BH CORRESPONDENT, Italy: The acronym GTA stands for ‘Gran Turismo Alleggerita’ (alleggerita being the Italian term for “lightened”), and it originated in 1965 with the Giulia Sprint GTA, a specific version derived from the Sprint GT. The body of the Giulia Sprint GT was replaced with an identical version in aluminium, giving a total weight of 745kg compared to the 950kg of the road version.
Fifty five years later, Alfa Romeo is bringing back a legend its history: Giulia GTA with a modern twist of technology applications. The Giulia GTA will be offered with four seats and the Giulia GTAm with two race seats, roll-bar and six-point harness.
Both variants will get 2.9-litre V6 twin-turbo petrol engine producing 540hp along with a raft of weight saving solutions to remain true to the ethos of the original 1965 model.
Since both cars are meant to be driven hard, a synergy with Sauber Engineering and the use of the Sauber Aerokit has taken care of the aerodynamic performance requirements that are evident from the side skirts, the specific rear spoiler and the active front splitter.
The lightweight titanium Akrapovič central exhaust system, integrated in the carbon fibre rear diffuser, is also new, as are the 20-inch centre lock wheels. Handling at high speeds has been improved by widening the front and rear wheel tracks by 50mm and developing a new set of springs, shock absorbers and bushings for the suspension systems.
Reducing flab has been a top priority and Alfa Romeo claim that engineers have knocked off 100kg by using a mix of lightweight materials like 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. Aluminium has also been used in the engine, doors and suspension systems and various other composite materials have been used throughout.
In the GTAm, Lexan – polycarbonate resin which comes straight from the world of motorsport – has been used in the side and rear window frames, further contributing to the weight reduction. The result is a weight of around 1,520kg and optimised power-to-weight ratio.
The interior has also been attended well with Alcantara® trimmed dashboard, door panels, glove compartment, side pillars and the central trim on the seats, characterise the interior. Alcantara® is used even more extensively in the GTAm version, where the rear seat has been removed, leaving room for a fully upholstered ‘basin’, with specific mouldings designed to hold helmets and a fire extinguisher. The new matt carbon-fibre inserts give the interior a distinctive technical and aesthetic elegance. In the new GTAm, the interior is unique in that it features a roll-bar, no door panels or rear seats and the door is opened with a belt in place of the handle, another touch inspired by the racing world.