BMW Zagato Coupe debuts at Concorso d'Eleganza Villa d'Este

Andross Moonah - CAP staff
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The annual Concorso d'Eleganza Villa d'Este is a prestigious event celebrating the design aesthetic of historic and rare automobiles. Hosted in Villa d'Este on the shores of Lake Como, Italy, the recently-concluded 2012 show featured both classic and modern cars, each with unique and alluring styling. Among the vehicles on display was the BMW Zagato Coupé, which made its official debut at the event. The BMW Zagato Coupé is a custom-built collaboration between BMW and Zagato that marries unique style with roadworthy functionality.

Zagato is an Italian design and engineering firm that specializes in automotive coachbuilding, creating custom-built bodywork using an existing chassis as the foundation. Founded in 1919 by Ugo Zagato, the firm has earned a stellar coachbuilding reputation with such coveted vehicles as the Aston Martin DB4 GT Zagato and the Bentley Zagato GTZ.

In the construction of the BMW Zagato Coupé, Zagato formed the bodywork entirely by hand for a finished vehicle that bears a slight resemblance to the current BMW Z4. As unique as the Zagato Coupé is, BMW says the custom-built vehicle is registered for road use and meets legal requirements worldwide.

"Zagato has always provided its customers with ready-to-drive cars which can be sent into action on the road or race track without further ado – and the BMW Zagato Coupé fits the same template," said Dr. Andrea Zagato, CEO of Zagato. "It is relatively easy to build a design study which is not intended for use on the road," he adds. "The challenge lies in injecting the emotional appeal of a concept car into a road-legal machine. And we think we have succeeded in doing just that with the BMW Zagato Coupé."

The BMW Zagato Coupé is finished in Rosso Vivace red paint and sits on five-spoke 19-inch light-alloy wheels. As with other Zagato-built vehicles, the BMW Zagato Coupe features a double bubble roof that aids aerodynamic efficiency and torsional rigidity, and provides more headroom for the driver and passenger while wearing helmets. The sweeping rear bodywork tapers to a truncated Kamm Tail rear end that further aids aerodynamics and reduces drag.

Unique design details on the BMW Zagato Coupé include a kidney grille fashioned of miniature Zagato "Z's" as well as "Z" badges below the side vents. There are sculpted air intakes in the hood, while at the back there's a rear diffuser, dual exhaust tips and a glass hatch that provides access to the luggage compartment.

Inside, the Zagato Coupé blends shades of light and dark grey leather together with red stitch work. Embroidered "Z" badges on the seat headrests add a distinctive flair, and there are matching Zagato hat and travel bags included.

"Working with Zagato was a fantastic experience. It was extremely enriching for us to create something with people who share our understanding of good design and passion for cars," commented Karim Habib, head of design at BMW Automobiles. "And that is what makes the car so special – the open and constructive dialogue with Zagato, their experience, craftsmanship and incomparable sense for forms. All of these gifts are wrapped up in the BMW Zagato Coupé."
©(Copyright Canadian Auto Press)

Topics: Sports Coupe, BMW, 2012, Zagato Coupe, Zagato,

Organizations: BMW

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