Alfa Romeo has taken the wraps off its super-hot 2021 Giulia GTA and GTAm, limited-production versions of the mighty Quadrifoglio Verde.
On June 24, Alfa Romeo will reach an important milestone in its remarkable history – 110 years since the Italian car-maker opened for business. In the intervening years, Alfa Romeo engineers and designers have relentlessly pursued innovation, while remaining true to the brand’s balanced combination of sportiness and elegance.
To mark that milestone, Alfa Romeo has presented a vehicle that fully signifies a return to the brand’s origins, while paying tribute to one of the most emblematic vehicles of Alfa Romeo: the Giulia GTA.
The GTA history
The use of the ‘Gran Turismo Alleggerita’ name marks the return of a badge used to denote various lightened, high-performance Alfas since the 1965 Giulia Sprint GTA, designed as a sports car and presented at the Amsterdam Motor Show that same year.
The body of the Giulia Sprint GT was replaced with an identical version in aluminum, for a total weight of 745kg compared to the 950kg of the road version. Focus then turned to the 1.6 twin cam engine which, in the road configuration with dual ignition, reached an impressive output of 115hp.
The technicians of Autodelta (the official Alfa Romeo racing team) chose the GT for the Touring category and developed its engine to achieve a maximum output of 170hp.
Competition success was immediate; three consecutive ‘Challenge Europeo Marche’, tens of national championships and hundreds of individual races in every part of the world. And the way it ramped up the image of the entire range was also impressive: the Giulia Sprint GTA expressed the claim ‘a victory a day in your everyday car’, to perfection.
The GTA went on to make a name for itself as the undisputed icon of Alfa Romeo sportiness and the acronym GTA became associated with all sporty Alfa Romeo models.
The 2021 Giulia GTA & GTAm
For the new Giulia GTA, Alfa Romeo engineers set out to improve the aerodynamics and handling of the ‘regular’ Giulia QV, but with full attention to weight reduction – the same guidelines followed for the 1965 Giulia GTA.
The car’s active aerodynamics was tweaked to increase the downforce – technical know-how derived directly from Formula 1, thanks to the synergy with Sauber Engineering and the use of the Sauber Aerokit. That same know-how was assigned to the side skirts, the new rear spoiler and the active aero front splitter. The titanium Akrapovič central exhaust system integrated in the carbon fibre rear diffuser is also new, as are the 20-inch centre lock wheels.
High speed handling was improved by widening the front and rear wheel tracks by 50mm and developing a new set of springs, shocks and bushings for the suspension systems. On the GTAm, the aerodynamic front end has been optimised by adding a larger front splitter and a carbon rear wing.
Inside the Giulia GTA, several new features stand out: Alcantara on the dashboard, door panels, glove compartment, side pillars and the central seat trim. Alcantara is used even more extensively on the GTAm version (a two-seat configuration approved for road use), where the rear bench has been removed, leaving room for a fully upholstered ’basin’, hosting specific mouldings designed to secure helmets and a fire extinguisher.
In the new GTAm, the interior features a roll bar and is stripped out meaning 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.
The V6 Workhouse
Mated to the regular Giulia QV’s eight-speed automatic transmission, the Ferrari-sourced twin-turbo 2.9-litre V6 powerplant is cranked up to 540hp for GTA duty, which is 35hp more than in the already ferocious regular model.
The road-legal GTAm (as in ‘modificata’), deploys the same engine but gets a tall rear wing, a pair of front racing seats with a six-point Sabelt harnesses. It too receives the Akrapovič exhaust to deliver a wicked aural signature.
The bespoke exhaust contributes to the new model’s 91kg weight savings versus the regular Giulia QV, with the rear-wheel-drive Giulia GTA adding a carbon-fibre driveshaft, hood, roof, front fascia, and wheel arch extensions. The GTAm also uses carbon for the seat shells. All GTAs also benefit from polycarbonate side and rear windows. Alfa cites a zero-to-62-mph time of just 3.6 seconds for the GTA and GTAm.
500 lucky customers
Both the Giulia GTA and GTAm will be built in a limited edition of only 500 units in total, all numbered and certified and ready to take up their place alongside their 1965 forerunner as one of the most sought-after collector’s items.
The exclusivity found in the Giulia GTA and Giulia GTAm also extends to the customer experience, designed to treat the 500 lucky owners to a unique interaction that is 100% Alfa Romeo. Following advance bookings (which are now officially open and will close as soon as the 500th unit has been reserved), the sales process will be one-to-one, with a QV product specialist following each customer from order to delivery.
But the buying experience doesn’t stop at the dedicated sales process. New owners will also 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 GoodWool car cover. In addition, the Alfa Romeo GTA and GTAm customer experience also includes a specific driving course devised by the Alfa Romeo Driving Academy.
The Giulia GTA is the most powerful road car Alfa Romeo has built, and with a starting price of £153,300 for the GTA and £157,700 for the stripped-out GTAm variant, the most expensive, too.
But, frankly Alfa Romeo UK, I don’t care how much it costs. Once the ink is dry, you can take my money and send the GTA to my room straight away.