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The Aston Martin DBS GT Zagato’s Grille Is a Transformer

It closes off when the car is parked and opens up when the engine is fired.

Aston Martin has announced new details on its upcoming coachbuilt super-grand tourer: the DBS GT Zagato. It’s the latest collaboration between the British manufacturer and famed Italian design firm Zagato, adding to a tradition stretching back over 50 years.

The DBS Superleggera—Aston’s most powerful production car to date—provides the basis for the DBS GT Zagato. It receives a full re-skin, with all-new body panels which distinguish and somehow make it even more striking than the standard car. Design elements like the double-bubble roof, turbine-esque taillights, and prominently creased rear haunches tie it in with earlier Aston-Zagato special projects based on the Vanquish and V12 Vantage.

The DBS GT Zagato pushes the envelope further with a “dynamic” grille comprised of multiple carbon-fiber elements that transforms based on the vehicle’s status. When parked, its 108 diamond-shaped pieces fold flat and interlock, giving the trademark Aston Martin grille a smooth, uninterrupted look. Upon startup, each of these components actuate in a choreographed procedure to allow engine airflow past their gold-trimmed edges. Model-specific headlights and a vented hood with no apparent shut lines add to the DBS GT Zagato’s individuality.

At the rear, aesthetic pursuit appears to compromise livability: There’s no rear glass. Instead, an uninterrupted carbon-fiber panel extends across the entire roof of the vehicle. However, Aston Martin uses a camera-based digital rearview mirror to let the driver see what’s behind. It’s the first time this technology has been seen on a road-ready Aston Martin vehicle, although a similar setup was displayed in concept form on the mid-engine Vanquish Vision and Valhalla.

Mechanically, the DBS GT Zagato is presumably identical to the DBS Superleggera, meaning they share the 715-hp, 663-lb-ft twin-turbo 5.2-liter V-12. Coupled to an eight-speed automatic transmission, the Superleggera is capable of a 3.4-second zero-to-60 sprint and a 211-mph top speed—we imagine the GT Zagato won’t be far behind. On the new car, four prominent exhaust tips jut through the carbon-fiber rear diffuser, and carbon-ceramic brakes are visible behind center-lock wheels. Clearly, Aston intends to sacrifice no performance to style with the DBS GT Zagato.

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Those interested in purchasing this sleek sports car must actually have garage space for two vehicles, as they will also receive a brand-new DB4 GT Zagato continuation car. Originally built from the late 1950s to early 1960s, the DB4 will be reproduced as new in lightweight GT Zagato form to accompany the DBS GT Zagato. Only 19 will be available, and bespoke personalization options for the pair will surely be offered to drive their approximately $7.5 million combined price even higher. For well-heeled collectors of automotive art, that may seem like a bargain. Production is set to commence in 2020.

Buying Guide
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2012 Aston Martin DBS

2012 Aston Martin DBS

MSRP $275,861 Base (Auto) Coupe

EPA MPG:

11 City / 17 Hwy

Horse Power:

510 @ 6500

Torque:

420 @ 5750