Hot Hatches: Alfa Romeo Giulietta Cloverleaf
For those looking for something with a bit more class and character than a Volkswagen Golf GTI, Alfa Romeo may have the answer in the Giulietta Cloverleaf – but only if you live in Europe.
It’s easy to forget, when looking at the Giulietta, that Alfa makes a serious performance version of the car along with the ordinary mainstream version. The car is just so much prettier than you ever imagined a hatchback could be that such technical details tend to fall by the wayside. But the Giulietta Cloverleaf (or Quadrifoglio Verde, if you prefer) is not only very pretty, it is also serious competition for the VW Golf GTI in more ways than one.
The name Giulietta is actually quite an old one for Alfa Romeo. The model was first introduced in 1954, and several different body-styles were offered, including a station wagon with the name “Weekendina”, which rates high among the weirdest vehicle names of all time. This is rivaled mainly by the other small run of Giulietta wagons produced under the name “Promiscua”. One really has to wonder about Alfa sometimes, but at least they’re always entertaining. The original Giulietta stayed in production until 1965, but was later revived in 1977 as a small sedan. This lasted again until 1985 and was reborn most recently in 2010.
The car is now a hatchback, serving to replace the 147, and it is even prettier than the outgoing model. As for the “Cloverleaf” part of the name, this has an even older history with Alfa Romeo. Legend has it that an Alfa racing driver named Ugo Sivocci had gotten tired of always coming in second, and for the 1923 Targa Florio, he put a green four-leaf clover on his car for good luck. He not only won in 1923, but Alfas wearing clovers went on to win the race five years in a row. The badge became a tradition with Alfa race cars, and it eventually made its way to its road cars and now denotes range-topping performance trims of various models.