ZF Lenksysteme GmbH provides the new Alfa Romeo Giulietta's dual-pinion electric power steering. The system comprises two pinions fitted directly onto the steering box rack. One is directly connected to the steering column, enabling precision steering, the other is connected to an electrical actuator in the engine compartment. This design differs from that found on the smaller Alfa MiTo and makes the Giulietta more agile. In addition to the better ride, the dual-pinion design improves safety because the mechanical parts are not on the steering column but are positioned further away from the driver. In the event of a collision, the steering column should impact the driver with reduced force because of its reduced bulk.
This safety upgrade is one of many that helped the Giulietta perform very well in the EuroNCAP series of crash tests. The car scored 97 percent out of 100 percent in adult occupant protection, the highest mark yet awarded under a scoring system that was revised this year. The car also scored 85 percent in child occupant protection and 63 percent in pedestrian protection. Those results helped the car earn a top score of five stars.
Italian suppliers Zanini Industries and Cultraro Automazione Engineering s.r.l. augment the vehicle's aesthetics. Zanini supplies the "push emblem system" to the Giulietta, enabling the driver to press the badge to open the tailgate, doing away with the need for a handle. The MiTo and 159 also have this feature. Cultraro has developed a compact silicone barrel damper for the cockpit storage box. This refinement is less complex and smaller than conventional solutions and generates less noise during opening and closing.
Alfa Romeo unveiled the Giulietta, which replaces the 147, at the 2010 Geneva auto show in March. At launch, the car was offered with a choice of three gasoline and two diesel engines. The carmaker assembles the Giulietta in Cassino, central Italy. The sporty five-door hatchback starts at 20,800 euros (about $29,000) in its home market.