Aston Martin unveiled their new V12 Zagato endurance racer concept on the shores of Lake Como, Italy at the Villa D’Este Concours on 21-22 May, 2011. At its world premiere, the Aston Martin V12 Zagato has won the Concorso d’Eleganza Design Award for Concept Cars and Prototypes.
The Aston Martin / Zagato partnership takes inspiration from the past, to create a modern descendent of classics such as the DB4GT Zagato, V8 Vantage Zagato and DB7 Zagato based on Aston Martin’s ultimate performance interpretation of the Vantage range: the V12 Vantage.
Dr Ulrich Bez, CEO of Aston Martin said, “The Zagato design language is a perfect complement to our design and engineering expertise. After 50 years of the two companies being associated with each other the partnership has produced some of the world’s most iconic cars. Of course, fifty years ago Italian design houses were widely seen as leading the way with new designs but now and supported by our independency, Aston Martin has its own in-house design ability so this new venture with Zagato is more collaborative than it perhaps would have been in the past.”
Work began in 2010 with initial meetings between Aston Martin and Zagato where sketches incorporating the design DNA of both companies were discussed and a decision was made to proceed with the project.
Director of Design, Marek Reichman added, “The Design team at Gaydon spent time refining the concept using a mixture of the latest computer based modelling techniques along with crafting traditional clay models to give a real world idea of proportion, stance and detail.”
“The V12 Zagato is an elegant yet brutal design which reflects the great balance between race performance and pure Aston Martin style. The original DB4GT Zagato was a true icon, powerful and graceful; the new design is a true representation of the spirit of DB4GT Zagato. The muscular organic forms define the thoroughbred nature of the car’s racing credentials.”
Featuring a new handcrafted aluminium body, the Aston Martin V12 Zagato delivers a design not possible using pre-formed panel techniques. Using the influences and skill of nearly 100 years of heritage in the craft, every aluminium panel was formed using an English wheel and traditionally crafted body bucks. Each front wing alone comprises seven separate pieces of aluminium, combined and then hand finished to give one flowing form. Another iconic Zagato design cue is the double bubble roof created in this case from five separate pieces illustrating further the intensity of craftsmanship involved in the construction of the V12 Zagato.
Designed for the focused driver, the V12 Zagato has been honed with pure driving enjoyment in mind. The V12 Zagato combines Aston Martin’s most dynamic bonded aluminium platform with the power of the 6.0-litre V12 engine producing 510 bhp, and 420 lb ft of torque.
The first DB4GT Zagato shown to the public in late 1960 spent much of its life as a racing car after launch. Later perhaps the two most famous DB4GT Zagatos, registered ‘1 VEV’ and ‘2 VEV’ were raced with success by such names as Jim Clark and Roy Salvadori. The fascinating story of these cars and the nature of high performance and low weight which drove the Zagato projects gave the inspiration for the first two V12 Zagatos to be created as endurance race cars.
The racing debut of the V12 Zagato will be at the ADAC ACAS H&R-Cup VLN round at the Nürburgring on 28th May with a view to two cars racing at the 24 hour race on 25/26 June. The cars will be driven by an experienced driver team, led for the sixth year by Chief Executive Dr. Ulrich Bez.
“Based on the reactions of our customers to this race car, we hope to offer a road-homologated V12 Zagato in a small, limited number as soon as possible. First feedback has been great so far, this makes us confident that this new Aston Martin V12 Zagato will be a winner of the classic car vote at Villa D’Este in fifty years time,” said Bez.
Aston Martin V12 Zagato – Photo Gallery (click image for larger picture)