Since its inception, Alfa Romeo has built up a back catalogue with more beautiful cars than perhaps any other car company in history. Stunners like the T33/2 Stradale Prototipo, Duetto Spider, and Disco Volante immediately spring to mind. However, there are a few cars that, visually at least, don’t line up with the pure works of art that make up the rest of their discography. Instances where Giuseppe didn’t turn up to work that day, and so design duties instead fell to Paolo, the artistically impaired janitor. If you’re familiar with Alfa, you’ll immediately know which two cars I’m talking about, but if you aren’t I’m referring to the Zagato-designed Alfa SZ, fittingly nicknamed ‘Il Mostro’, and the not-designed Alfa 75 Quattrofoglio Verde.
Alfa used one of the best engines ever made for the SZ, the 3.0 litre Busso motor from the 75 Quattrofoglio Verde, and abused it until it made 210 bhp. That was enough to punch the car to a 245 km/h top speed. Although it appears monstrous, the sound the SZ produces is unquestionably divine, seriously take a minute to watch a youtube video – you won’t be disappointed. It’s like the automotive equivalent of vanilla essence: it looks terrifying but sounds beautiful.
The suspension and chassis were transplanted from the 75 IMSA race car and were tuned by Giorgio Pianta from the Fiat and Lancia Rally Team, a good thing as you could say Lancia was fairly successful at rallying.
The SZ was meant to replace the Montreal and 33 Stradale as the Alfisti’s new dream car and show the world just how far Alfa had come technologically by 1989 when the car was released. Naturally, then Zagato decided to use at the time highly-advanced thermoplastic for the body and mould it into a physical representation of my nightmares. You could have one in any colour you wanted, as long as it was red with a grey roof and cream interior. Aside from that, there’s only one all-black example that was made for Andrea Zagato, marking perhaps the most appropriate use of the murdered-out look ever.
All jokes aside, I actually love the way the SZ looks, but I fully accept that could be a weird form of Stockholm Syndrome. Its appearance is undeniably futuristic, so much so that it’s one of the star cars in the dystopian future from the original Ghost in the Shell. Currently prices are hovering around £50k in the UK, and personally, I can’t think of a better way to spend the cash.
Next week we’ll be covering the wonderful 75 Quattrofoglio Verde, so make sure to check back!