The cabin is tight for larger drivers, but that's a problem with mid-engine supercars in general. The only real downside is the price. If you look at the KZ1's dynamic abilities, it can hold its head up high against cars like the F430 and Gallardo. If it were similarly priced-in fact even if it were 20 percent more-it would still be a good proposition.
Due to the amount of money Klaas has poured into the project and the 1,000 man hour build time for each car, the KZ1 comes with a €350,000 price tag, making it a tough sales proposition. For some wealthy enthusiasts for whom such sums are paltry, however, the exclusivity factor kicks in, and they can be assured that they're getting a unique and beautiful car that actually does what it says on the tin.
Ascari KZ1R LM
Longitudinal mid engine, rear-wheel drive
5.0-liter V8, dohc, 32-valve
Independent double wishbones
AP Racing assemblies
Curb Weight: 2,976 lb
Peak Power: 520 hp @ 7500 rpm
Peak Torque: 398 lb-ft @ 6500 rpm
0-60 mph: 3.7 sec.
Top Speed: 200 mph
Ascari Race Resort
A gearhead's dreamland
Situated high up in the Andalucian hills, not far from the ancient Spanish town of Ronda, 5.425km of high-grip tarmac winds its way through picturesque country with a backdrop to die for. The Ascari Race Resort is one of the finest racetracks ever built.
The brainchild of Klaas Zwart, who sold his offshore oil drilling equipment company for rather a lot of money in the late 1990s, the track is longer than most international Formula One tracks, and can be divided into sections for different activities to be run simultaneously.
There is also a skidpad that can be wetted down for drivers to practice drifting and an off-road course behind the track. The fully equipped workshop that's part and parcel of the Resort is staffed by experienced race mechanics from the UK.
The spacious 300-car garage and workshop allows resort members to store their vehicles in a perfect environment. Here, pride of place in Klaas Zwart's personal racecar collection goes to two late '90s ex-Gerhard Berger Ferrari F1 cars.
Unlike most tracks, the hustle and bustle is absent, and blaring tannoys and gaudy advertising billboards are out. The Clubhouse is built in Spanish hacienda style from the finest materials, and as the track is so long and only very occasionally used for racing, the sound of cars screaming past seldom disturbs your rest as you lounge on the patio or by the pool.
Although he originally built this $40 million petrolhead's playground to indulge his passion for cars and motorsport, Klaas quickly realized the track's commercial possibilities. The off-road course was quickly added, and a small but spectacular six star resort hotel will be the final component in his plans to make the Ascari Race Resort a car enthusiast's heaven.
In addition, Ascari Race Resort offers a unique membership opportunity to hardcore trackday fanatics. For a one-off fee of around $230,000 (you get a $76k discount if you buy a KZ1), these members will be guaranteed 52 track days a year. Membership is capped at 500, and as with a golf or country club, you can resell your ticket if you so wish.
The Race Academy, with its professional instructors, can take someone from basic right up to LMP sports prototype or Formula One over a period of time, so there is every incentive to keep coming back. Ascari recently acquired the former Jaguar R5 F1 cars, and has a three-seater Benetton for F1-experience passenger rides.