Zagato is celebrating its long term links with Alfa Romeo during the marque’s centenary year by crafting a modern interpretation of the classic Alfa TZ and TZ2 racing cars of the 1960s. Like the originals, the cutting edge TZ3 is designed to minimize weight yet use the most powerful drive-train possible, so the 1960s aluminum tubular frame has been replaced by a carbon fiber monocoque with hand-crafted aluminum panels and in place of the original four cylinder engine is an 8C Competizone 4.2 liter V8. The final equation is 420 bhp pushing a curb weight of 850 kg for a 0-100 kmh in 3.5 seconds and a top speed of 300 kmh… and good looks and wicked roadholding.
Alfa Romeo and Zagato started their winning ways with a long line of Mille Miglia victories in the 1500 6C and the 1750 GS as well the 8C 2300 Zagato run by the Scuderia Ferrari team, before it started making its own cars. In 1933 an official advert for the Alfa Romeo 8C proclaimed: “The Spider that, with the Alfa Romeo, Scuderia Ferrari and Carrozzeria Zagato trio, has brought countless victories in the homeland and abroad for the honor of Italy.”
Such is the closeness of the relationship that Zagato Alfa Romeos of the Alfa Corse team on numerous times carried the famous Alfa Romeo Quadrifoglio Verde logo. Among the most famous moments in the association's history was Juan Manuel Fangio's 1951 Formula 1 championship driving a Zagato-bodied Alfa Romeo 159, as well as the victorious Alfa Romeo 3000 CM bodied in three versions by Zagato.
During the 60s, the list of victories by the Autodelta Giulia TZ and TZ2 by Zagato seemed never-ending. Some of the most memorable victories included the 1964 Sebring 12 hour, the Targa Florio, Nurburgring, and the Le Mans 24 hours.
The original Zagato Alfa Romeo TZ was developed in collaboration with Autodelta and featured a 1570 cc twin cam engine and other mechanical components shared with the Alfa Romeo Giulia and despite wearing a production car chassis number it was a purpose-built sports racing car, with a tubular spaceframe chassis, aluminum bodywork, disc brakes and independent suspension.
The result was a lightweight coupé of only 650 kg with a top speed of 216 kmh. Alfa's twin-spark 120 kW engine, as used in the GTA, contributed to the speed of the TZ; the standard alloy Giulia block with wet steel liners was installed at an angle under the hood of the TZ to improve airflow.
The car debuted at the 1963 FISA Monza Cup, where TZs took the first four places in the prototype category. At the beginning of 1964 the TZ was homologated into the Gran Turismo category and it started to take many class wins in Europe and North America.
In 1965 the car was updated with new fibreglass bodywork providing lower drag and reduced weight, bringing it down to 620 kg. Also made by Zagato, the new design was called the Alfa Romeo Giulia TZ2. The TZ2 was only built as a racing version with an Autodelta-prepared twin plug, dry sump engine producing around 130 kW. With this engine the car reached a top speed of 245 kmh.
The new TZ3 was built to a commission by German Zagato collector Martin Kapp, who owns original TZ and TZ2 cars. To honour the original car it uses the same shade of red and carries the same Alfa Romeo Quadrifoglio Verde badging.
The Alfa Romeo TZ3 Corsa was officially unveiled at the 2010 Concorso d'Eleganza Villa d'Este where it received the Design Award for the best concept car or prototype chosen by public vote.
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