The Aston Martin Vanquish Zagato Coupe debuted in North America at the Pebble Beach Concours d'Elegance proved to be so popular that Aston Martin has announced a partner roadster. The company will produce just 99 of the Vanquish Zagato Volante in a limited production run at its Gaydon, England headquarters. The deliveries to customers will begin in 2017. There was so much interest in the Coupe that the company felt it proper to add what it considers the powerful Volante to its distinguished line of established collectibles.
The Volante is the most recently developed of a six-decade lineage of Aston Martin Zagato convertibles:
- 1960: DB4 GT Zagato race car, the first of the line
- 1987: V8 Vantage Volante, introduced in Geneva
- 2002: DB7 Vantage Zagato
- 2003: DB AR1, also open top and limited to 99 units
- 2011: V12 Vantage Zagato
- 2016: Vanquish Zagato Coupe
The Coupe and the Volante share proportions and the iconic Aston Martin enhanced V12 powertrain. This technology provides both models with a 0 to 60 mph time of just 3.7 seconds and an increased output of 592bhp. The Zagato classic round tail reflectors share the LEDs of the Vulcan, Aston Martin’s supercar. The custom folding hood mechanism is derived from the Vanquish Volante. The entire form of the car is muscular, with an elegance particularly noted in the rear haunches of the car, which are a significant part of the flowing, sculpted surfaces.
The interior features personalized cabin details which include the trademark embossed “Z” for Zagato on the headrests, and stitched for the console. Bridge of Weir fine leather and anodized bronze detailing is blended with the quilt pattern stitching of the “Z” signature on the door and seat. There is no question that this newest model is part of the revered Aston Martin family of connoisseur collector vehicles.
Aston Martin began when Robert Bamford and Lionel Martin founded their two-man company Bamford & Martin Ltd. In 1913. In 1914, Lionel Martin took part in the Aston Hill Climb, which was a popular speed climb in Buckinghamshire, England from 1904 through 1925. The original course was a climb of about 80 meters beginning about 20 meters from the T junction with Upper Icknield Way, B4009 and finished at the top of Aston Hill where it became level with the house on the hilltop. The hill was part of the estate of Lord Rothschild and known widely as a venue for motoring. The course record in 1912 was 58.6 seconds completed by a Crossley engine with 20 hp.
Lionel Martin ascended the hill in a Singer Car which he and Robert Bamford had manufactured. His success was so great that the light sporting car was called the Aston-Martin at the Herts County Automobile & Aero Club meeting. He had registered it in his name, but Aston-Martin took hold, and a plaque to explain the start of the legend was inscribed on the Aston Martin Monument placed near the top of the legendary hill. Aston Martin Lagonda Limited and the Aston Martin Owners Club were responsible for the historical plaque. Lionel’s wife Kate was credited in part for coming up with the name.
Since 1927, the AM logo on all new Aston Martin’s features the Aston Martin name embraced within wings. There have been several variations along the way, with slight changes to the angle of the wings and the lettering of the name. The metals have also varied for the name plate, ranging from golden to silver, copper and platinum tones. The most current iteration is from 2003, and features a stylized set of wings spread out level with the Aston Martin name on a level horizontal plain.
The new Zagato Volanto includes the legendary badge on its hood. After all, volant is from the Latin word meaning “to fly”, and vanquish means to defeat in a conflict of conquest. Though some have noted that the name Aston Martin Vanquish Zagato Volanto could be considered a long name, others have mentioned that the car deserves the royal recognition.
In 1964, Aston Martin became the brand for James Bond. For over 50 years, several different models, primarily of the DB8, have been featured in 007 films with various lead actors playing Bond. The films featured the memorable Aston Martin cars and the debonair spy, making the two what the company refers to as an “iconic relationship”.
Certainly the films have had much to do with the panache Aston Martin enjoys, but quite frankly, Aston Martin is Aston Martin. The newest Zagato Volanto has rightfully been described by some as “a stunner”.
Distinguished Design Features
Though the Vanquish Zagato Volante takes its design cues from the iconic DB8 and the partner Coupe released in June of 2016, and its interiors are twin-like, differences have to do with aesthetics. Considering its specifications provides clues to the essential family resemblances:
- Body made completely of carbon-fiber; also used in the Coupe
- Same huge grille
- Same LED daytime running lights situated at each corner of the grill
- Same huge splitter under the body
- Same front engine hood design and side skirts
- Fender strake inspired by the DB11
- Side mirrors inspired by the One-77
- Classic Zagato taillights with round design
- Bladed LED lights inspired by Vulcan
- A sport diffuser integrated with the quad-exhaust
- A newly reshaped trunk lid due to the drop-top styling
- A conventional lid replaces the tailgate
- The decklid is split into two rounded shapes with a middle recess
- Bespoke interior based on the partner Coupe model
- 5.9 liter V-12 engine, capable of 591hp and torque of 465 pound-feet
- 23hp more than the standard model Vanquish
- Custom configuration suspension
- Eight-speed automatic transmission
Price is expected to be somewhere between $800,000 and $850,000. There is some word out in recent press releases that all of the 99 scheduled for production have already been reserved by eager collectors.
A Collaboration Lasting for Generations
The Aston Martin Vanquish Zagato Volante is another significant model resulting from the collaboration between the legendary styling of Italian house Zagato and the precision manufacturing heritage of Aston Martin. The partnership is historic, having lasted for more than 50 years and from generation to generation.
The resulting sports cars are designed for someone who has no fear of being different, and are considered by company President D. A. Zagato to be the individualist’s choice. The two partnering companies view their collaborative work as truly unique, resulting in collectable, supremely crafted vehicles offered in limited numbers simply because they are very, very, special indeed.
Written by Garrett Parker
Read more posts by Garrett Parker