The design partnership between Aston Martin and Zagato started with the DB4 GT Zagato in 1960, and has been sporadically rekindled over the intervening six decades. It spawned the Vanquish Zagato Coupe and Volante last year, but the designers clearly had more to give, because Pebble Beach will play host to another creation. Meet the Vanquish Zagato Speedster, which will be followed by a Shooting Brake.

Aston Martin and Zagato are responsible for some pretty incredible designs, but their back catalog doesn't include anything like the Shooting Brake or Speedster. The former is an interesting take on the wagon, with just two seats ahead of a luxuriously-trimmed luggage area. Under the double bubble roof, there's space for a set of bags tailored to fit perfectly.

The driver and passenger are faced with carbon fiber trim finished in a herringbone look, and the Zagato logo is artfully integrated into the quilting on the leather seats. The rotary controls for climate control are finished in bronze, just like they are on the current Zagato.

Meanwhile, the Speedster throws out any pretence of practicality in favour of an old-fashioned silhouette. There are beautiful cowls behind the driver and passenger headrests finished in gloss carbon fiber to make them really stand out against the red bodywork. With no roof to work with, the curvy cowls are designed to represent the signature double bubble shape featured on the roof of Zagato coupes.

The details on the Speedster are shared with the Coupe and Roadster, which is a very good thing. For one, those Aston Martin Vulcan-inspired blade taillights still look incredible, like the glowing afterburners on a jet. The grille and rear vents have 3D Zagato motifs woven into their shape, and the exterior brightwork is finished in a stunning shade of bronze. All the body panels are made of carbon fiber pressed in large pieces for a slick look, the likes of which you simply don't get with lots of ugly panel joints and lines.

Power comes from the same V12 you'll find in the Vanquish Zagato Volante and Coupe. It makes 592 hp (441 kW) of power and is hooked up to an eight-speed automatic gearbox with paddles behind the wheel. Aston Martin says the prettier, rarer Zagato should still drive and handle like the regular Vanquish S – if not better, thanks to bespoke adaptive dampers.

"Why create a family of Zagatos?" asks Marek Reichman, Chief Creative Officer at Aston. "Well, many of our customers want different things. Some prefer the purity of a Coupe, but others love the idea of something more extreme, like the Speedster. And yes, some of them have ordered one example of each. There's always an over-demand from our clients and patrons. We could easily fulfill demand for more cars than this, but we want Zagato to remain something very special. We're creating collectibles, future concours cars."

Given that rarity, we don't know if any of these cars will actually be driven in the wild. Just 28 Speedsters will actually be built, along with 99 examples of the Shooting Brake. Cars this rare and expensive tend to sit in climate controlled garages as their value skyrockets, but we're hopeful some owners will pull them out and take them for the occasional drive.

Source: Aston Martin

View gallery - 22 images