THE legendary Guilia GTA is set to return to showrooms, thanks in part to the fact Alfa Romeo marks 110 years in 2020, with the iconic performance car offered up as its birthday present to the world.
Just 500 examples of the iconic GTA and its street legal race oriented sibling, the GTAm, name plate in its Giulia form will be available, and we don’t know if a single shining example of pure Alfa Romeo heaven will make it down under.
At this point we don’t care, we’re simply excited by the resurrection of the icon.The acronym GTA stands for Gran Turismo Alleggerita (Alleggerita being the Italian term for lightened), and it originated in 1965 with the Giulia Sprint GTA.
That model was a special version of the Sprint GT, designed as a sports car and presented at the Amsterdam Motor Show staged that same year. Over the years, the GTA has had epic success on the track, and would spawn a road car icon.
From then on, the GTA made a name for itself as the undisputed icon of Alfa Romeo sportiness and the acronym GTA became so successful that the public soon associated it with all the sporty Alfa Romeo vehicles in general.
Fast forward to 2020 and Alfa Romeo intends to break a few rules. It doesn’t intend to talk about history, especially its own, nor does it want any gifts for its birthday. Instead, it prefers to give a gift to Alfa enthusiasts by presenting the Giulia GTA.
This is a real return to the roots of Alfa Romeo, planted deep in the world of performance and grand touring. For the new Giulia GTA, Alfa Romeo engineers have striven to improve aerodynamics and handling but above all to reduce weight.
The team have borrowed from their synergy Sauber Engineering and Sauber Aerokit to overhaul the aerodynamics of the Giulia, developing new side skirts, a specific rear spoiler and the active front splitter along the way.
The titanium Akrapovič central exhaust system integrated in the carbon fibre rear diffuser is also new, as are the 20-inch centre lock wheels, appearing for the first time on a sedan.
The handling at high speeds has been improved by widening the front and rear wheel tracks by 50mm and developing a new set of springs, shock absorbers and bushings for the suspension systems.
On the GTAm, the aerodynamic front piece has been optimised to an extreme level, by adding a larger front splitter and a real carbon rear wing, which ensure a perfectly balanced load at high speeds.
In terms of performance, the powerful 2.9-litre V6 bi-turbo, made entirely of aluminium, is capable of unleashing no less than 402.6kW on the Giulia GTA, thanks to meticulous calibration work performed by Alfa Romeo engineers.
The same team has also succeeded in optimising the implementation of the new Akrapovič specific exhaust system, with its unmistakable sound. Moving inside the car, several new details stand out.
The trim in 100 per cent Alcantara across the dashboard, door panels, glove compartment, side pillars and the central trim on the seats. Alcantara is used even more extensively on the GTAm version.
In that model, the rear bench has been removed, leaving room for a fully upholstered basin, hosting specific moldings deigned to hold helmets and fire extinguisher. New matte carbon inserts endow the interior with a distinctive technical and aesthetic elegance.
In the new GTAm, the interior is unique in that it features a roll bar, no door panels or rear seats and the door is opened with a belt in place of the handle, another touch that comes from the racing world.
Power on its own is not enough to ensure extraordinary performance. The work done to reduce vehicle weight has been meticulous and it has reaped particularly impressive results, with a total weight reduction of 99.8kg.
On the GTAm, the shell of the specific sporting seats with 6-point Sabelt safety belts are carbon fibre. Further, lightweight aluminum is used in the engine, doors and suspension systems, and various other composite materials are used throughout.
The result is a weight set around 1520kg which, combined with the increase in power, brings the weight/power ratio to an excellent level, making Giulia GTA and GTAm capable of delivering extraordinary performance.
Its acceleration from 0-100km/h is lightning fast, thanks to the launch control system. The chronometer stops at just 3.6 seconds. Again, in the GTAm variant, it’s approved for road use as a two-seater.
Each individual vehicle will be numbered and certified and ready to take up their place alongside their 1965 forerunner as one of the most sought-after collector’s items ever to come out of the Alfa Romeo stable.
Pre-orders open today, and once the reservation process is exhausted, the sales process switches to each owner working with an ambassador to tailor their vehicle purchase experience.
But the buying experience doesn’t stop there, as all owners will receive a personalised experience package kit, which includes a Bell helmet in special GTA livery, a full racing set by Alpinestars (race suit, gloves and shoes) and a personalised car cover.
In addition to other equipment for true enthusiasts, the Alfa Romeo customer experience also includes a specific driving course devised by the Alfa Romeo Driving Academy. Pricing has not been announced, but the Alfa Romeo Giulia GTA and GTAm will be legendary.