Ascari Cars Ltd. is a British automobile manufacturer based in Banbury, United Kingdom founded by Dutch millionaire Klaas Zwart. The company was named after Alberto Ascari (1918–1955) who was the first double world Formula One champion. Besides manufacturing cars, Ascari also manages a racetrack, Race Resort Ascari.
An Ascari KZ1 (foreground) and Ecosse on display.
Ascari Cars was established in Dorset, England in 1995. Its first limited-edition car, the Ascari Ecosse, was launched in 1998. After the release of the Ecosse, Dutch businessman Klaas Zwart purchased the company.
In 2000 Ascari built a new facility in Banbury in northern Oxfordshire, England. Ascari’s second car, the Ascari KZ1, was developed at Banbury, which also housed Team Ascari’s racing assets.
The Ascari KZ1 is a sports car made by Ascari. It can reach 201 mph (323 km/h). This car has a highly tuned BMW S62, a 4941 cc V8 engine originally used in the E39 M5 and Z8. It can accelerate from 0 to 60 mph (97 km/h) in 3.7 and 8.0 to 100 mph (160 km/h). The car is named from the initials of Ascari’s owner Klaas Zwart, a wealthy Dutch businessman.
Only 50 Ascari KZ1 cars will be produced, making it among the most exclusive cars produced today; by comparison, 400 of the well-known Enzo Ferrari have been made. Each car is priced at £235,000 and requires 340 hours of handcrafting. Owners also receive the opportunity to drive the car at the Ascari-managed Race Resort Ascari in Spain.
The KZ1 was also featured in November 2005 on the BBC television show Top Gear, where it set the 5th fastest lap time ever recorded on the show at 1 minute 20.7 seconds; currently, the KZ1 holds 13th place, the second-fastest time being 1:17.3 set by an Ascari A10.
Interior of the KZ1.