What is it?
The Giulia GTA is the most powerful road car Alfa Romeo has produced and, at a projected £152,000 for the standard model and an even steeper £156,000 for the stripped-out track-focused GTAm driven here, its most expensive, too.
Production is limited to just 500 of both - all bearing a numbered GTA (Grand Turismo Alleggerita) build plaque attached to the dashboard, so don’t expect to see many here in the UK, or anywhere else for that matter.
Which is a shame, because the new lightweight saloon is arguably Alfa Romeo’s finest road car to date: an exclusive and very special performance car that proves the Italian car maker can still turn out world-beating models when its accounting department permits, despite dwindling sales in most markets and, next to the higher-volume competition, a rather threadbare model line-up.
The starting point for the brilliant new Alfa Romeo flagship is the Giulia Quadrifoglio but, as its price suggests, the modifications run deep. The extent of the changes, and there are many, is glaringly obvious from the very the moment you clap eyes on it.
For a start, the Giulia GTA gets a comprehensively reworked aerodynamic package with lots of new carbonfibre parts. Combined, they give it a highly functional race-car-for-the-road appearance that screams performance in a way that its rivals from Audi Sport, BMW M and Mercedes-AMG visually fail to convey.
There’s an intricate and rather expensive-looking front splitter that adjusts by 40mm, a heavily reworked front bumper, altered grille, larger air ducts behind the front wheel arches, beefed-up sills under the doors, new rear wheel-arch flares, a sizeable boot deck spoiler and a revised diffuser.
That’s not the extent of it, though. A series of aerodynamic tests in the wind tunnel of Alfa Romeo Formula 1 partner Sauber Engineering during development has also led to the Giulia GTA receiving a series underbody trick fins to help accelerate air underneath the car towards the rear. The result? An additional 300kg of downforce compared with the Giulia Quadrifoglio, according to the engineer responsible for its development, Daniel Tiago Guzzafame.
It’s not all about pure downforce, though. Alfa Romeo says many of the new Giulia GTA's exterior parts are aimed at providing more air to an upgraded cooling system, which is claimed to have a 10% increase in capacity compared with the standard system.