AUTO

Alfa Romeo Giulia GTA (2021) FULL REVIEW

On June 24th, 2020, Alfa Romeo reached an important milestone in its remarkable history: 110 years in business. During that century-plus span, Alfa Romeo engineers and designers have relentlessly pursued innovation, while always remaining true to the Brand’s DNA. Over the years, this DNA – the perfect combination of sportiness and elegance – has created not only some of the most iconic vehicles ever built, but also vehicles that are right at home both on the racetrack and in any beauty contest. To mark its 110th birthday, Alfa Romeo presents 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: Giulia GTA.

A set of initials with a legendary feel: GTA

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, a specific version derived from the Sprint GT, designed as a sports car and presented at the Amsterdam Motor Show staged that same year. The body of the Giulia Sprint GT was replaced with an identical version in aluminum, for a total weight of 1,642 lb compared to the 2,094 lb of the road version. A second variation concerned the 1.6 twin cam engine which, in the road configuration, with dual ignition, reached an impressive output of 115 hp. The technicians of Autodelta, the official Alfa Romeo racing team, chose it as the reference vehicle for the Touring category, and developed it to achieve a maximum output of 170 hp. The model’s success in competitions was then 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: Giulia Sprint GTA expressed the claim “A victory a day in your everyday car” to perfection. 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.

On the year of its 110th anniversary, 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. Today, this is a real return to the roots of Alfa Romeo, planted deep in the world of performance and grand touring.

Specific technical features and functional style

For the new Giulia GTA, Alfa Romeo engineers have striven to improve aerodynamics and handling but above all to reduce weight: the same guidelines followed for the 1965 Giulia GTA. The active aerodynamics were specifically studied to increase the downforce. These solutions contain technical know-how that comes directly from Formula 1, thanks to the synergy with Sauber Engineering and the use of the Sauber Aerokit. The same task is assigned to the side skirts, the specific rear spoiler and the active front splitter. The titanium Akrapovi? central exhaust system integrated in the carbon fiber rear diffuser is also new, as are the 20-inch center 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 GTAm, the aerodynamic front piece has been optimized 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 V6 Bi-Turbo, made entirely of aluminum and capable of unleashing no less than 510 hp in the standard configuration, reaches a power output of 540 hp on Giulia GTA, thanks to meticulous calibration work performed by Alfa Romeo engineers. The same team has also succeeded in optimizing the implementation of the new Akrapovi? specific exhaust system, with its unmistakable sound.

Moving inside the car, several new details stand out: the trim in 100% Alcantara® on 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, where the rear bench has been removed, leaving room for a fully upholstered “basin”, hosting specific moldings deigned to hold helmets and fire extinguisher. The 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.

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