Legendary Italian design house Zagato has been called upon by Alfa Romeo to help create a limited-run model based on the Giulia saloon

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Alfa Romeo will join forces with Italian coachbuilders Zagato in the design of a new sports model called the Giulia SWB Zagato. So far, only Zagato has given us any indication of what the new model will look like, but the limited-production Alfa Romeo sports car has already been confirmed to arrive sometime next year with both internal combustion and electric powertrains. 

The new sports model was confirmed earlier this year to evo’s sister title Auto Express, with Alfa Romeo’s CEO Jean-Philippe Imparato confirming a ‘very exciting one; very expensive, very selective’ is due next year with both petrol and electric powertrain options, with buyers given the chance to buy them side by side. 

The Giulia SWB Zagato is expected to share its basic underpinnings with the existing Giulia saloon, and as the name suggests will include a shortened wheelbase. The styling, as suggested by the teased image, will likely be very different from the existing Alfa Romeo design language, with the rear light bar suggesting it will feature a shorn or Kamm-style rear end. This will be just one element of a design that references Alfa Romeo’s past models, rather than being a pastiche of a previous design.  

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Offering both electric and combustion powertrains might seem like a complex task for a specialised model with such a limited production run, but the Giorgio platform that underpins the Giulia was always designed to be flexible enough to accommodate electric motors and a sizable battery pack. This much was proven by Maserati, which is building an all-electric Folgore version of the Grecale SUV alongside the existing internal combustion models, which share the same Giorgio platform. 

The petrol-powered Giulia SWB Zagato is expected to feature the twin-turbocharged 2.9-litre 90-degree V6 engine found in Alfa’s existing Quadrifoglio models, possibly with an even higher state of tune than the 533bhp version used in the hardcore GTA. The V6 model is touted to be the ultimate pure-petrol Alfa Romeo before the brand goes electric. As for the electric version, we expect it will leverage the high-specification e-motor development of its sister company Maserati and use at least two e-motors, or perhaps even the triple e-motor setup found in its all-electric GranTurismo – should its packaging allow. 

The relationship between Alfa Romeo and Zagato has long been a fruitful one, with their most recent full-factory project being the ‘Beast of Turin’, or SZ, in 1989. Since then, the brands have come into contact with very limited-run models like the TZ3 Stradale, of which just nine were built with underpinnings borrowed from the Dodge Viper ACR. An initial concept version of the TZ3 was also shown, this time with its underpinnings based on the 8C Competizione, which itself borrowed heavily from Maserati. 

So before Alfa Romeo goes all electric in 2027, the Italian car maker still has a few surprises up its sleeve that should make good use of synergies available within the wider Stellantis group. Thankfully, we won’t have to wait long to see what it has in store.

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