Italy's annual Concorso d'Eleganza Villa d'Este is one of the biggest automotive events of the spring season, and each year new concepts and designs come out of the show. Italian design house Zagato has a history of coming out strong for the event, introducing designs like the Lamborghini 5-95 and Aston Martin V12 Zagato. This year it celebrates 100 years of Maserati with the stunning Mostro powered by Maserati.
Maserati threw down pretty hard for its 100th anniversary last year with events like its Goodwood Festival of Speed exhibit. The party is still going, and Zagato makes sure not to show up without a proper gift. Zagato's new car is meant as an homage to the 1957 Maserati 450 S Coupé Zagato "Monster" and a celebration of a working relationship with the trident that dates back to the early 1930s.
Back in 1957, Maserati commissioned Zagato to design coupé bodywork for the 450 S race car with the help of British aerodynamics virtuoso Frank Costin. Stirling Moss challenged the field of open barchettas in the 450 S at Le Mans that year, but an engine malfunction pushed him out of contention. The car was later purchased by an American buyer and transformed into a road car. According to Zagato, the 400-hp 450 S remained the world's most powerful front-engined race car into the 1990s.
Even if you're not learned in Italian, you've probably figured out that "mostro" means "monster". The new Zagato car shares the same race car-meets-road flair that underpinned the history of the original "monster". Its designers sought to recreate the process behind the 450 S coupé rather than simply penning a modern-day interpretation. They let aerodynamics again serve as a guide, creating a smooth, slippery form.
The Mostro shares a sense of front-dominated proportions with its spiritual predecessor, its long hood framed by swooping, three-dimensional fenders. The undersized cabin is pushed all the way back into the tail, creating a capsule-like cockpit accessed via a set of tall butterfly doors. The fixed glass side windows give Zagato the freedom it needs to build the unique doors. The wide windshield is positioned to increase visibility while allowing for a lower, wider cockpit, and the large fixed rear wing finishes off the aerodynamics package.
Below Zagato's carbon fiber bodywork, the car is planted on a carbon fiber monocell secured to a rear subframe and tubular steel mid-frame. The "powered by Maserati" title is fulfilled by a central-front V8 engine working in conjunction with the six-speed semi-automatic gearbox. The 19-in alloy wheels are rolled in 255/40 R19 front and 295/35 R19 rear tires and cushioned by double wishbones in front and back. Large discs provide stopping power.
More than just a one-off show car, the Mostro will be produced to the tune of five examples. Any new potential buyers will have to hope that one or more of those examples goes up for sale on the secondary market, however, as Zagato has already sold all five to dedicated collectors. Deliveries will begin this December.
You can see more photos and renderings of the Mostro in the gallery and check out a few of the other Maserati-Zagato collaborations from over the years.