Alfa Romeo is celebrating its 110th birthday this year and has very generously decided to give everyone else a gift. Well, 500 people a gift, since that’s how many of the new Alfa Romeo Giulia Quadrifoglio-based GTA and GTAm are being built.
Appropriately for a birthday, the company is reflecting on its past – the GTA name was first used for a lightweight version of the Giulia Sprint that launched in 1965. It stands for ‘Gran Turismo Alleggerita’, the latter word being the Italian word for ‘lightened’ and referring to the car’s all aluminium body which dropped over 200kg from the road version, taking it to 745kg.
Today’s GTA achieves a still impressive 100kg weight saving through the use of carbon-fibre for the drive shaft, bonnet, roof, front bumper, front wheel arches and rear wheel arch inserts. The more extreme GTAm ditches the rear seats and instead gets carbon-fibre racing seats, rear roll cage, rear wing and six-point harnesses.
Further performance has been liberated from the twin-turbo 2.9-litre V6 which now makes an additional 30PS, for a total of 540PS, helped in part by a titanium exhaust system. Sauber has tuned the active aerodynamics for increased downforce and handling is further improved by 50mm front and rear track increase, new springs, shocks and bushings plus 20-inch centre lock wheels.
For the two-seat GTAm this brings the power-to-weight ratio to 2.82kg per PS thanks to the 1,520kg kerb weight, resulting in a launch control sprint to 62mph in just 3.6 seconds. Whichever absurdly rapid saloon they choose the 500 owners will receive a GTA liveried helmet, full race suit, tailored car cover and invitation to a GTA driving course. Damn this thing looks insane.