Instant Classics

Alfa Romeo 8C Competizione. The roar of the snake

Photo credit: Wheelsage

Sportiness has always been an important element of the Alfa Romeo DNA, the brand with the snake of Casato dei Visconti in its logo: the first international victory at the Targa Florio in 1923, the successes in the pre-war Grand Prix with Nuvolari, the Formula 1 World Championships conquered by Farina and Fangio in 1950 and 1951, the resounding successes of both Giulietta and Giulia, in their various versions, the GT categories up to the many victories of the Prototipi 33 run by Autodelta right up to the victory in the super-demanding 1993 DTM championship in Germany, these are just some of the major stages in an extraordinary trophy line up. After ten years of silence, to rekindle the passion, Sergio Marchionne wanted Alfa to send out a strong message of substance, design and performance as befits the incredible legacy and history of the Biscione brand. And so it was that the Alfa Romeo 8C Competizione came to be.

The name contains several glorious historical references: 8C is the abbreviation that identified the winning eight-cylinder in-line cars designed by Vittorio Jano which, since the 1930s, had triumphed in the Mille Miglia and four times in succession at Le Mans, while the wording "Competizione" recalls the 6C 2500 Competizione with which JM Fangio and Consalvo Sanesi disputed the Mille Miglia
The name contains several glorious historical references: 8C is the abbreviation that identified the winning eight-cylinder in-line cars designed by Vittorio Jano which, since the 1930s, had triumphed in the Mille Miglia and four times in succession at Le Mans, while the wording “Competizione” recalls the 6C 2500 Competizione with which JM Fangio and Consalvo Sanesi disputed the Mille Miglia

Pencilled by Wolfgang Egger and using a Ferrari engine originally developed for the 360 ​​Modena and later for Maserati, the 8C was presented in 2003 at the Frankfurt Motor Show in the form of a concept car. Its carbon fibre bodywork with soft yet sporty lines were greeted with a runaway success. Only 500 examples were made, with all the cars sold within just a couple of days and the first deliveries of the final version commencing in September 2007.

The 8C Competizione follows the traditional transaxle set up of the Alfetta and 75, the engine is front-mounted and longitudinal, while both gearbox and drive are rear-mounted for a perfect weight balance
The 8C Competizione follows the traditional transaxle set up of the Alfetta and 75, the engine is front-mounted and longitudinal, while both gearbox and drive are rear-mounted for a perfect weight balance

In 2008 the 8C was joined by the Spider version that shared the same architecture and mechanics, of which 329 copies were produced. The engine was the 90° V8 with 4,691cc producing 450hp capable of accelerating from 0 to 100 km/h in just 4 seconds flat and reaching a maximum speed of 295 km/h. The 8C Competizione also marked the return to rear-wheel drive for Alfa Romeo, a technical characteristic that had been missing from Alfa cars since the early nineties. Needless to say, the 8C became an instant classic.

The soft top of the 8C Spider is made of two overlapping sheets following the “Z-fold” design: the internal layer is for soundproofing while the external one protects the occupants from the weather. Opening and closing are entrusted to an electro-hydraulic system activated by a simple button
The soft top of the 8C Spider is made of two overlapping sheets following the “Z-fold” design: the internal layer is for soundproofing while the external one protects the occupants from the weather. Opening and closing are entrusted to an electro-hydraulic system activated by a simple button