Alfa Romeo has used its touring car heritage and current Formula 1 knowledge to create a track-ready version of its already-potent Giulia Quadrifoglio.
Known as the Giulia GTAm, reviving the nameplate associated with the brand’s iconic tin-tops of the 1960s, this new super sedan has been designed to blow away the competition from the BMW M3 Competition and Mercedes-AMG C63 S. The GTA name stands for ‘Gran Turismo Alleggerita’, which was used on the 1965 Giulia Sprint GT tuned by racing division, Autodelta.
This new model has been built in-house, with some outside assistance from Sauber Engineering, Alfa Romeo’s F1 partner. The result is the wild-looking bodykit, with an aggressive front splitter and huge carbon fibre rear wing, all part of an aerodynamic upgrade to make the Giulia a track-weapon. Sauber also helped develop the big rear diffuser and new side skirt as part of the aero redesign.
The rear wing isn’t the only carbon fibre piece – far from it. In fact Alfa Romeo has been generous with the use of the material in order to cut the weight of the GTAm. The bonnet, roof, front and rear wheel arches, front bumper and the driveshaft are all made from carbon fibre. The Italian brand has even replaced the side and rear windows with Lexan – the polycarbonate resin material typically replaces glass in racing cars. The net result is a massive saving of 100kg over the Quadrifoglio.
Inside the weight savings continue with the GTAm ditching the back seats of the regular Giulia – making this a two-seat, four-door sports sedan. The driver and passenger get a carbon fibre shelled racing-style bucket seat, complete with six-point Sabelt racing harness, connected to a roll-over bar. Even the interior door handles have been ditched, replaced with fabric tags to help you out.
The space where the rear seats used to be is now a specially molded area to house your racing helmet and mount a fire extinguisher; just in-case you were in any doubt of this car’s track intentions.
The engine has been upgraded too, now making 402kW of power (up from 375kW in the Giulia Quadrifoglio) to make it the most potent Alfa Romeo production car. It’s mated to a new Akrapovic titanium exhaust, which the company claims makes for a more suitable soundtrack for such a dynamic sedan.
The combination of the power increase and weight drop is an upgrade in performance, particularly acceleration with the GTAm capable of managing the 0-100km/h sprint in just 3.6 seconds.
Handling has been improved thanks to a total redesign of the suspension. There are new springs, shock absorbers and bushings to help make the chassis tauter and more responsive. The track has also been made 50mm wider at both the front and rear for better balance and cornering ability.
If all this sounds a little too extreme, Alfa Romeo also revealed a Giulia GTA which gets the same performance upgrades but retains a four-seater layout, conventional sports seats, glass and less extreme bodykit.
Only 500 examples of the GTAm/GTA will be built and each owner will get a Bell racing helmet and Alpinestars racing suit, gloves and boots in GTA livery to ensure they look the part when they take their car to a track day.
Alfa Romeo Australia is currently evaluating the possibility of getting a limited allocation of the GTAm/GTA locally, but it hasn’t been confirmed yet if the car will be available in right-hand drive.
The Original GTA
The 1965 Alfa Romeo GTA was created by Autodelta for touring car racing. It replaced the Giulia Sprint’s regular steel body with only made from aluminium which saved more than 200kg. The racing department then added a tuned version of its 1.7-litre twin-cam engine that pushed power from 84kW to 126kW.
It became hard-to-beat on track, claiming the European Touring Car Championship three times (1966, ‘67 and ‘68) before the evolution, the GTAm claimed the ETCC in ‘70 and ‘71. The car also won the Spa 24-hours and Trans-Am class titles.