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Watch the Alfa Romeo Giulia Tear Around the Nurburgring

Is it 2016 yet?

We know it looks good, and we know it sounds phenomenal. Yet it remains to be see whether the upcoming Alfa Romeo Giulia sport sedan has the performance bite to hang with alpha dogs like the BMW M3 and Cadillac ATS-V. For now, Alfa Romeo is busy wreaking havoc at the Nurburgring with a pre-production test version of the Giulia.

Although camouflaged, the Alfa Romeo Giulia prototype's no-nonsense front splitter, hood vents, rear spoiler, and rear diffuser betray that this is indeed the top-tier Quadrifoglio model on track. That and the blaring exhaust note, which makes us feverishly excited about the 510-hp, 3.0-liter twin-turbo V-6 that's stirring up such a fuss. Helping keep the Alfa Romeo Giulia planted to the pavement are a host of aids including an active front splitter for improved downforce, as well as a an active differential with torque vectoring to keep it settled in high-speed corners. Weight distribution is said to be balanced at 50/50.

Alfa Romeo is currently estimating a 0-60-mph sprint of 3.8 seconds, owing in part to the car's available all-wheel drive and excellent power-to-weight ratio.

This test run around the Nurburgring, now practically a prerequisite of developing a sports car, unfortunately won't yield any official lap times. Speed limits are still in place on certain sections of the track, following a horrific accident during a GT3-spec race that claimed the life of a spectator. Safety revisions that will allow normal unlimited speeds to return to the course are in the works, but the changes won't begin to take shape until November at the earliest.

Track prowess aside, we're itching to see and drive the Alfa Romeo Giulia in the flesh. There are plenty of high-performance sport sedans competing in the same field, but there's a chance with Alfa Romeo's heritage that the Giulia could offer a degree of character and personality to let it stand on its own.