by Jay Traugott
The Alfa Romeo Giulia Quadrifoglio is already an amazing machine. Thanks to its Ferrari-derived twin-turbo V6 engine and outstanding chassis and suspension tuning, in 2016 the Giulia QV became the new benchmark high-performance luxury sports sedan, knocking the BMW M3 off its perch. It almost impossible to find anything negative about it, save for some reliability issues. But now Alfa Romeo has done what so many of its competitors do, launch a high-performance version with increased power and reduced weight.
Introducing the 2021 Alfa Romeo Giulia GTA and GTAm, a pair of ultra-limited edition super sedans that are all about improved aerodynamics, handling, weight-saving measures, and general awesomeness. The GRTAm is an even more hardcore track-focused version with more extreme aerodynamics and weight-saving measures.
GTA, an acronym for "Gran Turismo Allegerita," (Allegerita means 'lightened'), harkens back to the classic 1960s era Giulia Sprint GTA coupe that also put a huge emphasis on shedding poundage. This time, obviously, the vehicle in question is a sedan and it could very well set a new segment standard in numerous categories. There's no doubt Alfa Romeo's German rivals are paying very close attention here.
2.9-liter Twin-Turbo V6 Gas
The Giulia and Giulia QV already look fantastic, but Alfa Romeo has gone above and beyond to make the Giulia GTA a true stand out. All of its aero bits and other new components are there for a reason, too. The Italian firm teamed up with Sauber Engineering for this task, which resulted in new side skirts, a GTA-specific rear spoiler, and an active front splitter. At the rear there's a carbon fiber diffuser that houses a lightweight titanium Akrapovic exhaust system. There are 20-inch center lock wheels and, compared to the standard Giulia, the front and rear wheel tracks are 50 mm wider, resulting in not only a more aggressive look, but also improved handling at high speed.
The GTAm features even more extreme aerodynamics, specifically a larger front splitter and carbon fiber rear wing.
Like its exterior, the Giulia's interior was already brilliant, and yet Alfa Romeo has improved it. The dashboard door panels, glove compartment, side pillars and the seat's central trim are now 100 percent Alcantara. There are also new matte carbon inserts. But, in general, the same overall design from the Giulia remains.
As for the hardcore Giulia GTAm, Alfa Romeo went to more extreme lengths to cut weight. The rear bench seat is gone meaning there's also more room for racing accessories, like helmets and fire extinguishers. There's also a new roll bar for obvious reasons. Even the door panels have been eliminated, thus forcing the rear doors to be opened with a belt in place of a traditional handle.
Alfa Romeo knew exactly what was needed to make an amazing engine even better. The Ferrari-derived 2.9-liter twin-turbo V6 remains, but instead of 510 horsepower it now has 540 hp following "meticulous calibration work" by engineers. 0 to 62 mph takes just 3.6 seconds thanks to Launch Control. Top speed was not announced.
For better overall handling, the suspension system receives new springs, shock absorbers, and bushings. All told, Alfa managed to shed 220 pounds of heft thanks to carbon fiber for the driveshaft, hood, roof, front bumper, front wheel arches, and rear-wheel arch inserts. The engine, doors, and suspension systems all incorporate lightweight aluminum. The total weight comes to 3,350 pounds, bringing the power-to-weight ratio to 6.2 lb/hp.
The track-focused Giulia GTAm also receives those same updates and, in case you're wondering, is fully street legal.
Official pricing for the 2021 Alfa Romeo Giulia GTA and GTAm has not been announced, but anyone interested will have to act fast. Just 500 total units are planned. While Alfa Romeo has confirmed the car for Europe, no word yet on whether or not it'll come to the US.
Giulia GTAm buyers will also receive a goodie bag that'll include a Bell helmet in a special GTA livery, a full racing set of Alpinestars (a racing suit, gloves, and shoes), and a personalized Goodwool car cover. Customers will also be able to enroll in the Alfa Romeo Driving Academy.
The competition? Well, the Alfa Romeo Giulia GTA and GTAm are so unique that there's literally nothing else quite like them, with one exception: the now discontinued Jaguar XE SV Project 8, which managed to smash its Nurburgring record in July 2019. The BMW M3 CS is another competitor though it's not quite as extreme as the Alfa or Jaguar. Alfa Romeo also has not provided an on-sale date or delivery date. But chances are, this is one of those first-come, first-served type of deals.