A Legendary Sports Car Reborn for the Electric Age
In 1967, Alfa Romeo unveiled one of the most beautiful sports-racing cars to ever grace the planet: the 33 Stradale. With a chassis and engine derived directly from the Tipo 33 race car, the original 33 Stradale is one of the most valuable and sought-after cars from the era. Designed by Franco Saglione, each of the 18 33 Stradales built is a rolling sculpture, and most reside in museums. Now, Alfa Romeo is reviving the 33 Stradale – and offering it with electric power.
Only 33 units of the new 33 Stradale will be produced by Alfa Romeo, under its “fuoriserie” (Italian for custom-tailored) program. Customers are offered the chance to co-create stylistic elements of the car together with Alfa Romeo’s designers, including the air intakes, wheels, and even the distinctive front shield. Much like the original 33 Stradale, no two cars will be the same, and each one will become part of the brand’s storied history. Carrozzeria Touring, a legendary Italian coach-building house, will actually construct the cars, ensuring obsessive attention to detail.
Choice of Gasoline or Electric Power
Unique for a supercar, Alfa Romeo is offering customers the choice of either gasoline or electric power for the 33 Stradale. It claims that both versions offer the uncompromising driving experience of a race car which can also be used for daily driving on the road. Formula 1 driver Valteri Bottas helped set up the suspension tuning, bringing an F1-style experience to every drive.
The more conventional of the two available powertrains is a twin-turbo V6 engine delivering over 620 horsepower, and connected to an eight-speed dual-clutch gearbox. An electronic limited-slip differential helps the rear wheels put the substantial power to the ground.
Far more interesting is the optional electric powertrain. Built on a modern 800-volt electrical architecture, which helps enable fast charging times, the 33 Stradale BEV delivers more than 750 horsepower. Its 102-kWh battery provides the high-performance sports car a claimed range of 280 miles (EPA-estimated) – which would be approximately on par with the gasoline version, if driven hard.
Performance of the 33 Stradale is outstanding for both the electric and gasoline versions. 0-60 mph takes less than three seconds, and the top speed is 206 mph for the gasoline version and 193 mph for the electric version.
Supercar Suspension and Braking
The new 33 Stradale has a carbon-fiber and aluminum chassis for maximum lightness and stiffness, as well as a race-inspired double-arm active suspension. A front axle lift system allows the low-slung supercar to easily clear obstacles such as speed bumps or the steep entrances to parking garages at low speeds.
Drivers can use a mode selector on the center console tunnel to switch between Strada (road) mode and Pista (track) modes. Strada offers a comfortable driving experience with smooth power delivery and a compliant ride. Pista, on the other hand, increases the sensitivity of the throttle pedal, maximizes the stiffness of the suspension, and offers a launch control function to maximize acceleration.
The Alfa Romeo 33 Stradale also uses an innovative brake-by-wire system, using electronic actuators to control the Brembo carbon-ceramic brakes. The sensitivity of the brake pedal varies depending on which drive mode is chosen. On the electric version, regenerative braking takes car of most braking duties, with the friction braking system only coming into effect when the car is being driven aggressively.
Alfa Romeo 33 Stradale: Design
Designed at Alfa Romeo’s famous Centro Stile (style center), the new 33 Stradale is inspired directly by the historic model, incorporating design elements from Alfa Romeo’s new vehicles. It’s a gorgeous design, with perfectly balanced proportions, volumes, and surfaces. The powerful design and muscular stance are accented by Alfa Romeo’s iconic shield and complex LED lighting for a high-tech look.
Being a supercar, the 33 Stradale has butterfly doors that are cut out of its dynamic profile as well as prominent air intakes. The doors and extremely curved windshield give the driver a unique view, similar to the cockpit of a fighter jet. The rear is chopped off, with v-shaped graphics around the tail light clusters.
The 33 Stradale’s interior is minimalist, and free from distractions, with all necessary controls grouped on the center console. There’s a 3-D digital display that has a “telescope” feel, but otherwise screens and touch surfaces are kept at a minimum. Even the steering wheel has no buttons or touch pads – it’s reserved solely for steering the car. Aviation-inspired materials include aluminum, carbon fiber and Alcantara, while wrap-around seats provide comfort and support.
Alfa Romeo 33 Stradale: Not Coming Soon to a Dealer Near You
With just 33 examples to be made worldwide, the Alfa Romeo 33 Stradale is already sold out, to some very wealthy clients. But it’s great to see such a high watermark of Italian design, craftsmanship, and performance – and one that offers the option of electric power alongside a more traditional gasoline powertrain.
For its lucky clients, the 33 Stradale is a work of art brought to life, a dream come true.