DRIVING THE KZ1
‘THERE’S AN APPEALING, ALL-OF-A-PIECE FEEL to the KZ1. The steering is quick but not nervously so, the mass of the car feels centred around you and through fast sweepers it stays flat and roll-free. Step on the throttle and the KZ1 lunges forward keenly, the V8 really getting into its stride as the tacho needle reaches 3000rpm, thumping the car forward on a growing wave of urge. The engine finds its true voice here, too, filling the cockpit with a marvellously evocative, tight-lipped howl that brings to mind racing V8s.
Push deep into inviting third-gear corners and the chassis starts to work more obviously, delivering more feel, and you find strong grip from the Pirelli P Zero Rossos. We found some excellent, undulating, twisting roads where the KZ1 demonstrated poise and balance.
The further you drive the KZ1, the more you come to appreciate its ability. It’s only when you execute a few overtakes that you fully appreciate just how rapidly it responds and how fast it piles on the speed. Traction and grip feel strong on these dry roads, so it’s a surprise to peel into tighter corners and feel the nose pushing wide in safe understeer. This is the basic set-up that KZ1S will come with, though Ascari can tune the car to your taste.
You’ve also got to keep the throttle pinned to the floor and venture beyond the V8’s gloriously thundering mid-range, between 3000 and 5500rpm, if you want the full-on supercar experience. The chassis feels even better, smoothing out the road surface and taking deep compressions in its stride, while the acceleration nudges the crazy zone.’ John Barker, evo 079.