Cars

Alfa Romeo Giulia GTA: 'I'll have the red one... and the green one, and the white one...'

Alfa Romeo Giulia GTA
Alfa Romeo Giulia GTA Alfa Romeo Giulia GTA

WE don't need much of an excuse here at Drive to devote a little space to an Alfa Romeo Giulia - especially the GTA and GTAm versions, writes William Scholes.

These exclusive high-performance models were announced early in the coronavirus pandemic, and are only now making what is known in the trade as their 'dynamic debut'.

This involved Alfa Romeo bringing them to the Balocco Proving Ground in Italy which, by happy coincidence for the marketing people, is the same circuit where the original 1965 Giulia GTA was developed.

The GTA and GTAm are essentially what happens when you take the brilliant Quadrifoglio model - think 'four-door Ferrari' and you'll get the idea - and make it even more focused.

The 2.9-litre V6 twin-turbo engine is boosted to 533bhp; that, plus extensive weight saving courtesy of carbon fibre and composites, means the GTA is extremely lively - 0-62mph takes 3.6 seconds.

Alfa Romeo has a Formula One presence these days which has helped hone the Giulia's aerodynamics.

Alfa Romeo Giulia GTA
Alfa Romeo Giulia GTA Alfa Romeo Giulia GTA

Other goodies include a centrally-mounted titanium exhaust system from pipe wizards Akrapovic and 20-inch wheels with a single locking nut, just like a touring car.

The GTA model is hard-core enough, but the GTAm takes things a stage further. It gets plastic rear door panels, polycarbonate rear windows, carbonfibre-shell front seats and nylon door pulls in place of the standard handles. The back seat has been removed and replaced with a roll cage; they even give you a set of racing overalls.

Alfa Romeo Giulia GTA
Alfa Romeo Giulia GTA Alfa Romeo Giulia GTA

Alfa is building 500 examples of each, and you will need at least £150,000 to get your hands on the keys to one of them.

And, in case you are wondering, GTA doesn't stand for 'Grand Theft Auto'. It means 'Gran Turismo Alleggerita' - 'lightweight grand tourer' - and dates back to the hallowed Alfa Romeo Giulia Sprint GTA of 1965.

That was a very special car, and its 2021 successor is every bit as thrilling.

Alfa Romeo Giulia GTA
Alfa Romeo Giulia GTA Alfa Romeo Giulia GTA