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Alfa Romeo celebrates 110 years in style by debuting Giulia GTA

John Law

Alfa Romeo is celebrating 110 years of building cars, a grand old birthday which few other manufacturers have had the chance to reach. It also coincides with the first public appearance of the deranged Giulia GTA.

Celebrations are taking place at the brand’s museum in Arese, Italy, and include the opening of the museum’s archive, showing over 150 vehicles usually hidden from prying eyes.

It’s a celebration of a turbulent 110 years for the Italian brand, a history including beautiful designs, government bailouts, buyouts, rusty Russian steel and unimaginable motorsport success.

2011 Alfa Brera
Alfa has a beautiful back catalogue, including this 2011 Brera.

Alfa Romeo has undeniably produced some of the most beautifully designed attainable vehicles, including contemporaries like the achingly attractive Giulia and Brera, the wedgy 80s Sud and one of the most raced cars in history; the 105 series Giulia.

Teased as a concept in March 2020, the Giulia GTA will be revealed to the public in Arese to coincide with the celebrations. The new car has historic ties to the eponymous 1965 GTA; an Autodelta fettled 105 Coupe designed with competition use in mind.

Much like that car was tangled up with the Bavarian 2002 Tii Turbo in the 60s, the new Giulia GTA will face up against the modern interpretation of that car – the BMW M3 Competition.

1965 Alfa Giulia GTA (105)
The original Giulia GTA weighed in at just 740kg.

And of course, don’t forget Alfa’s successful foray into fast SUVs with the brutal Stelvio Quadrifoglio, though we doubt that will get a GTA variant.

It’s an example of how cars have grown, though, the original GTA was fitted with lightweight aluminium panels, sat on a Giulia 1300 Junior chassis and weighed just 740kg (dry).

Though the little Giulia GTA was motivated by a 1.6-litre four-cylinder with dual carburettors, producing between 85kW in Stradale (road) tune, the race-tuned motor could make up to 130kW.

2020 Alfa Romeo Giulia GTA - 2
The new car has 397kW, though…

Compared to today’s Giulia GTA, those numbers seem minuscule. Weight is claimed at around 1,450kg, so the modern car is nearly twice as heavy, though that’s offset by the mean 2.9-litre twin-turbo V6’s 397kW, 4.5 times that of the original. But that’s progress.

However, just like the original, the new GTA will be limited to 500 units, though it’s unlikely we’ll see them competing at the pointy end of touring car races like the 105 series Giulias did.

Alfa has released an hour-long video detailing the brand’s illustrious history through wars, racing, buyouts and the future, taking viewers on a virtual tour of the museum and a trip down memory lane.

1983 Alfa Spider
Perhaps another Spider reboot?

Other things on show for the “Alfisti” include a limited edition watch crafted by Swiss company Eberhard & Co. and perhaps a nod to the electric future of the Italians, an eMTB stickered up in an Alfa-crafted design.

We hope to see Alfa positively looking back to its roots in the wake of the 110-year celebrations. Just like the Giulia Quadriofoglio GTA, there’s plenty of back-catalogue the Italian brand has to work with; Gran Turismo Alleggerita is but just one famous tag.

Perhaps a contemporary return of the sweet 60s spider – not unlike parent company Fiat’s attempt with the short-lived 124 Spider – or a true hot-hatch reminiscent of the company’s well-loved (but sadly rusty) Sud hatchback.

1978 Alfa Sud
Or maybe even a contemporary Sud.

But for now we wait with baited breath for more info about the Australian arrival of the high-powered Giulia GTA and GTAm.