Alfa 159 GTA To Feature Ferrari V8?

Spy photographers have spotted a a very mildly camouflaged Alfa Romeo 159 at Germany's Nurburgring track and sources say that a Ferrari V8 lies under its hood. The GTA is set to compete with the German stalwarts: BMW M3, Mercedes C63 AMG and Audi RS4.

Alfa has already tapped Ferrari to produce a V8 motor for its new supercar, the 8C Competizione. That motor, a collaborative effort between Alfa, Ferrari and Maserati, will be produced in Maranello, Italy, Ferrari's legendary home base.

The GTA, an abbreviation for the Italian Gran Turismo Allegerita, is not expected to entirely live up to its name: Allegerita means lightenened in Italian, but the GTA will include Alfa's Q4 all-wheel-drive system. Other performance-enhancing perks exclusive to the GTA visible in these latest spy photos include wide, low-profile tires, modestly flared wheel arches, a modified bodykit and dual exhaust. Fender-mounted vents and a hood vent look to be a possibility, too.

The 159 GTA picks up where its predecessor, the 156 GTA, left off. The 156 GTA, sold from 2001 to '05, featured a 3.2-liter V6 motor produced by GM's Australian subsidiary, Holden. That motor produced just under 250 horsepower initially, a respectable figure in '01, but not comparable to the V8s in the 159 GTA's competition. The GTA had been rumored to be powered by a turbocharged version of that V6, still a possibility.

June 29, 2007