FCA’s recent “What’s New” event wasn’t just about seeing what changes Jeep, Ram, Dodge, Chrysler, and FIAT made to their vehicles for the upcoming model year. For the first time ever, Alfa Romeo and Maserati used the annual gathering to share with the automotive press what it has in store. Both brands chose an appropriate place to showcase their 2019 Italian performance cars and SUVS: the M1 Concourse, home to a 1.5-mile track surrounded by more than 250 private garages in Pontiac, Michigan. Access was not an issue because Alfa Romeo and Maserati brought more than 60 vehicles to the event.
Alfa Romeo trucked in the Sport, Ti Lusso, Ti Sport, and Quadrifoglio versions of its Giulia sedan and Stelvio SUV, as well as the 4C Spider. Maserati showed up with its Ghibli S, Ghibli S Q4, Quattroporte S Q4, Quattroporte GTS, GranTurismo Convertible Sport, GranTurismo Convertible MC, Levante, Levante S, and Levante GTS. The ultra-high-performance Levante Trofeo was also there, but only as a static display.
Unfortunately, intense rain caused its share of problems, including a temporary closure of the course due to standing water. Between downpours, we hit the road and roared around the track as much as possible.
2019 Alfa Romeo and Maserati Exterior
For 2019, Alfa Romeo’s sleek and stylish Giulia sedan is available with two new trim packages. Nero Edizione comes with a variety of dark exterior accents, including the V-Scudetto front grille surround, headlight bezels, mirror caps, 19-inch wheels, and exhaust tips. The Giulia Quadrifoglio, Stelvio, and Stelvio Quadrifoglio are also available with that package, although the parts it comes with vary based on the model selected.
The Giulia’s Ti Sport Carbon package includes many of the same parts as the Nero Edizione bundle, but swaps the dark paint on some of those components for carbon fiber. Other exterior changes to the Giulia are the addition of Lipari Gray and Imola Titanium to its color palette and new standard five-hole wheels on the Ti Sport model. The Giulia Quadrifoglio now gets standard anodized brake calipers. A combination of dark and carbon fiber parts make up its optional Exterior Carbon Fiber Package.
Imola Titanium is a new color for the Stelvio. Its Quadrifoglio sibling gets standard 20-inch bright aluminum wheels and anodized brake calipers for 2019.
Although Alfa Romeo will no longer offer the 4C Coupe, the standard equipment on the 4C Spider now includes a much-needed back-up camera and rear parking sensors. A race-tuned suspension and carbon fiber mirror caps are now stand-alone options.
Maserati has updated the Nerissimo package it offers on the Ghibli, Quattroporte, and Levante by expanding its available exterior colors from just one to eight. Body color door handles and dark tail lamps are now part of it, too. The Nerissimo carbon package available on the Ghibli and Quattroporte now comes with the choice of eight exterior colors and dark taillights. New wheel designs and tri-coat paint options are in store for the 2019 Ghibli, Quattroporte, and Levante.
In addition to those changes, the 2019 Levante receives adaptive LED matrix headlights (late availability). The GranSport model is dressed in new front and rear fascias, and side skirts. Its GranLusso sibling benefits from a new front end look. After undergoing a multitude of exterior and interior changes for 2018, the GranTurismo Convertible gets a body-color carbon fiber hood for 2019.
2019 Alfa Romeo and Maserati Interior
In Ti Carbon Sport trim, the Giulia’s cockpit features a leather-wrapped dashboard and upper door panels, and carbon fiber accents, including the illuminated door sill panels.
Up front, the Giulia and Stelvio Ti Sport models feature enhanced driver seats with a front-tilt feature. In the back, heated rear seats are now available on the regular and Quadrifoglio versions of the Giulia and Stelvio. Cruise control is now standard on the 2019 4C, and a leather/microfiber steering wheel is a stand-alone optional add-on.
A redesigned shifter lever takes center stage in Maserati’s 2019 Ghibli, Quattroporte, and Levante. The sedans get larger cupholders and are available with two new interior trim materials: high-gloss carbon fiber twill and high-gloss rovere wood veneer. The smaller model is available with a climate package that includes heated windshield washer nozzles, heated rear seats, and a power rear sunblind.
Maserati offers carbon fiber shift paddles and three new interior trim materials in the Levante, and open-pore regimental wood, high-gloss metal net, and 3D-matte carbon fiber.
The interiors of the Ghibli, Quattroporte, and Levante can be trimmed with tan, black, or red Pieno Fiore full-grain natural leather.
2019 Alfa Romeo and Maserati Performance
Most Alfa Romeo and Maserati models go into 2019 without major powertrain changes.
However, there are a few notable exceptions. Depending on trim level, the Stelvio can now be configured with rear-wheel drive. Engineers focused on enhancing the Maserati Levante for 2019 and they came up with a couple of potent variations on the brand’s first SUV. A twin-turbo 3.8-liter V8 with 550 horsepower and 538 lb-ft of torque fires the new Levante GTS around roads and, if desired, race courses. It’ll hit 60 mph in only four seconds.
The Levante GTS’s more potent sibling, the Levante Trofeo, packs a 590-horsepower/538-lb-ft version of the same hand-built engine. The Levante Trofeo routes its ample output through Maserati’s Q4 Intelligent All-Wheel Drive System to get to 60 mph in 3.7 seconds and hit a top speed of 187 mph.
One of the cars we took out for a street drive around the M1 Concourse was the all-wheel-drive Maserati Ghibli S Q4 in GranLusso trim. We found it to be as quiet as it was comfortable. The speed limit of our route never went higher than 55 mph, but we couldn’t resist gunning the twin-turbo 3.0-liter V6, just so we could hear the pleasing sound from the exhaust and feel the surge of 424 horsepower and 428 lb-ft of torque.
On the track, our Quattroporte test car seemed to shrink in size while its twin-turbo 3.8-liter V8 stayed just as big on power (523 horsepower and 524 lb-ft of torque) as it was before we set out on our first lap.
Heavy rain cut our track time in the 505-horsepower Stelvio Quadrifoglio short, but the laps we were able to take in it showed us that the ultimate Alfa SUV has ultra-responsive steering and brakes. The millisecond we wanted to change direction or speed, it was ready to go.
2019 Alfa Romeo and Maserati Safety
Maserati also made slight safety improvements to its models for 2019. The Ghibli, Quattroporte, and Levante, when equipped with the Level II Advanced Driver Assistance System, have the ability to recognize pedestrians in the road ahead and potentially avoid collisions with them.
2019 Alfa Romeo and Maserati Overall
If you’ve been thinking about parking an attractive and athletic Italian performance vehicle in your garage, check out the 2019 Alfa Romeo and Maserati lineups. They feature new looks, upgraded interiors, outstanding driving dynamics and, in the case of the Maserati Levante GTS and Trofeo models, higher levels of performance than ever before. Base prices for the Alfa Romeo lineup start at $38,195* for the Giulia and go up to $79,995* for the Stelvio Quadrifoglio. Maserati base prices range from $74,980* for the Ghibli to $169,980* for the Levante Trofeo.
All 2019 Alfa Romeo and Maserati models are now available for order. Look for them in AutoNation-affiliated Alfa Romeo and Maserati dealerships later this year.
*MSRP excludes tax, license, registration, destination charge and options. Dealer prices may vary.