Alfa Romeo 3000 SZ - 1990— "Il Mostro" by Zagato —
- Model Only 1,035 units produced.
- Style A cutting-edge & brutal design signed by Zagato.
- Aerodynamics The massive use of a wind led to a CX of just 0.30
- Technology A rear-wheel drive car faithful to the Alfa Romeo DNA with its V6 Busso engine. The car benefited from many technical features developed for the IMSA Alfa Romeo 75 program.
- History A car sold new in Italy with less than 3,300 km on the clock
The Alfa Romeo 3000 SZ, designed by Zagato was an immediate hit as soon as it was launched at the 1989 Geneva Motor Show. What was initially thought to be a concept car only has become a highly prized collector’s item, both for its distinctive styling and for the rear-wheel drive system so dear to Alfa Romeo enthusiasts.
A car that surprised everybody
Initially code-named ES30 (for Experimental Sportscar 3.0l), the 19-month joint project by Amato Zagato, son of Ugo, and the styling centres of Alfa Romeo and its parent company Fiat, was then renamed SZ.
Robert Opron, known for having created the sublime Citroën SM and CX when he was at Citroën, made the first sketches, but his colleague Antonio Castellana has created most of the interior and most of the stylistic details.
The 3000 SZ is characterised by its brutal and massive lines that earned it the nickname “Il Mostro” (The Monster). For many, its atypical profile is due to the use of CAD / RAM (Computer Aided Design then very recent). The car was massively developed in a wind tunnel, which allowed achieving an unexpected CX of 0.30.
All the bodywork elements are made of composite materials, except for the spoiler made in carbon and the roof, made in aluminium. Even without the double bubble on the roof, the design is still very Zagato with its large glass surface and steep rear end, that recall the Giulia TZ of the 1960s.
The SZ has only been offered in left-hand drive, with two seats and plenty of room behind the seats, and in a single colour: Rosso Alfa. Andrea Zagato’s SZ had a one-off black car.
Production of the chassis-hull at the Zagato factory in Terrazano di Rho was deliberately limited to 1,036 numbered units, all identified by a small plate on the centre console (including 38 prototypes and pre-production models). An even rarer Spyder version was also launched, the RZ, which was available in red, yellow and black colours.
A car signed Alfa Romeo: V6 Busso and rear-wheel drive
The technical DNA of the Alfa Romeo SZ is typically Alfa, largely due to the work of Giorgio Pianta, the engineer and team manager of the Fiat and Lancia brands involved in rallying.
In fact, the SZ’s platform, ball-jointed suspension and 284 mm diameter self-ventilated disc brakes are derived from the formidable Alfa Romeo 75 Turbo Evoluzione Gr. A. The SZ is also equipped with Koni adjustable hydraulic dampers and power steering, but no ABS.
The rear transaxle and the high body rigidity guaranteed a very balanced handling thanks to an almost ideal weight distribution (56/44) between the front and rear of the car. The lateral grip, estimated at 1.4 G allowed high speed in corners.
The engine is the Alfa Romeo (Busso) 2,959 cc, 60° open, two-valve per cylinder V6 of the 75 3.0 America. Prepared by the factory’s Auto Delta racing department, it increased from 190 bhp to 210/220 bhp at 6,200 rpm, allowing a steep 0-100 km/h acceleration in 7 seconds, and a top speed of 250 km/h. It is located longitudinally at the front.
Last but not least, to the delight of Alfa Romeo purists, the car is a real rear wheel drive, with the engine connected to a transmission package that includes the five-speed manual gearbox that transfers power to the rear axle, which is fitted with a de Dion axle.
The SZ from the ANNA LISA collection
The Alfa Romeo 3000 SZ from the ANNA LISA Art On Wheels collection is the 38th produced and was sold new in Italy. It was first registered on 18 July 1990 and still has its original documentation in Italian and its service booklet.
The futuristic, uncluttered interior retains the original three-spoke steering wheel, the two superb tan Connoly leather bucket seats and the black leather dashboard.
This rare model, a masterpiece of Carrozzeria Zagato, is a genuine collector’s item thanks to its brutal and aggressive styling, the exceptional sounding Busso V6 and the fact that it was the last rear-wheel drive Alfa Romeo before the launch of the rare 8C Competizione in 2008, also available as a Coupe and Spider.