From track to road: Sauber Engineering brings the Alfa Romeo Giulia GTA to a new level of performance
Sauber Engineering bridged the gap between the race track and the road as the Swiss company, part of the Sauber Group, took part in the design, development and manufacturing of the new Alfa Romeo Giulia GTA and GTAm models.
Sauber Engineering deployed the know-how acquired in 50 years of motorsport activity, including 27 seasons in Formula One, to design, optimise and produce the carbon fibre components in Alfa Romeo’s new super sport sedans. Sauber’s expertise was focused on parts with the highest aerodynamic impact, such as the Giulia GTA and GTAm’s new front bumper and adjustable front splitter, the side skirts, the diffuser, the GTA’s spoiler and the GTAm’s aerowing.
The car underwent extensive testing in Sauber’s wind tunnel, a state-of-the-art facility employed in the design of its Formula One cars, with the aim of improving not only the Giulia GTA and GTAm’s aero devices, but also the completely redesigned and fully-faired underbody. The resulting aerodynamic package, alongside the new diffuser, increases the car’s ground effect, guaranteeing excellent grip at high speeds. On the Giulia GTAm, the high-downforce aerodynamic configuration developed by Sauber Engineering is able to deliver an impressive lift coefficient, twice as much as the GTA model and an astonishing three times that of the Giulia Quadrifoglio, which already sets the benchmark in its class.
From the on-screen blueprints to the manufacturing stage, Sauber Engineering’s experience in the design and use of carbon fibre and its aerodynamic development prowess ensure the Giulia GTA and GTAm are as performing on the road as they are on track.
To test this assumption, and to further optimise the cars’ aerodynamics and handling, the Alfa Romeo Racing ORLEN drivers, Kimi Räikkönen and Antonio Giovinazzi, put the vehicles to the test at the famous Balocco Proving Ground, where Alfa Romeo sportscars have undergone development and testing since the 1960s. Working closely with the Alfa Romeo engineers, the drivers put forward specific technical suggestions to improve the vehicles’ dynamics, testing the changes in real-time and providing valuable feedback to the personnel of Autodelta, the historical racing department of Alfa Romeo.
Christoph Hansen, Director Technology & Innovation, Sauber Engineering AG: “Working alongside Alfa Romeo on the design, development and manufacturing of the Giulia GTA and GTAm was a great opportunity for Sauber Engineering to apply the expertise accrued in decades of high-end performance work in Formula One and beyond. The know-how and technologies we have developed for motorsport, such as our light-weight design solutions and our production processes, have found an ideal application in the work we have done with Alfa Romeo, as has the aerodynamics knowledge we were able to transfer from the track to the road.”
Conceptually inspired by the 1965 Giulia GTA, itself the heir of the wildly successful Giulia Sprint GT, the new Alfa Romeo Giulia GTA limited edition is a development of the Giulia Quadrifoglio. It is equipped with an enhanced version of the 540hp Alfa Romeo 2.9 V6 Bi-Turbo engine and, in its extreme GTAm version, benefits from a weight reduction of 100kg, enabling an astonishing power-to-weight ratio of 2.82kg/hp.