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Aston Martin wins design award

The epithet ‘award-winning’ should occasionally be approached with caution. Some statuette-clutching actors pour their Oscar goodwill into a string of bloated box-office clunkers, and spray-tanned abomination The Only Way Is Essex will have ‘Bafta-winner’ etched on its TV tombstone. But the new Aston Martin V12 Zagato’s recent gong is the icing on an already impressive cake.

Awarded the Concorso d’Eleganza Design Award in the concept category shortly after its unveiling last month, the sumptuous new prototype is a triumph of tradition and innovation working in tandem.

Commissioned to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the elegant DB4 GT Zagato, this new version is essentially a standard Vantage V12 coupé lovingly remodelled by the Italian bodywork artists at Zagato.

Rather than use machines to sculpt those aluminium panels and the iconic bubble roof, Zagato deployed time-honoured handcraft techniques, including a wooden ‘body buck’ (essentially a 3D blueprint for the car’s finished shape) and a panel-bending English wheel tool first implemented to assemble Second World War aircraft.

Stylishly blending British and Italian design, it’s like Bond in an Armani suit. Underneath all those retro curves though, it’s pure modernist power. The 6-litre V12 engine cranks out an impressive 510 brake horsepower, and while there’s no official word on its top speed as yet, it is expected to go from 0-62mph in four seconds.

Two cars have been built so far — this street model and a spoiler-bedecked racing version which is set to compete in this month’s 24-hour Nürburgring race in Germany — but that’s not the height of Zagato’s ambition.

It’s strongly hinted at a limited-edition run next year, offering the hefty-walleted a chance to take home their very own award-winner. And look, not a gushing acceptance speech in sight.

Astonmartin.com