Premium Enough with all the speculation and rumors, it’s finally here. The royal crown in the Giulia family is now shouldered by the limited model GTAm with more power, lower weight and lots of carbon fiber. The result? A real trackday weapon!
One press of the red start button on the steering wheel is followed by a sound that cuts like a knife through the calm, the two centrally located Akrapovicut bladders literally tear apart the silence. Steaming exhaust gases flow out of the darkness from the aircraft hangar.
A silent buzz confirms that the handbrake has released its iron grip on the car and slowly rolls out the Alfa Romeo Giulia GTAm at the old Pferdsfeld airport in Hunsrück in central Germany.
The 540 snorting horses in the 90-degree V6 run hot, and sound confusingly similar to those in a Maranello V8 (from which Alfa’s engine actually comes, but with two cylinders smaller). No, we delete the history lesson immediately, it would have blown the framework for this text.
GTAm stands for Gran Turismo Alleggerita modificata, for those who did not already know it. The name oozes traditionalism and even more of motorsport. Basically, it is enough to know that GTAm stands for more power and lower weight, more specifically plus 30 hp and minus 100 kg compared to a “standard” -Giulia Quadrifoglio.
The power increase in GTAm is achieved through a modified engine management that allows the twin-turbo to spin at 20,000 rpm more than in the standard car. In addition, Giulia’s 2.9-liter V6 has been given new pistons and connecting rods. This leads to an increased heat development in the aluminum stove, which has, however, been remedied by new oil cooling.
The hardcore sedan now breathes more freely through a titanium exhaust system that reduces weight by 10 kg, but the dieting trend continues. Shell chairs from Sabelt not only reduce comfort but also weight by as much as 30 kg, just like the countless body parts in carbon fiber (-10 kg).
The spartanly clad door you open with the help of fabric loops as it should in a race car, at the back you have pasted polycarbonate windows in the window frames and the heavy rear seat that is in the sister car Giulia GTA (which is hardly a more civil variant of GTAm, but more everyday friendly) has been ironed on the foot . Here is instead a cage that has been painted in the same color as the body, namely Montreal green.
A lot of effort has been put into it and consideration for the car’s aerodynamics. Those Sauber F1 stickers on the carbon fiber thresholds are there for a reason.
The changed aerodynamics with small spoilers and huge air intakes as well as the screen widths, the diffuser and the cool rear wing have been tested in the Formula 1 stable’s wind tunnel.
Impressive, right? But hardly as impressive as the result. A carbon fiber lip folds out and is lowered at speeds north of 100 km / h. Some stickers in different languages require that you do not stand on your lip and that it may only be used on the track. The same applies to the large rear wing, the upper blade of which can be set manually (with an Allen key) in four steps.
Compared to “regular” Quadrifoglio the GTAm version should produce three and a half times as much downforce. That you. In the maximum downforce position, you have to sacrifice ten of the promised 300 km / h, but on the track you could not care less. Under the floor, the engineers have also mounted rails that swirl the air flow and direct it towards the differential and the diffuser.
The inside is reduced to the absolute most essential, but it has been made almost unnecessarily nice: Lots of carbon fiber, yards of alcantara and fancy decorative stitching in different colors.
Also, hear and be amazed, a round leather steering wheel (with alcantara insert for the thumb grips), classic instrument rounds and a multifunction knob to control the very clear infotainment system.
In the center console we also find a knob which is the hub of driving dynamics. Here, however, there is reason for a little whining on our part, which is rare when reviewing a car of this caliber. The ESP function can not be switched off separately, nor can you compose the settings to your liking and taste. Sad.
So you have to follow the menu that the creators had intended: from A via N to D. Every step sharpens the engine, steering and dampers, but at first all the factors feel surprisingly civil and clean. A software error perhaps? No good-day car can be this good-natured and comfortable, can it? One more snap and we land in race mode, the only one without ESP and anti-spin system.
It fits perfectly because the former airport offers both a plethora of driving dynamics playgrounds and a really challenging action track. Challenging because the slippery curbs are mostly demarcated with hard metal railings. Nothing for beginners in other words and almost too much for me. Then it’s lucky that the professional driver Christian Menzel drives in front of us and shows the ideal line.
“The inside is reduced to the absolute most essential but it has been made almost unnecessarily nice: lots of carbon fiber and yards of alcantara.”
A start and finish line shines with its absence. The short straight in front of the hangar is followed by a steeply sloping left turn that results in an almost endless right turn. It is therefore important to stay far out and steer the car as late as possible.
Our winged Giulia is incredibly stable on the asphalt and steers nicely with a sky-high grip on the front axle. No wonder, the track width has been increased by 50 mm both front and rear. In addition, the body tilts are calmed with shorter and 2.7 kg lighter springs as well as modified dampers and bushings.
Full damper out of the curve towards the short straight. One expects a brutal kick in the back of the engine 540 hp and 600 Nm – which, however, is absent.
Instead, the power is built up step by step. According to Alfa Romeo, the sprint from 0 to 100 km / h is completed in 3.8 seconds, the engine then revs a bit over 7,000 rpm. The automatic gearbox kicks in the teeth with the speed of light, but the frantic progress ends abruptly as we approach a 90-degree chicane.
The ceramic brakes (standard) bite harder than you would have thought. Despite brake by wire technology, they are not very easy to dose and you have to be careful not to brake too hard. The car’s combat weight of just 1,655 kg is not a match for the impressive hardware from Brembo.
After the harassment, two follow fast right turns where GTAm once again stands out. No understeer, but clear glass feedback and immediate response. The drift week? Not in GTAm. R-tires and solid ground pressure do everything to keep the car on the ideal line.
Only with violence Giulia reluctantly stands cross-legged. Hardly the ideal car for Instagram fame, but who cares? Once the Michelin tires (Pilot Sport Cup 2) are warm, they deliver sticky grip and brutal cornering speeds. In addition, the R-tires last longer than the standard car’s Pirelli P Zero, which may be replaced after a few laps. A little later it is also our turn.
Unfortunately, our first encounter with monster-Alfan also seems to be our last. The GTA and GTAm models are limited to only 500 units. Together.
That our test car is number 320 shows that there are not many left to buy despite the crazy base price of around two million kronor – just over a million kronor more than for the standard car.
Source: Senaste nytt från auto motor & sport by www.mestmotor.se.
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