£153,000 Alfa Romeo Giulia GTA enters final stages of development
Alfa Romeo has put its F1 drivers behind the wheel of the Giulia GTA and GTAm ahead of production in 2021
Alfa Romeo Racing drivers Kimi Räikkönen and Antonio Giovinazzi have both found themselves behind the wheel of the upcoming Giulia GTA as it enters its final stages of development. The specialised low-volume take on Alfa’s Giulia Quadrifoglio is scheduled to reach customers in mid-2021, with prices starting at around £153,000, rising to £158,000 for the even more focussed GTAm.
Alfa’s resident F1 drivers took to the wheel at the FCA’s famous Balocco Proving Ground in Italy where Sauber Engineering, the racing company behind the Alfa Romeo Racing team branding, has been honing the model’s aggressive aerodynamic devices. Comprising a new carbonfibre front bumper, side skirts, diffuser and lip-spoiler on the GTA, and a high-mounted rear wing on the even more hardcore GTAm, all the new aero has been designed to improve downforce and improve high-speed stability.
This partnership has given Alfa Romeo access to Sauber’s F1 wind tunnel in Hinwil, Switzerland, resulting in this impressive aerodynamic performance – the bewinged GTAm is said to deliver twice the downforce of the GTA, and three times that of an ordinary Giulia Quadrofoglio.
The powertrain is familiar from the standard Quadrifoglio, featuring the same 2.9-litre 90-degree twin-turbocharged V6 engine, paired to an eight-speed automatic transmission and rear-wheel drive. Power is up slightly over the standard car, with 532bhp compared to 503bhp, that in part is raised by the fitment of a new Akrapovič titanium exhaust system that finishes via two large central exhaust pipes.
The GTA’s focus is more pointed towards lowering the Quadrifoglio’s weight figure by a further 100kg, resulting in a dry weight of around 1520kg says Alfa Romeo. To do this, Alfa has expanded its use of carbonfibre, adding to the Quadrifoglio’s bonnet and wings with a carbon boot, driveshaft, front bumper, rear arch extensions and bucket seats. On top of the weight savings, the GTAm incorporates yet more carbonfibre accoutrements, including that 155 DTM-inspired rear wing and extended front splitter.
Alfa’s in-house engineers have also paid attention to the dynamic package, widening the wheel tracks by 50mm, which are covered by bespoke front wings and rear wheel spats. The wheels, despite a familiar cloverleaf design, are now a centerlock design. New springs, shocks and bushes are also fitted, all designed specifically to make the GTA as agile and fun to drive as possible.
Inside, the changes on the GTA are limited to a new part-carbon steering wheel design, a matte carbon finish on the centre console and dash, an updated control set and gearlever borrowed from the latest 2020 model year Alfa Romeo Giulia, and lots of Alcantara wrapped across the dash, door cards and lower console.
Despite the name having been utilised in the early 2000s on some warm, front-wheel-drive 156s and 147s, the GTA badge instead refers back to the small, two-door coupe built between 1965 and 1969, where it lived on a shortened, lightened homologation version of the Giulietta designed for Autodelta, Alfa’s motorsport division, to compete in touring car racing series.
This new Alfa Romeo GTA won’t be one such homologation special, but we suspect it will have plenty of specialised features and elements that will make the standard Giulia Quadrifoglio’s dynamic package even more aggressive.
As mentioned above, the GTA and GTAm will be limited to a combined total of 500 units, with prices starting from around £153,000 for the Giulia GTA. As one of our absolute favourite contemporary sports saloons, the prospect of this even harder, faster derivative will come as a welcome addition to the line-up.