GTA Back On The Race Track
One of the most famous names in motorsport returns to the race track this weekend (21 April 2002) after an absence of nearly four decades with Alfa Romeo's motorsport team, NordAuto, contesting the opening round of the FIA European Touring Car Championship with three Alfa Romeo 156 GTAs.
The original Alfa Romeo GTA set a new standard for touring car racing in the late 1960s and early 1970s around the world, including in New Zealand, ending its era with a bulging trophy cabinet. Alfa Romeo intends to repeat this success with its new GTA, the high performance version of the 156 sedan.
Leading the Alfa Romeo charge will be reigning European Touring Car Champion, Fabrzio Giovanardi, who secured the title for Alfa Romeo last year in his Alfa Romeo 156 Twin Spark. He will be joined at the Magny-Cours race track in France by Nicola Larini and Romana Bernardoni. They will be fighting against factory teams from BMW, Volvo and Nissan, as well as a host of Europe's leading privateers.
Just 37 years ago, the Alfa Romeo Giulia Sprint GTA swept all before it, going on a veritable winning spree. It took the European Touring Car Championship in 1966, '67 and '68, wrapped up series in Germany, the UK, the Netherlands and France, as well as taking the prizes in the six-hour Nurburgring and the four-hour Sebring races. With Alfa Romeo confirming that the 156 GTA will be the basis of its 2002 Touring Car contender, following on from the Alfa 156 Twin Spark that is the reigning European Touring Car Champion, it is a legend that is set to grow and develop.
Offering shattering performance from its new 3.2 litre 184 kW quad cam V6 engine, the new Alfa Romeo 156 GTA will arrive in New Zealand in August 2002, providing Alfa Romeo with a range-topping high performance sports sedan.
A development of Alfa Romeo's legendary V6 engine, the new 3.2 litre version provides the Alfa Romeo GTA with the ability to storm to 100 kmh in just 6.3 seconds and, where the law permits, go on to a top speed of 250 kmh. Even at idle, let alone under power, the new engine provides a glorious aural soundtrack to accompany every drive. With 300 NM of torque with commendably flat torque curve, the Alfa Romeo 156 GTA will be able to provide stunning performance in any of its six gears, which may be selected either manually or in the Selespeed version, with Alfa Romeo's direct from Formula One Sequential Manual Gearbox.
The entire drivetrain has been updated to enable both safe and exciting use of the new levels of performance. The steering has had its turns from lock to lock reduced from 2.2 turns from lock to lock to just 1.75 turns; the suspension has been comprehensively up-rated and the latest electronic technology - ASR, MSR and VDC - completes the upgrade. Massive 305 mm wide ventilated discs at the front provide stopping power along with 276 mm discs at the rear, with ABS and EBD.