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Aston Martin DBS GT Zagato revealed with ‘dynamic’ grille

The model completes the DBZ Centenary Collection, sitting alongside the DB4 GT Zagato continuation

Following the reveal of the first of its DB4 Zagato continuation cars early last month, Aston Martin has revealed the design of its modern-day counterpart, the DBS Superleggera-based DBS GT Zagato.

The models will be sold exclusively as a pair for an eye-watering £6million, plus local taxes, yet despite the sky-high price tag, that’s still £3-4million less than an original DB4 GT Zagato on the high-end classic car market. Together, they will be known as the DBZ Centenary Collection, an exclusive duo commissioned to celebrate 100 years of Zagato, the last 58 of which it has enjoyed a close working relationship with Aston Martin.

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Just 19 pairs will be built, with the DBS models built at Aston Martin's Gaydon factory and the DB4s at Aston Martin's Works facility in Newport Pagnell. As with the earlier DB4 GTs and the recently announced James Bond DB5 continuation cars, the DB4 GT Zagato will not be homologated for the road, meaning it’s limited to ‘track use only’. Unlike the Bond and DB4 GT specials, however, this isn’t the first time the Zagato has been treated to a factory rebirth. The original was built between 1960 and 1963, but there were two further batches of cars in 1988 and 2000, known as Sanction II and Sanction III versions respectively.

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The latest DB4 GT Zagato will closely follow the template of the ’60s original though, meaning it’ll get thin-gauge aluminium panels covering a lightweight tubular spaceframe chassis. While the early cars were powered by a 3.7-litre straight-six, the new car will feature a larger version of the 4.7-litre unit, borrowed from the DB4 GT continuation. Peak power is rated at 'over 390bhp', with power being sent to a four-speed manual transmission that drives the rear wheels through a limited-slip differential. Each car will also be treated to some subtle modern upgrades to improve reliability.

The DBS GT Zagato features typically Zagato elements, such as the simple, open-mouth grille and cockpit-like glasshouse, referencing modern and historical elements of Zagato design. Of course, a double-bubble roof also features, a solid carbonfibre canopy that eliminates the rear window in this instance, meaning a virtual rear-view mirror is used in its place. The standout feature of the model is its ‘dynamic’ grille, featuring 108 carbon, diamond-shaped pieces that remain closed when the car is off, and open once the V12’s fired into life, allowing it to breathe.

Marek Reichman, chief creative officer of Aston Martin Lagonda, said: ‘This is a car that is not only focused around beauty, but drama too. Our dynamic grille gives us an opportunity to provide the car with two very different identities. When parked, DBS GT Zagato will almost look like it’s resting, but with the rear of the car still appearing muscular and primed for action. Only on start-up will the car truly become alert and ready to perform, delivering both an aural and visual treat for onlookers.’

As mentioned above, the pair will reach their respective owners around one year apart – the DB4 Zagatos towards the end of this year, and the DBS GT Zagato around 12 months later in 2020.

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