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2600 SZ
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  Alfa Romeo 2600 SZ      

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Country of origin:Italy
Produced from:1965 - 1967
Numbers built:105
Internal name:Tipo 106
Designed by:Zagato
Author:Wouter Melissen
Last updated:May 25, 2020
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Click here to download printer friendly versionAt the 1962 Geneva Motor Show, Alfa Romeo launched the new range-topping 2600 model. It served to replace the four-cylinder engined 2000 that had been in production since 1958. At its Geneva debut, it was shown with the factory built 'Berlina' four-door body, while Bertone showed the 'Sprint' Coupe and Touring had the 'Spider' on display. The designs for these were carried over from the earlier 2000 model.

As the model name suggests, what really distinguished the two was found in the engine compartment. Gone was the two-litre 'four' and in its place an all-new 2.6-litre straight six was fitted. Whereas the 2000 engine was built on a cast-iron block, the new twin-cam 2600 was all-alloy. In Berlina trim, it was fitted with a pair of carburettors and produced 130 bhp. In the Sprint and Spider models, a triple-carb, 145 bhp version of the engine was fitted.

Mated to a five-speed gearbox, the 2.6-litre engine was installed in a unibody chassis. Suspension was by double wishbones at the front and a coil-sprung live rear axle. Disc brakes were fitted on the front axle at the 2600's introduction. From 1964 onwards, discs were also fitted at the rear. Despite featuring a substantially larger engine in every respect, the 2600 was less than 100 kg heavier than the comparable 2000 models.

In 1965, the 2600 range was expanded with the Sprint Zagato or SZ version. The car was first shown at the 1963 Turin Motor Show, so it had been two years in the making. Compared to the Bertone-clothed Sprint, the SZ was both more aerodynamic and lighter. A final version of the 2600 was introduced in 1967 with the De Luxe sedan by OSI (Officine Stampaggi Industriali).

While the other models were cancelled earlier, the 2600 Saloon remained in production from 1962 through to 1969. They were great cars in their own right but very expensive compared to the rest of the Alfa Romeo range and also the 2600's rivals. The six-cylinder Alfa Romeo clearly struggled because the contemporary Giulia was just too good. As a result, there was no direct replacement and the straight-six engine was not used again.

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  Article Image gallery (3) Specifications