A partnership handed down from generation to generation for over forty years. Andrea Zagato, the Milan firm’s current chairman, has reaffirmed his commitment to the relationship with Aston Martin by reviving a historic model. The car in question is the DB4 GT Zagato, an even sportier version of the production model that emerged from a meeting in 2001 between Ulrich Bez, Chairman of the British Company, and Andrea Zagato. At the end of the that year, Bez invited Zagato to develop some detailed ideas which Andrea then presented at the Geneva Motor Show in 2002. Immediately after that Bez authorised the construction of the first prototype, while Aston Martin examined the feasibility of a limited edition.
Zagato was obliged to use an existing DB7 frame which offered him little room for manoeuvre. Meanwhile, Hendrik Fisker who had moved from BMW to Aston Martin a year earlier kept a watchful eye on developments to ensure that Zagato’s new design stayed in line with the corporate philosophy of present-day Aston Martin. The DB7 Zagato’s bonnet is about 2.4 cm shorter than the standard model’s and features an aggressive new grille which makes it look as Bez puts it “as if it is gobbling up the road”.
Inside, the only difference from the production model resides in Zagato’s more elaborate use of carbon fibre panels. However, the fact that the car is to be built at Terrazzano di Rho and will feature aluminium panelling on the roof and the rear is a clear indication that Aston Martin has its sights set on creating something distinctly exotic. The naked chassis will be sent to Italy for the assembly of its body panels and then sent back to the Aston Martin plant in Bloxham, Oxfordshire for painting and finishing.
The article continues in Auto & Design no. 136