Another Week With: 2017 Alfa Romeo Giulia Quadrifoglio

We’ve spilled a lot of ink over Alfa’s top Giulia sedan, the blazing, 505-horsepower Quadrifoglio—from George Kacher’s first-ever drive in Europe way back in May 2016 to my own first-U.S. drive six months later to a weeklong drive by our Eric Weiner last summer.

So why am I posting yet another writeup now? Because the Quadrifoglio (aka QV) is simply one of the most evocative, most exhilarating, most grin-generating automobiles I’ve driven all year. A week piloting one in and around my hometown of Los Angeles only confirmed all the good vibes I picked up during my brief introduction to the car in Northern California a year ago.

The moment you first turn the steering wheel, you know you’re sitting in something different, something special. The QV boasts some of the quickest steering I’ve ever experienced in a road car. It’s almost go-kart quick, and that’s a very good thing. This Giulia wears its sporting pretensions right out front. It’s always ready to play, hungry to dive for the next apex. It never feels languid or bored or asleep. Drivers looking for vehicular calm should look elsewhere. The QV is as lively as a Labrador retriever puppy, and it will never let you just sit back and chill. Even just navigating city streets, the QV feels like it’s straining at the leash. In this Alfa, you’re gonna play. Always.

When I first drove the car around Sonoma Raceway a year ago, it was raining. Hard. Thus, I came away from my drive with no good feel for the QV’s handling limits or cornering prowess. This time, though, my favorite mountain byways near Malibu were bone dry—and the QV proved every bit the stormer I’d assumed it would be. In concert with the ultra-quick steering, the firm ride and meaty Pirelli performance tires (245/35ZR19s in front, 285/30ZR19s in back) helped deliver huge gobs of stick and cornering response. Understeer is almost nonexistent (credit a torque-vectoring rear diff), and even with the Pro Drive Mode selector set to Dynamic (the second-liveliest setting) it’s possible to prod the rear end out—thanks to the balance of the car and the engine’s massive output. Switch into Race (no stability controls) and the QV can quickly be a handful when pushing hard. That mode is best reserved for the track. Sideways and public roads don’t mix.

My test car included the optional carbon-ceramic Brembos ($5,500). As I noted in Sonoma, they’re on the touchy side—you need a delicate foot to keep the nose from taking a dive—but they’re enormously powerful. I hammered up and down through some of SoCal’s best squiggly asphalt, and the binders remained fully on duty the entire time. The Giulia QV stops as well as a Porsche, and that’s saying a lot, especially given its near-two-ton curb weight.

You need great brakes in a sports sedan like this because, wow, the QV runs like the IRS is after it. The twin-turbo, 2.9-liter V-6 under the hood is Ferrari-sourced, essentially the 488GTB’s V-8 minus two cylinders. Specific output is a phenomenal 174 horsepower per liter; the little six punches way above its weight class. Alfa claims a 0-to-60-mph time of just 3.8 seconds, and I have no reason to doubt that figure. There’s little turbo lag; squeeze the throttle, the mill builds boost fast, and then—bam!—you’re screaming toward the next corner in a furious rush of Rosso Competizione paint ($2,200) and howling quad exhausts. This Alfa defines the word “electrifying.”

The icing on this Italian torta is the eight-speed automatic shifter. When I first saw the Giulia QV, I was surprised and disappointed that it lacked a dual-clutch transmission. But then I tried the paddle-shift eight-speed—and became an instant convert. This unit can click off gear changes in just 100 milliseconds, so it’s a slushbox in name only. Hurling through the two-lanes around Malibu, the eight-speed was a brilliant dance partner, delivering instant shifts up or down any time I banged onto one of the big paddles. In Dynamic the upshifts come hard enough that you feel a bang! in your backside. It’s a thrilling, track car-like experience—ferocious engine, split-second turn-in, lightning shifts, stupendous braking, massive cornering power. When you finally slow down, it feels like you’ve just spent the past ten minutes bouncing around inside an industrial laundry dryer. The QV delivers a workout around every degree of the friction circle.

Yes, it’s unfailingly playful, but the Giulia QV is no bare-bones sporting rig. The cockpit is a feast of standard leather and carbon-fiber trim, within which you’ll find such amenities as a rear backup camera, keyless entry and start, an 8.8-inch color display with nav, and a heated, leather-wrapped steering wheel. The car is awash in carbon fiber elsewhere, too—including the roof, hood, front and rear splitters, and an optional carbon-fiber steering wheel ($400). My tester also included a driver-assistance package ($1,200) with a bunch of active safety systems, plus a Harman Kardon premium audio system ($900).

Almost $85,000 all-in isn’t chump change, but the Guilia QV rewards that investment with a driving experience that’s unique in its segment. Nothing else drives with the immediacy and zesty Italian flavor of this Alfa sedan.

You can bet another one of us is going to spend some more quality time in a Guila QV at the first opportunity.

2017 Alfa Romeo Giulia Quadrifoglio RWD Specifications

PRICE $73,595/$84,295 (base/as tested)
ENGINE 2.9L twin-turbocharged DOHC 24-valve V-6/505 hp @ 6,500 rpm, 443 lb-ft @ 2,500 rpm
TRANSMISSION 8-speed automatic
LAYOUT 4-door, 5-passenger, front-engine, RWD sedan
EPA MILEAGE 17/24 mpg (city/hwy)
L x W x H 182.6 x 73.7 x 56.1 in
WHEELBASE 111.0 in
WEIGHT 3,750 lb
0-60 MPH 3.8 sec
TOP SPEED 191 mph

The post Another Week With: 2017 Alfa Romeo Giulia Quadrifoglio appeared first on Automobile Magazine.

How to Design Office Space for The Best Workforce

The new workplace reality is more about being out of office than being inside. Going to office doesn’t really mean travelling to a different location on the map. FlexJobs, a site for people seeking part-time or freelance jobs, reports a 36% jump in the remote job postings in 2016 from the previous year. However, even with this trend the need of creative office space has not lost its charm.

Workspaces are constantly changing. Creative and unique office spaces are attracting more attention than old fashioned and mundane cubicles. Be it fast growing startups or well-established companies workplace design is the new mantra of workplace differentiation.

Some of The Most Creative Workplace Designs

To get your creative thoughts rolling, here are some of the existing examples of most creative workspaces around the world:

Selgas Cano Architecture Madrid, Spain

Image by © Iwan Baan

Google office Zurich, Switzerland

Image by ©

Inventionland Design Factory

Image by ©

Many other well known names also form a part of this list. For example, Facebook, AirBNB, DropBox, etc. All these firms are famous for their creative workspaces and attracting great talents across the board to work for them.

Objective of Creative Interior Design

Innovative office design may be important to attract the best talent and give them the environment that will make them shine. There is this problem of clutter that could be a hurdle on the way.

Image by ©

When you want to promote innovation and creativity, you want people to be able to run their minds well. For the mind to run well, the setting needs to have a natural flair and uncluttered space. However, many of the offices mentioned above are not as uncluttered as you’d expect. Look closely, and you find the workstations are in fact quite clean.

Where to Start

The thought of the design starts with the type of business activity and objective of the office. Whether you are a new age tech solution business or a traditional furniture store, interior design for your office gets inspired by your business objectives.

For instance, if you are planning to establish your software solution or an e-commerce office, the design may include sharp edge corners, innovative use of limited space etc. But try to open a furniture store, and the ballgame is entirely different.

Image by ©

The location could be an influencing factor too. However, not as much as the business objectives. Consider a furniture store for example. It makes more business sense to open the store in a busy marketplace or a mall, than on a large piece of land.

While you can place a technology startup or an e-commerce venture anywhere, including the middle of a forest, a retail storefront must be placed strategically to catch more eyes naturally. Provided there is proper electricity supply and internet connectivity. Also, urban startups quite often face space crunch as they grow, and the only option left is to fit more into less.

Image by ©

The Furniture Store vs Office with Furniture

The furniture store needs to display the furniture in the best possible scene for office or home to sell better. Additionally, you may also want to display the furniture online along with the physical store. Thus, the store lighting and design must evolve around the kind of furniture you are selling.

Image by ©

Come to the tech innovation office space, and you immediately find the furniture, lighting, windows, and entire space revolving around the brand concept and perhaps the people and technology as well. The whole concept is to highlight the fun and innovation quotient of the technology while countering the boring and mundane side of it.

Ecommerce Ventures & Office Design

If you are running an e-commerce venture, expanding to a physical store is the next step for you. Keeping the feel of online store flowing through your three-dimensional setup could be the thing to do. Similarly, if you’ve been running a popular brick and mortar store, perhaps it’s time to expand online.

Image by ©

Whether you expand backwards or forward, your office or store design should only improve your brand recall.

The post How to Design Office Space for The Best Workforce appeared first on

2 Modern Homes the Use Grey for a Calming Effect

A home is a reflection of the occupant’s personality. Even in a rental space, the furniture, textiles, and lights are choices that make a difference in how the space and the occupant are perceived. Color is a huge part of that personality that a home creates. From vibrant bohemian hues to the stark white of some minimalist spaces, color choice is critical in interior design. We can think of the color grey as being a bit non-committal and even a cop out of a color choice, but the truth is that grey has its own personality, as you will see in the homes featured here.

Visualizer: Lucia Ivancov  

The first home does not simply build a space around a single grey element, but instead takes on many shades of the color — venturing all the way to white — to create a unique and unified look.

According to color psychology, grey can be a color that makes people feel calm, safe, and secure.

By using so many shades of grey in the main living area, this home is saying to guests that this is a place that it is safe to be. Come in, relax, and enjoy your time with friends and family.

Of course, some grey choices have practical implications as well, with grey flooring being an option that can easily hide dirt, for example.

This particular design calls further attention to the choice of grey walls with a large wall clock design element that actually uses the wall itself as the face of the clock.

In the kitchen, soft grey dining room pendant lights diffuse light over the breakfast bar while wood cutting boards reflect the natural aspect of grey in stone, and clouds.

A fruit bowl is a simple decorative element that unifies the butcher block countertop with the grey theme and can hold seasonal fruits for a pop of color.

The dark grey of the kitchen cabinetry trends towards the idea of grey as an industrial color.

Because these industrial spaces are not meant to be seen, acting as purely functional, grey can be a way for them to disappear.

The bedroom, where grey can become depressing, is kept white and bright with bedside lamps.

Here, grey is used sparingly in heavy curtains and a soft seating cushion tucked underneath the vanity.

White linens and a subtly grey wall that is in the blue spectrum of grey are calming elements without getting too dark.

The bedroom has a bit of rustic feel as well with a natural wood vanity and shelving, as well as the grey wood flooring that carries through from the living room.

The recessed area above the headboard is a creative shelving choice, perfect for keeping books in easy reach.

The closet continues with the rustic theme, using bare wood shelving and white paneled drawers.

Both shelving and hanging space are critical to keeping any closet organized.

In the home office area, enough monitors for a 2 person workspace sit atop the white desk, but just one chair indicates that both of these monitors are for one productive person.

The home office space incorporates both white and grey, providing enough balance that the color should not stifle creativity.

The dark grey accent wall is another blue-tinted choice that is quite soothing and should calm the stress of working at home.

The grey theme is so strong in this home that even a decorative vase is filled with haunting grey tulips.

While grey can sometimes indicate the absence of sunshine, that’s not the case on this enclosed balcony.

In the bathroom, tiles are a more brown shade of grey.

The tiles along with an oversized white sink and white cabinetry further the rustic feel.

Simple soap and lotion dispensers find a cozy home on the stark white countertop.

Built in shelving offer an out of the way place for those bathroom necessities that can clutter up this room.

Visualizer: Nastya Ivanchuk & Marina Tsishyna   

In addition to being a calming shade, grey can also be quite sophisticated, as indicated in this next space.

The oversized art piece in this living room, coupled with the many tones of grey, create a simple elegance that would be difficult to manage with any other color palette.

Like other neutrals, grey has a distinct ability to highlight other colors, as seen here with this dark rusty red and even the green of the house plant.

Grey is a lovely choice for window treatments, creating a soft, cloud-like effect against the windows in this upper level apartment.

A greyish marble coffee table allows whatever knickknack, book, or fresh cut flowers you want to highlight to really shine.

Even the bright flicker of a modern fireplace is made that much brighter by its grey tile backdrop.

Grey is also an effective choice for allowing the beauty of unique art pieces and natural wood to shine through.

To truly take advantage of the beauty of grey, you must add pops of color at regular intervals, such as this bright red dining chair.

The eye is drawn immediately to the red and then allowed to hop to black, white, and grey in these mismatched modern dining chairs, which are Kartell Masters Style Chairs.

The natural wood table appears very elegant against the grey curtains and cabinetry.

Even the soft green of the cut greenery on the table is brightened up by the surrounding scenery.

Creative overhead lighting in black has a very modern feel, adding to the overall elegance of the interior.

The open floor plan benefits from the shades of grey, making in easy transition from one space to another.

Finally, where wood is used, it calls attention to the beauty and craftsmanship because the warm color is so surprising.

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