One of the most exciting new vehicles to be shown at last year’s Villa D’Este Concours was the Aston Martin V12 Zagato, a striking reimagining of the standard V12 Vantage. At the time, it was officially a concept, but the fact that an additional one was built for and competed in the Nürburgring 24 Hours seemed to indicate otherwise. Well, it didn’t take long after that for Aston Martin to come clean and say that it will build and sell a limited number of these Anglo-Italian bruisers.
Now Aston Martin has revealed photos and info on the final production version. And while the exterior styling (rendered in a combination of carbon fiber and hand-fabricated aluminum) is very much a derivative of the initial concept and competition vehicles, there’s considerably more polish inside and out.
In the auto industry's formative years, coachbuilding was a very big deal. Just about every luxury car manufacturer in those days sold its cars as bare chassis with drivetrains and firewalls. Then the buyer of that Duesenberg, Voisin, Rolls-Royce, Hispano-Suiza or whatever would get in touch with a coachbuilder like LeBaron, H.J. Mulliner or Figoni et Falaschi to design, fabricate and install a stylish body on that chassis.
However, when the Great Depression wiped out all but a handful of luxury marques, the traditional coachbuilding industry went the way of the Passenger Pigeon and the Great Biggie size order of fries at Wendy's. A few survived on building one-off custom jobs and concept cars, but most just disappeared or were absorbed by manufacturers who brought their body fabrication in-house. One of the coachbuilders that has managed to remain independent is Zagato. This storied Italian carrozzeria has collaborated with Aston Martin on multiple occasions, including on the topless beauty seen here.
British sportscar and GT builder Aston Martin and Italian design house/coachbuilder Zagato have collaborated multiple times over the past half-century, beginning with DB4 GT Zagato which made its public debut at the London Motor Show in October 1960. From 1986 to 1990, the duo produced the Aston Martin V8 Zagato, a very striking (and very ‘80s) re-body of the long-serving Aston Martin V8. The early 21st century saw limited production of the DB7 Zagato (a car that was, like the V8 Zagato, available in coupe and convertible guise) and the DB AR1 roadster.
For its next trick, the Anglo-Italian partnership is treating the wild child of the current Aston Martin family, the V12 Vantage, to one of Zagato’s extreme makeovers, the results of which were revealed this weekend at the Villa D’Este Concours at Lake Como, Italy. But this ride’s parents didn’t just take it to the tailor and call it a day; they also took it to the gym, since they plan on proving its mettle in the crucible of competition.
It’s official…. The Zagato Perana Z-One that has been floating around in conceptual render form for months is now coming to fruition. The production version will be available to European buyers starting July of this year. Only 999 cars will be built per annum, and with a price tag of only 50,000 Euros, they are sure to be in short supply.