The automotive world has never changed so fast as it has in recent years. Electrification, in particular, is launching new brands left and right compared to the rest of the industry that has consolidated over decades into a handful of big companies. The best example of these new upstarts is Tesla, for instance.
At the same time the auto industry is evolving into something that will grow into the future of mobility, a phenomenon has developed that instead looks to the past. We are talking about the rebirth of historical automotive brands such as the one carried out by Zagato with the Iso Rivolta GTZ.
From A3/C to GTZ
The idea of paying homage to Renzo Rivolta – and to his son, Piero – was born in a Milanese studio with the Iso Rivolta GTZ, the modern reincarnation of the Iso Rivolta A3/C of 1965. We're talking about a road-going berlinetta inspired by the 1963 A3 Corsa, winner at Le Mans (in its class) in 1964 and 1965.
The GTZ project was first conceived according to its design, which takes inspiration from the Iso Rivolta A3/C as well as other iconic cars from the '60s up to today, like the Porsche 911 and the Ford GT. From there, this blend of the original car's personality with modern elements is taken even further by basing the car's mechanics on the Chevrolet Corvette (C7, of course).
At the time of the original A3/C, in fact, road-going GTs were usually derived from race cars. So they were fast, but also not very reliable. It was this that pushed Renzo Rivolta to create a car that was as fascinating and fast as an Italian sports car, but as strong as an American muscle car. This idea also influenced the choice of the griffon for the Iso Rivolta brand (to learn more you can watch the video).
Corvette, Today Like Then
Returning to the donor car, or the car that acts as a "skeleton" for the carbon fibre body of the Iso Rivolta GTZ, the choice fell on the Chevrolet Corvette C7 Z06. The C7, is of course, the predecessor to the present-day Corvette C8, which couldn't be used due to its mid-engine layout not fitting the front-engine design of the original A3/C.
The supercharged 6.2-litre V8 of the Corvette Z06 sits under the bonnet of the GTZ producing 660 bhp and 650 foot-pounds of torque, and there is a choice between a 7-speed manual transmission and an 8-speed automatic with torque converter. Its performance, therefore, is impressive, with 0-62 miles per hour happening in just 3.7 seconds and a 193-mph top speed.
The car's dynamics are dominated by the engine's practically infinite reserve of thrust, which is extra enjoyable thanks to the enveloping sound of this 8-cylinder engine that is so generous in terms of displacement.
And you can trust in the capability of this car's set up: the considerable width of the 285/30 front tyres on 20-inch rims (compared to the 19-inch rims of the donor Corvette) provides more grip than you would expect, with a rear end that follows faithfully.
In terms of construction details, the Iso Rivolta GTZ looks wildly different from a Corvette C7 Z06 thanks to its composite bodywork, which has made it possible to reengineer the portion of the passenger compartment known as the greenhouse with a new design for the roof, windscreen, side windows, and rear window. This new "skin" of the GTZ has also made it possible to introduce new light clusters that hearken back to the Iso Rivolta tradition, just like the central exhaust outlets have been changed to call back to the original's.
Inside, the dashboard has also been redesigned, covered in leather, and the central tunnel has been redesigned. The latter is available in solid milled aluminium, as are the other anodised aluminium details in the cockpit.
In addition, the recessed pillars that make the headliner more tapered also integrate the protective structure of a roll cage without encroaching too much in the passenger compartment, which is in line with the GT philosophy of this modern reinterpretation of the Iso Rivolta.
In total, the planned production run of the GTZ is just 19 examples, with a building process that takes about five months for each car, beginning with the arrival of the Corvette that serves as a starting point. The cost, including the donor car, is nearly $1 million (approx. £700,000) excluding taxes and customisations.
Gallery: Isorivolta GTZ Zagato, road test
Isorivolta GTZ Zagato