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TZ3 Stradale: Italian Flair, American Muscle.

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On: Mon, Jul 18, 2011 at 9:10AM | By: Lou Ruggieri

TZ3 Stradale:  Italian Flair, American Muscle.

Odds are, if this is the first time you’re hearing about the TZ3 Stradale, you are never going to own one. Don’t worry, we won’t either. More on that in a moment. First some back story: The TZ3 pays homage the TZ1 which was a tubular steel-framed GT car that debuted in 1963. The TZ1 made good use of a 1.6-liter DOHC inline four cylinder motor. The TZ3 also makes good use of an engine; it just happens to be more than five times that of the original TZ1. 

Like its predecessor, the TZ3 is an Alfa Romeo in name, but put together by an Alfa-sanctioned company called Zagato (think of Zagato as the Saleen to Alfa’s Ford). Thanks to the newfound marriage of Chysler and Fiat (owner of Alfa Romeo), the Italian designer gained the capital and resources to put together a hybrid car that spits in the face of anything with an electric motor. This hybrid’s synergy combines the dramatic over-the-top styling we are used to seeing from our car building amici with the biggest, baddest motor to come out of the United States since the steam engine.

Zagato had to work within preexisting parameters of the TZ3 Corsa introduced last year—the Stradale sits 167.7-inches long, 47-inches high, and 78-inches wide. Resembling something of a shooting-brake motif, the very long hood, and flat, drop-off rear end (a shape deemed ‘Kammabck‘), big round tail lights, and sleek “double bubble” roof, Zagato has created a rolling masterpiece. And, boy, does it roll! All of the space beneath the mile-long hood gets put to use thanks to Chrysler’s donation to the project. It seems team Viper had a few ACR-X 8.4-liter V10 motors lying around, which still produce a frightening 640-horsepower and tractor-trailer rivaling 585-lb-ft of torque.

No performance numbers have been given yet, because we won’t see one until August at the earliest. But, it shouldn’t be hard to see 0-60 mph in the low-three second range, 0-100 mph in about 7.8 seconds and the quarter mile flash by in about 11.4 seconds at 125 mph. Sound pretty good right? Well, don’t forget … You can’t have one and neither can we.

It seems that Zagato will be hand-picking its customers based on its own criteria. The first Stradale will go to a man named Eric King, who lives in Saratoga Springs, NY and owns a automobile museum (and, needless to say, is an avid Alpha Romeo fan). The rest of the TZ3 customers have been chosen based on country or region and how likely the purchaser will be to keep their TZ3 Stradale (as Zagato does not want them bought only to be flipped at a price markup), nor do they want more than one of these beauties too close in proximity to another. Only nine in total will be built, and seven of them have already been spoken for, even with a price of nearly a million dollars.

The Stradale is a very polarizing car indeed. Instantly, you will love it or hate its brazen styling and raucous yet familiar side-pipe concerto. But, however you feel about the Italian/American hybrid TZ3 just remember, it doesn’t matter, because you can’t have one and neither can we.

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dwalter | 2:31PM (Mon, Jul 18, 2011)

Reminds me a lot of the old Shelby Daytona coupe

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