Alfa Romeo unveiled the return of the legendary Giulia GTA name yesterday, an icon of racing and a key point in the heritage of motoring. The measure of any petrolhead is the question “have you owned an Alfa Romeo?” or “did you grown up with an Alfa Romeo?”. Most die-hard car fanatics won’t even bother with the “yes” part of the answer, they’ll start waxing lyrical about their favourite Alfa. You don’t become an Alfisti, you’re born into it. It’s not a question of when you’ll buy an Alfa, rather which one you’ll get.
The Giulia GTA, Gran Tourismo Allerggerita, the last word means lightened. It all goes back to 1965 when the Giulia Sprint GTA was shown at Amsterdam Motor Show. Based on the Giulia Sprint GT except the GTA had an aluminium body and weighed in at 745 kg, 205 kg lighter than the GT. The GTA went on to claim many racing titles, making a name for itself and becoming Alfa’s icon of sportiness.
F1’s Sauber engineering is involved
The new Giulia GTA is based on the Giulia Quadrifoglio, it’s got creases in all the right places. The design lines, front and side skirts and active front spoiler are not there to look pretty, each part plays a role in downforce and handling, all stemming from Alfa’s F1 partnership with Sauber Engineering and using the Sauber Aerokit on the car.
Rattle and thrum
New to the car is the titanium Akrapovic central exhaust with dual tips poking out from the middle of the new carbon-fibre rear diffuser. Akrapovic is music to the ears, we expect lots of popping and V6 burbles to be amplified.
M for modification
A street-legal road version, the GTAm will take passion to a whole new level. A giant front splitter, carbon wing for downforce and the engine carefully calibrated by Alfa Romeo engineers to return 403 kW. Let that sink it. Four hundred and three kilowatts. Rear benches have been removed to make space for your helmet and fire extinguisher. Gone are traditional seat belts, in their place is a six-point racing harness, and to have the door handles been done away with, fabric pull loops are in their place, and for added safety a roll-cage has been added. Although oddly they kept the four-door body.
Ferrari sourced engine
It was Ferrari’s V8 as the base unit, except Alfa Romeo loped off the two extra cylinders and this is what’s left, a 2.9-litre V6 bi-turbo made entirely of aluminium for weight-saving and performance-enhancing pleasure, returning 380 kW. Perfect for dominating the school run.
Comfort is a factor
While the front and rear track are 50 mm wider for improved high-speed handling it is still a four-door family saloon, so new springs, shock absorbers and bushings seek to balance passenger comfort with undiluted performance.
For the first time, the 20-inch wheels will be center locks, no five or six lug-nuts here, this is a nod to their racing heritage.
Still a family car
As in it has four doors and four seats for the GTA, and passenger comfort is a priority, as is going fast. The interior is finished in soft-touch Alcantara fabric, it’s everywhere from the dashboard, door panels, glove compartment, side pillars and main fabric on seats. A lovely premium environment for all occupants.
Lightweight = speed
Carbon fibre has been used extensively throughout the construction shedding 100 kg from the body weight. Lexan, a lightweight polycarbonate resin used in motorsport has been used in the side and rear window frames. The 0-100 km time is a claimed 3.6 seconds.
Only 500 units of the GTA and GTAm will be built. The advance bookings have opened and will be shut the moment the 500th unit has been reserved. Customers will have a bespoke sales experience, only dealing with one brand ambassador product specialist who will guide the journey from order to delivery. For a buyer’s troubles, they’ll receive a Bell helmet in GTA livery, Alpinestars gloves, shoes and suit and personalised Goodwool car cover. And the best part, a specific driving course put together by the Alfa Romeo Driving Academy.