Alfa Romeo 33 Stradale: roots and wings… butterfly

2023-09-08 13:49:19

Dare dream. This is the leitmotif of the new Alfa Romeo 33 Stradale, which pays homage to the iconic supercar of the same name, produced between 1967 and 1969, while building bridges between the brand’s rich past and its future. This insolent sculpture on wheels gives the choice between two variants, one thermal, powered by a twin-turbo V6, and the other electric, housing three electric motors.

In 1967, the Italian automobile industry gave birth to a masterpiece: the Alfa Romeo 33 Stradale, a supercar produced in only 18 units, derived from the Tipo 33 racing car. A four-wheeled unicorn, equipped with voluptuous lines and butterfly doors (a first for a car approved for the road!), with a tubular chassis, an incredibly modest weight (700 kg), even for the time, and a very small V8 (two liters of displacement) with a big heart, placed in the central rear position and displaying 230 hp at 8,800 rpm at the same time as a pronounced taste for Bel canto! Current price on the collector car market: more than two million euros. In search of its past glory, the Biscione firm had the good idea to revisit the myth. A 33 Stradale which could have been marked “Continuation”, or “Heritage”, a neo-retro version paying homage to the illustrious predecessor, has in fact just been unveiled.

Like the 8C Competizione in 2006, another reminiscence of the past, this new great Alfa is proof that the Milanese brand has lost none of its magic, despite its recurring financial difficulties. Produced in just 33 examples, handcrafted in the oh-so-legendary Touring Superleggera workshops and already all sold out even though its entry into production is only scheduled for June 24, 2024 (date of Alfa Romeo’s 114th anniversary). ), the new supercar from the Milanese brand has a dress very similar to that of its “daronne” and underwear borrowed from one of its glorious cousins, the Maserati MC20.

All the charm of Italy!
In other words, the aluminum H-frame and the carbon monocoque are coated with voluptuous lines, with timeless charm. The bulging eyes are still there, like the plunging and endless front hood, with Pagani opening, competition style, the gullwing doors, the large side air scoops, the round rear lights, the “coda trunca” stern and so many others gimmicks from the past. Certainly less slender than its predecessor, the new 33 Stradale has retained its captivating proportions. It is 4.63 m long, compared to 3.97 meters for the first of the name, 1.96 m wide (versus 1.71 m) and 1.22 m high (99 cm for the original model). The designers of the Centro Stile Alfa Romeo were able to gracefully modernize Franco Scaglione’s pencil stroke. Same story on board: the reinterpretation of the cockpit of the 1967 model is very successful. The choice is given between two interior ambiances. Called Tributo, the first gives pride of place to aluminum and two-tone leather and is, as its name suggests, particularly attached to traditions. More Spartan, the second finish, the Alfa Corse, swears by the racing spirit, for its part. In both cases, the finish is polished and you will be amazed, but our preference is for the first one. The sleek steering wheel, devoid of buttons, the three-color controls at the lower part of the central console, the digitalized “cannocchial” instrumentation, and the retractable central screen, are absolutely beautiful.

Go Milan
On the engine room side, two configurations are on the program. Of the 33 happy buyers, 31 chose the thermal proposition, powered by a 620 hp Nettuno 3.0 liter twin-turbo V6, a unit that was unanimously popular under the rear hood of the Maserati MC20. It is associated with an eight-speed DCT automatic gearbox, which transfers power to the rear wheels. The performance of the 33 Stradale thermal betrays its fascination with the 3, which goes beyond its name and its production figures. This surface-to-surface missile accelerates from 0 to 100 km/h in just under 3 seconds, has a Vmax of 333 km/h and requires only 33 meters to go from 100 km/h to a standstill. The old-fashioned 33 Stradale weighs 1,500 kg on the scale. The other variant is 100% electric and therefore only interested two customers. It has three electric motors and produces a cumulative power of “more than 750 horsepower”, according to its designers, who do not give further details, other than that the autonomy is estimated at 450 kilometers (WLTP cycle). The first “zero-emission” Alfa should logically suffer from a significant overweight, but the Brembo carbon-ceramic braking system, present as standard on both versions, should easily calm the ardor of the three “cuori sportivi” of the beast. Prices for the 33 Stradale were only revealed to the lucky 33 who were able to buy it. If rumors are to be believed, they would start at a minimum of one million euros.

Mehdi Labboudi / ECO Inspirations

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