Last year, Kimi Räikkönen and Antonio Giovinazzi, from the Alfa Romeo Racing ORLEN F1 team took part in a day of testing of the new Alfa Romeo super sports sedans, the Giulia GTA and GTAm. The testing took place on the famous Balocco Proving Grounds, where all Alfa Romeo sports cars have undergone development since the 1960s. The test secession allowed the F1 drivers to push the cars to their limit and provide real-time feedback.
Since then, Alfa Romeo engineers have fine-tuned both high-performance variants to the point where the cars are now really to be delivered to those who pre-ordered the limited number of cars. This week, former F1 champion Räikkönen was back to the Balocco Proving Grounds to personally evaluate the work performed by the engineering team since his last visit.
“I really like it,” Kimi said. “We’re looking at a car that can be used on an everyday basis, but that can also be taken onto the track, one in which you can really enjoy yourself.”
Räikkönen analyzed the changes made to the car specifically in terms of aerodynamics, an area in which he gave input to engineers back in October. It was then that Kimi provided advice on the new adjustable splitter built into the new front bumper and to the new rear manually adjustable wing. More changes were also made to the overall balance of the car, thanks to the new components and other performance bits like a new extractor and underbody fairing.
“Of course, it’s better at high speeds in terms of balance. It seems the front of the car is lower, making the steering faster. It’s fast, easy to drive, and responsive,” Räikkönen stated. When Kimi isn’t on the track, he plays the role of a responsible parent, taking his children to school. Therefore, he believes that the Giulia GTA represents the ideal mix for use every day and on the track.
Alfa Romeo entrusted Sauber Engineering with the production of most of the carbon fiber components for both the GTA and GTAm, especially those that affect the aerodynamics of the car. That included the new front bumper, side skirts, extractor, GTA spoiler, and GTAm aero-wing. Courtesy of its manually adjustable front and rear wings, the Giulia GTAm can adapt its aerodynamic performance to any kind of track or road, precisely following the requests and preferences of its driver. The aerodynamic research in the wind tunnel was not limited to the wing appendages, it also focused on the underbody, fully faired as in the Giulia Quadrifoglio.
The GTA and GTAm also benefit from a special new air extractor capable of increasing the car’s ground effect, thus guaranteeing excellent road holding at high speeds. In particular, on the Giulia GTAm, the most intense aerodynamic configuration mounts double the pressure of the Giulia GTA, triple compared to the Giulia Quadrifoglio, the previous benchmark in its segment.
Under the hoods of the GTA and GTAm, the aluminum 2.9-liter twin-turbocharged V6 returns and gets a 30 horsepower boost to 540 horsepower for GTA duty. Alfa Romeo engineers also worked with Akrapovič (maker of the new titanium exhaust) to give the GTA its own distinctive sound. With a weight reduction of 221 pounds (100 kilograms) compared to the standard Giulia Quadrifoglio and the horsepower boost from its tuned motor, the GTA can hit 62 mph (or 100 kph) in just 3.6-seconds.
Being a limited edition model, Alfa Romeo has created a wide range of customizations aimed to make the GTA and GTA a unique purchase experience for the owner. This includes a Bell racing helmet with a special GTA livery that can be customized with the serial number, a specific Goodwool car cover, and dedicated customer services. The more aggressive GTAm model will also come with a full Alpinestar line of racing appeal. For the Italian market, the Giulia GTA starts at €175,000 (or about $211,335 USD), while the GTAm starts at €180,000 (or about $217,372 USD). Both prices include 22% value-added tax (VAT).