To celebrate a century since their first collaboration, manufacturer Alfa Romeo and design house Zagato came together for a new creation. The Milanese duo’s first partnership birthed the 1921 Tipo G1, a model to compete with Rolls-Royce. However, the Alfa Romeo Giulia SWB Zagato of 2023 isn’t competing with anyone, especially on looks. It’s a one-off, grand touring-inspired masterpiece.
What is Zagato?
Italian aeronautical engineer Ugo Zagato started the coachbuilding company just after World War I. At a time when vehicles were exceedingly heavy, Zagato sought to bring his lightweight mentality from the air to the road.
Zagato helped design and build race cars for notable Italian brands like Lancia, Maserati, and later, Ferrari. Yet, the company gained early trust from the biggest name in racing at the time: Alfa Romeo. In the 102 years since its inception, Zagato has assisted auto manufacturers all over Europe. While the company is recognized for wide-ranging builds involving interwar period Bugattis and modern Aston Martins, they are best known for Italian compositions. For example, the latest bespoke design dubbed the Alfa Romeo Giulia SWB Zagato.
Where did the idea for the Alfa Romeo Giulia SWB Zagato come from?
A German automotive enthusiast who owns several Zagato-styled cars approached the coachbuilder in 2021. Motor 1 reports that two in the customer’s collection are the Alfa Romeo SZ and an 8C Competizione. Alfa Romeo and Zagato decided to resurrect two of its past designs to satisfy deep-pocketed desires. They would meld the elegant Giulia TZ of the 60s and the aggressively boxy, love-it-or-hate-it SZ of the 90s.
With a raucous, 505-horsepower Alfa Romeo Giulia Quadrifoglio donor car, Zagato disassembled the four-door to its chassis. An SZ-inspired, pointed front fascia combines the new facelifted Giulia headlight design and a throwback to enlarged triangular logos found on the Alfas of old. Although the vehicle began as a sedan, it was converted into a coupe with an aerodynamic-enhancing, TZ-style Kammback tail. The rear door deletion is also from where the car derives its name, as SWB is the abbreviation for short wheelbase.
Almost every single body panel has been redesigned, which is all carbon fiber. In an homage to itself, Zagato includes the classic, period-correct double-bubble roof.
What’s under the hood?
Zagato decided 505 horsepower wasn’t enough for their discerning customer. Instead, the company used the powerplant found in the GTAm-spec Giulia but not the eight-speed automatic transmission. Connected to the 533-horsepower twin-turbocharged V6 is the six-speed manual out of a Quadrifoglio.
In its standard but hardcore form, the Giulia GTAm is said to achieve a 0-62 mph time of 3.6 seconds. However, MotorTrend says they “imagine that’s being mighty conservative.” Therefore, there’s no telling how much quicker the shorted, lightened bespoke build is.
Can you buy an Alfa Romeo Giulia SWB Zagato?
Many must imagine what a build like this would cost. The donor car and upgraded engine alone put the price well into six figures. Unfortunately, the cost of the one-off is undisclosed, as is the customer’s identity.
The massive disappointment of the Alfa Romeo Giulia SWB Zagato is that there will only be one. So, the short answer is no, you can’t buy one. Enthusiasts can only hope the sleek coupe sees the light of day and isn’t simply a museum piece.