As reported in Classic Driver last week, Aston Martin chose to unveil its new V12 Zagato endurance racer concept at Villa d’Este on 21 May. In advance of that unveiling, Aston released detailed pictures of the car.
The collaboration between Aston Martin and Zagato has, in the past, produced some of the most beautiful and sought-after cars in the world and the new result of that partnership clearly takes inspiration from some of the highlights of that history – cars such as DB4GT Zagato, V8 Vantage Zagato and DB7 Zagato. Now, however, the marque has its ultimate performance interpretation of the Vantage range, the V12 Vantage, on which to base its modern interpretation.
“The task for us has been to create a concept that is a natural successor to those iconic cars that have gone before,” says Dr Ulrich Bez, CEO of Aston Martin. “Matching the technology of the age with the traditional skills vital to deliver such a bespoke and exclusive sports car will lead to a strictly limited run of road-going V12 Zagatos.”
Work began in 2010, with initial meetings between Aston Martin and Zagato and the first design sketches were discussed. According to Director of Design Marek Reichman: “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.”
The V12 Zagato features a new handcrafted aluminium body, in which every 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 – another highly skilled and time-intensive process.
The engine is the 6.0-litre V12 producing 510bhp and 420lb ft of torque and the car’s racing debut will be at the Nürburgring on 28 May, with a view to two cars racing at the 24-hour race on 25-26 June. The drivers will be an experienced team, led for the sixth year by Chief Executive Dr. Ulrich Bez himself.