Centennial Stunner: Alfa Romeo TZ3 Corsa

By KBB.com Editors on April 26, 2010 1:49 PM

It's good to be 100, and it's even better to be rich. This year, Alfa Romeo celebrates that benchmark anniversary in the car-making business as well as its involvement with Italian design house Carrozzeria Zagato that's been a collaborative partner for 90 years of that illustrious history. To help commemorate this auspicious occasion, renowned Alfa Zagato collector Martin Kapp of Germany commissioned the Z Team to create this superbly styled neo-retro one-off racer: the Alfa Romeo TZ3 Corsa. The car made its debut at the prestigious XII Villa D'Este Concours d'Elegance, near Como, Italy over the weekend, where it reigned as the undisputed star of the show and rolled off with the exhibition's "Design Award for Concept Cars & Prototypes By Public Referendum" laurels.

Like its Giulia-based TZ1 and TZ2 predecessors that enjoyed exceptional motorsport success during the '60s, the alpha-numeric acronym in this latest Alfa Romeo designates the third iteration "Tubolare Zagato" variant, where "Tubolare" refers to its tube-frame design architecture. However, while the new TZ3 Corsa retains the elegant aluminum-bodied coupe configuration of its earlier namesakes -- complete with long-nose and areo-enhancing Kamm-back tail treatments -- it replaces their conventional alloy frame elements and central tub with high-tech carbon-fiber composite alternatives. This modern design twist not only adds strength and rigidity, but cuts the TZ3 Corsa's curb weight to just 1,875 pounds. Two technical partners provided key components for the project. OMP created the car's carbon-fiber racing seats and steering wheel as well as its aluminum on-board fire extinguisher and Pirelli contributed the TZ3's 18-inch PZero racing slicks.

Power for the one-off Alfa Romeo TZ3 Corsa comes from the same 4.7-liter Ferrari-built dry-sump V8 used in Alfa's 8C Competizione, an equally breathtaking limited-production two-seat sportscar that was produced in both coupe and roadster form from 2006-2010. Tuned here to make 414 horses, the engine and six-speed, dual-clutch sequential transmission can take the ultra-light rear-drive TZ3 Corsa coupe from 0-60 mph in less than 3.5 seconds and on to a top speed of 186 mph.