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Archive for July 2011

The Aston Martin V12 Zagato – Zooming by in 2012!

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The Aston Martin V12 Zagato is coming to the road soon in 2012! Aston Martin have released full frontal photos of the V12 Zagato road car! Above is one of them!

They are however going to be limited edition. 150 are to be handbuilt at the Aston Martin global headquarters here in the UK in Gaydon. The cost of these Astons’ will be £330,000 (excluding local taxes).

The Zagoto in May, won the award for Design – in the Concepts and Prototypes class at the car show The Concorso d’Eleganza at Villa D’ Este in Italy.

Aston Martin recently celebrated the 50th anniversary of the DB4GT Zagato also in May which was launched in 1960 at The London Motor Show. Zagato is a car factory in Italy who helped in making the very much British DB4 GT Zagato successful till date mainly as a racing car. The Zagato name has also been on other Aston Martin models such as the V8 Vantage Zagato and DB7 Zagato. The Zagato styling factory has been around since 1919.

The V12 Zagato prior to any road version being made, has been on the race track like the original DB4GT Zagato; since the 28th of May initially racing at the the four hour VLN race at (German Race track) Nürburgring and again on the 25th and 26th of June where the two v12 Zagato racers competed in the Nürburgring 24 hour race and finished in 5th and 6th positions. These two race endurance cars were the first two V12 Zagato’s to be made and were nicknamed “Zig” and “Zag” – (“Zig” being the green V12 Racing Zagato and “Zag” being the red V12 Zagato)!

Zig and Zag

The endurance racer cars were obviously a hit! Since the car show in Italy, Aston Martin were awaiting to see the audiences response to these cars (the customer and audience reaction was said to be encouraging) and then a decision was to be made about whether the V12 Zagato road car would be made; fortunately for Aston Martin fans the V12 Zagato road car project was given the go ahead and the 150 models available are on a first come, first serve basis – after being built in 2012.

The V12 Zagato will be an attention grabbing car on the road and they will be available in four different colours including the bright red that will give Ferrari’s a run for their money! The Zagato road car still incorporates all the looks of a racing car, it has air vent scoops on the bonnet along with a whale shark gaping front as a grill – the car thus allows the air to flow straight through to cool the engine and provide aerodynamicity. The front of the car also has two other airvents below the whale shark front and there is also a small lip on the car in black,  giving this car real points in style and creativity!

The roof is special in make and is a double bubble roof which gives the car a racing look and extra edge on the road! There is a double wishbone suspension making the V12 Zagato an all rounded piece of workmanship! The V12 Vantage also uses the same suspension – giving the Aston’s a common ground although they are far from the same. The Zagato uses more contours and is far more striking to look at! The competition that the V12 Zagato has is the Ferrari FF and 458 Italia and Porsche’s 911 Turbo S.

The V12 engine which has 48valves will always make the Zagato a fast and powerful competitor amongst the other coupe` sports cars. The V12 may sound familiar? That’s because Aston Martins Vantage uses the same engine as does the Vanquish and the DBS V12. The V12 Zagato has a capacity of 6.0L and produces 570NM of torque. The Horsepower produced by the V12 Zagato is 517hp! A top speed of 190mph and 0-60 in four seconds.

The V12 Zagato road car has been (and is being) designed with aspects of the Vantage – the interior is said to be a Vantage cockpit; the outside of the car is a different story all together, the Zagato looks monstrous at times!

The V12 Zagato has two doors and a two seat coupe` body – perfect for those who love the sports car look! It also has plenty of air filters one of each which are placed directly behind the front wheels!

There is a double exhaust on this car, one on each side and although you would expect them to be like the original batmobile’s twin exhaust – from the looks on this car – they are not; as you can tell the V12 Zagato is not a subtle car, although compared to the racing version it could be seen as being far more subtle!

However, nothing is subtle about these V12 Zagato’s – they scream style!

The road car from the race car will be (and is) different because it will not contain the huge rear wing and the roll cage although the rear of the road car is still exotic in its looks! It has two huge round lights on either side which incorporate the reverse lights and indicators – these lights are built into the rear body which caves in on either side of the lights. The rear also stands out due to the diffuser which hangs low near to ground level.

The rear of the car also slopes down at an angle from the boot where you can see the emblazoned Aston Martin badge – the badge also appears on the front in typical Aston Martin tradition. The Z for Zagato appears on the side of the car behind the front wheels in chrome and a dashing chrome line to enhance the cars already stylish features.

The brakes look special on this car, they are ventilated floating grooved discs (the front has 6 piston calipers) whereas the rear brakes are the same with 4 piston calipers and are yellow and red in colour. The light aluminium forged alloy wheels are similar to that of the Audi R8, although fit in with the car’s individual presence, they are 19″inches in size and the tyre sizes are as follows: Front – Rear:  225/45 R18 – 225/40 R18.

The handcrafted body is to be made from aluminium in addition to carbon fibre and the car is a rear wheel drive which will give the driver a stronger feeling of the pick up and in the V12 Zagato’s case take off! One of the special features of this car is the car fuel tank which is a 120 litre Endurance racing fuel tank! Perfect for those long haul journeys!

So what gives this car its beauty? Well… it is worth mentioning the amount of different body pieces used to put this speed machine together – each front wing alone comprises seven separate pieces of aluminium and these wings have been put together through the use of an English wheel and traditionally crafted body bucks – the double bubble roof is created from five separate pieces – this goes to show the amount of traditional craftsmanship involved and thus the beauty created by the Aston Martin – Zagato collaboration!

The V12 Zagato has a six speed automated manual gearbox – which is more than enough gears to see you fly by in this hot red supercar from Aston Martin! The V12 Zagato will have a sport mode which will be selectable for those racing moments that this car will easily live up to!

Aston Martin’s Chief Executive Dr. Ulrich Bez, said of the Aston Martin V12 Zagato : “A fabulous celebration of the iconic DB4GT Zagato, which celebrates its 50th anniversary this year, the V12 Zagato is the perfect inspiration for the next 50 years of Aston Martin.”

This car is unique and stylish in its own British/Italian way and sure to be an icon for Aston Martin fans!

The Audi Q3 – SUV – Touring July 2011

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The much awaited Audi Q3 was first revealed at the prestigious Shanghai Motor Show in China (April 2011). It was seen in Metallic Samoa Orange and surely stood out at the motorshow, not just because of its shade but also because of the Audi styling on this juniour SUV. Audi are going to be showcasing the Q3 Sports Utility Vehicle in their showrooms by November 2011 for and from £24,450 to around £25,000.

The Audi Q3 is one of Audi’s finest SUV’s from the Q series,  it is not outdone by its competition which are the BMW X1, the Range Rover Evoque, and the Ford Kuga.  The Q3 is being predicted as a best-seller and will be able to cater to families and effortlessly handle the inner city runs and long haul journeys to wherever it be, the Q3 has a maximum horsepower of 211 on the petrol engine and as for the diesel the horsepower produced is 175.

In the 1980’s Audi who were the first to be successful with a Four wheel drive system and known as creators of the successful ‘Quattro’ which means ‘four’ in Italian, came from a victorious history in rally and commercial production of the Audi Quattro. Audi are recently stamping their authority on the quattro in the SUV department. This Quattro series consists of (from smallest to largest model) the Q3, the Q5, and the Q7.

The Q3 is 4390mm in length,1830mm wide and 1600mm tall – providing enough space for the family and all the equipment required for those off-road camping holidays or rock-climbing weekends or holidays abroad. The Q3 comes with 5 doors and is seen as a car for everyday use and every lifestyle, and for those looking for a bit of umph the Q3 has it – with a top speed of 125mph to 143mph! And the Q3 does  0-61mph in 6.9seconds!

The Q3’s four wheel drive gives it brilliant cornering, ‘superb’ control, and excellent grip which will ensure a comfortable drive in all conditions; the Q3 is prepared for rain and bad lighting with its automatic rain sensing wipers and automatic night sensing lights. The Q3, Q5, and Q7 all entail the way the ‘quattro’ system has developed and evolved since the 1980’s and will highlight the importance of todays’ four wheel drive.

The Audi has a 2.0 four cylinder engine with a start-stop function, and has off-road capabilities, which can see the Q3 drive through shallow streams and rough terrain, its ground clearance is a substantial 185 mm and the Q3 has a wading depth of 500 mm.

Audi which is a German company is owned by car producer Volkswagen which is also German; Volkswagen have a couple of SUV’s and the Q3 is inspired by Audi through its parent owners – Volkswagen, and the Audi Q3 is seen to also resemble the VW Tiguan which has the same drive-train and engine. In comparison the Q3 is far more sportier and luxurious with all the latest modern conveniences you would find in most luxury cars.

The wheels are 17″ and alloyed and there are a range of spoke designs to select from – and the wheel base is 102.5 inches. The car is light-weight compared to its brothers Q5, and Q7, it weighs in at less than1.5 tonnes.

The Q3’s height provides plenty of space within the car and adds to the cars SUV looks; although is seen as a ‘crossover’ – from the sports car and hatchback which Audi have incorporated into the design. Fine lines and curvatures across the body give the Q3 a sleek look and combined with the doors which are indented and wide – (for aerodynamicity) –  a strong look. The wheel arches are flared and muscular, and the grill is also big and muscular, the Q3’s body leans forward like a Rhinoceros about to charge!

 The Q3 SUV comes with roof rails which comes as standard perfect for every transporting need and leaving you with plenty of space from what is left available inside.

The best thing about the Q3 is its stylish features and design; when you view the exterior of the car, you find fine design lines and style from every angle. The word Quattro deriving from Italian and its relationship with the German Audi Q3 should meet the Italians standards in style.  With Audi’s slogan of Vorsprung Durch Technik (advancement in technology) this car has many technological advancing features too.

There are four driving modes with one of those modes being called ‘efficiency’ (and maximises the fuel efficiency), the others are called comfort, dynamic, and auto. As for CO2 emissions the Audi’s top of the range petrol model produces 179 g/km and some of the other models are less, as for the diesel that produces 158 g/km to 184 g/km.

The interior is like the Samoa Orange colour of the car, its extravagant and is modern in every sense. The exterior is made of aluminium and steel giving it a lightweight for agility as well as strength for those off-road treks.

The cars large windscreens and perfect height provide a good view in every direction. The Q3 standsout and the lights are well shaped, curved, and modern with xenon lights and use of LED to give it a futuristic look! There are also fog lights at the front and rear. The car looks good from the back end especially with a spoiler and a twin exhaust, adding to the car’s sporty features!

q3rear

The Q3’s steering wheel is four spoked and leather and provides exceptional handling alongside the ESP program on the car; the steering wheel also has a range of buttons to control variants such as the radio station via the onboard computer which flips up and is 6.5inches. You can at extra cost have paddles put in behind the steering wheel to provide a sportier and luxurious drive.

The Q3 comes with a dual zone climate control which will always be useful for those sitting in the front and back. There is also compatibility for Ipod’s and Music players. There are 8 speakers in total with a maximum output of 80watts and there is an option at extra cost for a Bose` system. No need to worry about the outside noise as the windscreen and the other glass is acoustic for reducing noise. As mentioned before the Audi Q3 range will signify the four wheel drive ‘Quattro’ in SUV circles, Audi have come a long way since their first Audi Quattro – and the Q3 continues the legacy – and looks to do it similarly to their history – successfully.

There are also some other extra’s which come as standard on the Q3:

  • Wheel arch and lower door trims
  • Body coloured door mirrors (which are heated and electric and also have integrated LED indicators)
  • Heated windscreen washer jets
  • 100 colours to choose from
  • Cloth seats
  • Electric windows front and rear
  • Rear parking sensors
  • Front and rear foglights
  • Thatcham Alarm System
  • Airbags Driver/Passenger (disabling function)
  • Tool Kit and Car Jack

The Q3 looks to be a best-seller, look out for it in the showrooms in November 2011!

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