Electric Alfa Romeo GTA: Are you pro or against electric classics?
Electrifying classic cars is a very divisive matter so do you like this Giulia GTe, or do you hate it?
It’s only over the past few years that the majority of petrolheads have gotten behind restomodding, a practise in which classic cars are modernised whilst keeping the timeless looks. However, the addition of electrification to the restomodding world has proven controversial and I’m sure this electric Alfa GTA will be no different.
Totem Automobili is a young Italian company devoted to producing the perfect retro Alfa Romeo GTA. In order to do so though, the team has replaced the inline-four that usually sits in front of the driver with a single electric motor and a battery pack capable of around 200 miles of driving.
Creatively dubbed the Alfa Romeo GTelectric, it packs a monstrous 518hp and 940Nm of torque in a car the size of a toddler’s shoe. With so much torque instantly powering the rear wheels, the little coupe will reach 60mph in just 3.4 seconds.
Although the GTelectric starts out in life as a standard Alfa Romeo Giulia GT Junior from the golden age of motoring, Totem Automobili says that only 10% of the original parts are used. The rest of the body and chassis are made of various blends of aluminium for the chassis and carbon-fibre for the beautiful bodywork.
As I say, the bodywork is absolutely stunning. Some of the parts around the wheels have been widened and remoulded compared to the original GTA, but that simply adds to the restomod look. The headlight design has switched to u-to-date LED technology with four separate lights instead of the standard car’s two. It may be just me but it seriously reminds me of a classic rally car.
The underside of the car is where a lot of the GTelectric’s performance comes from. It has a totally flat floor and a large rear diffuser to generate downforce and keep the car stuck to the road without ruining the simplistic look.
The suspension setup is also reminiscent of a modern racecar with a double-wishbone setup at the front made up of McPherson struts and Bilstein Clubsport coilovers. The rear has a more traditional multi-link suspension setup bolting onto a subframe that holds the electric motor. In an aim to cater to as many customers as possible, Totem is also looking into offering air suspension. Obviously, the car also gets modern Brembo brakes and Continental tyres.
Inside, the electric Alfa is packed with modern gizmos. The instrument cluster is one 3.5-inch screen showing anything the driver needs to know. There’ll be no need to wind the windows up as they will be operated electronically, and air conditioning will be offered as an option.
Unfortunately, we’re not sure when we’ll be able to get a proper first glimpse at the car in real life. It was originally supposed to be unveiled at the Goodwood Festival of Speed, but due to coronavirus, that got postponed. Whether Totem decides to wait until the event is rescheduled or opts for an earlier release will be known in the coming months.
I understand that this sort of car is even more polarising than Marmite. Unlike the brown paste that might as well be tar, I do actually really like this car. In fact, I’m quite the fan of rejuvenating classic shells with electric technology. Surely being able to continue using a classic car even after fuel prices become extortionate is a good thing. Let me know what you think.