Alfa Romeo SZ Zagato - Classic Alfa Romeos

The Ugly Alfa

The Alfa Romeo SZ Zagato was as ugly as sin. If not uglier. In no way did it match earlier Alfa beauties like the Junior Z coupe or even the 1750 GTV of the late-sixties. It was supposedly intended to give Alfa Romeo's reputation a shot in the arm after a couple of decades languising in the automotive hinterland, and at that level it probably worked. They only built 1,000 example over four years, so it was mainly set up as low-volume car to get attention rather than any attempt at a serious money maker.

The SZ Zagato was based on the Alfa 75 saloon and powered by a modified version of the V6 3-litre engine in the Alfa Romeo 164. Alfa put considerable effort into the chassis to get the car to handle well, and by all accounts succeeded. It was developed from the Group A version of the 75 racer and the handling, steering and brakes won wide acclaimation for their excellence.

An Alfa Romeo SZ Zagato
An Alfa Romeo SZ Zagato | Source

The SZ Zagato Interior

Luggage space was next to non-existent and the dashboard was one-piece carbon fibre affair, and your buttocks were cosseted by cream-leather sports seats. Ah, I can't remember the last time I had my buttocksĀ cosseted.

But the SZ Zagato was a car which did its job, to attract attention back to Alfa Romeo, and hopefully divert sales to their new executive sports saloon the Alfa 164 - which just happend to be powered by the same engine, at least in top spec models, adding another psychological connection for potential customers.

But it's still as ugly as sin.

Technical Specifications: Alfa Romeo SZ Zagato

Engine: V6, 2959cc

Power: 210bhp

Brakes: Disc all around

Transmission: 5-speed manual

Suspension: Struts front, deDion axle rear

Top speed: 152mph

Acceleration: 0-60mph in 7 seconds

An Alfa Romeo SZ Zagato on You Tube

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