa Romeo and Maserati, contacted R&T after it posted the attempted performance review to apologize for providing the publication with a car that he claims isn’t representative of a Giulia.
“I want to apologize for providing a vehicle that fell short of expectations, and that, frankly, is not even recognizable as the Alfa Romeo Giulia that I’ve come to know,” Bigland told R&T.
Alfa recently loaned R&T a Giulia Quadrifoglio that had 300 miles on the clock for a track day at Gingerman Raceway in South Haven, Mich. The car, though, failed to complete a single out lap, as it kept having warning lights appear on the dash and would switch mid-corner from the Race to the Normal driving mode.
Bigland reportedly reiterated that hundreds of automotive journalists around the world have tested the Quadrifoglio, with many issuing gushing reviews.
“That’s the car I’m familiar with, not the one that couldn’t seem to make it one lap around Gingerman,” Bigland said. “I genuinely believe we’re a lot better than that.”
So why did R&T have such an unusual encounter with the 505-horsepower Italian sports sedan? Alfa Romeo’s boss claims it was due to software glitches that usually are fixed before cars are delivered to customers.
He said the example of the Giulia that Alfa gave to the publication was shipped directly to the track, bypassing dealer inspection, where such bugs usually are corrected with software updates.
It’s worth nothing that R&T pointed out other instances of Giulias acting up while in the possession of other automotive sites, such as Car and Driver and Consumer Reports, in its original piece. Bigland reportedly said these also could be explained by the coding issues, but hopes the reports of such problems don’t “overshadow the goodness of the car.”
Thumbnail photo via Fiat Chrysler Automobiles