1991 Alfa Romeo SZ For Sale

Posted: August 1, 2012 by The Car Spy in Alfa Romeo, For Sale, Left Hand Drive, Pre-owned
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The Alfa Romeo SZ is an enigma. The marmite of all cars. A love or hate motor car. We happen to love it.

This car was produced in 1989 which means it was actually designed from an idea in a designer’s head around five years earlier. That means that as a concept it is at least 27 years old which is astonishing for a car that if it were launched at Geneva today would blow everything else into the weeds.

The Alfa Romeo SZ (Sprint Zagato) or ES-30 (Experimental Sportscar 3.0 litre) is a limited production sports car that was built between 1989 and 1991 in partnership with Zagato, Alfa Romeo and Fiat. A total of 1036 SV’s were produced which is a shame because Alfa quite likely could have sold an awful lot more. The fact that it didn’t makes it that much more desirable.

It was unveiled as the ES-30 in 1989 Geneva Motor Show as a prototype by Zagato and although the car was mainly built by them they had no involvement in the mechanical architecture.

Robert Opron of the Fiat design studio was responsible for the initial sketches while Antonio Castellana was largely responsible for the final styling details and interior. Only the ‘Z’ logo of Zagato was kept. The car had unusual headlights positioned in a trio on each side – a styling used more subtly on later Alfa Romeos which still look very cool today

Mechanically and engine-wise the car was based on the Alfa Romeo 75 and SV production was carried out by Zagato near the Alfa factory in Arese. The thermoplastic injection moulded composite body panels were produced by Carplast in Italy and Stratime Cappelo Systems in France.

The SZ was originally equipped with Pirelli P Zero tyres (front 205/55 ZR 16, rear 225/50 ZR 16) and is able to sustain over 1.1 G in cornering. Some drivers have measured a cornering force of 1.4 G which is pretty good even by the standards of 2012 and most reviewers rated the car as a top performer for its handling abilities.

The powerplant in the SZ is the venerable 3.0 light alloy V6 12V which was tuned by Alfa’s motor sport department Alfa Corse. The engine’s compression ratio was enlarged to 10:1, the double overhead camshafts received a sharper cam profile and the Bosch Motronic engine management system was reprogrammed. This meant the maximum power output was raised by at least 20 hp to 210 hp @ 6200 rpm and maximum torque was stated as 245 Nm @ 4500 rpm.

The rear wheel drive SZ had a top speed of at least 245 kph and a zero to 100 kph time of around 7 seconds.  Not exactly blistering by today’s standards but quick enough in the real world. The looks and the noise more than compensate.

So if you eventually fall in love with the SZ the next problem you face is trying to find one because there aren’t that many around to choose from. Don’t get fussy about colours either because they came only in red with a grey roof and a tan interior which is probably the best colour combination you could choose for the SZ anyhow.

However, we do know of a privately owned example with only 7000 miles on the clock that is looking for a new home. This is car number 410 built in 1991 that is original and has covered 7000 miles with two owners. Offers in excess of £32000 are invited for this stunning car. See the images in the slide show below.

For further details please call The Car Spy on 01732 760699 or email sales@thecarspy.net

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