Pegaso Z-102

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Pegaso Z-102
1955 Pegaso Z102B Gran Turismo Coupé.jpg
1955 Pegaso Z-102B Touring Berlinetta Superleggera at the Goodwood Festival of Speed
Manufacturer Pegaso
Production 1951-1958 (84 produced)
Designer Wifredo Ricart, Carrozzeria Touring, Saoutchik, Enasa
Body and chassis
Body style

2-door coupe

2-door convertible
Layout FR layout
Successor Pegaso Z-103
1952 Pegaso Z-102 brochure cover.
Pegaso Z-102 bodied by Saoutchik.
Pegaso Z-102 BS 3.2 Competition Touring Spyder.
Pegaso Z-102 Spider Rabasada, 1953.

The Pegaso Z-102 was a Spanish sports car produced by Pegaso in Spain in both coupé and cabriolet form between 1951 and 1958. The Z-102 was the fastest production car in the world at the time of production, having reached a top speed of 151 mph (243 km/h).


Pegaso was an established company noted for its trucks and motor coaches, but also produced sports cars for seven years. Pegaso's chief technical manager was Wifredo Ricart who formerly worked as chief engineer for Alfa Romeo, and while there designed the Alfa Romeo Tipo 512. The Z-102 started life as a pair of prototypes in 1951 with coupe and drophead body styles. Both prototypes had steel bodies which were determined to be too heavy and Pegaso made the decision to switch to alloy bodies to save weight. However, the cars were still quite heavy and brutish to drive and racing success was virtually nonexistent. Because the cars were built on a cost-no-object basis the car soon proved too costly to warrant continued production and the Z-102 was discontinued after 1958. A simplified and cheaper version, the Z-103 with 3.9, 4.5 and 4.7 litre engines, was put into production but had little success and only 3 were built.[1]


Pegaso made the Z-102 starting in 1951 and finishing in 1958 having built a total of 84 cars (some sources say only 71). Out of those 84, 28 were cabriolets while the rest were fixed roof coupés. The original design for the Z-102 was penned by Pegaso chief technical manager Wifredo Ricart, formerly chief engineer for Alfa Romeo.[2] The majority of Z-102s had bodies by Carrozzeria Touring (although early Z-102 units carry Pegaso-made bodies), but a handful of cars had bodies by other coachbuilders. Carrozzeria Touring's design built on Ricart's original design, with changes including redesigning the grille, lowering the car, re-positioning the fog lights and simplifying various details to give it a cleaner profile. This body style is the most well known and numerous of the Z-102 bodies. French coachbuilder Saoutchik bodied 18 cars, 3 of which were convertibles, as well as one of the original prototypes.[3] Coachbuilder Serra bodied a handful of cars as well. In house coachbuilder Enasa also built a version of the Z-102 called the "Cupola" which was designed based on sketches from Spanish students. The students were given the challenge of sketching what they thought cars of the future would look like. Prominent design cues from those drawings were then taken, and Enasa brought the car to life. Only two "Cupola" models were known to have been built. One of the two was purchased by Dominican president Rafael Trujillo. Only one is known to have survived and it is currently owned by the Louwman Museum.[4]


The Z-102 had a pressed steel chassis with an alloy body. Everything was produced in-house at Barcelona at Pegaso's own factory, with the exception of coachwork. The Z-102 is powered by a four-cam all-alloy V8 engine featuring dry-sump lubrication. Power went through a 5-speed non-synchromesh transaxle.

The Z102 entered production with a 2.5 (2472cc) litre engine, as was used in the prototypes, though later variants used a 2.8 (2816cc), and 3.2 (3178cc) litre DOHC desmodromic 32-valve V8 360 hp (270 kW) engines with multiple carburetors or an optional supercharger. Horsepower ranged from 175 to 360 and was applied through a five-speed gearbox with gear-driven camshafts. The base model Z-102 had a top speed of 120 mph (192 km/h). In supercharged trim the Z-102 could reach a top speed of 151 miles per hour (243 km/h), making it the world's fastest production car at that time.[5][6]

The main beams of the car's frame had large lightening holes, and the wheel wells under the body were used as stressed members.

This rear-wheel-drive car had its transmission in the rear, connected to the differential (making it a transaxle). But it was unusually located behind the differential within a reverse A-frame whose apex was at the rear of the chassis. A fuel tank was situated on each side of the transmission.

The rear suspension was made by De Dion, with the unusual feature that to restrain the tube from side-to-side movement, its tube had a small wheel at its midpoint that rolled in a vertical channel on the front of the differential (which in a De Dion system is bolted to the chassis) instead of using a Watt's linkage or a Panhard rod.


Z-102s competed in several racing events but were met with little to no real success. In the 1953 Le Mans trials, driver Juan Jover was seriously injured after crashing at more than 200 km/h. They competed also in the 1954 Carrera Panamericana, driven by Joaquin Palacio, achieving promising results in the first stages, but an accident prevented an excellent final position.

On September 25, 1953, in Jabbeke (Belgium), a Z-102 Touring BS/2.8 (the old Barchetta used at Le Mans, 2.8 litre single supercharger), driven by Celso Fernández, broke four official R.A.C.B. (Royal Automobile Club de Belgique) world records. Of these records the most prominent was its speed in the flying-start kilometer. The supercharged Z-102 achieved a 243.079 km/h (151.042 mph) average, a record previously held by a Jaguar XK120. This made the Z-102 the fastest production car in the world at that time, although many sources now argue that since less than 20 supercharged models were built, the car did not qualify as a true production car.[6] The original Z-102 BSS/2.5 Bisiluro Especial Competición (2.5 litre twin supercharged) built to take on the records couldn't be used because of a blown engine.

Concours events[edit]

A Pegaso Z-102 coupé with coachwork by Saoutchik, owned by Baron Thyssen-Bornemisza, wearing leopard skin upholstered seats and gold controls won the 1953 Enghien-les-Bains (France) Grand Prix d'Elegance. A 1952 Z-102 "Cupola", one of two believed to have been made and the only one known to have survived, took Best of Show Concours de Sport at the 2016 Amelia Island Concours d'Elegance.[4]

Technical data[edit]

Note: Technical data is for the 2.8-liter Z102 of 1953.

Pegaso Z-102
Engine: front-mounted, longitudinal V8 engine

with alloy block and cylinder head

Bore x Stroke: 80 mm x 70 mm
Displacement: 2816 cc
Max power @ rpm: 170 CV (at least) @ 6300 rpm
Max torque @ rpm: 22 kg·m @ 3600 rpm
Compression ratio: 8.8 : 1
Fuel feed: 4 Weber 36 DCF3 carburetors
Valvetrain: DOHC
Cooling: water
Gearbox: 5 speed manual

rear wheel drive, axle ratio: 4,18:1 to 5,2:1

Front suspension: Multi-link suspension, torsion bar
Rear suspension: De Dion axle
Brakes: drum brakes
Steering: rack and pinion
Body structure: aluminium/steel on multitubular frame
Weight: 990 kg
Track front/rear: 1320mm / 1290 mm
Wheelbase: 2340 mm
Length: 4100 mm
Top speed: 225 km/h
Acceleration (0–100 km/h): 8,5 seconds
Fuel consumption (estimate): 13,2 to 14,5 liters/100 km


  1. ^ "Pegaso Z-102". Wikipedia, la enciclopedia libre (in Spanish). 2018-01-27. 
  2. ^ "RM Sotheby's - r106 1954 Pegaso Z-102 3.2 Berlinetta by Touring". RM Sotheby's. 2017-07-20. Retrieved 2018-02-08. 
  3. ^ "". Retrieved 2018-02-08.  External link in |title= (help)
  4. ^ a b "". Retrieved 2018-02-08.  External link in |title= (help)
  5. ^ Vance, Bill (2006-06-30). "Motoring memories: Pegaso, 1951 - 1958". Canadian Driver. Retrieved 2008-05-18. 
  6. ^ a b "Production car speed record". Wikipedia. 2018-02-08. 

External links[edit]

Preceded by
Jaguar XK120
Fastest street-legal production car
244.62 km/h (151.99 mph)
Succeeded by
Mercedes-Benz 300SL