Alfa Romeo saloons of old have bred some fantastic touring cars. Stick ‘DTM 155’ into your favourite search engine and prepare to lose the rest of your afternoon. But not before having a gander at its (sort of) modern-day equivalent.
A bunch of Italians – who we’ve immediately fallen head over heels for – have transformed the latest Alfa sports saloon, the superb Giulia Quadrifoglio, into a touring car primed and ready to take on perhaps our favourite race: the Nürburgring 24 Hours.
This year’s N24 was postponed from its original May date to September (if we need to tell you why, you’ve really not looked at the internet much recently). Thank the lord it wasn’t cancelled altogether, because it means we’ll be able to see and hear this Giulia in action, all while inhaling the intoxicating aroma of burnt bratwurst and low-cost German lager.
It’s been prepared by Lanza Motorsport, and will be run by the Scuderia del Portello team. Think things aren’t sounding quite Italian enough? Its drivers are Mauro Simoncini, Ugo Vicenzi, Alberto Carobbio and Bruno Barbaro.
Simoncini’s name is pivotal, too; he owns the car, and he raced an Alfa 155 V6 at the N24 twenty years ago, which you can see pictured below.
Based on the Quadrifoglio, his Giulia produces a smidge more power – at 513bhp – and carries a lot less weight, its 1.4 tonnes representing a 200 kilo-saving in race trim to yield a 3.2sec 0-100km/h time. There’s naturally more carbon and tougher suspension than standard, too.
Though, barring a wild first-corner pile up that takes out every GT3-spec racer, it won’t win the N24. And we can’t really describe what class it’ll compete in on account of being quite confused ourselves.
The N24’s a wondrous race with a large and vividly diverse grid, from top-level racers in professionally prepared 911s, R8s and AMGs, right down to a bunch of mates with a Mk3 Golf and a point to prove. Figure on this Giulia sitting somewhere in the middle of all of that when the grid forms on September 26.