Alfa centenary debut for Giulietta

The new Giulietta – a name first seen on an Alfa model over 50 years ago – will drive the famous Goodwood hillclimb at the Festival of Speed next week before it goes on sale in the UK on 24 July.

The Giulietta name was first used on a Bertone-styled coupe at the 1954 Turin Motor Show and later spawned a 90bhp Sprint Veloce model with a top speed of 102mph.

In comparison, the latest five-door hatchback model is available with five engines ranging from the 120hp entry-level 1.4-litre turbocharged petrol engine to the range-topping 235hp 1750 TBi.

Alfa has designed the Giulietta on an entirely new Compact platform, meaning all but the name is new. The Giulietta will be the first to use the new platform, which has been designed by running over 200 tests on components and several crash tests.

The result is a five-star safety rating from the EuroNCAP tests – a feat even more impressive because the tests were upgraded last year to be tougher and more thorough.

Alfa, and parent company Fiat, will use the new chassis in all future models, including the new Giula, which is set to arrive next year.

The Giulietta comes with a choice of four trim levels with names taken from 100 years of Alfa history; Turismo, Lusso, Veloce and Cloverleaf.

The Cloverleaf in particular goes as far back as 1923 and has since been used on all Alfa Romeo racing cars and exclusive models in the subsequent 87 years.

The Giulietta Cloverleaf includes a range-topping specification and is the only trim level offered with the powerful 1750 TBi engine. Cloverleaf models feature 18" spoke design alloy wheels, 225/40 R18 tyres, lowered suspension, red brake callipers and dark tinted windows.

Alfa has not only revived the Giulietta name. As it did in the 1960s, the Italian brand will follow the Giulietta with the Alfa Romeo Giulia. The Giulia was a huge success in the 60s and a new model will be released to replace the current 159.

Meanwhile, the Alfa Romeo Giulietta is available to order now and is priced from £17,000 for entry-level models.