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In naming the Giulia, Motor Trend cited "the sheer joy" that goes with driving the sleek car.
One of the most prestigious awards in the auto world was just awarded to a car that most Americans probably still barely know.
Or maybe don't know at all.
The Motor Trend Car of the Year is the Alfa Romeo Giulia, a powerful, sporty and luxury vehicle loaded with Italian style from a brand that's still trying to gain a foothold in the US.
Motor Trend also gave its coveted golden calipers to Ford's F-150 pickup as Truck of the Year and Honda's CR-V as SUV of the Year. But it's the car award that always garners the most attention.
In naming the Giulia, Motor Trend cited "the sheer joy" that goes with driving the sleek car. And, of course, there's its engine, a 2-liter, four-cylinder motor with twin-turbochargers that puts out 280 horsepower. Motor Trend said Giulia has "a racy engine response and dynamic handling without a rough ride."
It's a big win for Fiat Chrysler, which has been struggling to introduce the Alfa Romeo brand in an upscale luxury market. Besides Giulia, it also has the Stelvio SUV.
The award comes as the Los Angeles Auto Show is due to open to the public this weekend.