7 Striking Zagato-Designed cars from the past two decades
It was very hard to pick just seven...by Andrei Nedelea, on
Zagato is the modern equivalent of a coachbuilder and is based in Milan, Italy. It’s been in business since 1919, and over the years it has established itself as a creator of very dramatic looking cars. It has its own design center, and all its creations have a certain Zagato look that you can start to recognize once you’ve seen a wider selection of their cars.
This look has been continued and refined over the decades, and you can spot the visual links between their very latest creations and ones from half a century ago. They have made so many different cars, that it wouldn’t do them justice to try to pick the most notable ones from their nearly 100-year history, so in order to keep things fairly concise for the purpose of this article, I’ll be trying to pick the most striking and interesting ones from the past 20 years.
Spyker is a Dutch boutique sports car manufacturer whose creations quite beautiful not only in their overall design but right down to small detail level. One of their first models ever, the 2007 C12 Zagato, marries this attention to detail with the well-known Zagato trademark look.
The model was based on the already existing C12 La Turbie model, and it used its chassis and VW-sourced W-12 engine with 500 horsepower hooked up to a five-speed automatic transmission.
Only 24 were ever built, and at the time they cost $740,000 - considerably more than the $290,000 you were asked to pay for the more common La Turbie model. The manufacturer claims the C12 Zagato could sprint to sixty in 3.8 seconds, while its top speed was a claimed 195 mph.
Read our full review on the 2007 Spyker C12 Zagato.
Zagato created the body for the Perena Z-One which was built in collaboration with Perana Performance Group atop a Corvette C6 chassis. Power came from a 6.2-liter LS3 with 440 horsepower, sent to the rear wheels through a six-speed automatic gearbox. Claimed benchmark sprint time is around four seconds, and the top speed is supposed to be 185 mph.
Just seven examples were ever made under the original name, although Perena intended to build hundreds of them and sell them at a reasonable price of around $70,000.
But the plan didn’t work out as planned, and the project was actually picked up by AC Cars (which you may know from their Cobras) and called AC 378 GT Zagato; some AC-badged examples have been spotted on the street - it’s not clear how many more were made or if it’s still available for purchase new.
Read our full review on the 2009 Zagato Perana Z-One.
Back in 2011, Fiat brought a rather special version of its then fairly new 500 city car that year to Geneva motor show: the 500 Coupé Zagato, which was actually a modern reinterpretation of the 1957 Abarth Fiat 500 GT Coupe by Zagato.
At the time it was believed it may go into limited production, but that idea never actually materialized.
What set it apart from the regular three-door 500 was its dramatic fastback-style sloping roof which granted it a much more aggressive, sportier look. This was especially noticeable from the side and rear three-quarter view, and it really transformed the look of the cutesy 500.
Read our full review on the 2011 Fiat 500 Coupé Zagato.
Aston Martin initially showed off the V12 Zagato as a future endurance racing car, but noticing a large interest by potential customers after it was shown at the Concorso d’Eleganza Villa d’Este in 2011, the decision was made to make a small run of road-going examples.
Powering the V12 Zagato is the same 6-liter V12 engine used in the V12 Vantage, pumping out 510 horsepower and 420 pound-feet of torque.
The transmission options it was sold with were either an automated manual or fully-manual six-speed.
With a total production run of 101 examples (despite initially announcing it was making 150 of them), it’s incredibly rare and unlikely to depreciate that much - when new, they cost the equivalent of nearly $520,000 or £330,000.
Read our full review on the 2011 Aston Martin V12 Zagato
BMW stunned the crowds at the 2012 Concorso d’Eleganza Villa d’Este with the Zagato Coupe it unveiled at the prestigious venue.
It blended design cues from both companies but really looked like a Zagato design, especially from the back whose shape harkens back to Italian coupes of the 1960s.
There was also a roadster version, dubbed BMW Zagato Roadster, which was revealed a few months prior at the Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance, and at the time we were hopeful that the model would make it into limited production. But in the end, it didn’t, and all that remains are the two hand-built show cars, each a one-off.
Read our full review on the 2012 BMW Zagato Coupe.
In order to celebrate its 95th anniversary, Zagato created a Lamborghini Gallardo-based one-off called the Lamborghini 5-95 Zagato that was unveiled in 2014 at Villa d’Este. It benefitted both parties: Lamborghini had a one of a kind version of their Gallardo (which is the brand’s best selling model to date, so therefore not really that special) and Zagato had a great poster vehicle for its anniversary.
None of the mechanical bits from the Gallardo were touched in any way - everything was stock, including most of the interior.
But its striking styling, with the big mouth up front flanked by two large intakes and unique overall appearance, made it a hit at the venue where it was revealed. It was the latest in a long line of collaborative efforts between the two companies, which included the beautiful 1965 3500 GTZ, the 1996 Raptor concept, as well as two versions of the Diablo among others.
Read our full review on the 2014 Lamborghini 5-95 Zagato.
Whenever Aston Martin and Zagato join forces, the resulting design never fails to impress, and this thoroughly applies for the Virage Shooting Brake study they showed at the 2014 Chantilly Arts and Elegance event.
It was created to celebrate Aston’s 100th anniversary and took inspiration from the 80s V8 Vantage and everything was given a distinct Zagato twist.
The running gear was that of a completely stock Virage, so it used a 490 horsepower 6-liter V12. However, this time the manufacturer left audiences in no doubt that it was just a one-off with no production plan behind it - shame, because I think it was the best looking and most daring Zagato design in recent years.
Read our full review on the 2014 Aston Martin Virage Shooting Brake by Zagato.