Alfa Romeo 8C Competizione On the road with the gorgeous monster! The definitive version of the gorgeous exclusive Alfa 8C Competizione, Gran Turismo car that is to be produced in a limited edition makes its debut in Paris. The car, designed by Alfa Romeo, is directly derived from the concept car that aroused such admiration at the 2003 Frankfurt Motor Show and has benefited from the best technical and industrial know-how that the Alfa-Maserati Sports Centre can offer. The cooperative venture between both manufacturers was conducted with a view to ensuring integration between the Alfa Romeo design departments and the Maserati production departments. The name, ‘8C Competizione’ is not an arbitrary invention but a distinctive mark of Alfa Romeo’s own sporting history. A veritable legend that has arisen out of the innumerable victories won on circuits throughout the world through the skill of men and their passion for racing, engine research and advanced technology and a reawakened taste for new challenges. This link with the values of Alfa Romeo’s history adds extra poignancy to the term ‘Competizione’; when projected into the future it represents the sense of constant dynamism that distinguishes a brand engaged in a quest for excellence, increased competitiveness and technological innovation. The attractive shape created by the Alfa Romeo Style Centre makes this car with its two bucket seats unique in the Gran Turismo scenario. The designers have worked hard to ensure that the aerodynamic and performance demands have not altered the car’s original concept. The style maintains an incredibly clean shape, uncluttered by any element interfering with the overall harmony. The solutions introduced on the Alfa 8C to achieve the highest levels of aerodynamic efficiency are not limited to the shape. Air wraps around the car and follows its natural course, unhindered by corners and unevenness. All the pillar and glass surfaces and profiles together with the door mirror shape and position have been optimised by mathematical modelling and also by wind tunnel tests and tests on actual models. Much attention has been devoted to the creation of a ground effect that has allowed a negative Cz (lift coefficient) to help increase stability at high speed, as on racing cars. The compact dimensions concentrate the aggression of a car designed to ensure maximum driving efficiency. Powertrain: Italian ‘belcanto’ The engine is the beating heart of any Alfa Romeo. In this case it takes the form of a brand new 90° V 8 cylinder unit with a cylinder capacity of 4691 cc that was designed with one aim in mind: to ensure extraordinary performance while still offering a smooth drive and being usable in all circumstances, from the track to city traffic. The top engine performance figures may be summarised as a maximum power output of 450 bhp at 7000 rpm, a peak torque of 470 Nm at 4750 rpm and a top speed of 7500 rpm. The layout of internal fluid movements and the cylinder head cooling system is designed to achieve high duct permeability and effective intake load cooling to maximise volumetric efficiency and engine performance. Harmonisation of the intake and exhaust geometry together with the introduction of continuous variable valve timing on the intake camshafts and optimisation of the combustion chamber and engine calibration means that 80% of torque is available from 2000 rpm. In sporty driving conditions over mixed routes, the power unit offers impressively short response times due to the high permeability of the intake duct and the low inertia of the flywheel-twin plate clutch system. A crankshaft with counterweights at 90°, fully balanced through careful selection of connecting rods and pistons, ensures the engine runs with low vibration levels. The engineers used a layout familiar from other Alfa Romeo cars on the 8C Competizione: the transaxle architecture with gearbox at the rear that is an acknowledged asset of Alfa Romeo cars. This layout allows outstanding dynamic performance while also offering the active safety for which Alfa Romeo cars are fabled. The engine-gearbox unit is designed in accordance with a transaxle configuration that ensures the weight distribution is very effective for vehicle handling. Due to the small axial engine size and the integration with frame components from the drawing board, the entire power unit can be housed well back to ensure the required sporty configuration. The 6–speed gearbox with computerised speed selection by means of levers behind the steering wheel is designed to ensure ultra-slick gear shifts and may be used in Manual-Normal; Manual-Sport; Automatic-Normal; Automatic-Sport and Ice modes. The self-locking differential allows acceleration and stability to be managed with extraordinary efficiency in all situations. In the very best Alfa Romeo tradition, the engineering is directly derived from the race track. The suspension on the new model is no exception, with a double wishbone layout, forged aluminium axle carrier and arms and extra strut for toe-in control. The braking system offers perforated, ventilated discs with aluminium brake callipers to ensure prompt, effective braking even with heavy use. To ensure the car stays glued to the road, it is fitted with 20” tyres specially developed to ensure outstanding performance: 245/35 at the front and 285/35 at the rear, fitted on perforated rims in fluid moulded aluminium to ensure lightness and maximum brake ventilation efficiency. To ensure the car is entertaining and safe in any driving condition, the 8C Competizione comes with the latest Alfa Romeo VDC, an advanced stability and traction control system to ensure the driver feels at one with his car. Interiors: personality and technology The car’s distinctive look comes from extensive use of composite materials on the facia and interior panels. This is a technical choice but also reinforces the car’s spirit and emphasises its personality. The same thinking lies behind the adoption of anatomical seats made out of carbon fibre that can be adjusted and customised on the basis of the driver’s physical characteristics (a facility previously reserved for racing cars). The carefully-crafted and detailed finish naturally allows the car to be customised to the driver’s taste and a choice of different interior environments is available. The absolute satisfaction of a sporty drive To see it is to love it: wide tyres, low-slung ride and styling of poised aggression. To die for, in fact. Hear the engine and weep: a full, convincing throaty roar. Now all that remains is to sit behind the wheel, engage first gear and you are off to try out your Alfa 8C Competizione. You are left with one doubt: how will you drive a sports model whose bonnet conceals a 4700 cc eight cylinder engine hat unleashes 450 bhp of power and 470 Nm of torque when you touch the accelerator. The unexpected answer is: with great ease – even more easily, simply and instinctively than your normal car in fact. Provided you allow yourself the time and satisfaction (because this is about pleasure, after all) of getting used to the more direct controls and prompter responses: the sort you could only expect from a true sports car on mixed routes or – even more so – on the track where speed and transverse acceleration are much more controllable. The new Alfa 8C Competizione is self-avowedly an Alfa in its uncompromising sense of control and driving satisfaction. Driving comfort and dynamic behaviour have always been specific features of Alfa Romeo cars: on this car, they amount to a real strength.