2009 Alfa Romeo 8C Competizione
“This car has just about the best and most classically sporty engine note ever: a powerful bark-rumble that rises to a genuine Le Mans howl, accompanied by an amazing crackle on the overrun… it’s a bit of a hot-rod, but when you step out, you want to step straight back in” – Steve Cropley writing for Autocar, October 2007
The Alfa Romeo 8C Competizione
Take the name ‘8C’. Like ‘GTO’, it’s evocative and instantly recognisable, redolent of a strident exhaust note resonating from hilltop to hilltop deep in the heart of Italy, marking one apex taken after another. Truly, driving in its simplest and purest form.
Alfa Romeo chose to reprise the name ‘8C’ – otto cilindri, or eight cylinders, Vittorio Jano’s brilliant creation first seen in 1931 – in the shape of an achingly beautiful concept titled simply ‘8C Competizione’ 72 years later at the 2003 Frankfurt show. It was a two-seat berlinetta, short and stubby, yet wonderfully proportioned with muscular shoulders and a classic three-piece Alfa Romeo grille that hinted at iconic models of the past such as the Tipo 33 Stradale.
It was the work of chief designer Wolfgang Egger. Three years later, a production version with a front-mid-mounted V8 (tuned to 450bhp for Alfa Romeo) and 6-speed rear transaxle from the Ferrari-Maserati family was revealed at the Paris Show. A metal chassis supported all-carbonfibre bodywork, while great efforts were made to keep as much mass as possible within the wheelbase, racing-style. Suspension was double-wishbone all round with springs and dampers specific to the 8C, while slowing the car from its claimed 181mph maximum was achieved by fully floating discs with six-piston calipers at the front, four-piston rears.
The robotised manual gearbox allowed lightning fast shifts. A ‘Sport’ button had the effect of allowing a determined driver to hold on to gears at maximum revs, sharpening the throttle response and opening a valve in the exhaust. On this, one writer noted that it, “ramps up the decibels from ‘chilled’ to ‘chilling’…”
The intimate cabin for two was swathed in brushed and polished machined aluminium and unpainted carbonfibre. The figure-hugging racing bucket seats were inspired by those in the Ferrari Enzo, had carbonfibre shells and were covered with a special ‘breathing’ leather/waxed cotton weave material.
For those fortunate enough (500 only) to obtain a confirmed order for the much-in-demand car, deliveries commenced in 2007. For many first-time buyers, their 8C Competizione joined a collection that included an original 8C or an Enzo, with at least one 250 GTO owner using his 8C as day-to-day transport.
It heralded Alfa Romeo’s much-anticipated return to the North American market.
The 8C Competizione sold new in Europe for a price of €136,000 plus local taxes. This was Aston Martin and Maserati money, but the Alfa Romeo offered a far more visceral experience. The press loved it: “The car that seduces before you’ve laid a finger on it” – evo magazine; “Few cars, this side of a Ferrari, offer a more special driving experience; no car short of a V-12 sounds better; and not many fast cars are easier to drive hard” – Motortrend.
Or, perhaps best of all: “The 8C just might be the ultimate two-seat GT” – Car and Driver.
This motor car
‘V8 ALF’ was first registered on 6 May 2009. The discerning collector and racing driver chose Avorio, a colour to sample from the Ferrari Anni ’50 – ’60 classic range, paired with Red leather.
Other options included:
Alfa Romeo 8C matching luggage set
Bose surround sound system with iPod connection
Red brake calipers
Full carbon kit
The car has been kept in central London ever since and has covered just 547 miles from new and comes complete with its matching red luggage set, unused. The entirely appropriate registration ‘V8 ALF’ is included in the sale.
All servicing has been carried out in accordance with manufacturer’s recommendations and is totally up to date:
1st service 23 August 2010
2nd service 24 April 2012
3rd service 20 May 2013
4th service 30 May 2014
5th service 18 May 2015
With today’s modern supercars becoming increasingly reliant on hybrid drive and advanced electronic systems, it’s refreshing to offer a car only six years old yet almost from a different age. A bellowing exhaust note, ferocious and raucous acceleration from a mighty eight-cylinder engine, all transmitted to two driven wheels at the rear – Vittorio Jano, the original ‘father of the 8C’, would have been proud.