The "TZ3 program" managed by Zagato to celebrate the 100th Anniversary of Alfa Romeo (1910-2010) ends with the delivery of the TZ3 Stradale, a project that rebodies the Dodge Viper ACR to create the first "American Alfa Romeo".

The "TZ3 program" managed by Zagato to celebrate the 100th Anniversary of Alfa Romeo (1910-2010) ends with the delivery of the TZ3 Stradale, a project that rebodies the Dodge Viper ACR to create - in a nod to the future - the first "American Alfa Romeo".

The initiative started in 2009 with the manufacturing of the one-off TZ3 Corsa which won the Villa D’Este Design Concept Award in 2010 and the project now follows with nine examples being built of the TZ3 Stradale. Two different approaches, both for the same tribute.

While the TZ3 Corsa was designed as a purposeful track-use car with racing underpinnings the TZ3 Stradale is instead a tribute to the Alfa Romeo and Zagato's long street legal heritage. Just nine examples are now set to emerge to add up to a total of ten collectible cars to celebrate the 100th anniversary of Alfa Romeo made by its most prolific contributor, both with race and road legal bodies.

The TZ3 Corsa celebrates men and machines of the Alfa Romeo Zagato racing heritage: Scuderia Ferrari (20s and 30s); Alfa Corse (40s and 50s); Autodelta (60s and 70s) and Scuderia Zagato (80s and 90s). The TZ3 Stradale, meanwhile, celebrates the road legal heritage of Alfa Romeo Zagato coupés: the RLSS, 1500, 1750, 2300 and 2900 Zagato (20s and 30s); 6C 2500 Panoramica, 1900 SSZ and the Giulietta SVZ (40s and 50s); SZ, 2600 SZ, Giulia TZ and Junior Z (60s and 70s); and S.Z. and R.Z. (80s and 90s).

The TZ3 Corsa project was based on the Belgian-built Gillet sports car, featuring a tubular frame chassis and hand beaten lightweight aluminium bodywork. It’s equipped with the front-central mounted Maserati V8 90° 4.2-litre engine coupled up to a 6-speed sequential gearbox.

The TZ3 Stradale beats a different path and is based on the V10-engined Dodge Viper ACR's chassis fitted with a carbon fibre body which clearly reinterprets the historical design "TZ" theme and features Zagato's trademark double-bubble roof. The Viper ACR ("American Club Racer") name tag was first introduced in 1999 to denote an extreme end of the range model with a new version later joining the line-up in 2008. Bellezza necessaria is the inspiration of this car, says Zagato, which matches for the first time a U.S. powertrain and can therefore claim to represent the first "American Alfa Romeo". The TZ3 Staradale retains the proportions of the Viper and cues such as the U.S. sports car's side exit exhausts can be seen on the Zagato creation. With the Chrysler Group set to regurgitate key styling cues from the recent Alfa Romeo 8C Competizione sports car for the next-generation Viper, the TZ3 Stradale project sets the trans-Atlantic "design language" ball rolling.

Following Zagato’s gentlemen-driver heritage, the TZ3 Corsa was commissioned by well-known Alfa Romeo Zagato collector Martin Kapp. The first TZ3 Stradale meanwhile has been delivered to the U.S. Alfa Romeo and Zagato collector (and Saratoga Automobile Museum board member) Eric King. TZ3 Stradale #2 and #3 will be delivered to customers in Japan and Europe.

Both TZ3 Corsa and TZ3 Stradale boast a typical "Kamm" tail (K-tail) layout. This solution became famous in Italy with the “Coda Tronca” bodies which were tested by Zagato in the beginning of the 60s. They reached their apex on Alfa Romeo's famous TZ and TZ2. The Kamm effect is part of a functional design approach that aims to focus on aerodynamic efficiency. According to this thinking, the CX can be lowered by keeping compact volumes at the same time. The reduction of the wind resistance is assured with the Kamm tail design, without any need of a very stretched “drop” shape of the tail.

© 2011 Interfuture Media/Italiaspeed