Celebrating the legendary DB4 GT Zagato’s 50th anniversary, the two famous companies have collaborated once again in 2011. This has resulted in the full racing spec V12 Zagato launched during that year’s Concorso d’Eleganza Villa d’Este on 21 May. This car was awarded with the competition’s “Design Award for Concept Cars and Prototypes”.
Whereas the Italian coach-builder took the lead in previous collaborations, Zagato’s role in this project has been limited to assisting with the styling executed by Aston Martin’s design team led by Marek Reichman. This is clearly reflected in the end-result, which still includes many of Zagato’s familiar cues but overall is a departure from the company’s designs.
A mix of Aston Martin and Zagato DNA, the final design is both elegant and brutal. The front-end is the interpretation of the Aston Martin style, while the subtle ‘double-bubble’ roof and exposed circular tail lights have Zagato written all over them. Among the car’s most dramatic features are the deep cut-outs in the front wings.
The body is hand-crafted in aluminium at Aston Martin’s Gaydon factory, using traditional methods like the English wheel. This is a very labour intensive method but with pre-formed panels, the intricate shapes of the V12 Zagato’s design just could not be recreated. The front wings alone, for example, consist of seven different pieces of aluminium.
Once completed, the body is mounted on a V12 Vantage chassis. This compact platform features a 6.0-litre V12 engine producing 510 bhp (380 kW / 517 PS), and 570 Nm (420 lb ft) of torque. The chassis itself is a spaceframe constructed from bonded aluminium sections, with a full FIA safety compliance. Suspension is by double wishbones with adjustable Multimatic DSSV Dampers all-round, a semi-automatic six speed gearbox is used to transfer the power to the rear wheels and a 120ltr endurance racing fuel tank.
Racing history 2011
The Aston Martin V12 Zagato race version made its racing debut at the 53rd ADAC ACAS H&R-Cup VLN round at the Nürburgring on 28 May, the event for the car being a preparation and development experience ahead of the Nürburgring 24-hour race, to be held on 25–26 June.
Two V12 Zagatos competed in the 51st ADAC Reinoldus-Langstreckenrennen VLN four-hour race on 11 June. Again as a test session ahead of the Nürburgring 24-hour race. Competing in the SP8 category, the V12 Zagatos; near production standard cars with only essential safety and aerodynamic modifications required for racing, took 2nd and 3rd place in class, equating to 15th and 39th overall in field of some 150 largely specialist cars.
The two V12 Zagatos affectionately nicknamed “Zig” (green car) and “Zag” (red car) competed in the 39th ADAC Nürburgring 24-hour race, held on 25–26 June. The two factory backed cars both completed the race, finishing 5th and 6th in the SP8 class.
The red car also sprinted at the Goodwood Festival of Speed 2011 on 1–3 July. Driven by Aston Martin head designer, Marek Reichman, the car recorded a best time of 61.21 to finish 15th in the overall shootout.
On October 17 “Zig” was part of a collaboration between Aston Martin and Toyota at the VLN9 DMV 250-Meilen-Rennen. During the race drivers of both the V12 Zagato and Lexus LF A which included the CEO of Aston Martin and President of Toyota had an opportunity to drive both cars.
Racing history 2012
‘Zig’ attended VLN3 as a test for the Nurburgring 24 hours, during which the car unfortunately sustained a puncture on the first lap, however went on the finish the race without any further problems.
Previously running in green livery ‘Zig’ was re-painted Gulf blue and black for the Nurburgring 24hours to match its GT3 team mates. The car had an excellent race and ran faultlessly throughout and finished 26th overall and 2nd in class.
The same car also attended the Aston Martin Le Mans Festival, a support race for the Le Mans 24 hours.