Zagato presents Maserati-powered Mostro Concept

Special Cars 25 May 2015
Zagato presents Maserati-powered Mostro Concept

At the 2015 Concorso d’Eleganza Villa d’Este Zagato has presented the Mostro Concept, a special edition model that pays homage to the 1957 Maserati 450 S Coupé Zagato “Monster” and to the marque’s centenary.


The Mostro celebrates the centenary of Maserati and one of the most iconic racing cars in the history of the Tridente: the Maserati 450 S Coupé Zagato “Monster”, designed in 1957 with Frank Costin, a specialist in aerodynamics, and coachbuilt in Milan for the 24 Hours of Le Mans at the request of Stirling Moss.

Zagato Maserati Mostro Concept

The new “Mostro” will be created in just five units, which have already been assigned to selected Zagato car collectors. Deliveries will be completed before December 2015, at the end of Maserati’s anniversary year.

1957 Zagato Maserati 450 S Coupe Monster

Above: the 1957 Maserati 450 S Coupé – below: design sketch render by Zagato Design Chief Norihiko Harada

Zagato Maserati Mostro Concept - Design Sketch

This modern reinterpretation continues an idea started in 2010, when Andrea and Marella Zagato launched a project to celebrate 100 years of Alfa Romeo and it materialized into the Alfa Romeo TZ3 Corsa, a one-off, which was later followed by nine street-legal TZ3 Stradale cars.

Zagato Maserati Mostro Concept - Studio Render

Even if the Mostro has been homologated for road use, it has been built exclusively with racing components – a philosophy adopted with the original Maserati 450 S Coupé Zagato “Monster” as well as for many exclusive Gran Turismo models since the 1940’s.

Zagato Maserati Mostro Concept

The chassis of the Mostro consists of a carbon fiber monocell coupled with a structure of steel tubes, which give form to the cockpit, as well as a subframe that supports the fuel tank, exhaust system, rear suspension and gearbox. The bodywork, manufactured in Italy, is entirely made of carbon fiber.

Zagato Maserati Mostro Concept

The front-central, V8 Maserati engine with dry-sump lubrication is equipped with a customizable, engine-management system. The engine is connected to the rear-positioned gearbox (a semi-automatic, six-speed transmission) and differential by a rigid tube (transaxle), which optimally distributes the weight of the car along the longitudinal axis.

The front and rear suspension has a double wishbone architecture with a pushrod, spring/ shock absorber system.

The Mostro is equipped with large disc brakes and 19” alloy wheels fitted with 255/40 R19 tires at the front and  295/35 R19 at the rear.

Below we report the official design details and some historical information on the original 450 S Coupé.

Zagato Maserati Mostro Concept

Design

The goal of the Zagato design team was to maintain the design identity of the original Monster, by implementing “the same instinctive philosophy and approach towards a volume that is at once simple and spontaneous”. As a result, Zagato Atelier decided to avoid stylizing the Mostro and simply created a form.

Zagato Maserati Mostro Concept - Design Sketch

The final design of the Mostro is not nostalgic, but rather iconic. Starting from the 450 S Coupé, there were specific design elements more substantial than others that identified its classic design and timeless beauty, then and now, in order to obtain the best aerodynamic result for a modern race car.

The proportions of the Mostro are similar to those of the 450 S Coupé Zagato: an enormous frontal part that houses the engine, centrally positioned with exceptional vicinity to the driver for optimal weight distribution. This creates a sensation that there is no division between the interior of the body and its small, rounded tail.

The large front fender, running along the entire length of the frontal part, disappears at the door and from there begins the line of the car’s massive rear fender. These treatments of the car’s volume allow significant stylistic purity to remain with the shape of the bodywork.

The body of the Mostro presents a few additional design characteristics:
– Fixed glass windows along the sides (determining a broad freedom in creating the shape of the door)
– Wide windshield (to increase visibility while widening and lowering the interior)
– Doors opening with a high, forward movement (a functional choice, dictated by the shape of the carbon fiber cell)
– Large rear fixed-wing (produces adequate downforce on the rear axle).

About the 1957 Maserati 450 S Coupé Zagato “Monster”

The Maserati 450 S Coupé Zagato “Monster” was, until the 90’s, the most powerful front- engined race car in the world.

1957 Zagato Maserati 450 S Coupe Monster

At the 1957 24 Hours of Le Mans, amid a competition dominated by light, open-bodied barchettas, the 450 S Coupé Zagato was the only sports car with closed bodywork capable of competing for the final victory.

Its futuristic shape (long nose, cockpit and round tail collectively designed to have a very compact volume) represented the most extreme and advanced concepts of aerodynamics at the time.

1957 Zagato Maserati 450 S Coupe Monster

Soon thereafter, Zagato started using the new aerodynamic concept of the truncated tail (or Coda Tronca) extensively, which had been introduced by Professor Wunibald Kamm.

The design of the 450 S Coupé Zagato “Monster”, traced by Frank Costin and Zagato, aimed to achieve maximum aerodynamic efficiency for the long straight of Hunaudières at Circuit de la Sarthe, where it could take off using all 400 hp of Maserati’s V8.

Therefore, using Zagato’s Milanese school of thought, the body of the 450 S Coupé was designed and stylized accordingly, technically-projected by function before aesthetic. The result was harmonious in both style and technique, though artistically “raw”, and spontaneously executed by the carrozzeria’s fast drawings on blank sheets of white paper and hand-beaten aluminum sheets modelled into a body.

(Source: Zagato)

Image Gallery

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Zagato presents Maserati-powered Mostro Concept - Image 1

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