Aston Martin has finished refining the styling of its £405,000 V12 Zagato, the ‘baby One-77’ that will become a new hand-built flagship for its compact Vantage range when it goes on sale later this year.
The car was shown in concept form at the Villa d’Este last May and the Frankfurt show last September, and it raced as a prototype in June at the Nürburgring 24-hour race. It will make its debut in showroom-ready trim at the Kuwait Concours d’Elegance next week. Production - strictly limited to 150 units - is due to begin in September.
The V12 Zagato marks the 50-year relationship between Aston Martin and Zagato (the pioneering DB4 GT first appeared in 1961 and was sold during 1962). It is the first Zagato-badged car ever to have been designed entirely in the UK.
The V12 project was agreed between Aston Martin boss Ulrich Bez and the Italian company’s head, Andrea Zagato, in early 2010, and they set their designers a direct competition to come up with a production theme. The British design was rapidly selected by Bez and Zagato, and its main elements were finalised by late March 2010.
Aston design boss Marek Reichman revealed last week that, although produced with the close co operation of the Italian coachbuilder, the design is “100 per cent British”. He claims this is the first time a UK design has taken top spot in the hard-fought ‘concepts and prototypes’ class at the Villa d’Este concours.
The V12 Zagato questions some of Aston’s usual design values, said Reichman. There is a strong line cutting through the cant rail above the windows, plus a new expression of Zagato’s characteristic double-bubble roof, a reassuring ‘hockey stick’ lower window line and a convex, full-faced grille. “Zagato’s Astons have always had a slightly bulging quality,” said Reichman, “as if the T-shirt was a little too tight for the muscles beneath.”
Since June, Aston’s engineers have been completing the car’s quilted interior design and refining its structure and aerodynamics. It will use many of the construction methods adopted for the One-77.
Each V12 Zagato will take about 2000 hours to build. It will sit on the Vantage’s extruded aluminium VH chassis but will be clad with a hand-finished alloy bonnet, roof and door panels. The front and rear wings, door sills and boot surround will be of carbonfibre.
The car will use the V12 Vantage’s powertrain: a normally aspirated 6.0-litre V12 producing 510bhp at 6500rpm, plus 420lb ft of torque at 5750rpm. The manual six-speed gearbox is mounted in unit with the differential under the rear of the car, connected by an alloy torque tube and a carbonfibre tailshaft. Top speed is estimated at 190mph and 0-62mph will take 4.2sec.