Aston Martin's new V12 Zagato had quite a spectacular and busy few weeks following its first public showing on May 21 on the shores of Lake Como (Italy) at the Concorso d'Eleganza Villa d'Este where it won the award for Design in the Concepts and Prototypes class.

A week later, two identical prototypes finished fifth and sixth in their class at the Nürburgring 24 Hour race, verifying that the gorgeous handcrafted aluminium and carbon fibre machines were indeed capable of holding their own in any company.

So began a period of what Aston Martin termed "overwhelmingly encouraging interest from customers" which has finally resulted in a commitment to a limited production run of 150 examples of the Zagato.

Prices will begin at GBP330,000 (US$530,000) for the 510 bhp Vantage-based V12 and orders are now being taken. Production is expected to commence during the British summer of 2012 at Aston Martin's Gaydon facility in Warwickshire. First deliveries are expected in the second half of 2012.

The shape of the Zagato's handcrafted aluminium and carbon fibre body would not be possible using pre-formed panel techniques. Every aluminium panel on each vehicle is formed using an English wheel and traditionally crafted body bucks.

The trademark Zagato double bubble roof, for instance, is created from five separate handcrafted panels, illustrating the intensity of craftsmanship involved in the construction of the V12 Zagato.

The six-speed, 190 mph, V12 Zagato combines Aston Martin's bonded aluminium platform with the power of the 6.0-litre V12 engine producing 510 bhp (380 kW / 517 PS), and 570 Nm (420 lb ft) of torque.

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