Cuore Sportivo: A JDM-Style Alfa 147 GTA

JDM? An Alfa? Dino, what are you taking about?

OK, I know it’s technically wrong to have the term ‘JDM’ linked to an Italian car, but at the same time I also think there’s no better way to describe the practice of Japanese enthusiasts and tuners going wild on imports.

I’ve said it before, but I’m constantly surprised by how the Japanese can nail the execution on any car, getting it to sit just right, selecting the right sort of wheels, and just making it look so purposeful. Hence the ‘JDM-style’ term.


And this Alfa Romeo 147 GTA is a car that fits the category perfectly. I never got to catch up with the owner and therefore was unable to see what was done to the 3.2-liter V6 that sits transversely across the front wheels, so for this spotlight we’ll mostly be looking at the exterior.


And since I’m currently spending a whole week driving the Giulia Quadrifoglio, I’ve developed an extra awareness of Alfas.


Like a good number of the cars that competed at the weekend’s idlers Games this GTA is road registered, but there’s no hiding the fact that it’s a track car through and through. It sits at a low, yet functional height on its adjustable Aragosta coilovers, and the wheel and tire fitment is spot on.


Save for a lightweight hood and some cutout sections on the bumper to allow more cooling, the aesthetics have been simply spiced up with things like a carbon fiber front lip.


And helping push the rear end down to the ground is a hatch-mounted spoiler.

One look through the polycarbonate windows reveals a stripped-out interior and stiffened shell, further hinting at the seriousness of the build.


It may look pretty menacing and well tuned, but the appearance is a simple result of the functional approach that has transformed this 147 GTA into dedicated track car.

The JDM way wins again, even if it’s being applied to an Italian car!

Dino Dalle Carbonare
Instagram: speedhunters_dino



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THIIIIIIISS is the type of stuff I like. Probably not a high-dollar build, possibly all work done by the owner, humble base car, but purposeful and fun and obviously used well. It's awesome, but also something achievable by the common man.


now could we get an update on your project car


No clips of the busso?


Now that's refreshing. Makes me wonder what mods the driver made to the drivetrain to put the power down. I can imagine that's one mean sounding good old Alfa V6! Thumbs up!


the 6 speed box is quite strong in these, the diff on the other hand.... not so much. first thing i always recomended to my customers was to swap in a LSD of some form, the factory diesel 147 even came with a viscus LSD, so god knows why the GTA never did...


I can dig it. SH should have a dedicated track car project.


Cool and different. Looks like something from an old ridge racer game.


ohh dear lordy! what a nice rig. I miss driving and working on these things, biggest weakness was explode-o water pumps and a hand grenade for a diff.... throw in a metal wheel'd w'pump and a Q2 LSD, you will never have a problem again and one of the most enjoyable hot hatches around. then you can go stupid with the autodelta 3.7 stroker and super charger kit :P
@dino - hope you track down the owner one day and get some further details, i'd love to know!


Simply because it's Alfa and it must breakdown.
I can't tell if it's worldwide issue or not but it's very common in our region for Alfa (and Fiat) to have silly breakdowns which resulted in a bad reputation for the Italian Manufacturers but people kept buying them (in a less manner) for the style, you can never beat Italian designers.


It's left hand drive, how can it be a Japanese Domestic Market car?


noone said the car was JDM. the MODS done to them are in JDM STYLE, meaning, since the owner is Japanese, hes built it the way a Japanese person would do it

Jay Soh Tsu Chung

It is common for people in Japan to buy LHD cars even if there are RHD versions available.


Yeah I know (which makes Japan more awesome IMO), BUT, not JDM is it? The car would be an "import". :D


This is not the first time that i look at these tapes on the tail lights. Maybe it´s a stupid question, but i can´t explain for which function they are ? I mean that´s obviously not a ricer car XD


the tapes are usually used to prevent the lights from scattering on the track if it got smashed during racing. more common on classic racecars where they used glass for their lights.


Ahh okay thank you. But this is not a must have, right ? It seems that a Alfa 147 don't need them, so this is more a sign of respect huh


considering that most of not all cars from the past decades have used plastic instead of glass, I believe it might be just a tribute to those era. though the event might made it a compulsory as I see another post from Dino for this event, which also have the tapes on their lights.


Yeah good to know, but more a important question is, is this Alfa 2000 GTV or a Gulia coupe ? It looks amazing with that widebody kit <3


It's a Giulia Coupe GTAm (m stands for Modificata, widebody kit included)


As an Alfa 147 GTA owner, it's both refreshing and reassuring to see one of these being tuned and tracked! Definitely a very good hot hatch, but you MUST install an LSD and some tweaks to update the chassis, to cope THAT Cuore Sportivo!