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  3. Alfa Romeo celebrates 100 years of the legendary Quadrifoglio in Formula 1

Alfa Romeo celebrates 100 years of the legendary Quadrifoglio in Formula 1

17 Jun 2023
  • What is the history of the Quadrifoglio in motorsports?

Alfa Romeo continues to celebrate the Quadrifoglio, a symbol of Made in Italy sportiness that has identified the brand's highest-performance creations for a century. At the Canadian Grand Prix, the livery of the C43 single-seater driven by Valtteri Bottas and Zhou Guanyu is emblazoned on part of the engine cover with the celebratory four-leaf clover created by the Centro Stile Alfa Romeo. The reinterpretation by Alfa Romeo designers respects the solidity and elegance of the historic logo by evolving the color point, a contemporary chromatic touch that refers to the glorious past of iconic cars and victories that still form part of the collective unconscious.

A constant quest for excellence applied to competitions, then transferred in its entirety to production cars: in short, this is the Alfa Romeo philosophy inherent in the Quadrifoglio that has marked out the highest-performance Alfa Romeo creations since April 15th, 1923.

The history of the Quadrifoglio: an unbreakable bond with motorsport

The history of the Quadrifoglio: an unbreakable bond with motorsport

The first Alfa Romeo car adorned with the Quadrifoglio was the RL “Corsa” driven by Ugo Sivocci, who won the 14th Targa Florio in 1923, as the first of the ten times the brand took the laurels in this prestigious competition. And the same lucky emblem stood out on Brilli Peri's “P2” when he triumphed at Monza in 1925 at the inaugural “World Manufacturers’ Championship”, the first of Alfa Romeo's five world titles. In races in the late ’20s, the Quadrifoglio continued to distinguish the Alfa Romeos from the parent company from the same brand’s cars managed by the Scuderia Ferrari, which had the “prancing horse” as its emblem.

In 1950 and 1951, Giuseppe “Nino” Farina and Juan Manuel Fangio took the Alfa Romeo 158 and 159 – the legendary “Alfetta” – to success in the first two Formula 1 World Championships. Later, in the ’60s, the Quadrifoglio would stand out on the “ready-to-race” version of the “Giulia”, on the “TI Super”, and then joined the Autodelta blue triangle for several decades: from the “GTA” and “33” to the two World Championships won by the “33 TT 12” (1975) and the “33 SC 12” (1977).

Alfa Romeo continued to race in the ’80s: after returning to F1 in 1979, its successes in touring car races with the “GTV 6.2.5” came one after another until the triumph in the “STM” with the “155 V6 Ti” in 1993 and the extended series of victories of the “156 Superturismo” (1998-2004).

Even regular Alfa Romeo production models bore the Quadrifoglio; these particularly high-performance models were made between the ’60s and ’80s. Some had the symbol on their bodywork, with no mention in the official name – such as the “Giulia Sprint GT Veloce” or “1750 GT Veloce”, whereas others from the ’80s onwards included “Quadrifoglio” in their official names, e.g. the various versions of the “33 Quadrifoglio Verde” and of the “164 Quadrifoglio Verde”. It should also be noted that, at the turn of the ’70s into the ’80s, the Quadrifoglio also evolved and came in two versions: in green for the sportiest vehicles, and in gold for the most refined and luxurious trim levels.

Over time, the same initial “Q” became part of the Alfa Romeo vocabulary, eventually identifying the most advanced technical solutions: the most famous of all is the Q4 all-wheel drive, but there were also the Q2 limited-slip differential, the Q-System automatic transmission and the Q-Tronic, to name but a few.

Finally, the symbol of the Quadrifoglio returned both on the Mito (2008) and Giulietta (2010), and again in 2015 when the new Alfa Romeo generation was created with the launch of the Giulia in its Quadrifoglio version. It was powered by the exceptional performance of the new 510-hp 2.9 twin-turbo petrol engine, so much so that it set the class record of 7’32” on the renowned Nürburgring circuit. The current top-of-the-range Stelvio, the first SUV produced by Alfa Romeo, is also known as the Quadrifoglio version.

Motor 283

BY Motor 283

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Italian Government Pressures Alfa Romeo to Rename Milano SUV to 'Junior'

16 Apr 2024
Italian Government Pressures Alfa Romeo to Rename Milano SUV to 'Junior'

In a surprising turn of events, Alfa Romeo has announced that it will be changing the name of its recently unveiled Milano SUV to "Junior" after facing pressure from the Italian government. This decision comes amidst criticism from Italy's industry minister, Adolfo Urso, who expressed concerns over the marketing of a foreign-manufactured vehicle bearing an Italian name.

Auto China 2024 and beyond: Mercedes-Benz to showcase its focus on China with new products and localised developments

16 Apr 2024
Auto China 2024 and beyond: Mercedes-Benz to showcase its focus on China with new products and localised developments

At and around Auto China 2024, Mercedes Benz underlines its commitment to delivering dedicated products and technologies to Chinese customers. As the largest single automotive market in the world, China plays an important role in the long-term strategy of Mercedes Benz. Running up to the show, the company will maintain its leadership position in this market, headlined by the world premiere of the all-new electric Mercedes Benz G Class.

China is home to the company’s largest production site and the most comprehensive R&D hub outside Germany, playing a significant role in Mercedes Benz’s global R&D network. In recent years, Mercedes Benz strengthened its R&D capabilities in China, particularly in electrification and digitalisation. In 2021, the company opened the new R&D Tech Centre China in Beijing, equipped with state-of-the-art testing labs, including E drive, battery, charging, NVH, and more. In 2022, Mercedes Benz established the new R&D Centre Shanghai, focusing on connectivity, automated driving, plus software and hardware development. This April, a new building will be added with advanced hardware and software facilities designed to accelerate local development in cutting-edge digital innovations. Besides the R&D Centre, the existing Design Centre will continue to promote the digital dimension in Mercedes Benz designs.

Gordon Murray Automotive reveals all T.50s commemorative names ahead of prototype global dynamic debut

16 Apr 2024
Gordon Murray Automotive reveals all T.50s commemorative names ahead of prototype global dynamic debut

Premium British vehicle manufacturer Gordon Murray Automotive (GMA) has announced the 25 commemorative names to be paired with the 25 T.50s Niki Lauda chassis. Each of the track-only T.50s supercars will celebrate Gordon Murray’s rich racing heritage with their names commemorating the dates of his first 24 Grand Prix wins at different circuits, and a special endurance race victory.

Already allocated to their owners, each of the T.50s chassis is themed chronologically, starting with Murray’s first race victory – 1974 South Africa at Kyalami – and continuing with each subsequent win at unique locations: 1974 USA at Watkins Glen; 1975 Brazil at Interlagos; 1975 Germany at Nürburgring; 1978 Sweden at Anderstorp; 1980 Italy at Imola; 1980 Netherlands at Zandvoort; 1981 Argentina at Buenos Aires; 1982 Monte Carlo at Monaco; 1982 Canada at Montreal; 1983 Brazil at Rio; 1983 Italy at Monza; 1983 UK at Brands Hatch; 1984 USA at Detroit; 1985 France at Paul Ricard; 1988 Mexico at Mexico City; 1988 UK at Silverstone; 1988 Belgium at Spa; 1988 Portugal at Estoril; 1998 Spain at Jerez; 1988 Japan at Suzuka; 1988 Germany at Hockenheim; 1988 Hungary at Hungaroring; 1988 Australia at Adelaide; 1995 France at La Sarthe.

The news comes ahead of the global dynamic debut of the T.50s Niki Lauda prototype on 13 April at the UK’s Goodwood Motor Circuit. The first public outing for the T.50s prototype will headline the 81st Goodwood Members Meet where more than 15,000 track spectators will enjoy the first outing of the race-spec car revving through to its 12,100 rpm redline. The T.33 mule ‘James’ will also make its dynamic debut at the event marking the progress made by the GMA R&D team and enabling the public to hear the GMA.2 V12 engine for the first time.

The Goodwood event will celebrate the career of famed racer Niki Lauda – the 1970s and 1980s F1 driver whose name appears on every T.50s. Raising the occasion’s significance further, GMA will explain the unique connection between the T.50s and the iconic Brabham BT46B ‘Fan Car’ that Niki Lauda drove to a commanding victory at the 1978 Swedish Grand Prix.

Conceived by Gordon Murray during his 17-year tenure as Chief Designer at the Brabham Formula One team, the BT46B rose to instant iconic status due to Murray’s innovative addition of a ground-effect fan system. Having dominated and won its inaugural race at Anderstorp, Sweden in the hands of Niki Lauda, the model was withdrawn by Brabham to pacify other teams for the good of the championship.

Gordon Murray, CBE – Executive Chairman, Gordon Murray Group: “The dynamic debuts of the GMA T.33 mule and GMA T.50s XP1 mark an important milestone in the development of both supercars. I’m also proud that we will participate in honouring a man who was a one-of-a-kind racer and a great friend by showcasing the T.50s Niki Lauda at Goodwood. Additionally, revealing the 25 historically significant motor racing names for our track-only T.50s is the perfect way to celebrate a favourite event for me and the whole GMA team.”

GMA’s Dario Franchitti will present attendees with an insightful overview of the story of the BT46B and its significance in the design and engineering of the T.50 supercar and its track-spec T.50s sibling. The GMA team will also be joined by His Grace the Duke of Richmond who will take a tour of the Murray display of heritage race cars and modern-day GMA supercars.