Posts Tagged ‘zagato’

The Alfa Romeo SZ is an enigma. The marmite of all cars. A love or hate motor car. We happen to love it.

This car was produced in 1989 which means it was actually designed from an idea in a designer’s head around five years earlier. That means that as a concept it is at least 27 years old which is astonishing for a car that if it were launched at Geneva today would blow everything else into the weeds.

The Alfa Romeo SZ (Sprint Zagato) or ES-30 (Experimental Sportscar 3.0 litre) is a limited production sports car that was built between 1989 and 1991 in partnership with Zagato, Alfa Romeo and Fiat. A total of 1036 SV’s were produced which is a shame because Alfa quite likely could have sold an awful lot more. The fact that it didn’t makes it that much more desirable.

It was unveiled as the ES-30 in 1989 Geneva Motor Show as a prototype by Zagato and although the car was mainly built by them they had no involvement in the mechanical architecture.

Robert Opron of the Fiat design studio was responsible for the initial sketches while Antonio Castellana was largely responsible for the final styling details and interior. Only the ‘Z’ logo of Zagato was kept. The car had unusual headlights positioned in a trio on each side – a styling used more subtly on later Alfa Romeos which still look very cool today

Mechanically and engine-wise the car was based on the Alfa Romeo 75 and SV production was carried out by Zagato near the Alfa factory in Arese. The thermoplastic injection moulded composite body panels were produced by Carplast in Italy and Stratime Cappelo Systems in France.

The SZ was originally equipped with Pirelli P Zero tyres (front 205/55 ZR 16, rear 225/50 ZR 16) and is able to sustain over 1.1 G in cornering. Some drivers have measured a cornering force of 1.4 G which is pretty good even by the standards of 2012 and most reviewers rated the car as a top performer for its handling abilities.

The powerplant in the SZ is the venerable 3.0 light alloy V6 12V which was tuned by Alfa’s motor sport department Alfa Corse. The engine’s compression ratio was enlarged to 10:1, the double overhead camshafts received a sharper cam profile and the Bosch Motronic engine management system was reprogrammed. This meant the maximum power output was raised by at least 20 hp to 210 hp @ 6200 rpm and maximum torque was stated as 245 Nm @ 4500 rpm.

The rear wheel drive SZ had a top speed of at least 245 kph and a zero to 100 kph time of around 7 seconds.  Not exactly blistering by today’s standards but quick enough in the real world. The looks and the noise more than compensate.

So if you eventually fall in love with the SZ the next problem you face is trying to find one because there aren’t that many around to choose from. Don’t get fussy about colours either because they came only in red with a grey roof and a tan interior which is probably the best colour combination you could choose for the SZ anyhow.

However, we do know of a privately owned example with only 7000 miles on the clock that is looking for a new home. This is car number 410 built in 1991 that is original and has covered 7000 miles with two owners. Offers in excess of £32000 are invited for this stunning car. See the images in the slide show below.

For further details please call The Car Spy on 01732 760699 or email sales@thecarspy.net

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Today Aston Martin issued the following press release for their new V12 Zagato:

“With the final design signed-off and engineering development work progressing apace, Aston Martin today reveals the first images of the new V12 Zagato (road car) scheduled for production later this year.

The V12 Zagato is the pinnacle of the Vantage range. It is also the latest expression of a successful creative collaboration that has given rise to a series of striking GT cars over the last half-century, the original and most iconic of which being the DB4GT Zagato. Not only does this masterpiece rank amongst the most desirable, collectable and valuable cars in history, its 50th anniversary provided the inspiration for the V12 Zagato.

Though commemorating a great Aston Martin of the past the V12 Zagato could be no mere pastiche of the original. Instead the project was seen as the perfect opportunity to take Aston Martin’s ethos of technology and tradition to a new and exciting level. To this end the V12 Zagato combines the modern ideas, materials, processes and technology pioneered on One-77, while remaining true to the purity and craftsmanship of its illustrious forebear.

For Aston Martin’s CEO, Dr Ulrich Bez, the V12 Zagato is “a celebration of both Aston Martin’s heritage and its future”. He continues: “Our relationship with Zagato stretches back more than 50 years. Together in that time we have created a series of very special cars. The first – the DB4GT Zagato – is a true icon: fast, beautiful and incredibly desirable. In the V12 Zagato I believe we have captured the spirit of that car and combined it with a confident twist of modernity to give it a character all of its own.”

Initial design concepts for the V12 Zagato were explored in early 2010. Inspired by Zagato’s bold and individual styling signatures Aston Martin’s Director of Design, Marek Reichman, and his Gaydon-based design team relished the challenge of shaping the V12 Zagato, creating a car that pushes the boundaries of Aston Martin’s design language, yet pays tribute to the DB4GT Zagato. Demonstrating Aston Martin’s ability to rapidly bring ideas to fruition the Zagato programme quickly gained momentum, the design team working hand-in-hand with engineers and artisans to complete the build of a pair of concept cars in the spring of 2011.

May 2011 saw the V12 Zagato make its world debut at the prestigious Villa d’Este concours. Entered in the Concept Cars and Prototypes class, the V12 Zagato wowed the judges and the crowd, taking first place against impressive opposition. In June the Villa d’Este winner – along with the second prototype car – made the V12 Zagato’s world racing debut at the gruelling 24 hour endurance race held at the Nürburgring. Both cars completed the ultimate durability test, continuing Aston Martin’s 100 per cent finishing record in this notoriously tough race.

After an overwhelmingly positive response from customers, the decision was made in July 2011 to build a strictly limited run of V12 Zagatos. Since then, Aston Martin’s design team has worked to refine the sports car’s detailing and aerodynamic performance while staying faithful to the original design concept. At the same time engineers based at Gaydon have been putting prototypes through the company’s rigorous development programme to ensure the V12 Zagato performs as well as it looks.

Every Aston Martin is a unique combination of advanced materials, technology and time-honoured craftsmanship. The V12 Zagato takes this philosophy to a level previously seen in the company’s exquisite One-77 supercar, which completes its build run this year. Built at Aston Martin’s global headquarters in Gaydon, Warwickshire, production of the V12 Zagato will be strictly limited to no more than 150 cars.

Creating each V12 Zagato is a painstaking process that takes approximately 2,000 man-hours to complete. Just like the One-77, the V12 Zagato is constructed from a combination of hand crafted aluminium and carbon fibre. The bonnet, signature ‘double-bubble’ roof and doors are hand-crafted aluminium, while the front and rear fenders, door sills and boot lid surround are made from carbon fibre.

The finished body is then painted in the same dedicated area as the One-77. Four unique colours have been created for the V12 Zagato: Scintilla Silver, Alloro Green, Alba Blue and Diavolo Red. The painting process alone takes some 100 hours to complete and is followed by the marriage of the body and the drivetrain within the sports car production area. From there the V12 Zagato is transferred to the standalone facility originally built to house One-77 production, where the build is completed.

This serene, laboratory-like space is perfectly suited to the task of creating special cars such as the V12 Zagato. It is here that time is lavished upon the fitment and installation of an array of bespoke components, including the side glass and the distinctive rear window, which features a curved surface that continues the sculptural lines of the ‘double-bubble’ roof. All the exterior brightwork around the windows has a contemporary black finish to compliment the exposed carbon fibre components. Fitment of the hand-crafted interior and upholstery is also completed in this dedicated build area.

Like all Aston Martins when viewed as a whole the V12 Zagato is an artful composition of powerful lines and compelling proportions, but when viewed up close it reveals sophisticated, sculptural surfaces and jewel-like details. The exposed elements of carbon fibre on the front splitter, A-pillars, rear lamp pods, diffuser, door mirror cases and rear wing all display the same perfectly symmetrical weave and smooth resin finish. Likewise the bold new grille is formed in a unique three-dimensional composite material mesh that echoes Zagato’s famous ‘Z’ moniker.

More delights are found inside. Seven Bridge of Weir hides – in semi-aniline finish to offer durability while preserving the natural texture of the leather – are used to trim the V12 Zagato’s interior. Hand-stitched quilting of a unique design creates a flowing pattern that evokes a dynamic sense of movement across the seats and headlining, while ‘Z’ embroidery in the headrests and rear parcel shelf add a further flourish. Satin-finish carbon fibre on the dashboard and centre stack is perfectly complimented by piano black accents and satin black rotary switchgear. Carbon fibre sill plaques with ’V12 Zagato’ inlaid metal script provide a distinctive finishing touch.

A work of art built by skilled craftsmen to be driven and enjoyed by the world’s most discerning car collectors, the V12 Zagato is a fitting tribute to its illustrious ancestor. On-sale now priced at £330,000 (plus local taxes) the production specification V12 Zagato will be showcased at the Geneva Salon International in March 2012. First deliveries are scheduled for Autumn 2012.”

For further information regarding the new V12 Zagato please give us a call on 01732 760699 or email sales@thecarspy.net

The new Aston Martin V12 Zagato will be appearing in September at the 64thIAA International Motor Show at Frankfurt. Along with the largest display of contemporary Aston Martins ever seen at a Motor Show, two V12 Zagatos, both having completed their engineering sign-off at the Nürburgring 24 hour race, will be shown for the first time at a mainstream event.

Hand assembled at the company’s global headquarters in Gaydon, England, the V12 Zagato is based on the highly acclaimed V12 Vantage and features a beautiful ’handcrafted‘ aluminium and carbon fibre body. Combining traditional craftsmanship and high technology, the V12 Zagato also boasts Aston Martin’s most dynamic bonded aluminium platform and the power of the company’s acclaimed 6.0-litre V12 engine producing 510 bhp (380 kW / 517 PS), and 570 Nm (420 lb ft) of torque.

Following extremely positive initial customer reaction, the V12 Zagato is being offered for sale at £330,000 GBP (excluding local taxes) and will go into strictly limited production of up to 150 cars in summer 2012. 50 years on from the introduction of the iconic DB4GT Zagato, Aston Martin and Zagato have collaborated to create this modern interpretation which remains true to the focus of craftsmanship, performance and exclusivity which underpinned the original collaboration. 

Launched successfully in late May at the famous Villa D’Este Concours on Lake Como, Italy, the V12 Zagato saw off tough competition to be awarded the coveted Design Award for the concept and prototypes class. Just a week later, the V12 Zagato made its racing debut at the 53rd ADAC ACAS H&R-Cup VLN race at the historic Nürburgring racetrack in Germany. Following other appearances in the series, both prototypes of the V12 Zagato were entered into the gruelling 39th ADAC Nürburgring 24 Hour on 25/26 June, successfully amassing a combined 230 laps and over 3,700 miles of intense durability testing – both taking the chequered flag to maintain Aston Martin’s 100% finish record in the race.

The first of the two V12 Zagatos being shown at the Frankfurt Motor Show, finished in its distinctive green livery is the full endurance race car concept specification as campaigned at the Nürburgring. The car, nicknamed ‘Zig’ by the factory team features a full aerodynamic package including front splitter, dive planes, large rear diffuser and spoiler designed to make the most of the Nürburgring’s multitude of corners and lengthy straights.

The second of the cars, nicknamed ‘Zag’, was originally shown at the Villa D’Este before being converted into the same full racing specification as the sister car. Since the 24 hour race, Zag, has been returned to its original show specification which, although showing a racing car interior, has an exterior more representative of the exclusive road car currently offered for order. In addition to this, Aston Martin today releases the first conceptual illustrations of the road car variant that will go into production from mid 2012.

The pair of V12 Zagatos will join the Aston Martin stand at Frankfurt in September alongside the stunning One-77 supercar and the recently launched Virage and Vantage S.

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