In 2021, as part of the centenary celebrations for the collaboration between Alfa Romeo and Zagato, which began in 1921 with the TIPO G1, the Milanese Atelier chose to commemorate this important anniversary with the creation of a new model. The project immediately met with the interest of a German customer, selected from among Zagato collectors, with many Alfa Romeo in his garage including, in addition to a rare 8C Competizione, all the different models of the Alfa Romeo’s recent era. As a fan of Granturismo Zagato models, he drives regularly an Alfa Romeo S.Z. (1990) but also several Aston Martin Zagatos of the latest generation. The idea was to celebrate the current Alfa Romeo production of Giulia and Stelvio, together with the legendary 6-cylinder engine in its latest GTAm evolution with a two-door Coupé Zagato body in carbon fibre and a shortened wheelbase.
A perfect DNA, therefore, to christen this new chapter in the legendary history of the two Milanese companies and, to add a further touch of exclusivity, the project started from the Giulia Quadrifoglio Manual updated by Zagato in its contents to the GTAm, to retain the 6-speed mechanical gearbox. TZ and SZ boast two different design languages but both dress the Zagato concept of Granturismo. The design of the prototype Giulia SWB (short wheelbase) Corsa, is, therefore, a natural evolution of the Alfa Romeo SZ models starting with the Codatronca version, born in 1961, and which dominated its GT Class in 1962 – 1963 up to the more recent S.Z. whose front end inspired the front treatment of the very recent Tonale.
Unlike the S.Z. of 1990, based on the Alfa Romeo 75 Evoluzione, which did not have a shortened wheelbase, this new prototype was named “SWB” because it was developed in-house by Zagato from the Giorgio modular floorplan of the Giulia and Stelvio, optimizing its overhangs and wheelbase, in keeping with Zagato’s sporting tradition. As far as design is concerned, if for the 100th anniversary of Alfa Romeo’s foundation (1910-2010), Zagato chose the ‘TZ’ theme, creating the TZ3 Corsa with 8C engine – winner at Villa D’Este – followed by the TZ3 Stradale based on the Chrysler Viper and immediately named by the international press as the first American Alfa Romeo, for this new double anniversary the theme was instead ‘SZ’.
The car, after the photo shoot on the ‘La Pista’ circuit in Arese, will then be officially handed over to the customer, to round off an important year for Zagato and seal a collaboration that over the course of more than 100 years has given rise to more than 150 models of the highest collectors’ value. The design process was carried out according to the Zagato idea of teamwork, enlisting the support of Alejandro Mesonero (Head of Alfa Romeo design) and his team from the outset. The conception, development and production of the car were, however, carried out entirely and independently by the Milanese Atelier without external support. The presence of the Alfa Romeo badge on the car is solely for descriptive and promotional purposes and Zagato’s choice to draw inspiration from the Alfa Romeo S.Z.
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