The ongoing collaboration between Aston Martin and Zagato took anotherstep forward with the reveal of the final production exterior of the much-anticipated DBS GT Zagato, a truly contemporary expression of this long-running creative partnership. At the same time, the DB4 GT Zagato Continuation programme has hit another milestone, with the announcement that production of 10 of the 19 hand-made cars is well underway at Aston Martin Works in Newport Pagnell, with the engineering test car currently being put through its paces.
Together, the DBS GT Zagato and DB4 GT Zagato Continuation form the DBZ Centenary Collection, 19 pairs of cars that represent the epitome of automotive art and engineering to celebrate Zagato’s centenary year. Creating the DBS GT Zagato has been an exercise in combining innovation with design elegance; the new car features styling elements that would not be possible without Aston Martin’s ever-growing expertise. Dynamic design elements are an integral part of the design, with a unique grille treatment that incorporates 108 individual diamond-shaped carbon fibre pieces. When parked, the grille appears to be flush with the bodywork. Once the car is unlocked, the pieces ‘flutter” into life to create a bold, purposeful look.
“It’s a car that’s not only focused around beauty, but on drama too,” says Aston Martin Lagonda’s Executive Vice President and Chief Creative Officer Marek Reichman. “Our dynamic grille provides the car with two very different identities. On start-up, the car truly becomes alert and ready to perform, delivering both an aural and visual treat for onlookers.”
Another technological innovation is the one-piece carbon fibre roof, which sweeps back from the top of the windscreen surround, forming the trademark “double bubble” roof before culminating above the car’s muscular rear haunches. Using a camera-operated rear-view central mirror enables this uncompromisingly pure roofline without hindering the car’s drivability. “Form and function are constantly in battle with one another,” Reichman admits, “but this is a great example of where we have been able to utilise modern technologies to ensure no concession has been made on either side.”
While the DBS GT Zagato incorporates Aston Martin’s legendary twin-turbo V12, the DB4 GT Zagato Continuation is a purist recreation of the iconic 1960s racing car. Each of the 19 cars requires around 5,226 hours of labour and hand-crafting, using many of the traditional skills and techniques involved in building the original cars. Beneath the voluptuous hand-formed aluminium bodywork, the Continuation cars feature a combination of traditional methods and sympathetically incorporated modern enhancements to engineering and performance.
Aston Martin Works has already completed 25 DB4 GT Continuation models and it will follow the current build with the Aston Martin DB5 Goldfinger Edition cars in 2020. “The ambitious Continuation project has borne fruit in an exceptional way,” says Dr Andy Palmer, Aston Martin Lagonda’s President and Group CEO. “It has taken courage, vision and incredible dedication for all those involved to take this idea and make it the stunning reality it is today.”
Together, Aston Martin and Zagato have forged a distinctive design language and the DBS GT Zagato represents its ongoing evolution. For Reichman, the new car presented a true design challenge. “It was important to me and our teams to deliver something as beautiful as the original DB4 GT Zagato,” he explains. “I feel that we have achieved that with this model and I can’t wait to see it in the metal.”
The DBZ Centenary Collection is priced at £6m plus taxes. DBS GT Zagato is set for production in 2020, joining the 19 DB4 GT Zagato Continuation cars to be created at Aston Martin Works this year.