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Aston Martin Reveals V12 Zagato Endurance Racer for Villa d’Este

Aston Martin pulled the wraps off its new V12 Zagato Endurance Racer concept, and the car is a looker. Based on the V12 Vantage and styled in collaboration with storied Italian design house Zagato, the new car celebrates the 50th anniversary of the Aston Martin DB4GT Zagato.

The body is hand-made from aluminum in its entirety. Aston Martin claims the front fenders alone are composed of seven individual pieces of aluminum, all shaped and bonded by hand. The roof panel, which touts Zagato’s trademark double-bubble design, required five separate pieces of aluminum to be massaged into shape. The design work took almost a year, with Zagato and Aston’s in-house design studio working together to sculpt the car.

While the basic V12 Vantage shape is visible in the nose and doors, everything aft of the A-pillars is a dramatic departure from the standard car. The chopped roofline sweeps back steeply into the elongated stern, forcing the Aston’s windows into a triangular profile. Out back, muscular wheel arches blend into a somewhat flat, stubby tail design, with a small rear window and fastback-style tailgate. We think it looks fantastic.

The V12 Zagato is reportedly designed first and foremost for endurance racing. Its first test will be at a Nürburgring race on May 28, and Aston plans to enter two of the cars in the 24 Hours of Nürburgring race in June. As is the case with the V12 Vantage, power comes from a 6.0-liter V-12 rated at 510 hp and 420 lb-ft of torque. Power is sent to the rear wheels through a six-speed automated-manual transmission, which has a twin-plate racing clutch and a carbon-fiber driveshaft. A plus-sized 31-gallon fuel tank helps enable more laps between pit stops. It’s fitting that this V12 Zagato should be targeted at endurance racing, as the original DB4GT Zagatos found success on race circuits around the world in the 1960s.

Belying the car’s performance intentions are deeply scooped vents behind the front wheel arches, a subtle front splitter, and a large rear diffuser. Oddly styled wheels reveal massive slotted brake discs at each corner, and a steel roll cage is fitted as standard.

The V12 Zagato will make its first public appearance on Saturday, May 21 at the Villa d’Este Concours before entering the aforementioned races later this summer. After that, Aston Martin promises a “strictly limited run” of road cars, likely to debut in 2012. Sign us up for a test drive.

Source: Aston Martin

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