Last week we took a look at a car whose three letters helped redefine an entire genre of motoring. This week, it’s the turn of three letters which were first worn by an Alfa Romeo in 1965. GTA stands for ‘Gran Turismo Alleggerita’ and that last letter means “lightened” in Italian. The 1965 Giulia Sprint GTA really lives up to that last letter, and tipped the scales at just 745kg as compared to the 950kg in the road version.
We couldn’t be happier to see the GTA name come back and what a comeback it is. The 2020 GTA is based on the Giulia Quadrifoglio, and is now Alfa’s extra-spicy option. Sadly, Alfa Romeo – to celebrate its 110th birthday – will only be building 500 examples globally and is available in two versions namely: the GTA and GTAm (‘m’ standing for Modificato).
The formula for the new GTA is relatively simple, add power and minus weight. Power comes from an all-aluminium 2.9-litre twin-turbocharged V6 that’s related to Ferrari’s F154 V8 engine and tuned by Autodelta. The recalibrated blown bent-six makes 402kW which is up from the 375kW found in the Quadrifoglio. Alfa did not quote the torque figure, but we estimate it to be north of the Quadrifoglio’s 600Nm of torque.
The new GTA sports an Akrapovic titanium exhaust system as well as a new set of springs, shock absorbers and bushings for the suspension system. In terms of aerodynamics, the GTA gets some help thanks to Alfa’s synergy with Sauber Engineering. The Sauber Aerokit on the car includes an active front air splitter, side skirts, huge rear diffuser and for the GTAm, an oversized front splitter and a massive rear wing. As you can imagine with a car that puts such an emphasis on lightness, most bits are made from carbon fibre.
Furthermore, the weight saving exercise continues with copious use of lightweight materials such as carbon fibre for the drive shaft, bonnet, roof, front bumper, front wheel arches and rear wheel arch inserts and the shell of the sports seats with six-point Sabelt seat belts in the GTAm. Additionally, aluminium is used for components in the engine, doors and suspension system.
The result of this weight saving exercise is a Giulia that checks in at just 1,520kg. The GTAm boasts a power-to-weight ratio of 2.82kg per horsepower, which Alfa says is the best in its class, enabling a century sprint time of just 3.6 seconds.
On the inside, lightweight Alcantara is used to trim the dashboard, door panels, glove compartment, side pillars and the central trim on the seats. The GTAm does away with the rear seats which leaves room for an Alcantara upholstered ‘basin’ with specific mouldings designed to hold helmets and a fire extinguisher. The GTAm also sports a roll-bar, no door panels and the door is opened with a belt in place of the handle just like a racing car.
For the 500 fortunate souls who get the opportunity to own one of these, they’ll get to work alongside an Alfa brand ambassador which will help them navigate the entire process until the cars are delivered. Each car will also get a Bell helmet in GTA livery and a full racing outfit from Alpinestars, including the suit, gloves, and shoes. The owners will get to use this gear at a course from the Alfa Romeo Driving Academy.
In an article penned by Autocar, they projected that each of the 500 GTA and GTAm-badged Giulia’s would sell for excesses of £100,000 or $200,000 plus Australian dollars, which is quite a bit considering a Giulia Quadrifoglio retails for $143,900.