The Italian beasts

Let’s be honest: Alfa Romeo Giulia GTAm and GTA are the pure quintessence of Italian automotive pride. We are Italians, we love Italian cars and when we found out there was something more faster than the already quick Giulia Quadrifoglio in the making, we couldn’t be any happier. At the end of March, as you all remember – and if not, here’s a reminder with a bit of GTA’s historical background – we test drove the GTAm prototype. Did we love it? Yes. Did we want to experience the final version of the car? Yes, in Montreal Green please. So we went to Balocco playground/circuit – once owned by Alfa Romeo, today property of Stellantis – one more time. Not only, we drove a bit nearby.

Off the line in the GTAm, the most extreme modern Biscione to date. And one of Alfa Romeo’s best car ever. The first thing we re-noticed – when landing into the monocoque carbon fiber Sparco sports seats with 6-point Sabelt safety belts – is the true racing attitude that belongs to the car. You can perfectly feel comfortable in your finely-adjustable driving position even with an helmet on, which is something that usually doesn’t happen with Giulia’s competitors. Why? Because the headrest area of any fast saloon car is just not made for helmets. There are no rear seats for the GTAm, instead there is a functional/scenic roll-cage and a place to store the aforementioned helmets. Details.

Another element we loved while pushing hard during our Balocco laps, has been the Alfa-programmed ECU, which perfectly manages the suspension system, balancing under and oversteer with ease. It reads all the dynamic data – speed, steering angle, throttle %, lateral and longitudinal accelerations – so that can ‘apply’ a slight oversteer when entering a turn and re-align the car when exiting. In slower turns you can control any oversteer with measured levels of correction to avoid excessive wheelspins and overworking the torque vectoring rear diff. The specific setup of suspension and steering ensures higher cut-in and cornering speed and improvements in stability with absolutely no impact on comfort. At high speeds there’s an enormous level of confidence, allowing you to really push the vehicle to its limits. For real.

The 540 hp 2.9-litre twin-turbo V6 has more than a smart ECU map under the bonnet: there are new lighter con-rods accompanied by new cooling jets for the pistons, a new oil cooler, and faster spinning turbines inside the pair of turbos. And, last but not least, an upgraded Akrapovic exhaust system which is feast for your ears. The progression between 150 and 250 km/h is literally astonishing. Sometimes you kinda think you are driving a rear-engined car: name a sporty saloon car able to grant the same sensation, we’ll wait for it.

The ZF gearbox is almost perfect, steering is ultra sharp, the Brembo carbon-ceramic set up works perfectly in every situation. The 20” forged alloy wheels with single-nut locking system wear  a specific Cup 2 tires expressly developed by Michelin for the GTAm.

One factor from which Alfa Romeo technicians have been able to benefit is aerodynamics, guaranteed by the expertise and facilities of Sauber Engineering. The Swiss firm has accrued in-depth expertise in aerodynamics, partly down to its very own wind tunnel. The Sauber team played an active role in the design, prototyping and manufacturing of the aerodynamic components of the Giulia GTAm/GTA. Courtesy of the manually adjustable front splitter and rear aerowing, the Giulia GTAm can adapt its aerodynamic performance to any kind of track, precisely following the requests and preferences of its driver. The GTAm and GTA also benefit from a special new air extractor capable of increasing the car’s ground effect, thus guaranteeing excellent road holding at high speeds. More specifically, the Giulia GTAm is able to develop double the pressure compared to the Giulia GTA, and a triple increase compared to the Giulia Quadrifoglio, a highly significant figure that testifies to the great work done by the Alfa Romeo and Sauber technicians. To achieve these objectives, widespread use has been made of components in carbon fiber and composite materials.

The Giulia GTA is more daily use-friendly, with its rear seats and a smaller rear wing. Obviously not as extreme as the GTAm sister, but still a true supercar – also suitable for the whole family.

Alfa Romeo Giulia GTAm and GTA come in Etna Red, Trophy White and Montreal Green – the one we felt in love with – a color palette that pays tribute to our national flag; but you can choose your own livery. Another layer of customization lies in the selection of a color for the brake calipers, and in the interior, roll bar, seat belts and stitchings.

The Alfa Romeo GTAm – and GTA too – are exciting, expensive and extreme. They’re cars we will hardly see in the next EV years. They are a testament for driving pleasure’s lovers and we are so proud there’s the Alfa Romeo signature on it.