Ascari A10

January 23, 2014
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Ascari A10

Ascari A10

With tougher looks and more extreme performance, the new, £350,000, limited edition Ascari A10 is the car that Banbury-based Ascari hopes will provide the premier-division supercar credibility that has so far eluded its KZ1.

Ascari A10 front

Ascari is promising staggering performance from the 625bhp Ascari A10, including 0-60mph in 2.8sec, 0-100 in 5.8sec and a top speed of 215mph.

Everyone we spoke to at the company’s impressive Banbury facility (from a junior mechanic to the financial controller), described the car as an absolute beast; one ex-racing driver called the acceleration ‘savage to the point of scary’.

The press release for the Ascari A10 likens its role to that of the Ferrari FXX, but without the sky-high price tag and support team, and with the ability to be driven to and from the circuit. That said, it’s engineered and set up very much as a track car, with development work taking place on some of Europe’s top circuits as well as the company’s own purpose-made track, Race Resort Ascari, in southern Spain.

Ascari A10 rear view

The driving force behind the A10 project has been Ascari’s billionaire owner, Klaus Zwaart. He drives his own Ascari GT3 (the 540bhp competition version of the KZ1) in the Spanish GT championship, and his on-track experiences are said to have provided the inspiration for a quicker version of the KZ1.

The name A10 derives from it being the 10th anniversary of the company; 10 was also the number of A10s that Ascari originally said it would build – although insiders now admit that if demand were to be greater…

Zwaart likes to talk of the difference between the KZ1 and the Ascari A10 as being like ‘beauty and the beast’, and the new car’s visuals certainly give it an added dose of supercar swagger. Although it uses the same carbonfibre monocoque as the KZ1, the Ascari A10 is appreciably wider, and its carbonfibre shell is a five-piece affair rather than a one-piece, suggesting that more work has gone into the car than might first appear.

Ascari A10 interior

While the front end gains a new, lower splitter, it’s at the rear that
the big changes lurk. For starters there’s a large and very curvy carbonfibre wing, but even more striking are the meshed louvres cut into the rear bumper assembly to help with cooling. There’s also a centrally located radiator just above the rear venturi duct, adding to the sense of refreshed intent.

Meanwhile, Dymag has gifted the A10 with some of the coolest wheels yet to adorn a road car – they feature carbonfibre rims and alloy spokes, and are claimed to weigh 10kg less per corner than comparable aluminium alloy wheels, while costing only a modest amount more. In true competition fashion they have centre-lock fittings, which has required redesigned hubs.

Ascari A10 engine

Michelin provides the rubber – 265/35 ZR18 front, 345/30 ZR18 rear – while braking is by ventilated ceramic discs clamped by six-pot AP Racing callipers on the front, four-pots at the back.

The Ascari A10’s mid-mounted engine is based on the KZ1’s naturally aspirated 4941cc V8 of BMW parentage. In the KZ1 this engine makes 500bhp and 368lb ft, but with the help of reprofiled cams, new rods and pistons, and the expertise of the team that prepares Ascari’s GT3 engines, the Ascari A10 squeezes out 625bhp at 7500rpm and 413lb ft at 5500rpm.

Ascari A10

With the track in mind, the Ascari A10’s transmission is a six-speed sequential ‘box operable either by paddles or an unmissable alloy stanchion in the centre console, although because of the car’s bespoke nature, customers who’d prefer a conventional H-pattern ‘box can specify that instead.

Despite a partially stripped-out interior (there are carbonfibre door panels and lightweight racing seats, but also climate control, electric windows and remote central locking), the addition of an integral roll-cage and fire extinguisher system mean the Ascari A10 has the same claimed 1250kg kerb weight as the KZ1, although when we weighed that car for our Fast Club feature earlier this year (evo 091) it took the scales to 1410kg…

The Ascari KZ1 was the surprise victor in our Fast Club 2006, so the gutsier Ascari A10 has plenty to recommend it. The biggest stumbling block towards ownership will be that whopping price tag, £115,000 more than the already costly KZ1.

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