Aston Martin unveils new V12 Zagato
• In 50th anniversary year of the iconic DB4GT Zagato, Aston Martin introduces a modern interpretation of the famous Aston Martin and Zagato collaboration
• New V12 Zagato concept to be premiered at the Villa D'Este Concours on 21st May to gauge customer interest
• The V12 Zagato will appear in the form of an endurance race car to compete at the Nürburgring 24 hour race on 25/26 June; following tradition of recent new Aston MartinsGaydon / Lake Como, 20 May 2011
. Aston Martin will unveil the stunning new V12 Zagato endurance racer concept on the shores of Lake Como, Italy at the Villa D'Este Concours tomorrow.
Reviving a collaboration which has produced some of the most beautiful and sought-after cars in the world, the 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 Úlrich 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.'
'The task for us has been to create a concept that is a natural successor to those iconic cars that have gone before. 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.'
Engine : 5.9 L., 12-cylinder
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.'
Working alongside the initial design team was a dedicated group of Aston Martin engineers led by Chris Porritt - previously responsible for the engineering of the One-77. With the skills and knowledge gained from such specialised projects this team has worked to bring the unique design of the V12 Zagato to reality in a very short period of time.
Featuring a new handcrafted aluminium body, the V12 Zagato delivers a beautiful and muscular design not possible using pre-formed panel techniques. Úsing 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 (380 kW / 517 PS), and 570 Nm (420 lb ft) of torque.
The V12 Vantage which forms the basis of the V12 Zagato has been proven on the race track as early as 2009 with a class win in its debut race at the 24 hour race at Nürburgring whilst being close to production standard with only essential safety modifications, reduced weight and re-tuned suspension but no additional aerodynamic enhancements. In 2011 the car has gone on to form the basis of the new Aston Martin GT3 race car unveiled last month.
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 four hour VLN race at 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 a team with great experience of Aston Martin race cars, led for the sixth year by Chief Executive Dr. Úlrich Bez.
Both cars follow Aston Martin's philosophy of racing in close-to-production form but with full FIA safety compliance. V12 Vantage Zagato specification includes a bonded aluminium platform modified with a bespoke steel roll cage, front and rear double wishbone suspension with fully adjustable Multimatic DSSV Dampers and a 120ltr endurance racing fuel tank.
Source - Aston Martin
The Aston Martin V12 Zagato will be shown for the first time at the Villa D'Este Concours on Saturday 21st May 2011
Aston Martin V12 Zagato Ready for Nürburgring 24hr Test
• Two new Aston Martin V12 Zagatos entered in 24 hour race, just weeks after being first unveiled
• Experienced driver line-up, led by Aston Martin CEO Dr Úlrich Bez
• The V12 Zagatos are joined by an Aston Martin-entered V8 Vantage GT4 featuring Aston Martin Racing works driver Darren Turner Nürburgring 22 June 2011.
This week Aston Martin is putting the final touches to its race preparations in readiness for the toughest 24 hour race of them all – the annual ADAC Nürburgring 24 Hours on 25 and 26 June where a brace of new Aston Martin V12 Zagatos will compete.
This weekend marks the next step of an ambitious project which began when the V12 Zagato was unveiled at the Concorso D'Eleganza at Villa D'Este in May this year, winning the Design award for Concepts and Prototypes. The show car was then transformed into the number 3 race car, nicknamed ‘Zag' (red) and will be piloted in the 24 hour race by Aston Martin CEO, Dr. Úlrich Bez, the company's Nürburgring Test Centre Director, Wolfgang Schuhbauer and automotive journalists Horst von Saurma and Matthew Marsh.
In addition, a green V12 Zagato (nicknamed ‘Zig') - car number 5 for the race - was prepared by the small team based at Aston Martin's global headquarters in Gaydon, Warwickshire. Zig will be driven by One-77 Chief Engineer Chris Porritt, experienced sports car driver Oliver Mathai, automotive journalist Richard Meaden and experienced amateur racer Peter Cate.
Joining the Zagatos will be a V8 Vantage GT4 affectionately nicknamed ‘Smurf' (now orange but formally blue) which will be driven by Aston Martin Racing works driver, Darren Turner, journalist and experienced 24 hour driver, Shinichi Katsura, Australian racer Rob Thomson and seasoned Nürburgring pilot Jurgen Stumpf.
Three further customer team V8 Vantages will be competing over the weekend bringing the Aston Martin presence in the race up to six cars with Mathol Racing (#62), Bratke Motorsport Team – AVIA (#85) and Team Pflanz (#75) driving Vantage GT4s in the SP10 class.
Aston Martin's Head of Motorsport, David King said: 'Our entries this year extend our Nürburgring racing philosophy. For five years now we have signed-off our new products by entering a car which is as close to the road car as possible and subjecting it to the toughest 24 hour test on what best simulates the extremities of public roads. This year we go a step further by testing a car at prototype stage.'
'As ever, the race will present an enormous challenge in a vast and increasingly competitive field which will be fraught with all the unpredictable elements associated with racing at the Nürburgring. However, we are excited by the potential we have seen from the V12 Zagato in the testing we've completed and that gives us great hope for the task ahead. We look forward to a safe, successful and enjoyable race for our teams and customers.'
Aston Martin's presence at the Nürburgring marks the sixth successive time factory engineers complete a product sign-off test in what has been dubbed ‘the toughest 24 hour race' under public scrutiny. Since 2006, the marque has used the race to prove the reliability and durability of its new models – first for V8 Vantage itself, then the new SportshiftTM transmission in 2007, the 4.7 litre engine V8 Vantage in 2008, the V12 Vantage in 2009, the four-door Rapide in 2010, and now, rather more ambitiously, for the first major test of a new concept car – the Aston Martin V12 Zagato.
In addition to this year's race, Aston Martin's American team has joined forces with Road & Track magazine to run a standard road specification Rapide at Spring Mountain Motor Sports Ranch in the ÚSA for the same 24 hours as the European team at the Nürburgring. The endurance test echoes last year's Nordschleife attempt where a near standard four-door Rapide with a production six-speed automatic transmission successfully completed the 24 hour race, finishing third in class.
At the Nürburgring the roofs of both V12 Zagatos will be sporting a ‘Heart for Japan' dedication as part of Aston Martin's support for the Tsunami victims of Japan. In May, Dr. Bez auctioned his company Rapide raising £100,000. During the build up to this year's 24 hours Dr. Bez will hand the cheque to Toyota CEO, Akio Toyoda and their Donation Fund for Employees in the Affected Disaster Area charity.Source - Aston Martin