Italian automaker’s 3 Series fighter gets a jolt of power and performance

Alfa Romeo is nowhere close to becoming the major industry player that it once was, but if the Italian automaker has one sliver of hope it can proudly line up against the best of its segment, it has to be the new Giulia. As Alfa’s official entry into the entry level premium sedan market, the Giulia competes against some industry heavyweights, most notably the BMW 3 Series and the Mercedes C-Class. The new model has fared well for itself, but if owners of the Giulia want to really get a leg up over their 3 Series and C-Class counterparts, they’ll have to go the aftermarket route and get a tuner like Speed Buster to give the Giulia’s 2.2-liter four-cylinder diesel variant a tuning upgrade that nets an output of 224 horsepower and 326 pound-feet of torque.

The program doesn’t include anything other than the engine upgrade so if there are Giulia owners looking to give their sedans some cosmetic and aerodynamic upgrades, they’re going to have to go elsewhere to get those. Speed Buster isn’t even offering any interior upgrades, which the Giulia could’ve honestly used. This tuning upgrade package is all about the Alfa’s 2.2-liter four-cylinder diesel and while the final numbers aren’t going to blow anybody out into the water, the increase in power is enough to give the Giulia an extra shot in the arm.

It’s a simple program that accomplishes what it sets out to do. It’s also pretty affordable, which is exactly what owners of the Giulia wants to hear. Can’t I say I blame them.

Continue after the jump to read the full review.

Drivetrain

2016 Alfa Romeo Giulia by Speed Buster High Resolution Exterior
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Speed Buster’s engine upgrade involves plenty of work on the Alfa Romeo Giulia’s 2.2-liter four-cylinder diesel engine. At the heart of the program is the tuner’s own Chiptuning-Box, which comes with a state-of-the-art microprocessor technology that interprets and recalculates engine data before sending it over to the engine control unit. The result is an increased output of 224 horsepower and 326 pound-feet of torque. The tuner didn’t specify the kind of performance gains that came from the upgrade, but with the modest increase in power, expect some of those gains to trickle down into the Giulia’s performance prowess.

Pricing

Speed Buster’s Chiptuning-Box only costs €549, which is about $613 based on current exchange rates. The kit comes with a two-year engine warranty and an optional remote control app that adds another €50, or around $56 to the total cost.

Competition

BMW 3 Series LCI by AC Schnitzer

2015 BMW 3 Series LCI by AC Schnitzer
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Since the Alfa Romeo Giulia counts the BMW 3 Series as one of its biggest rivals, it figures that programs for the 3 Series count as viable competitors to what Speed Buster did for the Giulia. Fortunately, there aren’t any shortages of programs for the 3 Series and one of them comes from one of the finest BMW tuners in the game: AC Schnitzer. This particular kit was introduced in November 2015 and it featured upgrades for all variants of the 3 Series, including two diesel-powered units: the 316d and the 335d. The upgrades on this end go up from 139 horsepower to 360 horsepower, which would put it on opposite ends of Speed Bumper’s kit for the Giulia.

Read more about the BMW 3 Series LCI by AC Schnitzer here.

Conclusion

2016 Alfa Romeo Giulia by Speed Buster High Resolution Exterior
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This program obviously doesn’t qualify as a ball-busting tune of a high-powered sports car. But given the recent reviews of the Alfa Romeo Giulia, I think it’s important to give the performance sedan a shot at further establishing itself as a legitimate competitor to the titans of the segment. Owners of the Giulia should appreciate a program like this when it comes. The fact that it only cost a pittance relative to the astronomical costs of other programs is also a positive thing. Suffice to say, this kit is as good as it’s going to get for the price that it comes in.

  • Leave it
    • * Better to not have high expectations
    • * No exterior and interior upgrades
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