Alfa Romeo is perfecting its eagerly-awaited flagship sportscar and has followed up last year's Brera concept by unveiling the head-turning 8c Competizione at the Frankfurt Show.

Alfa Romeo is perfecting its eagerly-awaited flagship sportscar and has followed up last year's Brera concept by unveiling the head-turning 8c Competizione at the Frankfurt Show.


CARtoday.com reported last year that the Brera, which created a big sensation at the 2002 Geneva Show, would not go into production - much to the disappointment of the alfisti. But Brera formed the basis of a new design that has been reworked by Alfa Centro Style and Italdesign. It was known in-house as the "Evoluta" and Alfa Romeo said it would build 1 000 of the R740 000 Porsche 911-bashing sportscars.


And here it is... Daniele Bandiera, President of the Alfa Romeo Business Unit, presented the 8c Competizione in Frankfurt. The car is the biggest drawcard at Alfa's stand, which also comprises the new Alfa 166, the Alfa GT, the new 156 and Sportwagon, and the GTV and Spider models with their recently revamped styling and features.


Designed and developed at the Alfa Romeo Style Centre, this prototype evokes much sportscar tradition. In the 'Thirties and 'Forties, the 8c identified the racing and road cars that were equipped with the new eight cylinder engine developed by the famous engineer Vittorio Jano. The term 'Competizione' on the other hand, is a tribute to the 6C 2500 Competizione, the sports coupé driven by Juan-Manuel Fangio in the 1950 Mille Miglia.


The carbon fibre two-seater is 1 900 mm wide, 4 278 mm long and 1 250 mm high, with a wheelbase of 2 595 mm. The body has a horizontal furrow cut into the side above the front wheelarch and muscular rear wings. The lines run smoothly from front to back, to the light clusters set into the integrated bumpers. Furthermore, the rear window partially envelops the rear pillars.


The front elements have been repositioned as they were on the some of the most important Alfa racing cars of the past - the 'whiskers' and shield are aligned at the same height. The whole exterior is full of classical references... The front end recalls the former 33 Coupé Stradale, while the rear sports the characteristic round light clusters of the Giulia TZ.


Under the bonnet of the 8c Competizione lurks a 4,2-litre V8 turbocharged engine with a volumetric compressor. This unit delivers over 300 kW at 7 000 r/min and together with a 6-speed manual transmission, takes the prototype to a top speed above 300 km/h, accelerating from zero to 100 km/h in 4,5 seconds. The car has a rear-wheel drive layout and features a dual wishbone suspension at the front and rear.