What is it?
One of the good things about an Alfa Romeo Giulia Quadrifoglio is how it flows down a bad road. Instead of pummelling and bashing along, our favourite sports saloon has a deftness and pliancy to the way it rides and steers.
The excellent news is that, while in pursuit of more performance and engagement, the new limited-edition Giulia GTA, tested here on British roads for the first time, retains (spoiler alert) all of that appeal.
This could be a surprise. This is an Alfa Giulia given the Jaguar XE Project 8 or BMW M4 GTS treatment: the full send into raciness. It’s a 500-off limited run of turned-up, tuned-up super-saloon, available in either GTA form or, as tested here, as the even more hardcore GTAm. Buyers are reportedly roughly evenly split between the two. In either form, it’s an awful lot of money – whatever €176,500 (GTA) or €181,500 (m) translates to when it arrives.
And it is an extreme car. Common to both flavours is more power than a standard Quadrifoglio, with the 2.9-litre 90deg V6’s output pushed up by 30bhp to 533bhp, while torque is unchanged at 443lb ft. It drives only the rear wheels still, through an eight-speed automatic gearbox.
Weight has come out all over the place. The bonnet, roof and front wings are carbonfibre. This GTAm version takes that several steps further – steps that could be too much for some, hence the even split between the two models. Out go the rear seats, opening rear windows and the door cards, while in comes a roll cage, six-point harnesses and fixed-back Sabelt carbonfibre-backed seats. Rear door skins, rear side windows and the rear window are plastic. Where each rear seat base would have been is a netted cubby to hold a crash helmet, there is a shiny fire extinguisher between them and an Alcantara bulkhead between all that and the boot.
The GTAm is claimed to be ‘up to’ 100kg lighter than a standard Quadrifoglio. We weighed one of those, fully fuelled, at 1700kg exactly (the claim was 1580kg), so call this 1600kg at the kerb.
Chuck in even more Alcantara and fabric door pulls and things in the GTAm look very racy indeed; although, sensibly, air conditioning and the infotainment system remain. I suppose removing them sometimes seems like a good, no-compromise idea across a boardroom table. But I’m told that when one supercar manufacturer offered a special model without all those niceties, but allowed buyers to specify them back in as a no-cost option, only one car was delivered without air-con and sound, and that was a press demonstrator.