It seemed almost inevitable once the cars had completed the endurance test at the Nürburgring 24 hour race but Aston Martin has gone through the formality of confirming its V12 Zagato concept will enter production on a strictly limited basis.
The first indication that the concept car was receiving plaudits was its win for design in the Concepts and Prototypes class at the Villa D’ Este Concours.
The winning car then went on to prove its durability with the successful completion of the grueling 39th ADAC Nürburgring 24 Hour race.
Based on the V12 Vantage and sporting a handcrafted aluminum and carbon fiber body, the V12 Zagato will be produced in very limited numbers for discerning customers – so it’s going to be expensive!
Orders are being taken on a first-come, first-served basis, and production is expected to commence during summer 2012 at Aston Martin’s global headquarters in Gaydon, Warwickshire.
Dr Ulrich Bez, Aston Martin’s Chief Executive, said: “… it will be one of the most highly coveted models in Aston Martin’s 98-year history. A fabulous celebration of the iconic DB4GT Zagato, which celebrates its 50th anniversary this year, the V12 Zagato is the perfect inspiration for the next 50 years of Aston Martin.”
In honor of the performance and racing heritage of previous collaborations between Aston Martin and Zagato, the first two V12 Zagatos were developed as endurance racecars from the start, and went into their track debut a week after being shown to the public for the first time on the shores of Lake Como, Italy at the Villa D’Este Concours.
Entering the new V12 Zagatos in this year’s Nürburgring 24 Hour on 25th/26th June extended the company’s racing philosophy at the famous circuit. For five years, Aston Martin has signed-off its 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 went a step further, by testing two cars at their prototype stage; combining forces to successfully cover more than 230 laps and over 3700 miles in the 24-hour race at what Sir Jackie Stewart famously called "The Green Hell".
Since opening in 2003, the Gaydon facility has developed and brought to production 13 new Aston Martins, demonstrating the company’s ability to engineer and manufacture cars in a short period of time. Design work on the V12 Zagato began in mid-2010, with initial engineering following in January 2011.
Marek Reichman, Aston Martin’s Director of Design said: "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."
Featuring a handcrafted aluminum and carbon fiber body, the V12 Zagato delivers a beautiful and muscular design not possible using pre-formed panel techniques. Using the influences and skill of nearly 100 years of heritage in the craft, every aluminum panel was formed using an English wheel and traditionally crafted body bucks.
Iconic Zagato design cues include the double-bubble roof, created in this case from five separate pieces, illustrating the craftsmanship involved in the construction of the V12 Zagato.
The V12 Zagato combines Aston Martin’s bonded aluminum platform with the power of the 6.0-liter V12 engine producing 510hp and 420 lb ft of torque.
The strictly limited Aston Martin V12 Zagato is on sale now, priced at £330,000 ($530,000), with deliveries expected to begin in the second half of 2012.