Aston Martin V12 Zagato Race Car Concept No Longer Sketchy, Official Photos and Info Released
What once was a car-shaped smudge of a sketch is now real: Aston has released official images of the V12 Zagato concept, the British marque’s latest collaboration with the Italian design house. One dash beautiful and several jiggers of weird—plus a dollop of Nissan GT-R—the model previews a racer that will compete in the wild-’n'-wooly 24 Hours of the Nürburgring on June 25 and 26.
The V12 Zagato’s beauty comes from the classic proportions, borrowed from the V12 Vantage that served as this car’s starting point, and the muscular haunches. The weirdness lies in the details, like the taillights and lower rear fascia that appear as if they’re being extruded through the back end, Play-Doh–style. Thick racing pipes jut out of the carbon diffuser, with the on-track night/rain light mounted between. The roof, cantilevered like the GT-R’s, carries Zagato’s traditional double bubbles, originally intended to extend a roofline skyward to accommodate helmets and/or people with giant heads. Forward of the A-pillars is where things get especially funky. The giant fender vents, chrome spears, and multiple hood strakes look fussy, and the gaping Aston grille, which looks awesome on the firm’s DBR9 racers, makes this car look like a smoked-up carp. We do dig the way the front fender peak runs below the windowline and beyond, though, and the car looks pretty sweet on the whole.
The exterior panels are aluminum, and were hand-formed just like your grandpa did it, with an English wheel and body bucks. Achieving the car’s complex shapes required several pieces of aluminum to be formed and then combined; Aston says each front fender is comprised of seven individual pieces and the roof five. A 510-hp fusillade feeds the rear wheels from the front-mounted 5.9-liter V-12, which also thunders out 420 lb-ft of torque. Unlike the regular V12 Vantage, which is available solely with a six-speed manual transaxle, this car uses a six-speed single-clutch automated gearbox; the V12 feeds it via a carbon driveshaft within a magnesium torque tube. The clutch is uprated to a twin-plate racing piece, the suspension is adjustable, and the huge front brake rotors are pinched by six-piston calipers. (Four-piston calipers grab the smaller rear discs.) Finally, there’s a steel roll cage, a limited-slip diff, and racing-style vents in the side windows.
To check out the original sketch of the V12 Zagato and to read a primer on the history of the car to which this model pays homage, the early-’60s DB4 GT Zagato, head over to this post.
By Erik Johnson