When Alfa Romeo announced it will be launching a GTA version of the Giulia Quadrifoglio, the enthusiasts raised some very curious eyebrows. That’s because the GTA and GTAm monikers haven’t been used on a Giulia since the 1970s and back then they used to mean something. If the QV badge is now synonymous with a certain degree of precision and power, the GTA and GTAm versions take things to a new level.

The Giulia QV is already considered a proper rival for the G80 M3 and some are even saying it’s the better car still, even though it is getting a bit long in the tooth right now. Therefore, the upgraded GTAm version, which is supposed to be the best version of the Giulia, should beat the M3 in every single aspect. And yet, is that truly so? The guys from Motorsport Magazine, in France, decided to put things to the test.

Therefore, once they got their hands on a Giulia GTAm model, they set off to their usual proving grounds at the Magny-Cours track to see what’s what. Before we unveil the lap time they got, we should take a look at the specs. The Giulia GTAm has the same 2.9-liter twin-turbo V6 under the hood as the regular QV but now tuned to make more power; 540 horsepower and 600 Nm of torque. It is also lighter, according to the Italian car maker, tipping the scale at 1,672 kilos.

In theory, the M3 is falling short on a number of categories, from the power output (even the Competition model has less power) to the weight. However, according to the results posted below, the G80 M3 is marginally faster around this particular track. There’s no mention of whether the M3 they tested was a Competition model and, if that’s the case, whether it was the AWD version or not. Admittedly, those are big asterisks, as the all-wheel drive model would have a massive traction advantage over the hardcore GTAm. But no matter which one it was, beating the GTAm is an impressive achievement.