Posted Apr 20th 2012 5:30PM
We last saw the Aston Martin V12 Zagato on the floor at the Geneva Motor Show in March. It was hardly an opportune moment to relish the automaker's stunning new two-seater, however, as we were forced to dodge the crowds while shooting images for our live gallery. Wanting to get a closer second look at the exceedingly rare exotic and shoot a more detailed photo montage, we visited Galpin Aston Martin in Southern California for a private viewing (astute readers may recall that several years ago we visted Galpin's exclusive "vault room" to check out the Aston Martin One-77).
Beneath this example's glossy Diavolo Red paint, mounted within the all-alloy aluminum monocoque platform, is the powerful running gear of a V12 Vantage (a car we called "an intoxicating machine masterfully engineered to gratify every emotion in a car enthusiast's soul" in our V12 Vantage review). In a nutshell, the rear-wheel drive V12 Zagato features a naturally-aspirated 6.0-litre V12 (rated at 510 horsepower and 420 pound-feet of torque), a rear mid-mounted transaxle and a traditional six-speed manual gearbox. Ever so slightly lighter than the V12 Vantage, the V12 Zagato will crack the 60 mph (96.5 km/h) benchmark in about four seconds and not run out of steam until about 305 km/h. Scroll down to continue reading.
Related GalleryAston Martin V12 Zagato
In person, the V12 Zagato is eye-watering gorgeous. All body panels, including the "double-bubble" roof, are painstakingly hand crafted from carbon fibre and aluminum. The front quarter panels, expansive pieces of aluminum, wrap well around the front with subtle indentations around headlight buckets. The carbon fibre hood, with its raised power bulge running down the middle, is vented to bleed hot air from the cramped engine compartment. At the rear, the aluminum panels laboriously wrap around the taillamps, each set in an artfully-sculpted carbon-fibre surround. Forged aluminum alloy wheels, partly hiding the oversized carbon-ceramic brake package with multi-piston calipers, are fitted with high-performance Pirelli P Zero Corsa tires (255/35ZR19 front and 295/30ZR19 rear).
The interior boasts seven natural texture Bridge of Weir hides, stitched by hand and finished in semi-aniline to improve durability (it's a shame our images aren't scratch-and-sniff, as the aroma is exquisite.) In addition to the unique quilting pattern – a treatment that looks much more subtle in person as the camera's flash seems to have reflected off it – there is "Z" embroidery in the headrests and rear parcel shelf. In tasteful contrast is the black carbon fiber and piano black accents artfully placed on the dash and center console.
And now the bad news (as if you didn't see it coming). Not only is the Aston Martin V12 Zagato limited to a production run of just 150 copies, but each one has a base price of £330,000 plus taxes (CAD$433,000 plus tax at today's exchange). Making matters even more complicated is news that Aston Martin has no plans to certify this rare beauty for sale in North America. That's a damned shame, but we suspect that such technicalities won't stop the very well-to-do from finding a way...
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