If this big red chunk of hotness looks familiar, it's probably because you've seen it before: Alfa unveiled a concept version of the Competizione at the Frankfurt show in 2003. That look-but-don't-drive concept pretty much blew everyone's minds (the headlights look less bugeyed in person, we promise). A year later, at the 2005 Pebble Beach Concours, Alfa pulled the wraps off of a roadster version of the car. It too was gorgeous.
The car you see here? It's the long-awaited production version of that concept hotness, and we keep having to snap our mouths shut and wipe up the drool. Granted, it's not visually perfect, but the 8C is one of the most beautiful shapes to come out of Europe in some time. The 8C name hearkens back to pre-war Alfa history; it was previously used to identify both racing and road cars that were powered by Vittorio Jano's revolutionary straight-eight. ("Competizione" is intended as an homage to the 1950 6C 2500 Competizione, a car in which Juan Manuel Fangio and Augusto Zanardi competed in the '50 Mille Miglia.)
Power comes from a ninety-degree, aluminum-block, aluminum-head V-8 that displaces just under 4.7 liters. Continously variable valve timing is fitted to the V-8's intake camshafts, and helps produce a peak rating of 450 hp at 7000 rpm-and 347 lb-ft of torque at 4750 rpm. (Eighty percent of that torque is available from 2000 rpm.) A six-speed, paddle-shifted transaxle with a self-locking differential helps put it all to the ground.
We want. Oh, how we want.