Alfa Romeo TZ3 Stradale by Zagato (2011) first pictures

Published: 28 April 2011

Italian design house Zagato has announced the Alfa Romeo TZ3 Stradale, a road-going follow-up to 2010’s TZ3 Corsa racing car concept which won Concept of the Year honours at the Villa del’Este Concours last May. Zagato will build nine TZ3 Stradales, meaning a total of 10 TZ3s will help celebrate Alfa Romeo’s centennary.

Tell me more about the Alfa TZ3 Stradale by Zagato

As befits the ‘Stradale’ name, this is a TZ3 for the street, following on from the 2010 TZ3 Corsa track car. While the TZ3 Corsa was influenced by Zagato’s history of Alfa Romeo competition cars (most notably the Alfa Giulia TZ and TZ2 racing coupes of the 1960s), the TZ3 Stradale has been designed to celebrate Zagato’s Alfa road cars.

But the ’60s Alfa TZ and its long-nose/Kamm tail proportions remain the dominant visual influence, along with Zagato’s trademark ‘double-bubble’ roof and a windowline mildly reminiscent of the mid-’80s Aston Martin Zagato.

The TZ3 Corsa was an Alfa 8C Competizione underneath. What’s the Stradale?

Here’s where things get controversial. The TZ3 Corsa was indeed based on the Maserati-derived, carbon-tubbed 8C coupe. But while the TZ3 Stradale also dips into the Fiat parts bin for its powerplant and chassis, that parts bin has grown a bit deeper in the past year…

No… you don’t mean the TZ3 has… CHRYSLER parts!?

We do. The TZ3’s carbonfibre Alfa body and bespoke interior sit on a Dodge Viper ACR chassis. Zagato describes it as ‘the first American Alfa Romeo’, and in fairness to the Dodge, the ACR was the hard-edged, track-biased coupe variant of the monster V10 roadster so there will be no shortage of performance to go with the Zagato styling.

But if you weren’t happy when Alfas starting using GM-derived V6 engines, then an 8.4-litre V10 engine and a tubular steel chassis fabricated on the wrong side of the Atlantic will probably cause your twin-cam heart to suffer catastrophic failure. At least it’s not a Hemi V8!

This isn’t the first Italian sports car to hide a blue-collar American powerplant within. Apart from Bertone’s Corvette ZR1-based Mantide concept, there were the Iso Rivolta and Bizzarini sports cars of the ’60s which used Chevrolet V8s, and Ford powered De Tomaso’s Mangusta and Pantera sports cars.

So when is this Alfa Viper going on sale?

As with the TZ3 Corsa, the first Stradale has already been sold to a US collector, with cars no.2 and no.3 going to collectors in Japan and Europe. That leaves six TZ3 Stradales to be bought. Price on application to Zagato, who you can also address your letters of complaint to if the Italo-American provenance of the TZ3 Stradale offends your sensibilities.

>>Modern-day Iso Rivolta or just revolting? Share your thoughts on the TZ3 Stradale below by clicking ‘Add your comment’