Let’s start with an history lesson, ISO Rivolta was an Italian car and motorbike manufacturer born in 1948 from the hands of the engineer Renzo Rivolta with the aim of chasing the huge demand for individual transportation that arose right after the end of WWII. The automotive production started in 1950 with the famous Isetta two seater bubble shaped car pushed by a 200cc motorcycle engine.
Yes, if you think this name sounds familiar, this car has been also produced in Germany under license with the name BMW-Isetta. The success of the Isetta led Renzo Rivolta to tackle the world of Gran Turismo sector when, in the early 1960s, after changing the company name to ISO Rivolta, he presented his first GT model: the 300 GT, powered by a 300 hp V8 Corvette engine, which was also deployed at Le Mans to support and push sales.
Now we are slowly getting closer to the purpose of our article, in 1963 in order to compete in the GT market dominated by Ferrari and Maserati, the ISO Rivolta hired important names such as Bertone for the design and Giotto Bizzarrini for the engineering in order to create the famous ISO A3 L Grifo (Gryphon in English). This car was powered by a Chevrolet small-block 327 (5.4 L) V8 engine mated to a Borg-Warner 4-speed manual transmission. This car turned out to be quite a success on the market.
At the same time, with the intention to race again at Le Mans, the A3/C (C stands for Corsa) has been developed using the shortened Grifo chassis and crafting a very special made bodywork tested in the wind tunnel. These solutions proved to be successful, as the A3/C won its category at the 24 Hours of Le Mans in 1964 and 1965. In 2020, 57 years later, the legend is back with the ISO Rivolta GTZ. Clearly inspired by the timeless design of the A3/C race car, the GTZ encloses classic and modern elements.
The bodywork is composed by two big carbon fibre shells carefully designed by Atelier Zagato while the engine, as per ISO Rivolta tradition, is still V8 Chevrolet (Z06) which produce 660 hp and places the GTZ in the performance level of the best sports cars available on the market. Built in a limited number of 19 units, like all Zagato-branded cars, this icon is meant to become an instant classic.
We have just been provided from Zagato with more specifications about the ISO Rivolta GTZ.
As previously stated, the ISO Rivolta GTZ is based on the Corvette Z06 C7, capable of 660 HP
delivered thorough a V8 6.2 Supercharged engine. The Carbon fibre bodywork, stylistically inspired by the 1963 A3/C of 1963, is a work of are proudly made by Atelier Zagato, which has redesigned and customised many external and internal parts.
The major differences vs the standard Corvette are:
• New carbon fibre bodywork;
• New greenhouse (pillars, roof, windshield, side and rear windows);
• More aerodynamic roof pillars;
• New roll cage hidden by the leather upholstery;
• New homologated headlights with a unique design;
• New 20 ” forged rims with specific ISO Rivolta design;
• New specific tailpipes;
• Integrated door handles;
• Rear hatch with hidden handle;
• New redesigned dashboard with custom leather cover;
• New redesigned central tunnel available in milled aluminium or in a classic leather wrap;
• Interior trims machined from solid aluminum billet with the option of being anodised in
• External hand-crafted logos.
Last but not the least the manufacturing time, after receiving the donor car the ISO Rivolta GTZ is
completed in about 5 months – a total of about 2,500 man-hours.
Words and Photos by Yaron Esposito