Aston Martin's DBS Superleggera is the brawny muscle car of the lineup, the most American-styled machine Aston's ever made. But the DBS GT Zagato, built using the Superleggera as a base, takes things in an entirely different direction. Built to celebrate Zagato's 100th anniversary as a coachbuilder, and indeed nearly 60 years of collaborations with Aston Martin, it's Zagato's excuse to bring a little distinctive Italian flair to bear on one of the best-looking British cars yet.

Finished in bright red with gold highlights, it keeps some of the Aston lines – the rough shape of that giant front grill, the double-bubble roof and muscular hip line – and moves them in the direction of exotic supercars, switching aggressive side gills and gated hood scoops for much sleeker, longer forms. It's worth comparing against the DBS Superleggera to see just how profound a difference Zagato's bodywork makes.

The front grille has been replaced with a very fancy unit we're looking forward to seeing in action. For no reason other than pure drama, each of the 108 diamond-shaped pieces in the grill is motorized. When the car's parked, they all lie flat. When you start it up, the pieces begin moving so the car appears to "flutter into life."

Aston's Chief Creative Officer Marek Reichman – a true creative soul who speaks almost exclusively in visual metaphors and has done an exceptional job giving the company a new design language – puts it this way: "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."

The roof becomes a single sweeping carbon sheet, to the point where there's not even a back window – the rear vision mirror is electronic, and displays a camera view backwards. Sadly, the DBS's fascinating Airblade air spoiler system hasn't translated to the Zagato edition, but the photos appear to show a pretty aggressive underbody aerodynamics package clamshelling up from the rear that may include some diffusers to help with downforce.

Not that it'll really need downforce. These are collector's items more than performance cars. We might see one belting up the hill at Goodwood next year, but we'd expect public outings to be rare as hen's teeth. You can only buy one together in a pair with the DB4 GT Zagato, of which only 19 will be made, and that pair will cost you UK£6 million, or US$7.5 million out in the colonies.

The whole thing might seem to be a ludicrous use of exceptionally talented resources, but then, so many beautiful things are in the cold light of rational thinking, and the DBS GT Zagato is without question a truly beautiful thing. We look forward to learning more ... and seeing that fluttery grille do its thing.

Source: Aston Martin

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