Alfa Romeo MiTo GTA

What do you think of when you see the letters GTA? The Grand Theft Auto video game franchise? The GTA Spano supercar from Spain? Alfa Romeo enthusiasts remember it as the ultimate badge of performance from the Italian automaker, but while it's been over a decade since those letters appeared on a production Alfa, the latest rumors suggest they could be making a comeback in the form of a new Giulia GTA.

Those who've been following developments from Alfa Romeo will know that the company is planning a successor to the beautifully angular 159 with a new Giulia to slot in above the Giulietta five-door hatch, and according to Auto Express, a new GTA version is in the works. Tipped to be powered by an upgraded version of the 3.0-liter twin-turbo V6 developed by Ferrari for the Maserati Ghibli, the Giulia GTA is rumored to pack around 500 horsepower (give or take 20 horses) underhood.

That would give it a solid output advantage over the 425-hp BMW M3 and 451-hp Mercedes C63 AMG and give Fiat Chrysler Automobiles a performance sedan to challenge the upcoming Cadillac ATS-V and slot in below the bonkers 707-hp Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat.

Expect other oily bits to include a dual-clutch transmission and limited slip differential, as well as upgraded brakes, rolling stock and aero components.

The last time we saw the GTA badge was on the MiTo GTA concept (pictured above) that appeared at the 2009 Geneva Motor Show. Alfa was said to be considering a 159 GTA, similarly powered by Ferrari, back in 2007, but the rumors didn't come to fruition. The last production model to wear those letters was the 156 GTA that preceded it, with a 3.2-liter V6 that produced 250 hp. The most famous example, however, was the Giulia Sprint GTA produced in the late 1960s... a legend that Alfa appears keen to revive with this new model.