The past few years haven’t been the prettiest era for supercars so far. Take a look around and you’ll see seven-figure mingers as fast as they are difficult to look at. The Lamborghini Sian is a caricature of a Lamborghini, the McLaren Senna looks as if Edward Scissorhands violated the clay model, and the Pagani Utopia has a facial expression like it accidentally signed up for a lifetime wet willy subscription. However, out of the muck known as turn-of-the-’20s excess come signs of attractive supercars returning, and even common brands are starting to get in on the action. Say hello to the Alfa Romeo 33 Stradale. No, not the breathtakingly gorgeous old one, but the unexpectedly attractive new one.
Obviously, the form of the original 33 Stradale is almost impossible to achieve in a street car these days, but Alfa Romeo seems to have put great attention into getting the curves over this carbon-tubbed rocket right. From the arcs over the fenders to the swoosh of the quarter panel air intakes, the 33 Stradale cuts a beautiful silhouette. I really like the canopy-style butterfly doors with their absolutely fantastic skylights. Sensational stuff.
Look a little closer, and you’ll find an interesting clash between the classic and modern. The forward lighting silhouettes cut an organic figure, but the detailing is all straight lines piling up to look busier than a beehive. Torpedoes emerging from the flanks contain the taillights, a bold move that recalls vent locations on the original car. It all feels very Zagato-influenced, but that’s a good thing. It’s the sort of beauty that isn’t immediately obvious, instead sparking studious discussion.
Powering the new 33 Stradale is a mid-mounted turbocharged V6 with more than 620 horsepower. Surprisingly, it’s not Maserati’s Nettuno engine snagged from across the Stellantis parts bin using an old-timey barbershop quartet cane, but rather a high-output version of the 2.9-liter V6 in the Giulia Quadrifoglio. Intriguingly, it’s a 90-degree design, meaning this exceedingly rare supercar should sound like the world’s fastest Pontiac Grand Prix. Not that there’s anything wrong with that. Hitched to an eight-speed dual-clutch automatic transaxle from ZF, it should make the 33 Stradale plenty quick. If that’s not for you, Alfa Romeo is happy to provide customers with an electric option, a tri-motor array pumping out a dizzying 750 combined horsepower. Reckon it’s congestion charge-exempt in London?
Regardless of whether a customer chooses red meat or Beyond Meat power, the Alfa Romeo 33 Stradale should click off solid figures. Alfa Romeo claims zero-to-60 in less than three seconds and a top speed of 207 mph. That’s supercar quick by any standards. Reeling this objet d’art back down from serious speeds falls under the responsibilities of carbon ceramic Brembo brakes with electro-hydraulic actuation. Yes, this thing is brake-by-wire, a curious choice but not a surprising one given the Giulia Quadrifoglio. I wouldn’t question their effectiveness, seeing as how Alfa Romeo claims the 33 Stradale can haul itself down from 62 mph to a dead stop in less than 108 feet.
Figures alone aren’t necessarily a sign that a car will be quite good, but the origin of this supercar offers some hope. The reborn 33 Stradale didn’t happen on a corporate whim, but rather with love by its side. As per Alfa Romeo:
The new 33 provides an exciting driving experience and the immortal charm of an icon to a very small circle of enthusiasts who have been involved from the beginning. The new 33 Stradale was developed at the recently created Alfa Romeo “Bottega,” where the brand’s designers, engineers and historians initially met with potential buyers to create each car, as in Renaissance artisan boutiques and workshops of renowned Italian coachbuilders
What we’re looking at here is a low-volume car tailored for individual enthusiasts, and that’s rather cool. However, because of that nature, the Alfa Romeo 33 Stradale will be an elusive beast in the wild. Alfa will only make 33 of these cars, and all have been spoken for. However, the brand has hinted that this isn’t the last high-end limited-production car it will build. I guess we’ll just have to hold onto our hats as we wait to find out what’s next.
(Photo credits: Alfa Romeo)
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