2019 Alfa Romeo Giulia Quadrifoglio vs. 2019 Audi S5 Sportback

Detailed Review, Specifications & Comparison

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2019 Alfa Romeo Giulia Quadrifoglio

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Both the Giulia Quadrifoglio and the S5 Sportback have standard driver and passenger frontal airbags, front side-impact airbags, driver and front passenger knee airbags, side-impact head airbags, front seatbelt pretensioners, four-wheel antilock brakes, traction control, electronic stability systems to prevent skidding, crash mitigating brakes, daytime running lights, rearview cameras and available lane departure warning systems.

For its top level performance in all IIHS frontal, side, rear impact and roof-crush tests, with its optional front crash prevention system, and its headlight’s “Good” rating, the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety grants the Giulia Quadrifoglio the rating of “Top Pick” for 2018, a rating granted to only 104 vehicles tested by the IIHS. The S5 Sportback was last qualified as only a “Top Pick” in 2016.


To reliably start during all conditions and help handle large electrical loads, the Giulia Quadrifoglio has a standard 525-amp battery. The S5 Sportback’s 420-amp battery isn’t as powerful.


The Giulia Quadrifoglio’s 2.9 turbo V6 produces 156 more horsepower (505 vs. 349) and 74 lbs.-ft. more torque (443 vs. 369) than the S5 Sportback’s 3.0 turbo V6.

As tested in Car and Driver the Alfa Romeo Giulia Quadrifoglio is faster than the Audi S5 Sportback:

Giulia Quadrifoglio

S5 Sportback

Zero to 60 MPH

3.6 sec

4.3 sec

Zero to 100 MPH

8.1 sec

10.9 sec

5 to 60 MPH Rolling Start

4.2 sec

5.8 sec

Passing 30 to 50 MPH

2.5 sec

3.4 sec

Passing 50 to 70 MPH

2.8 sec

3.5 sec

Quarter Mile

11.9 sec

12.9 sec

Speed in 1/4 Mile

121 MPH

108 MPH

Fuel Economy and Range

An engine control system that can shut down half of the engine’s cylinders helps improve the Giulia Quadrifoglio’s fuel efficiency. The S5 Sportback doesn’t offer a system that can shut down part of the engine.


The Giulia Quadrifoglio’s launch control uses engine electronics to hold engine RPM’s precisely in order to provide the most stable and rapid acceleration possible, using all of the available traction. The S5 Sportback doesn’t offer launch control.

Brakes and Stopping

For better stopping power the Giulia Quadrifoglio’s brake rotors are larger than those on the S5 Sportback:

Giulia Quadrifoglio

Giulia Quadrifoglio

S5 Sportback

Front Rotors

14.2 inches

15.4 inches

13.8 inches

Rear Rotors

13.8 inches

14.2 inches

13 inches

The Giulia Quadrifoglio offers optional heat-treated ceramic brake rotors, which last ten to twenty times as long as conventional cast iron rotors, don’t rust, don’t fade during repeated high speed braking, and their lighter weight contribute to better braking, handling and acceleration. The S5 Sportback doesn’t offer ceramic brake rotors.

The Giulia Quadrifoglio stops much shorter than the S5 Sportback:

Giulia Quadrifoglio

S5 Sportback

70 to 0 MPH

143 feet

158 feet

Car and Driver

60 to 0 MPH

99 feet

105 feet

Motor Trend

Tires and Wheels

For better traction and acceleration, the Giulia Quadrifoglio has larger rear tires than the S5 Sportback (285/30R19 vs. 245/40R18). The Giulia Quadrifoglio’s rear tires are larger than the largest rear tires available on the S5 Sportback (285/30R19 vs. 265/30R20).

The Giulia Quadrifoglio’s 245/35R19 front and 285/30R19 rear tires provide better handling because they have a lower 35 series front and 30 series rear profile (height to width ratio) that provides a stiffer sidewall than the S5 Sportback’s standard 40 series tires.

For better ride, handling and brake cooling the Giulia Quadrifoglio has standard 19-inch wheels. Smaller 18-inch wheels are standard on the S5 Sportback.

Suspension and Handling

For better handling and stability, the track (width between the wheels) on the Giulia Quadrifoglio is 1.6 inches wider in the rear than on the S5 Sportback.

The Giulia Quadrifoglio’s front to rear weight distribution is more even (52.6% to 47.4%) than the S5 Sportback’s (56% to 44%). This gives the Giulia Quadrifoglio more stable handling and braking.

The Giulia Quadrifoglio handles at 1.00 G’s, while the S5 Sportback Prestige pulls only .95 G’s of cornering force in a Car and Driver skidpad test.

The Giulia Quadrifoglio executes Motor Trend’s “Figure Eight” maneuver quicker than the S5 Sportback Prestige (24.2 seconds @ .84 average G’s vs. 25 seconds @ .76 average G’s).

For better maneuverability, the Giulia Quadrifoglio’s turning circle is .9 feet tighter than the S5 Sportback’s (37.5 feet vs. 38.4 feet).


The Giulia Quadrifoglio is 4.5 inches shorter than the S5 Sportback, making the Giulia Quadrifoglio easier to handle, maneuver and park in tight spaces.

As tested by Car and Driver while cruising at 70 MPH, the interior of the Giulia Quadrifoglio is quieter than the S5 Sportback Prestige (68 vs. 70 dB).

Passenger Space

The Giulia Quadrifoglio has 1.1 inches more front legroom, .4 inches more front shoulder room and .6 inches more rear headroom than the S5 Sportback.


The Giulia Quadrifoglio’s standard easy entry system glides the driver’s seat back, making it easier for the driver to get in and out. The S5 Sportback doesn’t offer an easy entry system.

In poor weather, headlights can lose their effectiveness as grime builds up on their lenses. This can reduce visibility without the driver realizing. The Giulia Quadrifoglio has standard headlight washers to keep headlight output high. The S5 Sportback doesn’t offer headlight washers.

To help drivers see further while navigating curves, the Giulia Quadrifoglio has standard adaptive headlights to illuminate around corners automatically by reading vehicle speed and steering wheel angle. The S5 Sportback doesn’t offer cornering lights.


The Giulia Quadrifoglio was chosen as one of Car and Driver’s “Top Ten” in 2018. The S5 Sportback has never been a Car and Driver “Top Ten” pick.

Motor Trend selected the Giulia Quadrifoglio as their 2018 Car of the Year. The S5 Sportback has never been chosen.

© 1991-2018 Advanta-STAR Automotive Research. All rights reserved.

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