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Domo Arigato, Mr. Zagato: Alfa Romeo TZ3 May Hit Production

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On: Mon, Apr 4, 2011 at 5:31PM | By: Chris Weiss

Domo Arigato, Mr. Zagato: Alfa Romeo TZ3 May Hit Production

The TZ3 Corsa is an Alfa Romeo 8C Competizione-based one-off that was presented at the Concorso d'Eleganza Villa d'Este in Italy last spring. The race car was a privately commissioned special edition designed to celebrate 90 years of cooperation between Zagato, an Italian coach-builder, and Alfa Romeo. At the time, it didn't appear to be anything more than a one-off, but German auto mag Auto Bild reports that the parties involved are considering putting out a very limited edition production run. Only with a rather hefty twist.

While the original TZ3 Corsa was a light, spry, 8C-based sports coupe, word is that if it goes into production, it will get a full injection of American blood. Instead of using the 8C, the production TZ3 would be based on the last-generation Dodge Viper. As such, it would be significantly more powerful, but also significantly heavier.

The TZ3 Corsa was powered by a 414-hp 4.2-liter V8. It weighed only 1,874 lbs. thanks to a mono-shell tubular carbon fiber chassis and aluminum body. The car hit 62 mph in 3.5 seconds and topped out at around 187 mph.

According to Auto Bild's reports, if the production version gets approved, it would be based on Dodge Viper architecture and would gain some 1,300 lbs. To offset that massive weight gain, the car would likely import the Viper's 600-hp 8.4-liter V10 engine in place of the smaller V8 powerplant.

It's not entirely clear how the change to Viper underpinnings would affect the TZ3's performance, but since the Dodge Viper itself hit 60 mph in 3.7 seconds and topped out around 200 mph, they shouldn't be drastically different from the original TZ3 Corsa.

Seeing as how the TZ3 Corza was designed to celebrate the Alfa racing heritage and the partnership between the two Italian brands, it seems like it would make more sense to just build a new model and call it something else. One thing's for sure, though: the big snake on the hood will make a lot of sense on a Viper-based coupe. I hope it sticks around.

Alfa/Zagato are expected to debut the model at Pebble Beach this summer, with production beginning next year. We'll see if it happens.

Photo Gallery (click a thumbnail to enlarge)



Michigander | 10:30AM (Tue, Apr 5, 2011)

Looks amazing! Until the side shot... then it kinda looks like a roller skate!

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