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Geneva show: Aston to debut production V12 Zagato

One for the road: An Australian has snapped up one example of just 150 Aston Martin V12 Zagatos to be produced, but the local sales figure could increase following the car’s planned tour of Australia in April.

Aston Martin V12 Zagato to debut in production form in Geneva ahead of Aussie tour

Aston Martin logo10 Feb 2012

By HAITHAM RAZAGUI

ASTON MARTIN has released the first pictures of its limited-run V12 Zagato in final production form – as opposed to the race car dressed in street clothes as shown at Frankfurt last year – ahead of the car’s official debut at next month’s Geneva motor show.

Shortly after its Swiss outing, the car will be taken on a tour of Australia in April so that interested local parties can see the goods before deciding whether to write a cheque ahead of first deliveries, which are expected to arrive here in 2013.

Aston Martin Asia Pacific marketing and communications manager Marcel Fabris told GoAuto the first Australian sale of the V12 Zagato – of which a maximum of 150 units will be produced – took place just before Christmas and that around 30 have been ordered globally so far.

Although Australian pricing for the V12 Zagato has not been announced, Mr Fabris told GoAuto the high Australian dollar makes now a great time to purchase goods from the UK – where the Aston is priced at £330,000 ($A484,000).

An indication on the Australian price could be taken from the Rolls-Royce Phantom Drophead, which sells in the UK for a similar price to the V12 Zagato and is priced in Australia at a wallet-busting $1,355,000.

However the Rolls-Royce price appears to be based on an older, less favourable exchange rate whereas the current high value of the Australian dollar should pitch the Zagato at less than $900,000 after local taxes are taken into account.

44 center imageLeft: Zagato interior. Below: Zagato concept and race car.

The new images include the first public glimpse of the V12 Zagato’s production interior, lavishly upholstered in soft, hand-stitched Bridge of Weir leather featuring a curvaceous quilted design applied to the seats, door trims and even the ceiling.

Zagato ‘Z’ emblems are embroidered on the seats and parcel shelf, while satin-finish carbon-fibre and piano black trim is used to decorate the dashboard and centre console – which feature satin-black rotary switchgear.

Carbon-fibre also features on the sill plaques, inlaid with the V12 Zagato name in metal script.

Externally, the V12 Vantage-based Zagato is almost identical to the concept that originally broke cover at the Villa D’Este Concours classic car event held beside Italy’s Lake Como last May.

The main changes are to the car’s rear, which has sprouted a carbon-fibre wing and a more refined rear bumper with outboard exhaust outlets replacing the concept’s more centrally-located, race-spec units and their exposed silencers.

Sharing a 380kW/570Nm 6.0-litre V12 engine with the Vantage on which it is based, the Zagato’s hand-crafted aluminium and carbon-fibre panels should help reduce weight enough to shave a tenth or so from the standard Vantage’s 4.2-second sprint to 100km/h.

The Zagato-penned coachwork will be built at Aston Martin’s high-tech Gaydon production facility in Warwickshire, UK. Each car is claimed to take 2000 man hours to complete using techniques learned from developing and building the ultra-exclusive $4,000,000 One-77 hypercar.

Areas of the factory used to build the One-77 are shared by the Zagato, including the paint shop, where coating the bodywork in one of four unique colours – comprising Scintilla Silver, Alloro Green, Alba Blue and Diavolo Red – takes a claimed 100 hours.

As GoAuto has reported, the decision to put the V12 Zagato into production came after it placed fourth in racing form at the 39th Nürburgring 24 Hour endurance race last June, where 230 laps – amounting to almost 6000km of track time – secured the car’s engineering sign-off.

Aston Martin is set to announce new models this year, which will also be an exciting one for the brand in terms of growth – particularly in the Asia Pacific region, where sales leapt 103 per cent in 2011.

The brand recently opened a large new flagship showroom in Shanghai with floor space for up to 18 new cars plus a café, lounge, merchandise shop, servicing area and displays of high-end Jerger-LeCoultre watches and Bang & Olufsen entertainment equipment.

Mr Fabris told GoAuto demand for Aston Martins in China outstrips supply, with an impressive 300 cars sold between five dealers compared with the US, where 30 dealers sold 900 cars.

As such, Aston Martin is expected to use the Beijing motor in show in April to unveil at least one new product this year.

In terms of new products for Australia, Mr Fabris said the Toyota iQ-based Cygnet city car is “on track” for an Australian release, following a roll-out in Japan and Hong Kong at the beginning of this year.

Australia did not contribute to Aston Martin’s growth in Asia Pacific last year, having sold 101 cars here, a decline of 16.5 per cent. Sales were also down by a third last month, with six examples sold.

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