Alfa Romeo’s Giulia to feature a 480-horsepower, M3-fighting GTA variant

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Watch out, BMW: Alfa Romeo’s upcoming Giulia sedan may get a high-performance GTA variant that could rival the M3.

Auto Express is reporting that Alfa’s Giulia sedan, which is a replacement for the 159, may house a 3.0-liter biturbo V6 that produces somewhere between 480 and 520 horsepower. Even better, the Giulia will return to the Italian brand’s roots, ditching the 159’s front-engine, front-wheel drive layout for a performance-focused rear-wheel drive setup.

The aforementioned V6 will be sourced from the Maserati Ghibli, which originally comes from Ferrari. The monstrous power will reportedly be sent to the rear wheels through a standard dual-clutch gearbox aided by a limited slip differential.

Alfa’s new ‘Giorgio’ RWD platform will be the basis for the Giulia. The Maserati-designed framework aims to be flexible yet lightweight, which insiders say will keep the Alfa’s curb weight below the M3’s 3,540-pound heft. Combined with at least a 55-hp power advantage, the GTA should be able to put the Bavarian in the rear view pretty quickly.

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As far as looks, nothing has been confirmed yet, but you can be sure to expect the traditional Alfa Romeo arrowhead grill and rotary wheels on the new car. Company sources predict that GTA will have hidden rear door handles, an aggressive front bumper, and a ventilated hood to keep the turbo V6 cool.

The car could cost around $80,000 in range-topping form, but standard models, which will be available with a range of four-cylinders and tamer bodywork, could be listed for around half that.

So what’ll it be? Track-tuned German precision or overboosted Italian flair? Details on the Giulia are still coming in, so we’ll save our verdict for the sedan’s release date, which is sometime late next year.