6 Alfa Romeo supercars to ogle as we anticipate a seventh
A new Alfa Romeo supercar is reportedly on its way. Autocar says that boss Jean-Philippe Imparato wants to introduce a limited-production ultra-Alfa with a price tag in the hundreds of thousands, describing it as “iconic, super-sexy, and recognisable as an Alfa Romeo at first sight.” An announcement could come as soon as March 2023, and the vehicle’s performance could even outstrip that of the wild Giulia GTA and GTAm.
The car—if it appears—will have an awful lot to live up to, as this snapshot of Alfa’s supercar past makes plain.
Mercedes-AMG may be getting all the clicks for fitting a Formula 1 engine into a road car, but back in the 1930s Alfa Romeo was offering its customers not just the same engine but the same chassis as its Grand Prix cars.
The Vittorio Jano-designed 8C won on its first outing at the 1932 Italian Grand Prix wearing Monoposto Tipo B bodywork, and coachbuilders such as Zagato, Touring, and Farina would add stunning spider and berlinetta bodies to Alfa’s rolling chassis for famous owners such as Baroness Maud Thyssen and Tazio Nuvolari.
These beautiful straight-eight supercharged machines truly were the supercars of their day, with upwards of 200 horsepower. A 1939 8C 2900 B Lungo Spider sold at RM Sotheby’s in Monterey in 2016 for an incredible $19.8 million, making it the most expensive Alfa ever.
Alfa Romeo’s “race car for the road” policy was revived in 1967 with the 33 Stradale. Derived from the company’s Tipo 33 prototype which took part in that year’s World Sportscar Championship (with little success), it was arguably Alfa’s answer to the Lamborghini Miura.
Powered by a 230-hp two-liter V-8 mated to a six-speed manual transmission, the lightweight Stradale was the fastest street car in the standing kilometer, dispatching the distance in just 24 seconds. Its spaceframe chassis wore curvaceous bodywork designed by Franco Scaglione and built by Carozzeria Marazzi, featuring forward-hinged butterfly doors and a huge glass bubble canopy.
Introduced at the Paris Auto Show it was the most expensive production car in the world at $17,000, and only 18 examples were built. You’d need an estimated $15 million to buy one today.
In the same year as it revealed the 33 Stradale, ambitious Alfa Romeo also showed a prototype sports car at Expo 67 in Montreal, Canada. The Marcello Gandini–designed 2+2 coupe didn’t have a name, but the public soon christened it Montreal.
Production would follow in 1970 with a 2.6-liter, dry-sump, cross-plane V-8 replacing the original show car’s 1.6-liter four. With 197 hp, a ZF five-speed manual transmission, and a limited slip differential the Montreal had all the ingredients of a supercar, including a price that was higher than that of a Jaguar E-Type or a Porsche 911. Underneath, the Montreal was a little less exotic than its styling suggested, with the chassis and suspension derived from the GTV.
After a flurry of initial interest, sales slumped thanks in no small part to the V-8’s thirst—impractical and in bad taste, given the current oil crisis. Around 3900 cars were eventually assembled between Alfa’s Arese factory and Bertone’s plant near Turin. The Hagerty Price Guide estimates #1-condition, museum-worthy example at $137,000, with prices currently on the decline. Hold tight, and this could soon be the most affordable Alfa supercar.
For now, it’s the SZ Zagato of 1989–1991 that offers the least expensive entry to Alfa exotica. Despite being based on the 75 sedan, the SZ makes a good case for its inclusion thanks to its angular body, fabricated with then-new injection-moulded composite material. Il Mostro was built by Zagato, but not designed by the styling house, with the penmanship done by Robert Opron at Centro Stile Fiat instead.
The fuel-injected three-liter Busso V-6 made 207 hp, giving the SZ a top speed of 152 mph and a 0-to-62-mph sprint time of seven seconds dead. It’s a relative rarity, with only 1036 SZ and 278 RZ convertibles made. If you can pick one up, the Hagerty Price Guide suggests it could well be a wise decision; prices, which top out above six figures, are rising.
In 2003 Alfa Romeo revived the evocative 8C name with a concept coupe that paid tribute to its great racing legacy. Such was the enthusiasm for this carbon-constructed stunner, complete with a 4.7-liter V-8 “borrowed” from Ferrari, that Alfa received more than 1400 orders. When it came to production, however, only 500 8C Competizione coupes and 500 convertibles were built. Either way you got 444 hp at 7000 rpm, a six-speed transaxle gearbox with paddle shifters, and a top speed north of 180 mph.
Sold new for €300,000 prices have held steady, and a pristine example in #1 (Concours) condition would be worth $389,000 now.
The 2010 TZ3 is the most unusual Alfa of the lot. Built by Zagato to celebrate 100 years of Alfa Romeo, it’s not really an Alfa at all.
Underneath the carbon-fiber body, styled to evoke the wonderful Tubolare Zagato racers of the 1960s was a Dodge Viper. In race-ready ACR specification, the 8.4-liter aluminum V-10 sent almost 650 horsepower to the rear wheels via a Tremec TR6060 six-speed manual transmission. Coilover suspension was installed, along with StopTech disc brakes and Brembo calipers.
Nine were built, sold by Zagato’s U.S. ambassador to a select group of collectors at over a million dollars apiece. “Because of the Fiat Group-Chrysler/Dodge partnership, the TZ3 can be considered history’s first “American” Alfa Romeo,” claimed Andrea Zagato. One sold at RM Sotheby’s in 2020 for $489,000.