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New Alfa Quadrifoglio Super Sport models

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Alfa Quadrifoglio Super Sport models celebrate Mille Miglia win.

Alfa Romeo has announced a limited run of special Quadrifoglio Super Sport versions of the Giulia saloon and the Stelvio SUV to celebrate the venerated brand’s first-ever victory in the Mille Miglia.

The thousand-mile road race

The Mille Miglia - or Thousand Miles - was a road-race around Italy, starting in Brescia and finishing in Brescia after a lap of a significant portion of the entire country. It was one of the great racing events, up there with Le Mans, the Targa Florio and the Carrera Panamericana. Most famously won by Stirling Moss in a Mercedes in 1955 at an all-time record speed, the event was finally cancelled after a horrific crash in 1957 that claimed the lives of spectators and Ferrari driver Alfonso de Portago. These days, the modern Mille Miglia is a massive classic racing car event - think of it as Goodwood on tour.

Alfa Romeo was, of course, a big noise in the Mille Miglia all the way back to its original inception. To mark the 1928 victory of Giuseppe Campari and Giulio Ramponi, driving a 6C 1500 Super Sport (and finishing in a then stunning 19 hours at an average speed of more than 80km/h) Alfa is launching these new Giulia and Stelvio Quadrifoglio Super Sports.

Black badge

If you’re a bit of an Alfa anorak, you'll recognise the new Super Sports by their badges. Traditionally, the Quadrifoglio - or four-leaf clover, a long-standing Alfa racing badge and good luck totem - is a green leaf on a white background. For these Super Sports, the background changes to black. There’s also some exterior carbon fibre, including in the ‘V’ of the front grille, on the door mirrors and optionally for the roof of the Giulia saloon.

The Giulia gets 19-inch ‘Teledial’ alloy wheels, while the Stelvio gets a set of 21-inch rims. Both cars are available in tri-coat Etna Red or metallic Vulcano Black paint, and the Giulia is also available in Alfa White.

Inside, there’s striking 3D-finished red carbon fibre, Super Sport logos stitched into the headrests and numbering to show you which specific production model you’ve bought. Only 275 Giulia and 175 Stelvio Quadrifoglio Super Sports will be sold worldwide.

520hp V6 engine

Behind the badge, both models continue with the 520hp twin-turbo 2.9-litre V6 engine, and both get a mechanical limited slip differential for the rear axle.

Alfa has also gone to town on making the cars as light as possible, using carbon fibre for the bonnet, the rear spoiler, side skirts and the lengthy prop shaft that sends power to the rear wheels. The Giulia gets an active carbon-fibre front splitter, and both models get an Akropovic sports exhaust.

Digital dials

Inside, there’s the recently introduced digital dial pack, which lives under the traditional cannocchiale binnacle and comes with Evolved, Relaxed and Heritage layouts, plus the  Race configuration. That Race version features a rev counter, speedometer and shift light for manual driving. The layout can be customised by placing additional information in the sidebars, including snapshots of performance.

That 6C 1500 Super Sport that won the 1928 Mille Miglia went on to be a hugely influential car for Alfa Romeo. With just 84hp, it could hit a top speed of 155km/h, and was the work of legendary car designer Vittorio Jano, who could be considered the Adrian Newey of his day.

In 1928, Alfa Romeo entered six cars in the second run of the Mille Miglia. The drivers were Bruno Presenti, Attilio Marinoni, Giovan Battista Guidotti and Giuseppe Campari. Campari shared the drive of a 6C 1500 bearing the initials MMS (Mille Miglia Speciale) with Giulio Ramponi, tuned by Jano with work on its weight balance. In the first part of the race, it left the threat of the three official Bugattis driven by Gastone Brilli-Peri, Pietro Bordino and the great Tazio Nuvolari in its wake. At the Rome checkpoint, the Campari/Ramponi duo had taken the lead, a position they maintained to the finish line in Brescia, ending the race in first place overall with an average speed of 84.128km/h. Between 1927 and 1929, on top of its successes in racing, the various versions of the 6C 1500 also gave Alfa Romeo outstanding commercial results - 1,064 units were sold, which was considered a good figure for the time.

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Published on May 15, 2024