22.12.2010 ZAGATO TO EVOLVE THE "TZ REVIVAL" FURTHER NEXT YEAR WITH TZ3 "STRADALE"

ZAGATO ALFA ROMEO TZ3 STRADALE (2011)

Zagato's traditional Christmas card, sent out to its clients this week, shows the TZ1, TZ2 and TZ3 positioned in timeline arrangement next to the forthcoming "Stradale" interpretation which is wrapped up, and thus partially disguised, by a festive bow.

ZAGATO ALFA ROMEO TZ3 STRADALE (2011)

What can be gleaned however from the image is that the TZ3 Stradale will feature a much more extravagant and refined appearance, while adhering to Alfa Romeo history and tradition, as well as Zagato's own signature trademarks.

ZAGATO TZ3

The "TZ3  made its public debut at the prestigious Concorso d'Eleganza Ville d'Este on the banks of Lake Como in April and immediately made its mark by walking off with coveted "Design Award' given to the best concept car or prototype taking part.

Having revived the legendary Alfa Romeo "TZ" nametag this year, more than four decades after the original bearers of the iconic tag, the TZ1 and TZ2, hit the race tracks in anger, in its traditional Christmas card sent out this week Milanese design house Zagato has revealed that it is set to pursue the theme even further in 2011 with a homologated "Stradale" version of the new TZ3 which is set to be produced in version limited numbers.

The Alfa Romeo TZ1 and TZ2 are two of the Italian marque's most famous racing cars, no mean feat in a full century littered with undisputed racing excellence. Designed by Zagato and incorporating the ground-breaking "coda tronca" tail end treatment, the cars were built and raced by Autodelta with great success through the mid 1960s, the programme fading when the factory's competition focus shifted onto the Giulia GTA. Two of the most recognisable and most cherished Alfa Romeo models of all, the TZ1 and TZ2 are also highly desirable with collectors and prices have steadily climbed.

To celebrate the occasion of the Centenary of Alfa Romeo this year, Zagato returned to the drawing boards to revive the TZ theme with a one-off track special car created for renown Alfa Romeo and Zagato collector Martin Knapp who owns, amongst his fine Alfa Romeo collection an SZ coda tonda and SZ coda tronca, TZ1 and TZ2, Junior Z and SZ. The new creation, designed around the Belgian Gillet racing car thus carried history forward by being powered by Alfa Romeo's Maserati-sourced 4.2 litre V8 engine with 420 bhp. Dubbed the "TZ3", this unique sports car made its public debut at the prestigious Concorso d'Eleganza Ville d'Este on the banks of Lake Como in April and immediately made its mark by walking off with coveted "Design Award' given to the best concept car or prototype taking part. From Ville d'Este the TZ3 moved onto the Goodwood Festival of Speed when in dynamic action up the famous "Goodwood Hill" it was one of the stand out stars of the event.

Now Zagato is working on a "Stradale" version of the TZ3 which carefully evolves the one-off, track-focused car's design language, which in turn perfectly paid homage to the TZ1 and TZ2, updating and reinterpreting their iconic shapes, lines and idiosyncrasies almost half a century after the first appeared. Zagato's Christmas card, sent out to its clients this week, shows the TZ1, TZ2 and TZ3 positioned in timeline arrangement next to the forthcoming "Stradale" interpretation which is wrapped up, and thus partially disguised, by a festive bow. The Milanese firm has been working on the TZ3 Stradale project for several years and is said to have several clients already interested.

What can be gleaned however from the image is that the TZ3 Stradale will feature a much more extravagant and appearance, while adhering to Alfa Romeo history and tradition, as well as Zagato's own signature trademarks. This year's TZ3 was aimed to be a "no frills" project, just like the original, and in adhering to Zagato's traditional mantra of focusing on light weight; however the TZ3 Stradale will be much a much more refined and polished car all round, and notably include more details that pay homage to the originals.

At the front end the spoiler section becomes much more pronounced, sweeping and culminating in a distinct lip, while the air intake area is now much larger. The TZ3 Stradale is bursting with new, polished details: the headlights for example are bigger now, the glasshouses are now finished in two sharp planes and there is a plastic moulded and slatted section that feeds down from the lights and into the front bumper section in one flowing motion. The front wings are also higher and the bonnet line slightly lower, with the crease along the bonnet that feeds out from the 'heart' (which appears to be almost the same as the TZ3) being slightly more sculptured, which will all lead to a much more muscular and aggression visual front end stance. The image hints that the TZ3 Stradale will receive deeply-cut, mid-bonnet-length meshed air intakes just like the TZ3.

Behind the front wings the TZ3 Stradale sports a new, almost triangular air vent that is inspired by the 8C Competizione while the door mirrors are now noticeably larger, and perhaps most significantly, the A-pillars are now hidden with the door and windscreen glass surface unbroken up to the point at which they meet. Also noticeable is the rear end, although hidden away behind the swirl of the ribbon it is clearly very short, certainly shorter than on the TZ3, and possibly there is a diffuser as this car makes further strides, driven by boldness from Zagato's designers, in its own direction in reinterpreting itself as a thoroughly modern race-bred sports car. There are also new deeply-dished wheels, a homage to the TZ2, and in seeking to define itself as an homologated road car the TZ3 Stradale doesn't wear the legendary "Quadrifoglio" decal on the front wings which featured on all the TZ-series cars to come before.
 

2010 Interfuture Media/Italiaspeed