The acronym GTAm – which stands for Gran Turismo Alleggerita and was born in 1965 – would be enough to identify the racing version of the Giulia Sprint, accompanied by the m which indicated that it was ‘oversized’ – in addition to the glorious Quadrifoglio brand and the white-blue Autodelta badge. (the Alfa Romeo racing department directed by the great Carlo Chiti) to make the modern Giulia GTAm a truly unique car, the ideal trait d’union between the glorious sporting DNA of the Casa del Portello and today’s Alfa Romeo, part of the Stellantis Group and even more projected towards the future.
But its characteristics and the level of solutions that GTAm brings to the road (as it is perfectly approved for circulation) and on the track are such as to make it a real rarity in the panorma of world production, so much so that it has pushed an authoritative British magazine specialized in cars high performance that the GTAm corresponds to the model that “Porsche could make if it built a four-door with the soul of the 911 GT3 RS”.
The opportunity to get behind the wheel of this supercar disguised as a sedan (but with only two seats in the GTAm variant) in a test session that had as its reference the Centro Sperimentale di Balocco, in the province of Vercelli, is truly unique. it was not only an opportunity to evaluate the state of the art of Alfa engineering and the positive transfer of experiences between the world of road cars and that of Formula 1, but also to discover the differences between the Giulia GTAm and the less extreme Glulia GTA.
The Alfa Romeo offer now includes the evolution that these two models for super-enthusiasts – price from 143 thousand euros plus VAT for GTA and from 147 thousand plus VAT for GTAm, edition of 500 copies – represent compared to the top version of the Giulia range, the Quatrefoil. In particular, the GTAm identifies perfectly with the philosophy that 56 years ago led to the birth of the ‘light’ variant of the Giulia Sprint GT which at the time used an aluminum body, for a total weight of 745 kg against the 950 kg of the version. road.
And, today as then, the GTAm offers a lower mass of 100 kg compared to the Gulia Quadrifoglio while – as was the case with the transition from the 115 hp standard to the 170 hp of the racing ancestor – the Alfa Romeo 2.9 V6 Bi-Turbo engine arrives, thanks to several important changes to 540 hp, that is to a specific power of 187 hp / liter which is best in class. Among the other innovations – such as the meticulous attention to aerodynamic efficiency – stand out the new 20-inch wheels with single-nut fixing (for the first time on a sedan) with an evolution of the Michelin Pilot Sport Cup 2 Connect and the new exhaust system. Akrapovič centerpiece in titanium, with an unmistakable sound.
GTAm, it should be emphasized, represents excellence in aerodynamics and, consequently, in exploiting the overall characteristics of the frame. Alfa Romeo engineers – in synergy with Sauber Engineering – have worked to improve aerodynamics and handling, without losing sight of the goal of reducing weight. To do this, carbon fiber components and composite materials were used extensively. The aerodynamics have been specially designed to increase downforce thanks also to the technical know-how that comes directly from Formula 1.
The task is entrusted to the aerodynamic appendages, to the new rear spoiler, adjustable in four positions in the case of GTAm, and to the active front splitter, which can be removed for use on the track up to 40 mm, also in this case only in the GTAm. More than the driving impressions on the demanding Balocco track and on a road route around Lake Viverone, speak the figures that the two ‘extreme’ Alfa Romeos recorded on the Vallelunga circuit, in comparison also with Giulia Quadrifoglio. As can be seen from a specific chart, the differences are important for the purposes – for example – of a sporting result, with the GTA running in 2 seconds and 15 hundredths faster than the Quadrifoglio, but with the GTAm that detaches all improving than others. 80 cents.
The speed measurement on the Vallelunga bend is significant: 168.8 km / with the Quadrifoglio, 170.1 with the GTA and 172.7 with the GTAm.
The handling, among other things, has been improved through the 25 mm widening of the front and 50 mm rear tracks compared to the Quadrifoglio version, and with the development of a specific suspension setup with double wishbone in front and independent multilink behind. .
Thanks to the specific suspension and steering settings, you get a higher speed of entry and cornering and an improvement in stability without compromising comfort in every situation. Finally, what about the racing character of the passenger compartment, which in this specific set-up provides only two seats with bucket seats in Sabelt carbon fiber and a set of solutions – from the fire extinguisher to the rollbar and the 5-point safety belts – which allow you to enjoy this jewel as true steering wheel professionals do, some finishes have been eliminated compared to the Quadrifoglio, but the adrenaline – and the acceleration that can be felt on the neck – are such as to overshadow some details, such as the relative ‘street’ comfort of the seats and only the longitudinal adjustment.