The iconic 1960s Alfa Romeo 33 Stradale, widely acknowledged as one of the most stunning cars in history, has been reimagined as a stunning, ultra-exclusive, handcrafted sports car. This new incarnation pays homage to Alfa Romeo's storied past while boldly embracing an electrified future. The vehicle comes with a captivating V6 twin-turbo engine offering 620 horsepower or an electric motor delivering a whopping 750 horsepower. However, it's not available for general purchase. Only 33 of these exclusive Stradale 33s were produced, all pre-sold.
The "Bottega" is integral to Alfa Romeo's 33 project. It's where a dedicated team collaborates with each customer to create 33 unique, bespoke cars. As a result, no two cars are identical. The "Bottega" is Alfa Romeo's dedicated coach-building division in the Sala del Consiglio museum in Arese, Milan, where the original 33 Stradale design was approved in 1967. With the Bottega division, Alfa Romeo can meticulously handcraft special models, reaching unprecedented levels of detail and customization.
In order to honor the car's historic legacy and iconic status, any customer's customization requests must be approved by the 33 committee before the car is constructed. This committee is comprised of Alfa Romeo's management team and is led by the brand's CEO, Jean-Philippe Imparato.
"In crafting the new Alfa Romeo 33 Stradale, we aimed to design a car that simultaneously pays homage to our rich history, embodies our brand ethos, and makes our loyal 'Alfisti' fans proud. This feat was made possible through our team's tireless dedication, expert skills, and unyielding passion. As the management, we fully backed this project and have a clear vision to pave the way for the brand's future while honoring its unique heritage. This is Alfa Romeo's first purpose-built car since 1969, and I assure you, it certainly won't be the last."
The new 33 Stradale is a testament to the Alfa Romeo team's fervor for the brand and their commitment to creating something extraordinary under the Stellantis group. This car proves that a brand with a long legacy of premium and sports car manufacturing can still produce distinctive, aesthetically appealing vehicles brimming with character that stirs automotive passion.
Alfa Romeo's design studio, Centro Stile, masterminded the design of the new 33 Stradale, drawing inspiration from its 1967 predecessor. The fundamental design lines and gentle muscular forms are shared between the two generations, but the latest model showcases more dramatic and modern surfaces, thanks to contemporary production techniques. The car's proportions have been compacted and its aerodynamics have been enhanced, boasting a Cx value of 0.375 without the aid of active systems. The design also features distinctive details that will be incorporated into future models from this iconic Italian brand.
The front design is clearly influenced by the large, soft fenders of the first-generation Alfa Romeo 33 Stradale, while the dimensions of the headlights and grill have been maintained. However, the ellipse-shaped lights, featuring an advanced light band and a modern interpretation of the iconic Alfa Romeo grill, Scudetto, introduce a high-tech sophistication that hints at future design trends. The radiator cap features a sharply defined triangle that disrupts the car's smooth lines, directing attention toward the logo and the Scudetto. This design detail adds an element of drama to the car's otherwise soft silhouette and alludes to the air intake featured on the old 33/2 Stradale's radiator cap.
The sports car's side profile is characterized by two curves over the front and rear wheels, a large air intake, and the elegant "butterfly" doors. These doors, unusually hinged at the ceiling and the lower right corner of the door opening, are composed of glass from the side window to the roof, creating a unique impression akin to sitting in an airplane cockpit.
The 33 Stradale's rear design is notably striking, featuring a minimal overhang beyond the rear wheels. True to the original 33 Stradale, its corners are cleanly defined to enhance airflow. An intriguing detail is the large round taillights that extend into two broad black cylinders on the rear fender. This design is encased in a cutout that reflects the original car's air intake, positioned in the same spot. The lower rear end is adorned in black with twin exhausts on each side, underscored by a significant diffuser.
The revamped Alfa Romeo 33 Stradale comes with two distinct interior options: Tributo, a nod to the classic design, and Alfa Corse, an embodiment of sporty aesthetics. Both interiors espouse minimalism, lacking superfluous buttons or information that may detract from the driving experience. Essential functions can be toggled using mechanical switches on the central console and ceiling, enhancing the airplane cockpit feel. The iconic Alfa Romeo telescopic instrument panel is reimagined with a fresh 3D design that appeals visually while retaining readability. Apart from the screen and a few function switches, all car interaction is designed to be through the steering wheel. But the interaction isn't through buttons or touch functions, and it's through actually driving the car – a testament to what the 33 Stradale truly represents: the joy of driving.
Formula 1 driver Valtteri Bottas has meticulously fine-tuned the driving dynamics of the new Alfa Romeo on Italy's legendary Balocco track in the Vercelli province. Engineered to conquer not just public roads but also race tracks, this vehicle is accessible to both professional racers and everyday drivers. Its construction features an aluminum H-frame and a carbon monocoque frame, which optimizes lightness, torsional stability, and safety.
Under the hood, the gasoline model houses an enhanced version of the iconic 3.0 liter V6 twin-turbo engine found in Alfa Romeo's high-speed Quadrifoglio range. This updated engine generates over 620 horsepower and can reach a top speed of 333 km/h. It's paired with an 8-speed DCT gearbox, rear-wheel drive, and an electronic limited-slip differential.
The electric model boasts a remarkable 750 horsepower and can reach top speeds exceeding 310 km/h. Its estimated range is an impressive 450 kilometers (WLTP). This model houses a 102 kWh battery, supported by an 800-volt charging solution.
The sports car's gasoline and electric versions can accelerate from 0-100 km/h in under three seconds and require only 33 meters to decelerate from 100-0 km/h. The Alfa Romeo 33 Stradale achieves this remarkable braking distance thanks to an integrated Alfa Romeo brake-by-wire system, which ensures both precise brake pressure and a responsive brake pedal.
The vehicle's wheels are fitted with ventilated and perforated carbon-ceramic brakes from Brembo, featuring six-piston aluminum monobloc calipers in the front and four-piston calipers in the rear. The Alfa Romeo-developed dual-arm wheel suspension with active shock absorbers and semi-virtual steering on both axles allows the car to provide exact steering and impeccable control in all situations and on various surfaces.
For maximum flexibility, the vehicle comes equipped with two driving programs: "Strada" (road) and "Pista" (race track). The Strada program offers smoother power delivery and gear changes, more comfortable suspension, and active exhaust valves that only open to reveal the engine's roar above 5,000 revs. On the other hand, the Pista program provides:
- A stark contrast.
- Offering a stiff and hard suspension.
- Full access to all horsepower.
- Aggressive gear changes.
- Open exhaust valves.
- Quicker responses to the accelerator and brake pedal.
- The option to turn off all forms of traction control.
A limited run of just 33 examples of the 33 Stradale will be produced, all of which have already been sold. These fortunate 33 owners will have a truly unique experience as they collaborate with the Alfa Romeo Bottega department to build and customize their own distinctive vehicle, culminating in the signing of the car's chassis number.
The 33 Stradale is vital in Alfa Romeo's historical, present, and future identity. It serves as evidence that under the vast Stellanti group, Alfa Romeo still maintains room to honor its extensive and reputable racing history while simultaneously continuing the tradition of crafting stunning, sporty Italian cars that exude passion and adoration for the automotive world.
As we look towards the future, it will be fascinating to see how Alfa Romeo navigates the shift towards electric vehicles. The brand's first electric car is slated to debut in 2024, and the company plans to fully transition to electric vehicles by 2027.
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