Spyker Zagato C12 Unveiled
If you haven't heard the name Spyker before, we suspect you'll hear it a lot more from now on as the aspiring Dutch Supercar maker is now trading in the black, has some aggressive new cars such as the Spyker D12 Peking-to-Paris Super Sports Utility Vehicle (SSUV) entering the marketplace, and is just about to begin competing in the most visible sporting event on the planet – Formula One. Spyker purchased the Midland F1 team, did a deal to secure Ferrari engines and hired Mike Gascoine as Chief Technical Officer – the group clearly doesn't wish to remain in a rear field position. At Geneva, Spyker and Zagato announced the Spyker C12 Zagato, a limited edition of 24 sports cars. The idea for the car came from a discussion between Victor Muller, CEO of Spyker Cars, and Andrea Zagato, CEO of Zagato, at the Villa d'Este Concorso d'Eleganza. "Last April, at Villa d'Este, we sat down and discussed the increasing market demand for truly one-off and limited edition super sport cars," said Muller. "In a certain sense the modern market is not unlike the 1930's, where wealthy customers would order exotic bespoke designs from high-end coach builders on Rolls-Royce, Bentley, Delage, Delahaye and Isotta-Fraschini chassis, just to mention a few." Norihiko Harada, Zagato's Automotive Chief Designer, and Muller co-operated closely to design the rear wheel drive sports car, based on the Spyker C12 Spyder. The C12 is powered by the 6.0 liter, 12 cylinder, 500 bph W12 engine from Volkswagen and is equipped with a six-speed manual or automatic gear box with F1 style shifting, Chronoswiss instruments and a Zagato designed full leather interior with brushed aluminium instrument panel. The C12 Zagato has an aluminium body with stainless steel roof rails and has many F1 derived design details such as an F1 nose, air scoop, chimneys, mirrors, rain light, fuel flap and diffuser. It has a panoramic roof that features the Double Bubble, a typical Zagato style element. Top speed is 310 km/h (193 mph). Victor Muller comments: "At the age of 18 I acquired my first Zagato bodied car: a Lancia Flavia Zagato rally car in dire need of restoration. Ever since that date, some 30 years ago, I have been in love with the unique and distinctive designs penned by this noble design house. Many Zagato bodied cars have followed the Lancia Flavia and I am proud to still have a number of Zagatos in my collection. The co-operation and partnership between Spyker and Zagato is entirely logical if one looks at the rich heritage both companies share in the fields of aviation and racing. A better fit of aesthetics, skill and passion would be hard to find. Two brothers, Jacobus and Hendrik-Jan Spijker, coach builders in Amsterdam, built their first Benz- engined motor car in 1898 and won immediate acclaim for the supreme craftsmanship of their bodywork. In the period prior to World War I, a worldwide slump in the luxury car market meant that Spyker had to diversify its production, and so it merged with the Dutch Aircraft Factory N.V. This combined company evolved its business model and started developing and building aircraft. After the war Spyker was able to return to its roots and resumed car production in 1919. True to its motto ‘Nulla tenaci invia est via' (‘For the tenacious no road is impassable'), Spyker continued building record- breaking cars which now featured extensive aircraft influences, including sophisticated aerodynamics absorbed from the aircraft building years. Similarly, Zagato was established at the end of World War I by Ugo Zagato, putting aircraft industry construction techniques to use in the expanding market for passenger vehicles. Just like the Spyker cars, Zagato's cars were advanced in design and became synonymous with light weight and excellent aerodynamics.
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