Like many small British brands who shall not be named, Aston can feel a victim to its own design success, at times. The DB7 kick-started this modern styling vogue, which led smoothly to the 2000s Vanquish and DB9 and the modern range.
But sometimes what is needed is not evolution, but revolution. This latest safe-design kick is the blowback from Aston-Martin’s aggressive design flirtations in the 1970s and 1980s — cars like the Lagonda sedan and the Bulldog wedge concept were so ‘out there’ that they nearly bankrupted the company of customers and ideas. All while making the first Vantage – a car whose design is largely frozen in 1972 — the key model to maintain the company’s balance sheet and sales.
So the swing to relative conservatism in Aston’s design department is not without reason and prudence.
So, how to shake things up? Outside ideas are one way, and outside expertise in aerodynamic solutions and construction are another.
Aston has a storied past with the Italian countryside — cars being driven down on factory panels and returning in lightweight alloys. Sounds like a lovely way to spend three months eating gelato and saying Ciao Bella as all the pretty ladies walk around the central piazza’s, no?
But serious demand for the Superleggera and Zagato remakes of Aston Martin sportscars have always made the trips profitable ventures. They profit the buyers by providing new ideas, and profit the company both financially and in terms of fresh intellectual capital.
The sports-car fabricators of Northern Italy are almost all staffed with full-bore, red-blooded Italians who seem to have the lightweight lap-time gracefulness in everything they do. This is just part of the culture here – as sing-song Ferrari and Lamborghini engines rip through the hillsides even today. In some other places, the local populace would complain about the noise.
Here? The sound of a V12 at redline is nearly the national anthem — and a source of as much or more pride among every resident. So to bring back some of that delicious ferocity to often-rainy England? What better souvenir!
Zagato has been many things in is 95-year story, so far, but often the design wackery has taken root a bit too firmly. This is what we love Zagato for – running with a wild idea that others might have deemed too experimental, too polarizing, to make production.
Indeed, some of Zagato’s latest ideas are much more successful than others. None have met the same rapturous praise as the 2012-debuted V12Z for Aston. Such was the roar of appluase that the GT car inspired a road car concept. And the road car concept directly to a run of 150 of these Italian beauties for public sale.
The production run is nearing its capped maximum — so act now to secure your own example of this sure-fire future classic. This is bankable equity like no Libor-matched rate can ever guarantee. Short of the heavy caress of gold bars, no investment vehicle has ever been so attractive as the Aston Martin V12Z.
WHAT (THE WHAT)?
The car is available in five muted and demure colors: red, green, blue, grey and silver.
But the rear spoiler and extra-loud bark of the racing-fettled 510-horsepower V12 is sure to wake the neighbors — and perhaps even jumpstart your inner Italian braggadocio.
Aston Martin V12 Zagato – Mechanical Specs
- Maximum power: 380 kW (510 bhp/517 PS) at 6500 rpm
- Maximum torque: 570 Nm (420 lb ft) at 5750 rpm
- Acceleration: 0-100 km/h (0-62 mph) in 4.2 seconds
- Maximum speed: 305 km/h (190 mph)
- Fuel Consumption: Litres/100 km (mpg)
- Fuel Consumption: Urban 24.3 (11.6)
- Fuel Consumption: Extra-urban 11.7 (24.1)
- Fuel Consumption: Combined 16.4 (17.3)
- CO2 EMISSIONS: 388 g/km
- Front: Independent double wishbones incorporating anti-dive geometry, coil springs, anti-roll bar and monotube dampers
- Rear: Independent double wishbones with anti-squat and anti-lift geometry, dual-rate coil springs, anti-roll bar and monotube dampers
- RACK AND PINION, SERVOTRONIC SPEED-SENSITIVE POWER-ASSISTED STEERING, 3.0 TURNS LOCK-TO-LOCK COLUMN TILT AND REACH ADJUSTMENT
- COLUMN TILT AND REACH ADJUSTMENT
Tom Burkart is the founder and managing editor of Car-Revs-Daily.com, an innovative and rapidly-expanding automotive news magazine.
He holds a Journalism JBA degree from the University of Wisconsin – Madison. Tom currently resides in Charleston, South Carolina with his two amazing dogs, Drake and Tank.
Mr. Burkart is available for all questions and concerns by email Tom(at)car-revs-daily.com.