It all started with “Red Afternoon” – a cocktail event held at the Kyalami pits on the 24th January for around 300 VIPs and organised by Fiat Group Automobiles South Africa to showcase some of the Group’s latest vehicular offerings that happened to be in the country at the time.
Of course, the star attraction was the blood-red Alfa Romeo 8C Competizione – a raucous and very rare 4.7-litre V8 behemoth of a supercar. Sadly, only in South Africa for a few days whilst undergoing hot-weather testing, the 8C is Italian engineering at its very best and it’s got the figures (both statistically and stylistically) to prove it: 0 to 100km/h in 4,5 seconds and maximum velocity of 300km/h. In its present guise the 8C will not become available here as all 500 hand-built specimens have been spoken for. However, in the not-too-distant future, a Spider version will make its appearance and should that ever be available in right-hand-drive, it will undoubtedly pop up on a few Alfisti’s wish lists.
The next outing for the extrovert Alfa was the MPH show at the Coca-Cola Dome from the 31st January to the 3rd February. After making his tyre-screeching entrance in the 8C, performance after performance, the irrepressible Mr Jeremy Clarkson unabashedly confided to packed audiences that it was ‘the most beautiful car I’ve ever seen’. It was also undoubtedly the show-stopper in the supercar segment, despite being paraded together with some very exotic machinery.
Mr Gorelli, Managing Director of Fiat Group Automobiles SA, is encouraged by the overwhelmingly positive response the 8C has received: “It’s testimony to the fact that Alfa Romeo has not forgotten its sporting heritage. Watch this space for a lot more to come from this legendary brand – it’s an exciting time to be an Italian car fan.”