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  Ferrari FZ93

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Country of origin:Italy
Produced in:1993
Numbers built:One-Off
Introduced at:1993 Geneva Motor Show
Designed by:Ercole Spada for Zagato
Author:Wouter Melissen
Last updated:January 06, 2011
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Click here to download printer friendly versionIn December of 1992, Ercole Spada had retaken his position as lead designer at Zagato after more than two decades away. During his first spell at the Milanese coach-builder (1960 - 1969), he had been responsible for some of its finest creations like the Aston Martin DB4 GT Zagato and the Alfa Romeo TZ. To celebrate the legendary designer's return, Zagato embarked on a particularly ambitious project; re-bodying the highly acclaimed Ferrari Testarossa.

Known as the Formula Zagato 1993 (FZ93), the new project served both as a styling exercise and a showcase of the latest technology. As the name suggests, the major inspiration was contemporary Formula 1 design. The most obvious cue was the F1 style raised nose that was incorporated in the front deck. Like the Ferrari 643 F1 used in 1991, the FZ93 featured a two-tone finish of red with dark-grey (carbon fibre) flanks. With some imaginations these flanks could double for the side-pods found on the single seater racers of the day.

These Formula 1 cues were incorporated in a very bold design with many sharp angles. In that way it was more reminiscent of Spada's later work for the Milanse coach-builder like the Alfa Romeo Junior Zagato. There was more to the FZ93 than the dramatic design; it featured a sophisticated front bumper that also doubled as part of the wheel-arches. This was a solution for the damage usually inflicted on conventional bumpers during a low-speed collision. Like many of the company's most famous designs, the FZ93 was topped off by the 'double bubble' roof.

Not surprisingly for such a futuristic design, the FZ93 received a mixed reception during its 1993 Geneva Motor Show launch. In part this was due to Spada being rushed to complete the car in time for its debut. In the following months he reworked the car, fitting a new front bumper and revised tail-lights. Making the car considerably easier on the eye was a full respray to Ferrari's familiar red. Only the front and rear bumpers, the sills and part of the rear deck were left in unpainted carbon fibre. In honour of its creator, the car was relaunched as the Ferrari ES1.

While the Ferrari FZ93 has not gone into history as a design classic, it certainly inspired designers for some years to come. The Formula 1 style nose, for example, has since been incorporated in a wide variety of supercars. The themes of the FZ93 were, however, followed most in Pininfarina's design for the Ferrari Enzo launched well over a decade later. With the FZ93, Spada also managed to make the Testarossa package look relatively small and narrow. It was followed by several other Zagato bodied Ferraris, eventually culminating in the limited production 575 GTZ.

After its 1993 and 1994 show duties the Ferrari FZ93 / ES1 was displayed in the museum at the Zagato factory. Over the years it has made several public appearances for events like the Concorso d'Eleganza Villa d'Este and the Goodwood Festival of Speed, where it is pictured here in 2010. A few weeks after being displayed at Goodwood, the one-off machine was offered for a staggering 1 Million Euro by a German dealer.

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  Article Image gallery (13) Specifications User Comments (2)