GTA, or Gran Turismo Alleggerita, was a badge that Alfa Romeo slapped on the lighter, hardcore version of its Giulia Sprint GT coupe back in 1965. It was essentially a street-legal race car that scared the living daylights out of the competition in touring car races and quietly shuttled the Italian salaryman to work every morning. “A victory a day in your everyday car,” Alfa Romeo called it.
That same philosophy is being used in the reincarnation of the GTA name. The Giulia Quadrifoglio is being treated to a crash diet, and its 2.9-liter V6 heart is getting some extra muscles in order to create what Alfa Romeo says is a return to its motorsport roots. The end result is the Giulia GTA, a track-focused version of the family-friendly Quadrifoglio sports sedan and a vehicle that bears the name of the 1960s touring car legend.
The Giulia GTA benefits from a combination of lightweight materials and advanced engineering to achieve its weight-loss goals. There is liberal use of carbon fiber in the driveshaft, the wheel arches, the front seats and the various external body panels. The side and rear windows are made of Lexan, a tough and lightweight composite normally used on race cars. These measures have trimmed down the GTA’s heft by a substantial 100kg.
To complement the reduction in curb weight, the Ferrari-derived twin-turbo six-cylinder engine now sings to the tune of 540hp, 30hp more than the standard Quadrifoglio. Alfa Romeo claims that this modest power gain is the result of fine-tuning the motor to suit its race-ready purpose. This includes tweaking the engine to bark with gusto through an Akrapovič sports exhaust system nestled in the rear diffuser.
Alfa Romeo’s sports-sedan slayer also makes use of technology straight out of Formula 1. The GTA’s aero kit, which includes a special front splitter, side skirts and a rear spoiler, was designed by Sauber Engineering. Yes, the same Sauber that flies the Italian automaker’s colors on racetracks around the world. These enhancements together with wider 20-inch center-lock alloy wheels and a stiffer suspension system make the GTA an absolute thrill to throw around corners.
These improvements also allow the Giulia GTA to accelerate to 100km/h in just 3.6 seconds. But if that isn’t enough, Alfa Romeo is offering the Giulia GTAm. It’s basically a harder version of the four-seat GTA. It’s perfect for those who abhor back-seat driving, as Alfa throws out the rear bench seat and puts a roll cage in its place. It also gets a different front splitter and a rear wing that is anything but subtle. For those who like keeping the GTA experience to themselves, this is the Giulia to get.
Placing an order for the GTA and the GTAm is a unique experience. Alfa Romeo says that brand ambassadors will be supervising the ordering process, assisting the customer from reservation all the way to delivery. Each lucky
bastard owner gets a personalized package that consists of a Bell crash helmet, Alpinestars racing overalls, and a special car cover because these people probably have 10 other exotic vehicles in their garages.
It is indeed a good time to own an Alfa Romeo. Those who missed out on the excitement of driving the classic Giulia Sprint GTA can now relive the same great joy behind the wheel of the Giulia GTA and GTAm. But better hurry up: Only 500 cars in total will be made.