V8 Volante Zagato

V8 Volante Zagato Description

In production: 1986 – 1988

Chassis numbers: 20042 (prototype); 30007 – 30045 (production); 30033 & 30034 not made

As the 1980s progressed, demand for super exclusive sports cars was reaching its crescendo. Thus it was not surprising that at the 1987 Geneva Motor Show, a special version of the Vantage Zagato was unveiled. Chassis 20042, initially slated to become a coupe was built with Volante coachwork. As well as the convertible roof, the front was changed so that the lights were covered by pivoting panels and the previously open grille was closed.

The temptation to build more examples must have been too great as there had been many disappointed customers who had missed out on the coupe. The Volante Zagato was to be even more exclusive than the coupe with production initially pegged to just 25 examples. So as not to upset purchasers of the coupe, the Volante was built with the less powerful 585/ efi, 305 bhp version of the V8 as fitted to the contemporary V8 Weber efi cars. As a result, the Volante Zagato did not need the pronounced bonnet bulge of the coupe.

The chassis was essentially the same as the coupe with additional strengthening to compensate for the lack of roof structure. The weight penalty was an additional 77 lbs over the coupe but it resulted in a car which was torsionally stiffer than the coupe. The finished rolling chassis were built in Newport Pagnell before being shipped to Milan to receive the hand beaten aluminium coachwork and interior.

Some examples of the Volante Zagato were converted to full Vantage specification by Works Service. Other examples have also subsequently been converted to 6.3 and 7.0-litre specification.

By the time that production ended, some 37 Volantes had been made, 23 right hand drive and 14 left hand drive.

V8 Volante Zagato Specification

Body / Coachwork
Two-door 2+0 convertible
Steel platform chassis with handcrafted aluminium alloy body panels by Zagato in Italy
Fixed headlights with flip-up covers
Power-operated, fully lined Everflex hood with flexible plastic rear window
Engine
Front-mounted all-alloy 90° V8, 5,340 cc, two valves per cylinder, twin overhead camshafts per bank. Engine number prefix V585/
Bore 100 mm. Stroke 85 mm. Compression ratio 9.3:1
Weber-Marelli electronic fuel injection
Maximum power: not quoted but about 315 bhp @ 5,000 rpm
Maximum torque: not quoted but about 345 lb.ft @ 3,500 rpm
Air injection system: twin AC Delco air pumps
Transmission
Manual: five-speed ZF. Hydraulically-operated 10½" Borg and Beck single dry-plate diaphragm clutch
Automatic: Chrysler TorqueFlite three-speed automatic
Final drive: Salisbury hypoid bevel with Powr-Lok limited slip differential
Final drive ratio: 3.058:1 (automatic) 3.54:1 (manual)
Steering
Power-assisted Adwest rack and pinion. Turning circle between curbs of about 10.5 metres
Wheels and Tyres
Bolt-on, five-stud, Speedline 16 x 8'' light alloy wheels
Goodyear 255/55 VR16 radial low profile tyres
Suspension
Front: independent, featuring unequal transverse wishbones, coil springs and co-axial telescopic shock absorbers with an anti-roll bar
Rear: De Dion tube, Watts linkage and trailing links incorporating uprated Koni co-axial spring shock absorber units
Brakes
Front: ventilated steel discs, 267 mm (10.51") diameter
Rear: ventilated steel discs, 264 mm (10.39") diameter mounted inboard
Tandem master cylinders and dual vacuum servo assistance
Dimensions
Length: 4,480 mm
Width: 1,860 mm
Height: 1,302 mm
Kerb weight: 1,686 kg
Wheelbase: 2,610 mm
Front track: 1,499 mm
Rear track: 1,499 mm
Fuel tank capacity: 95.4 litres, reserve of 13.6 litres
Performance
Maximum speed: 155 mph (manual)
Acceleration: Manual 0-60 mph, approx. 5.5 seconds
Price (including UK purchase tax/VAT and car tax where applicable)
Initially slated for sale at £125,000
September 1988: £160,000
February 1989: £175,000
March 1988: £125,000

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