Aston Martin is preparing a race debut for its new V12 Zagato - and has already admitted that it has given the green light to a roadgoing version of the dramatic two-seater.
The British manufacturer’s return to collaboration with the iconic design house and coachbuilder was the number one star at this weekend’s Villa d’Este Concours in Italy, after vying with Ferrari’s Superamerica 45 for attention.
Based on a V12 Vantage, the Aston Martin V12 Zagato is designed to commemorate the 50th anniversary of Aston’s first collaboration with the Italian company - and like that car, the DB4GT Zagato, the new model focuses on improving an existing package for motorsport.
The car’s V12 motor is in standard tune, therefore, producing 510bhp and 420lb ft - but underneath the new bodywork - a joint effort between Aston chief designer Marek Reichman and Zagato - lies a stripped-out bodyshell complete with roll cage and bare competition dashboard. It results in a considerable weight saving that’s likely to nudge the 0-62mph time down to less than four seconds.
The chassis - engineered by a Chris Porritt-led team including veterans of Astons’ One-77 project - features a retuned version of the regular V12 Vantage’s double-wishbone suspension.
The V12 Zagato will make its racing debut at the VLN four-hour race at the Nürburgring, where it will feature a more extreme aerodynamic package. And two examples, including one driven by Aston CEO Dr Ulrich Bez, will tackle the Nürburgring 24 Hours at the end of June.
It’s understood that the car will be made eligible for national-level race series - “gentleman’s racing”, according to one Aston source - but that there are no plans for the Zagato to go up to FIA GT level.