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155 TI.Z (Zagato)

april 30, 2010 by Rudolph

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In 1993 Ercole Spada cooperated with Mr. Zagato to develop the TI.Z model, which featured enlarged wheelhouses, a rear spoiler and a new front.[1]

The 155 TI.Z was unveiled in the autumn of 1993 and was based on the range-topping 190-bhp four-wheel drive Q4.

Spada's design called for substantial modifications to the bodywork and left just the bonnet, front door, roof and boot untouched.

Flared DTM-style wheelarches were made of lightweight composites to accommodate wider front and rear track (up from 1,447 mm to 1,517 mm and from 1,402 mm to 1,446 respectively), and the rear door was reskinned.

The more aggressively styled front bumper incorporated large air intakes for the engine bay, the sills were redesigned and the rear was characterised  by a bumper with cut-outs in its lower surface that aped the DTM's venturis. The bumper design, together with the boot spoiler, helped reduce drag from 0.31 to 0.296 to create rear down-force.

To increase further the TI.Z's sport pretensions, Giuseppe Bizzarrini fitted adjustable gas dampers along with variable rate springs, and the ride height was lowered by 34 mm. Chassis interventions were completed by attractive 17" x 7,5 rims from O-Z Racing and the adoption of Uniballs on the front suspension mounting points to improve precision.

Thanks to a reprogrammed engine management unit power rose to 230 bhp (500 rpm lower down the rev range at 5,500 rpm), and torque increased to 32 kgm at 3,500 rpm, up from 30,3 kgm at 2,500 rpm.

Completion of the 155 TI.Z's development coincided with the closure of the production plant. It was a hard moment for Elio and Gianni Zagato, but it was inevitable given delays in receiving the hopes for commission from Alfa Romeo.

While the Design division, led by Andrea Zagato, was consolidated with the entry of a new partner, ex racing driver Giorgio Schön (son of the fashion stylist Mila Schön), Gianni Zagato's son, Luca, decided to resign from the company. Ever since he had joined the company, Luca had been involved in the industrial side ans was keen to put to good use the production experience he had accumulated.

With backing from a Japanese businessman Luca set up a separate business, Z Automobili, with a view to building very limited series specials.

While the 155 T I.Z remained a one-off prototype, Z Automobili built 24 cars between 1995 and 1996 (based on an earlier proposal known as the 155 GTA.Z) all destined for the Japanese market.[2]

From the brochure, issued by Zagato: Racing - in particular - the technically advanced international Touring Car scene - remains one of the Zagato Styling Centre's primary sources of design and engineering inspiration.

The 155 TI.Z is a road-going version of Alfa Romeo's popular sports saloon which has dominated European Touring Car championships over the last few years.

Far more than a simple styling kit, new composite body panels have been designed with specific cooling and aerodynamic considerations in mind.

New wings all round feature aggressive wheelarch blisters housing 17-in. alloy wheels which closely recall the fabulous Alfa Romeo TZ2 and 33 race cars. The front bumper incorporates extra cooling ducts to the engine bay and front brakes, and dynamically-styled side skirts and rear bumper complete the car's sporting stance. The wind-tunnel developed rear wing improves the car's Cd and eliminates lift.[3]

References

1. Archivio storico dell'Alfa 155, "Alfa 155 Club": Storia dell'Alfa 155, Il designo, Intervista esclusiva con Sig. Ercole Spada [History of the Alfa 155, The design, Exclusive interview with Mr. Ercole Spada]; 2010.
2. Marshall J, Giorgio Nada Editore: Zagato 1990-2000; 2000. 
3. Zagato: brochure Sports Kits, 155 TI.Z Kit; 1995.
 

External links

Alfa Romeo 155 GTA-Z - forum Club AlfaSport
Alles is voor zagatocars.com - forum Saeghuys.com
Magazines - website "Alfa 155 Club"
Sales literat ure - website "Alfa 155 Club"
Zagato - forum Italiaspeed.info
zagato-cars.com - website Alfa Romeo Zagato Register & Information
 
アルファロメオ 155ザガート @ http://www.alfa155club.eu
 
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