In a spectacle to warm the hearts of performance enthusiasts and style aficionados alike, Alfa Romeo kicked things off at the 2015 Los Angeles Auto Show by bringing in a whole tent full of vintage Alfa Romeos, amidst which the company launched its new premium mid-size sedan, the Giulia.

Slated for production at Alfa Romeo’s Cassino plant in Frosinone, Italy beginning in mid-2016, the 2017 Giulia is the first of a new lineup of vehicles to be built on the Italian maker’s new Giorgio rear-wheel drive platform. Joining the previously introduced Alfa Romeo 4C Coupe and 4C Spider, the Giulia represents what Reid Bigland, Alfa Romeo’s president and CEO of North American operations, called the company’s “triumphant return to the North American sedan market.”

True to its Italian roots, the new sedan embodies classic Alfa Romeo style, from its shield grille centred in the signature V-shaped “Trilobo” front fascia, to the short overhangs, muscular fender arches, long hood, and short rear deck lid. It’s a look that Alfa Romeo says reflects “la meccanica delle emozioni” – the mechanics of emotion – and in person it’s quite stunning.

The emotion isn’t just skin deep, Alfa Romeo promises. The company brought aboard a pair of Ferrari engineers to help lead development of the Giulia, and the new sedan is claimed to have a near perfect 50/50 front/rear weight distribution, segment-leading torsional rigidity, a low centre of gravity, and what Alfa Romeo says is the most direct steering available thanks to its double-wishbone front suspension with semi-virtual steering axis, combined with the Giulia’s rear-drive architecture and extensive use of lightweight materials.

Inside, unique touches include a fully-integrated 8.8-inch infotainment screen, Formula 1 inspired steering wheel, authentic carbon fibre trim, and available Sparco racing seats. Control for the infotainment system is through an all-new Alfa Rotary Pad interface with gesture recognition, allowing the driver to interact with the system by simply moving fingers on the pad.

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