Alfa Romeo’s new Giulia marks a welcome return to rear-wheel drive. The flagship Cloverleaf serves up BMW M3 and Mercedes C63-rivalling pace thanks to a 500bhp, Ferrari-derived twin turbo V6. We’ve not driven it – we’re working on it – but it does remind us of one of the more exciting Group A homologation specials to be created for the ill-fated 1987 World Touring Car Championship. A similarly turbocharged Alfa Romeo….
The Alfa Romeo 75 Turbo Evoluzione may not have offered too much of a performance premium over the standard 75 Turbo, but the changes were all there to help the Alfa win on track.
The engine is actually fractionally smaller in displacement, but the pumped up bodykit allowed bigger wheels – 15in items in a very cool red – and a variety of other tweaks. There’s even a set of natty side decals, which surely adds a few MPH to the top speed.
Despite a driver line up that featured Jacques Laffite, Nicola Larini, Gabriele Tarquini, Sandro Nannini and Mario Andretti, it didn’t have the impact on the circuits it should have had. The 1987 WTCC was largely a farce, with teams pulling out on the eve of the season. Even then, the little 75 was blown away by the BMW M3 and Ford Sierra RS Cosworth. As a result, Alfa Romeo pulled out before the end of the season.
But despite all this, the road car is a deeply desirable car. It’s rare, fast and oh so cool in a deeply Eighties way. Just 500 of these were built, and as such opportunities to get this fantastic slice of Group A motorsport history are rare to come by.
This car, up for grabs with Historics at Brooklands (www.historics.co.uk) this weekend, presents such an opportunity. It’s hardly been used and is described as the best in the country. And though the estimate is £19k to £27k, that’s a third of the price of a brand-new turbocharged, rear-wheel drive Alfa Romeo. And however great the new Giulia is, it doesn’t have red wheels, box arches and decals up the side. And what car isn’t great with those?