In 1965, Alfa Romeo’s competition department, Autodelta, developed the ‘Gran Turismo Alleggerita’ (GTA) which was based on the Giulia Sprint GT. The car was especially light (‘allegerita’ is Italian word for ‘lightened’) as the body of the Giulia Sprint GT was replaced with an identical version in aluminium, giving a total weight of 745 kgs, compared to the 950 kgS of the road version. With increased performance, it quickly became a legend, winning many races of that era.
This year, as the brand celebrates its 110th anniversary, a new Giulia GTA inspired by its 1965 namesake will be launched. The new GTA is based on the Giulia Quadrifoglio and is fitted with a more powerful version of the Alfa Romeo 2.9-litre V6 Bi-Turbo engine, now with 540 bhp.
The pursuit of lightness
Like the 1965 cars, lightness was pursued and extensive use of ultra-light materials gives a weight saving of 100 kgs compared to the Giulia Quadrifoglio, giving it a best-in-class power-to-weight ratio of 2.82 kgs/bhp.
Lightweight materials used include carbonfibre for the driveshaft, bonnet, roof, front bumper, front wheel arches and rear wheel arch inserts and the shell of the sports seats. Aluminium has been used in doors and suspension systems and various other composite materials have been used throughout.
Two road-legal versions will be available – the Giulia GTA and Giulia GTAm. The Giulia GTA will have 4 seats and the Giulia GTAm will be fitted with 2 race seats, roll-bar and six-point harness.
On the Giulia GTA, the Alfa Romeo engineers have worked to improve the aerodynamics and handling but above all, to reduce the weight. 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.
On the GTAm, the aerodynamic front has been optimised by adding a larger front splitter and a real carbonfibre rear wing, which ensure a perfectly balanced load at high speeds.
The titanium Akrapovic central exhaust system, integrated in the carbonfibre rear diffuser, is also new, as are the 20-inch centre lock wheels. Handling at high speeds has been improved by widening the front and rear wheel tracks by 50 mm and developing a new set of springs, shock absorbers and bushings for the suspension systems.
An Alcantara- trimmed dashboard, door panels, glove compartment, side pillars and the central trim on the seats, characterise the interior. Alcantara is used even more extensively in the GTAm version, where the rear bench has been removed, leaving room for a fully upholstered ‘basin’, with specific mouldings designed to hold helmets and a fire extinguisher.
The new matt carbonfibre inserts give the interior 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 inspired by the racing world.
In the GTAm, Lexan – a unique polycarbonate resin which comes straight from the world of motorsport – has been used in the side and rear window frames, further contributing to the weight reduction. The result is a weight of around 1,520 kgs which, combined with the increase in output to 540 bhp, making the Giulia GTAm capable of delivering very high performance. Acceleration from 0 to 100 km/h, with the Launch Control system, is claimed to be 3.6 seconds.
500 lucky customers
The Giulia GTA and its extreme version, the Giulia GTAm, will be built in a limited run of only 500 units, 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.
As an exclusive dedicated customer experience, the owners will receive a personalised experience package 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 for protecting their GTA or GTAm. Customers can also take part in a specific driving course devised by the Alfa Romeo Driving Academy.