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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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
But for now we wait with baited breath for more info about the Australian arrival of the high-powered Giulia GTA and GTAm.Read more Alfa reveals Giulia GTA: Turin’s most ferocious four-door yet
Alfa Romeo has revealed a brace of hardcore sedans based on the Giulia Quadrifoglio we already know and love. Power is up, but most importantly, the boffins in Turin have shed weight and tweaked suspension settings to harness that prodigious pace with greater accuracy.
It’s a nameplate revived from the slight 1965 Giulia Sprint GTA – the acronym stands for Gran Turismo Alleggerita (the Italian equivalent to GT lightweight).
Alfa has also added a more honed GTAm variant – the ‘m’ standing for modified – with racing bucket seats and six-point harnesses. Nuts.
Limited to 500 combined units of the Giulia GTA and GTAm there will be few on the ground. The Italians have employed a philosophy not dissimilar to BMW with the M2 CS, certainly more focused than any C63 S offered by Mercedes-AMG.
It looks seriously wild, too, there’s an aerodynamics kit developed by the Sauber F1 team affixed to both cars (but only the GTAm gets the crazy wing). The package is reminiscent of the wedgey Alfa 155 DTM car.
Tracks have been widened 50mm front and rear to improve stability and overall grip, you can see this with the more intensely flared guards. There’s a set of bespoke 20-inch centre-lock wheels presumably shod in Pirelli P Zero Corsas.
Power is up from the standard Giulia QF – a car that already produced a generous 380kW – thanks to the precise tuning of Alfa’s twin-turbo 2.9-litre V6 and a freer-flowing (and louder) Akrapovic titanium exhaust, the GTA and GTAm outputs climb to 402kW.
That Akrapovic exhaust is lighter, too. And when combined with a carbon-fibre prop shaft, bonnet, front bumper, roof, wheel arch inserts and seats adds up to a Biggest Loser level weightloss of 100kg.
Naturally, the GTAm goes further with polycarbonate side and rear windows, rear strut-brace, no rear seats, a carbon fibre front splitter and that flagrant rear wing, making for a kerb weight of 1,520kg.
Alfa say they developed a whole new suspension set-up designed with more track use in mind. The pair of cars will get specific springs, dampers and utilise stiffer bushings to quell roll and increase accuracy.
Considering a standard Giulia QF weighs in at 1,726kg, that’s impressive work from the Alfa Engineers. All this performance makes for a 0-100km/h time of 3.6 seconds, quicker than many more powerful cars (Audi’s RS6 for one).
A venerable set of top trumps figures should see the GTAm have a good run at the production sedan lap record at the Nurburgring Nordschleife – Alfa held the SUV crown with the Stelvio Quadrifoglio after all.
Now, obviously, if we had to choose between the GTA and GTAm we would probably opt for the four-seat variant. Sure that wing is proper DTM, but if it was to be the only car then six-point harnesses would get tiring pretty fast.
Alfa Australia has not confirmed whether Australians will be getting the pair of fast four-doors but if you want one you’ll have to get in quick. Alfa has confirmed production of no more than 500 combined units.
It’s certainly a flamboyant way to kick off Alfa’s 110th anniversary and it sounds like more cool models will be arriving throughout 2020 to celebrate.Read more