10.11.2004 Autodelta's stunning new 156 GTA AM made a surprise guest appearance on the legendary banking at Brooklands before zooming off to the Slovakian Motor Show
Autodelta's stunning new 156 GTA AM 3.7 made a surprise guest appearance on the legendary banking at the former Brooklands circuit during the recent, AutoItalia 'Italian Car Day', before zooming off to the Slovakian Motor Show.
Previewed during late August, and launched through an innovative on-line launch, the amazing Autodelta 156 GTA AM ("Autodelta Maggiorata") 3.7 has taken the Alfa Romeo 156 GTA concept to the extreme edge. It is the Devil's work.
Eagerly awaited, it followed hard on the heels of the London tuning firm's 328bhp 147 GTA AM 3.7, which was revealed at last December's MPH03 Motor Show in London. This car, quickly earned itself the title of the 'world's fastest hatchback', and BBC Top Gear presenter Jeremy Clarkson, was moved to comment that “mad amounts of power and astounding grip make this the hottest hatch ever.”
The Autodelta 156 GTA AM 3.7, the latest 'family' member, again features Alfa Romeo's legendary 3.2-litre V6 bored out 3.7-litres, and with re-mapped electronics, bigger bore forged race-bred pistons, new camshafts, and a Ferrari-derived throttle system. As this means that an astounding 328bhp is once more available to the driver.
In the flesh this new car grabs the attention like no other in its class. The Alfa Romeo 156 is widely acknowledged to have been one of the most beautiful saloons of recent decades, the flowing Walter de Silva penned lines, helping to make this car a former winner of the motoring ultimate accolade, the 'European Car of the Year' award.
Given a fresh new look last year, a makeover which was entrusted to the legendary Italian designer Giugiaro, the Alfa 156 is still as bright and exciting as ever. BMW or Mercedes-Benz stylist's, with their blinkered, unimaginative shapes, dictated by the memo's of faceless 'bean counters', can only dream about the natural beauty and grace that flows unstemmed from Giugiaro's very soul.
This is then the
car that has taken by Autodelta, a firm who brook no compromise in search of the
ultimate Alfa Romeo package. Founded by talented engineer Jano Djelalian nearly
two decades ago, Autodelta has become synonymous with fire-breathing Alfa
Romeo's, much as the way AMG has become associated with Mercedes-Benz. The
London-based firm are true spiritual successor's to everything that the
Autodelta legend came to symbolise.
The body has been pumped up, aggressively flared new wheel arches enclosing, on this example, multispoke 18-inch alloy wheels drawn from the GT Coupe, which themselves draw attention towards the meaty 6-pot brake calipers and heat-treated 355mm cross-drilled and vented brake discs, which are complete with aluminium bells. This revised braking system, which includes special compound pads, has been developed by Autodelta and AP Racing to cope with the bucket load of extra horses.
The suspension system has also been upgraded, with stiffer performance-orientated bushes, height adjustable dampers with new coil springs and revised geometry settings for maximum body control.
Instant demand for the 156 GTA AM 3.7, as well as the 147 GTA AM 3.7, has seen Autodelta working flat-out to get these cars rolling off to customers. Such is the growing global demand for this ultimate upgrade, cars are already being shipped in from as far as Australia.
The stunning Alfa-red example that graced the recent Brooklands 'Italian Car Day', the annual showpiece autumn event organised by AutoItalia magazine, was in fact making a brief stop before being shipped to Autodelta's agent in Slovakia, where a few days later it was to draw the crowds at the country's motor show, an event that is rapidly growing in stature.
Brooklands is a legendary name. Although it is more than six decades since racing engines ceased to scream in anger and the famous banking finally fell silent, the place still sends shivers down the spine.
Today, almost one hundred years since the very first race, and although much of the track has been lost to commercial development, in fact even a huge supermarket now sits in part of the infield, the ghosts of the past are very much still in evidence.
Parts of the banking remain intact, although the concrete surfaces are cracked, and tangles of weeds are growing everywhere. However stand on the sharply curving track, too steep to get a foothold on near the crest, and the past comes flooding back: the cars of yesteryear locked in death-defying duels, in an age when motoring was a pleasure, an age before political correctness suffocated the motor car.
Into all this evocative history comes Autodelta's new 156 GTA AM 3.7. It is a proud bearer of the famous badge, a car created for the driver who still seeks ultimate power, traction and sheer usability all in one package. It is a free spirit, the very embodiment of Alfa Romeo values.
The Autodelta 156
GTA AM joined a pair of the firm's 147 GTA AM 3.7 models posing on the banking,
drinking in the rich history, on a wet, dull autumn day, and then it was off,
the glorious note of its Alfa V6 engine echoing across the silent, mist shrouded
banking, as it began the long journey across the continent to its new Eastern
The Autodelta 156 GTA AM 3.7 will make its official public debut at the MPH04 Motor Show at Earls Court in London, 18th-21st November. It will appear alongside the newest family member, the Autodelta GT Super, which will be unveiled for the very first time.
by Edd Ellison