Aston Martin says, “Viva Zagato!”

As expected, Aston Martin recently announced that its new V12 Zagato concept car has been approved for production.  Celebrating the 50th anniversary of the iconic DB4GT Zagato, the V12 Zagato is the latest of roughly half a dozen cars that have been collaboratively designed and built by Aston and the Italian carrozzeria Zagato, whose coachwork has defined many of the postwar period’s most dazzling sports cars.  Slated for production next year, the V12 Zagato will be limited to 150 examples, and at almost $538,000, will trail only the uber-exclusive One-77 as the manufacturer’s most expensive and exclusive model.

“Such style, exclusivity and fastidious craftsmanship ensures it will be one of the most highly coveted models in Aston Martin’s 98-year history,” said Aston Chief Executive Dr. Ulrich Bez through a press release.  “A fabulous celebration of the iconic DB4GT Zagato, which celebrates its 50th anniversary this year, the V12 Zagato is the perfect inspiration for the next 50 years of Aston Martin.”

Based on the V12 Vantage platform, the V12 Zagato features handcrafted aluminum and carbon fiber bodywork that was largely formed the old fashioned way, with an English wheel and traditionally crafted body bucks.  Consistent with their other designs, Zagato implemented a number of signature cues, including the open-mouth grille, large cooling ducts that trail the front wheels, the trademark double-bubble roof, and the dynamic “Z” badging.  After winning the award for Design in the Concepts and Prototypes class at its debut at the Concorso d’Eleganza Villa d’Este last May (pictured below), the V12 Zagato was a month later subjected to the extreme test bed of the 39th ADAC Nürburgring 24 Hour race, where the two prototypes endured no less than 230 laps (an equivalent of 3,700 miles) over the course of 24 hours.  Prospective buyers can look forward to the same motorsports-tested performance, with the 6.0 liter V12 developing 510 horsepower and 420 lb-ft of torque.

“The original DB4GT Zagato was a true icon, powerful and graceful,” stated Aston’s Director of Design, Marek Reichman.  “The new design is a true representation of the spirit of DB4GT Zagato. The muscular organic forms define the thoroughbred nature of the car’s racing credentials.”

A quick comparison with an original DB4GT Zagato reveals that Reichman is hardly exaggerating.  Displayed at last May’s Greystone Concours d’Elegance in Beverly Hills, David Sydorick’s 1961 Aston Martin DB4GT Zagato (below) is one of 20 examples of the model that inaugurated the legendary association of the English manufacturer and the Italian body maker.  Clearly, many of the car’s design cues are echoed in the V12 Zagato.