The Ascari A10: A 220 MPH Underdog

The Ascari A10 has quietly fallen into the shadows of failed supercars past, but let’s not forget that this car once held the outright record for fastest Power Lap on Top Gear’s test track. The A10’s lap time of 01:17.3 was a few ticks faster than the reigning Koenigsegg CCX and quick enough to place it ahead of supercar royalty like the Pagani Zonda F, Maserati MC12, Ferrari Enzo and Porsche Carrera GT. Originally scheduled for a 50-unit production run, the A10 was to commemorate the 10th anniversary of Ascari Cars but never made it farther than the prototype stage.

Brief History of Ascari Cars   The Ascari A10: A 220 MPH Underdog

Ascari Cars’ first model was the FGT, a mid-ship racing prototype designed by Lee Noble in 1995. Klaas Zwart, who would eventually go on to buy the Ascari Cars company, raced the FGT successfully in the British GT Championship. The FGT led the way for the Ascari Ecosse in 1998 and shortly after its release the Dutch billionaire Zwart took over. Zwart progressed the company and moved them in 2000 to a new headquarters in Banbury, Oxfordshire to take advantage of a central location within England’s famed motorsports valley. This is where Ascari’s third model, the KZ1, and predecessor to the Ascari A10 would be engineered.

Chassis and BMW S62 M5 V8 Engine

The Ascari A10: A 220 MPH Side veiw

The KZ1 and Ascari A10 share the same beginnings, a carbon-fiber monocoque ahead of a tubular steel rear frame. They also start with the same engine, a 5.0-liter BMW V8, but re-profiled cams, new rods and pistons increase the A10’s power output to 625-hp over the KZ1’s 500-hp. Power is delivered to the ground via a six-speed sequential gearbox; gear changes can be initiated with either paddles or a shifter in the center console. Customers also had the option of specifying a traditional H-pattern gearbox.

Carbon-Fiber Wheels, Body & AP Racing Brakes

The Ascari A10: A 220 MPH Rear

The A10 is wider than the KZ1 and uses a five-piece carbon-fiber body rather than the single-piece body worn by the KZ1. A carbon-fiber rear wing is also new on the A10 as are additional vents in the rear bumper for cooling. Dymag carbon-fiber wheels with center-lock fittings help save weight over standard alloys and reveal AP Racing 6-piston caliper brakes up front and 4-piston rears; a confidence inspiring middle pedal is a must when drivers are faced with the daunting task of hauling down the A10 from its projected top speed of 220mph. Ascari pilots can also rest easier during high speed braking understanding the impact of the A10’s relatively low weight of 2816 lbs. on its inertial properties, which also affect braking, acceleration, and cornering.

Still In the Top 10 of Top Gear’s Power Lap Times

The Ascari A10: A 220 MPH

Although the Ascari A10 might not ever be mentioned among the likes of the Ferrari Enzo or Koenigsegg CCX, those who like to root for the underdog will place Klass Zwart’s ultimate creation on equal footing with these more publicly visible supercars. The A10 wasn’t the most ballyhooed purebred horse in the exotic car race of the 2000’s, but its outright speed was good enough that it still holds the 9th place spot all-time on Top Gear’s Power Lap list 8 years later, and good enough to have converted me to a big fan of Ascari Cars and Klaas Zwart. By: exoticcarlist

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