Alfa Romeo Giulia SWB Zagato Is a One-Off, 533-HP Tribute to 1990s Design

It’s a gorgeous throwback to the classic Alfa Romeo SZ but with modern touches, a fiery V-6, and a six-speed manual transmission.

byNico DeMattia| PUBLISHED Dec 20, 2022 12:04 PM
Alfa Romeo Giulia SWB Zagato Is a One-Off, 533-HP Tribute to 1990s Design
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Alfa Romeo and Zagato are reviving a classic design from the early '90s, one whose quirky coolness makes it one of the Alfisti's most desired cars. It's called the Alfa Romeo Giulia SWB Zagato, and it's inspired by the early '90s Alfa Romeo SZ. However, this time, they're only making one, which should be a crime.

This one-off Alfa Romeo SWB (short wheelbase) Zagato is a gorgeous throwback to one of the funkiest-looking cars of the '90s. To create it, Zagato took an Alfa Romeo Giulia Quadrifoglio with a manual transmission, shortened its wheelbase from the rear, and gave it a completely unique carbon fiber body. Alfa Romeo's design chief, Alejandro Mesonero-Romanos, helped with the design, but Zagato produced and developed what you see here.

The design is nearly perfect, too. The front end is clearly inspired by the classic wedge-like shape of the original SZ, but it's curvier and prettier. It borrows the SZ's triple headlights but utilizes the current Giulia's headlight style, and they're sunken into the front end, behind the hood line. There's no physical Alfa Romeo badge, either. Instead, the iconic man-eating snake is seen through the triangular Alfa Romeo grille. Out back, Zagato may have copied one of its other partner automakers, Aston Martin, as this new Alfa has almost the exact same taillight bar as Aston's DBX SUV.

Inside, the cabin isn't that different from a standard Giulia Quadrifoglio, except for its special seats and green accents, which match the gorgeous exterior color.

Zagato then threw out the standard Giulia Quadrifoglio engine and stuffed in an upgraded twin-turbocharged 2.9-liter V6 from the hardcore Giulia GTAm. That should bump up the power to 533 horsepower versus the normal Giulia Quadrifoglio's 503 horses. The GTAm normally only comes with an eight-speed automatic, so Zagato mated the motor especially to a six-speed manual.

There's very little to dislike about this new Alfa Romeo SWB Zagato. It's a great looking, retro-styled sports coupe from one of the most iconic automotive design houses in history, and it packs a killer engine with a manual transmission and rear-wheel drive. The only downside is that Zagato is only making one and it's for a specific loyal German Alfa Romeo customer. It's always frustrating when a car company finally has the courage to build something special and unique but only makes one. Almost no one will see this new Zagato in the light of day, which is a shame because, with a design like that, it should be something that's celebrated by car fans all over the world.

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