Celebrating 110 years of automotive history is no routine event, but when the Alfa Romeo design team sat down to think about how to celebrate it, they had no doubt about what they had to do: bring the GTA (Gran Turismo Alleggerita) badge back to life.

More aggressive

“To be able to use these legendary initials once again, we opted for the Giulia”, says Klaus Busse, head of design for the FCA Group in Europe. The Giulia GTA is the most extreme version of the Italian saloon. Built in 500 units in two versions, the GTA and GTAm (where “m” stands for “modified”), “it encapsulates beauty and performance.

Performance is the goal

“The engine is the Giulia Quadrifoglio’s 2.9 petrol six-cylinder, now developing 540 horsepower. The effort we put into making it aesthetically more aggressive was always driven by our collaboration with the engineers. We use this method in all our projects where performance is the goal from the very earliest sketches”, Busse continues.

New air intakes and increased widths

The front end was redesigned by adding air intakes to improve engine cooling and Brembo brakes in carbon ceramics, while in the GTAm version, a huge carbon fibre spoiler made by Sauber Engineering was installed at the rear. Track widths were increased by 50 millimetres, the wheels are larger and behind them are two titanium exhaust pipes made by Akrapovic.

Slimming treatment

“Apart from the roof and bumpers, the additional exterior parts are all made of carbon fibre and we decided not to paint them so as to lend more personality to this GTA”, says Busse. A slimming treatment that allowed the car to shed more than 100 kilograms. The interior changes with the version chosen: the GTA largely borrows that of the Giulia Quadrifoglio in dark colours and Alcantara for the dashboard upholstery, door panels and the central trim of the seats.

Two versions for interiors

“The GTAm configuration is that of a pure two-seater, the rear bench has been replaced by a rollbar, the carbon racing seats have Sabelt six-point harnesses and many details are inspired by the racing world such as pull strap door opening”. The idea of resuscitating the historic Gran Turismo Alleggerita badge has no specific start date, but rather corresponds to a dream long cultivated by every lover of the brand.

(Full article in A&D no. 242)