The Alfa Romeo Giulia is probably the most anticipated car in modern motor history.
An Alfa Romeo with all of the history and promise the badge implies, a modern road warrior with performance credentials to destroy the Germans and a Nurburgring lap time which almost defies belief.
The Giulia should mark the triumphant return of the marque to the US proper, after the hors d'euvre which was the 4C.
So why is every US motoring journal currently talking about how many problems they've experienced with road test cars?
I'm not talking about minor problems either. Magazines are reporting that Giulias have left them stranded at the side of interstate highways, been incapable of completing laps at race circuits and every possible red flag fail in-between.
Look, I understand that road test cars get a lifetime of abuse in a matter of hours but this shouldn't be news to FCA's US subsidiary. Spending extra time and care making sure test cars are right is the minimum effort required.
And if the cars aren't ready don't give them to journalists.
This failure has doomed Alfa Romeo in the US. There was little goodwill left before, now there is none.
An Alfa Romeo doomed in the US is an Alfa Romeo doomed globally, given the need to boost sales numbers to previously unheard of numbers. Unachievable without US sales.
This total and epic failure may well mark the beginning of the end for motoring's most storied and yet most flakey brand.
As an Alfa Romeo fan of more than thirty years standing that infuriates and saddens me greatly.