33 Stradale is the luscious electric supercar only Alfa Romeo could make
Alfa Romeo continually builds some of the most beautiful cars in the world. If you ask us, its average crossover or sedan looks better than most exotic supercars these days. Believe it or not, though, it's been nearly two decades since the Italian marque has revealed an all-new supercar of its own. But one split-second glance at the all-new 33 Stradale, and you have to admit – it was worth the wait. The absolutely voluptuous super-Alfa rings in a new era while paying its respects to the past, carrying a gas-electric powertrain split inside bodywork inspired by the legendary 1967 33 Stradale. The result seems like a shoe-in for "prettiest car of 2023."
Surprising to no one familiar with Alfa Romeo history, the all-new Stradale 33 is designed largely as an homage to the original 1967 Stradale 33, an extremely limited-edition street-legal version of the Tipo 33 racing prototype. Alfa had to walk a very fine line in trying to recreate for 2023 the drama of a classic car so gorgeous its absence is enough to invalidate any list of the most beautiful cars of all time, just as much so as the absence of the Jaguar E-Type or at least one iteration of Ferrari 250. To complete this weighty task, it brings back an abandoned tradition of coach building.
"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," said Alfa Romeo CEO Jean-Philippe Imparato. "This is the brand's first fuoriserie (custom-built) car since 1969, and I promise it won't be the last."
Perhaps Alfa's most difficult task was modernizing the streetlight-sized headlights into something that wouldn't feel entirely outdated in a world of headlamps slimmed into spaghetti-like strips. It's done quite well, giving the new Stradale clear lenses as bold and bulbous as the originals, but putting those lenses over top a distinctive, modern LED lighting signature with narrow slashes inside dotted surrounds. The digitized Alfa shield front and center ties the full front end together.
Behind those past-meets-present eyes, Alfa designers relished the opportunity to recreate the massive, voluminous curves of a late-60s classic, making the 2023 33 Stradale every bit as shapely as the original. As on the 1967 street racer, those perfectly sinuous muscles come to an abrupt halt at the hands of a brutalist slash of a tail that manages to juxtapose itself brilliantly against the curves without looking at all out of place. The spoked design of the rounded taillights matches the headlamps, sitting deeply within multiple layers of bumper, diffuser and venting that create an angry gaze daring the trailing vehicle to try not looking silly in attempting to keep pace.
The new bespoke beauty backs the unspoken challenge of its cross rear expression with a choice of two powertrain options. The more traditional 3.0-liter twin-turbo V6 mates up with an eight-speed dual-clutch transmission and electronic limited-slip differential to deliver up to 620 hp to the rear wheels while pushing for a 206-mph (namesake 333-km/h) top speed. The electric drive raises the stakes to 750 hp and offers up to 280 miles (450 km, WLTP) of estimated range. Alfa estimates the same general sub-3-second 0-62 mph (100 km/h) for each version, with the electric topping out a tad earlier at 193 mph (310 km/h).
With the two-powertrain package, Alfa Romeo uses the 33 Stradale as a bridge between past and future, the next step in its journey toward full electrification.
The new Stradale rides atop a carbon monocoque, aluminum H frame and and double-arm active suspension. At speeds under 25 mph (40 km/h), the driver can activate the front lift to raise the axle by close to 2 in (50 mm) for clearing obstacles. He or she can lower it back down by manually switching off the system or simply surpassing 25 mph for automatic deactivation.
The 33 Stradale borrows from the original yet again when it's time to get inside, opening up via a pair of butterfly doors that highlights the windows rounding their way up to into the roof. The driver slips into a focused cockpit split off from the passenger side by a unique triangular dashboard trim that makes clear who's running the show. The command system seamlessly blends heritage-inspired switchgear on the console with a digital touchscreen and instruments. Alfa calls the bulging instrument cluster a "3D telescope display," but it looks more like night vision goggles or binoculars to our eyes.
Unlike most modern multifunctional steering wheels, the 33 Stradale wheel is stripped to purity, free of all other switches and buttons. The center tunnel control set offers the hardware for functions like Strada (road) and Pista (track) driving modes and launch control.
Alfa Romeo developed the 33 Stradale via the all-new "Bottega" it created to meet with customers and develop a dream car around their demands. It says the new department is inspired by Renaissance workshops and 1960s coach builders, a space where Alfa's designers, engineers and historians were able to work side-by-side with each of the 33 customers who will be taking delivery of the exceptional car.
Needless to say all 33 planned examples, which will be built by Carrozzeria Touring Superleggera (whose done some very nice Alfa work of its own in recent memory), are already spoken for. With the full lot sold out, Alfa Romeo felt no compelling need to release pricing, but every estimate we've seen floating around the auto news world is in the seven figures.
Source: Alfa Romeo