Christmas came a few days early for one lucky enthusiast in Germany. Italian design house Zagato unveiled a one-off, carbon fiber-bodied coupe called Alfa Romeo Giulia SWB Zagato that features a twin-turbocharged V6 and that was commissioned by a German collector.
Zagato explained that it launched the project to celebrate 100 years of collaborating with Alfa Romeo, the current-generation Giulia and the V6 engine. It started by shortening the Giorgio platform that the Giulia and Stelvio are both built on. It then drew a head-turning coupe that borrows a handful of styling cues from several past and present Alfa models. The front end is dominated by air intakes (including one shaped like the Alfa grille) and it features a pair of Tonale-like LED headlights. The coupe's profile is characterized by a long hood, a short rear end and a carbon fiber double-bubble roof panel left unpainted, while the back end gets a thin, curved light bar and a massive air diffuser.
While several cars inspired designers, including the 1989 SZ that Zagato helped design, the Giulia SWB isn't full-on retro or old-school in any way. It features carbon fiber body panels and it's powered by an evolution of the 2.9-liter, twin-turbocharged V6 engine fitted to the Giulia Quadrifoglio that's been updated to GTAm specifications. Technical specifications weren't released, but the GTAm's six is tuned to develop 540 horsepower and 442 pound-feet of torque. Starting with the Quadrifoglio's engine gave Zagato a big advantage: the V6 spins the rear wheels via a six-speed manual transmission. The limited-edition GTAm is exclusively offered with an eight-speed automatic transmission.
From the driver's perspective, the cabin is mostly standard Giulia fare; you'll find the same steering wheel, touchscreen, air vents and climate control interface in the same locations as in the Giulia. Green accents and several model-specific carbon fiber trim pieces help the SWB stand out from the sedan it's based on, and a major difference between the two cars is that the coupe is fitted with only two seats.
Zagato delivered the Giulia SWB to its new owner after shooting the photos you see in our gallery on the La Pista race track located near Alfa Romeo's hometown of Milan, Italy. There's no word on who owns it yet; all we know is that the coupe will join what sounds like a massive collection of high-end cars that includes an 8C Competizione, a 1990 SZ, plus a handful of Zagato-bodied Aston Martin models.
Alejandro Mesonero, the head of Alfa Romeo's design department, gave the Giulia SWB project his blessing, but it sounds like the coupe was largely designed and built in-house by Zagato. "The presence of the Alfa Romeo badge on the car is solely for descriptive and promotional purposes and Zagato's choice to draw inspiration from the Alfa Romeo SZ," the design firm wrote. In other words, this likely isn't the on-again, off-again range-topping sports car that Alfa promised to launch (likely as a limited-edition coupe) before the end of 2023.