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Alfa Romeo to revive 8C and GTV nameplates with two all-new performance cars

Alfa Romeo 8C announced

Alfa Romeo will launch a Ferrari-bothering 8C supercar and an all-new 450kW GTV by 2022 as it scraps its existing strategy to focus on electrified performance.

Alfa Romeo heavyweights outlined the company’s new five-year plan at an FCA investor day in Italy on Friday. And while SUVs feature heavily - new C-size and E-size high-riders are also due by 2022 - it was the announcement of two new “specialty vehicles” that gave the packed room a jolt like a shot of strong Italian espresso. 

The first is a new Alfa Romeo 8C (a name last seen on the limited-run 8C Competizione from 2007). And if the hype is to believed, it will be a fire-breathing rocket that will be breathing down the necks of supercars the world over.

Alfa Romeo is promising the 8C will be a grown-up version of the bite-sized 4C, with a similar carbonfibre monocoque chassis designed to reduce weight. A mid-mounted twin-turbo V6 will drive power to the rear, while an electric motor will be housed at the front axle, with a combined output of more than 522kW. It’ll be enough, Alfa says, to push the 8C to 100km/h in less than three seconds. 

“We know our future depends on staying true to our sports car roots,” says Alfa Romeo boss Tim Kuniskis. “The all-new 8C is a true supercar, featuring a mid-engine, carbonfibre monocoque chassis, with a direct-injected twin-turbo V6 and an electrified all-wheel-drive system, and a combined output in excess of 700 horsepower. 

“It’s a car that will be born for the the racetrack here in Black.” 

Next, Alfa will breathe new life into its storied GTV (Gran Turismo Veloce) nameplate, with a dedicated four-seat performance car that will produce more than 450kW thanks to E-Boost hybrid technology. Alfa is also promising perfect 50:50 weight distribution, as well as all-wheel drive with torque vectoring.

New Alfa Romeo 8C announced New Alfa Romeo GTV announced

“We also want a sports car that’s as attainable as it is aspirational, and for this we will bring back one of the most fabled names in Alfa Romeo history; the GTV,” Kuniskis says.

“And this next generation will be proud to carry on the heritage, delivering more than 600 horsepower through all four wheels, plus room for four, in a stunning Italian design.”

Perhaps wisely, Alfa Romeo is yet to attach firm dates to either model, other than to offer a within-five-years window. By 2022, the 8C and GTV will join a new Giulietta-sized SUV, a full-size SUV, and updated versions of the Giulia and Stelvio (along with LWB versions of both exclusive to the Chinese market). Alfa says global sales will be in excess of 400,000 units.

“At the end of our 2022 plan we will have launched six new products, delivering various levels of electrification, as well as level two and level three autonomy,” Kuniskis says.

Alfa Romeo admitted the outgoing plan, which expired this year, might have been a little “ambitious”. That business model called for eight new models between 2014 and 2018, of which only two - the Giulia sedan and Stelvio SUV - eventuated.

Part of the problem, Alfa admits, was underestimating how hard it would end up being (not to mention planning for two compact cars and two sedans at the very moment the market shifted almost entirely to SUVs). The other, according to company boss Sergio Marchionne, was underestimating the competition.

“We got two things wrong,” Marchionne says. “The first one was underestimating the industrial complexities of launching a brand as complex as Alfa Romeo. And that caused delays to the launch sequence and additional costs, which we are now finally getting under control.

“The second thing is that we underestimated the reaction of our German competitors. We have found it to be a lot more difficult to penetrate the premium market than we thought."