To make a dream come true, the essential ingredient is a good dose of courage and a pinch of healthy madness. This is how Alfa Romeo describes the recipe for the original 33 Stradale, launched in 1967, and its just-launched successor. The rebirth of a supercar that was considered one of the most beautiful designs ever from the Italian stable is a testament to the brand’s abilities, says Alfa Romeo.
The original 33 Stradale was made in a limited edition as a custom-built car based on the successful Tipo 33 racing car, with only 18 units produced. “With the new 33 Stradale, we wanted to create something that lived up to our past, to serve the brand, and to make the Alfisti fandom proud,” says Jean-Philippe Im-parato, Alfa Romeo’s CEO. “This is the brand’s first custom-built car since 1969, and I promise it won’t be the last.”
Each 33 Stradale is crafted by a dedicated team and offers an array of customisation options, with owners able to choose their own VIN number displayed on the centre tunnel.
Related to the Maserati MC20, the beautiful two-seater coupé was created by the newly founded Alfa Romeo “Bottega” of designers, engineers, and historians who work together with potential buyers to produce a car in the same way as artisans did in the boutiques of the Renaissance and coachbuilders did in the workshops of the 1960s.
The 33 Stradale was unveiled at the historical Monza Circuit ahead of the Italian Formula One Grand Prix on 3 September, with Alfa Romeo’s F1 cars — driven by Valtteri Bottas and Zhou Guanyu — bearing a special livery to celebrate the debut.
Alfa calls the 33 Stradale the perfect combination of beauty and technology, with its goal being to provide an exciting driving experience and the immortal charm of an icon to a very small circle of enthusiasts. Riffing on the 33 theme, only 33 units are being built and the car has a top speed of 333km/h. The velocity is supplied by a 3.0l twin-turbocharged V6 petrol engine making over 420kW. The mid-mounted unit sends drive to the rear wheels via an eight-speed dual-clutch transmission and an electronic limited-slip differential. Alfa Romeo promises a 0-100 km/h time of under three seconds.
A battery electric version of the 33 Stradale is also available, firing out 560kW with a range of 450km. Owing to the weight of the battery, the performance is the same as with the petrol- powered version. Alfa Romeo has designed the 33 Stradale as a track car that is suitable for everyday use. Active shock absorbers provide exceptional handling with comfort, and a front-axle lift system helps the low-slung car negotiate bumps and steep driveways.
Riding on 20-inch “Tributo” alloy wheels, the mid-engined car’s cornering ability is enhanced by a lightweight aluminium chassis and carbon-fibre monocoque, with sports front and rear double-arm suspension. It’s brought to a brisk halt by carbon-ceramic brakes.
The car’s proportions follow the original in how the wheelbase relates to the length and the diameter of the wheels relates to the height. The inspiration also remains the same, with a “brutal” rear balanced by a sinuous front, two large air inlets on the side, and forward-hinging butterfly doors. The windows curve upward into the roof and the engine is on display under a glass cover.
As with the external design, the interior of the 33 Stradale is a nod to the 1960s original. Available in two trim levels — Tributo or Alfa Corse — the retro design is minimalist and uncluttered. The steering wheel has no buttons and aviation-inspired mechanical controls are located on the console between the seats.
However, it’s not all analogue, and ahead of the driver is a 3D “telescope” instrument cluster. Drivers can switch between two factory-set drive modes: Strada (road) or Pista (track), with the latter allowing full deactivation of the traction control system for those brave enough.
Alfa Romeo hasn’t specified the price yet, but it is reputed to be around R35-million, and all 33 units have been sold.
• From the October edition of Wanted, 2023.