Italian Beauty, American Brawn: Zagato Perana Z-One Headed Stateside

Combining Italian styling and American muscle sounds like the recipe for a beautiful, powerful car. If the stunning Perana Z-One styled by Italian design firm Zagato is any indication, we're sold. The bespoke model is based on a Chevrolet Corvette, and thanks to Superformance, we'll be able to get our hands on it later this year.

The Zagato Perana Z-One was unveiled at the 2009 Geneva Motor Show to great acclaim, and was later shown at the Concorso d'Eleganza at Villa d'Este in Italy where it received similar applause. After the successful showings, Perana Performance Group put the Z-One into production in July 2009, but only intended to sell the car in Europe and the United Arab Emirates. However, the car's positive reception in the U.S. caused the firm to partner with Superformance, a California-based importer and builder of replica Shelby Cobras, to import the car to the U.S.

Perana chose to use a Corvette chassis and Corvette engines for the Z-One. U.S. buyers will be able to choose from General Motors' latest E-Rod LS3, 6.2-liter V-8 or the Z06's potent 7.0-liter, LS7 V-8. The E-Rod, a crate engine, produces the same 436 horsepower as the base LS3 engine, while the LS7 produces the same 505 horsepower as the stock Z06. These engine choices are coupled to a six-speed manual transmission accompanied by a ZF limited-slip differential.

With those powertrain choices, the Z-One certainly has the power to go with its looks. Its styling reflects classic American cars, such as the Shelby Cobra and Daytona Coupe, to which Zagato added an Italian flair. The grille is pure Shelby, but it's flanked by beautifully sculpted fenders and headlights that have a little Ferrari 599 in their design. At the rear, Zagato combined elements seen on its DB7 and Ferrari 575 GT customizations to finish the beautifully unique car.

Inside, buyers will find Recaro sport seats covered in leather and Alcantara, which also covers the rest of the interior. Air conditioning comes standard along with a navigation system and power accessories, and the only options are unique exterior colors, unspecified interior trim, and a brake upgrade package. Perhaps the best part about the Z-One, though, is its price. Perana and Superformance say it will start at under $100,000.

The Z-One makes its U.S. debut on August 13 at the Concorso Italiano held at the Laguna Seca Golf Ranch in Monterey, Calif. Only 999 are destined for production, and a small portion of those will reach the U.S.

Source: Superformance, Perana Performance Group

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