Alfa Romeo TZ3 Corsa Zagato: Femme Fatale (2010)

Designed as a one-off car for wealthy German car collector Martin Kapp, the Alfa Romeo TZ3 Corsa Zagato also marked Alfa’s centennial anniversary in 2010.

The culmination of a 90-year association between Alfa Romeo and renowned Italian design consultancy Zagato, the TZ3 is a visually stunningly sultry interpretation of a race car that draws heavily on and pays tribute to Alfa’s ultra-rare and evocative TZ1 and TZ2 racers and road cars, which ran consecutively from 1963 to 1967.

A non-road legal racer based loosely on the Maserati-built Alfa 8C Competizione and running on slick tires, the TZ3 is also a pre-curser for a similarly styled road-going TZ3 Stradale, which is based on the Dodge Viper, and of which only a couple handfuls will be built.

Not a simple 8C re-body, the TZ3 Corsa features more advanced and race-bred carbon-fiber frame with tubular elements like the original TZs, while power comes from a 4.2-liter 420HP version of the Ferrari designed V8 featured in the Ferrari California, Alfa 8C and most similar to the version used for the Maserati GranTurismo. The road-going TZ3 Stradale will however use a 600-640HP version of the Viper’s all-American 8.4-liter V10.

With aluminum body panels and no room for frivolity, the read-to-race TZ3 Corsa’s lithe 850kg weight is not far of the original TZ versions’ 620-660kg weights. However, unlike its 1960s predecessors’ high strung prodigious 112-170HP 1.6-liter twin cam twin spark  engines, the TZ3’s lusty 420HP 4.2-liter V8 mated with a 6-speed sequential racing gearbox allows for a power-to-weight ratio of 494HP per ton and stunning performance including a 3.5-second sprint to 100km/h and an over-300km/h maximum.

Left: TZ3 Stradale, right: TZ3 Corsa

Shod with 245 section front and 285 rear slick tires, the TZ3 offers great traction and grip for such a light and powerful car, while double wishbone and pushrod suspension provides thoroughbred racecar handling.

A rare car that successfully combines sensual feminine curves and delicate lines with an overtly masculine level of aggression in terms of posture, muscle and generous grill intakes, and bonnet and wing vents, the Alfa Romeo TZ3 Corsa is a car of thoroughbred beauty and an edgy and femme fatale-like allure. Faithfully following the basic design cues, like and proportions of the original TZs, the 2010 TZ3 Corsa however looks contemporary with its huge alloys, smooth bodywork, glossy paint, Alfa-logo themed graphics, blacked-out windows, and modern three-lamp oval headlights.

Front: TZ3 Stradal, back: TZ3 Corsa

Predatory and menacing in stance the low and wide TZ3 Corsa is road-hugging and features an evocative design incorporating a long bonnet to house its front-mid engine and rearwards-set cabin with a shooting brake coupe-estate design and abruptly ending aerodynamic Kamm-tail. Lusciously stylized, the TZ3’s lines are sharp yet curvy, while its detailing features a blacked-out rear-end with voluptuous haunches, classic-inspired round lights and triangular exhaust tips incorporated into the body.

With a hollow Alfa grille shield adorning the fascia, the TZ3’s Alfa and Zagato lineage is proudly attested to with a bonnet serpent graphic in between louvers and extending to a race stripe across the roof, as well as door graphics and side badging on the wings, with Alfa’s triangular Cloverleaf resting above Zagato’s elegantly simple ‘Z’.

Specifications

  • Engine: 4.2-liter, 16-valve, dry sump aluminum V8-cylinders
  • Gearbox: 6-speed sequential
  • Layout, Front-mid engine, rear-wheel-drive
  • Power, HP (kW): 420 (309)
  • Power-to-weight: 494HP/ton
  • 0-100 km/h: 3.5- seconds
  • Top speed: over 300km/h
  • Height: 1200mm
  • Width: 1944mm
  • Length: 4345mm
  • Wheelbase: 2500mm
  • Track, F/R: 1622 / 1617mm
  • Kerb weight: 850kg
  • Suspension: Double wishbones, push rod, coil springs, Ohlins dampers
  • Tires, F/R: 285/645”18 / 245/645”18 slicks
  • Construction: Carbon fiber monocoque with tubular elements
  • Body: Aluminum