Automotive

Aston Martin gives Vanquish Zagato a topless partner in crime

Aston Martin gives Vanquish Za...
Aston Martin has given its Vanquish Zagato a topless Volante companion
Aston Martin has given its Vanquish Zagato a topless Volante companion
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Even though it doesn't have the Zagato double-bubble roof, the Volante is still staggeringly beautiful
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Even though it doesn't have the Zagato double-bubble roof, the Volante is still staggeringly beautiful
There are bronze highlights scattered around the interior and exterior
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There are bronze highlights scattered around the interior and exterior
The car's body panels are made of one-piece carbon fiber 
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The car's body panels are made of one-piece carbon fiber 
The Vanquish Zagato Volante debuted at Monterey Car Week 
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The Vanquish Zagato Volante debuted at Monterey Car Week 
The car's taillights draw on technology from the Vulcan 
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The car's taillights draw on technology from the Vulcan 
The circular foglights and grille are unique to the Zagato Volante 
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The circular foglights and grille are unique to the Zagato Volante 
Inside, the seats are trimmed in unique quilted leather 
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Inside, the seats are trimmed in unique quilted leather 
The Zagato is all about the rear haunches, which flow into the decklid
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The Zagato is all about the rear haunches, which flow into the decklid
Aston Martin has given its Vanquish Zagato a topless Volante companion
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Aston Martin has given its Vanquish Zagato a topless Volante companion
The car's bumper is wider and meaner than the standard unit 
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The car's bumper is wider and meaner than the standard unit 
Aston Martin and Zagato have used bronze to create highlights on the coupe and convertible exteriors
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Aston Martin and Zagato have used bronze to create highlights on the coupe and convertible exteriors
That's Zagato, not Zorro
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That's Zagato, not Zorro
The rear lights are derived from the Vulcan's bladed lights
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The rear lights are derived from the Vulcan's bladed lights
Even the Aston Martin badge is a bit more special than usual
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Even the Aston Martin badge is a bit more special than usual
The Vanquish Zagato Coupe was launched earlier this year at Lake Como
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The Vanquish Zagato Coupe was launched earlier this year at Lake Como
Zagato's double-bubble roof is one of the main attractions to the coupe
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Zagato's double-bubble roof is one of the main attractions to the coupe
Both the coupe and convertible get the same grille and foglight treatment
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Both the coupe and convertible get the same grille and foglight treatment
Aston Martin and Zagato have teamed up to make the Vanquish a bit more beautiful
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Aston Martin and Zagato have teamed up to make the Vanquish a bit more beautiful

Monterey Car Week is an annual highlight for classic-car lovers. There's a huge selection of beautiful, significant cars on display, many with decades of rich history behind them. Making a modern car stand out in such illustrious company is difficult, but this year Aston Martin was up to the task. Based on the Vanquish Zagato launched at Lake Como earlier this year, the Vanquish Zagato Volante has lost its top and become even more stunning in the process.

We've said this before, but 2016 has been a bumper year at Aston Martin. After launching the new twin-turbo DB11, CEO Andy Palmer pledged his commitment to old-fashioned three-pedal fun with a dogleg-manual V12 Vantage. Let's not forget the AM-RB 001 project with Red Bull, either. Something special is cooking in Gaydon, and limited edition supermodels like the Vanquish Zagato Volante are icing on the cake.

Although it's based on the regular Vanquish, Zagato has made extensive tweaks to the bodywork and engine on the Volante. Under the long, low hood is a reworked version of the AM29 6.0-liter V12, boosted from 565 hp (421 kW) to 592 hp (441 kW) for a 3.7 second sprint to 100 km/h (62 mph).

In a world where the Ferrari F12 Berlinetta can top the ton in 3.1 seconds, that's not earth shatteringly fast. But to get hung up on the numbers is to miss the point with a piece of rolling sculpture like this. Roof dropped and exhaust singing, few experiences in the motoring world come close to driving a beautiful GT like the Zagato.

The Zagato is all about the rear haunches, which flow into the decklid
The Zagato is all about the rear haunches, which flow into the decklid

With that in mind, lets forget about performance for a moment and enjoy the Zagato's stunning looks. The relationship between Aston Martin and Zagato stretches back to the 1960 DB4 GT Zagato, a car now worth well over £10 million (US$14.6 mill). Since then, we've been treated to tie-ups from the Anglo-Italian alliance in 1986, 2002 and 2011, each of which was blessed with jaw-dropping looks. To say this car has good genes is a wild understatement.

Thanks to body panels made of one-piece carbon fiber, there are no unsightly cutlines along the bodywork, and the rear haunches flow into a bespoke rear deck. Below that, there's a new diffuser sitting proud of the heavily sculpted bumper, and the intricate bladed rear lights draw on the Aston Martin Vulcan for inspiration. To our eyes, they look like tiny rocket boosters.

"Just like the Coupe, we have emphasized the way surfaces change and intersect to create a muscular form. We've endeavored to create an elegant, flowing shape that really works to emphasize the car's sculpted rear haunches" says Aston Martin's EVP and Chief Creative Officer, Marek Reichman.

Inside, the seats are trimmed in unique quilted leather 
Inside, the seats are trimmed in unique quilted leather 

Inside, changes to the Vanquish are less pronounced. Although there's herringbone carbon fiber trim, anodized bronze highlights and unique seats, the basic Aston Martin architecture has remained largely unchanged.

Just 99 examples of the Vanquish Zagato Volante will be built, with deliveries set to begin in 2017. Don't expect to be able to just buy one off the showroom floor, though. Both demand and the price are expected to be high, meaning most are likely to end up in the hands of lucky collectors.

Check out the Volante in our photo gallery, which includes some pictures of its equally breathtaking coupe companion.

Source: Aston Martin

1 comment
Island Architect
Just ghastly! And it carried out the baboon's arse motif to new heights. It really degrades the AstonMartin mystique. Bill