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BMW Zagato Coupe Unveiled

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On: Thu, May 31, 2012 at 12:05PM | By: Chris Weiss


BMW Zagato Coupe Unveiled

Last year around this time, we saw the Aston Martin V12 Zagato for the first time at the Concorso d‘Eleganza Villa d’Este in Lake Como, Italy. This year brings a new Ville d'Este and a new Zagato. BMW introduced the Zagato Coupe at the festivities this past weekend.

BMW and Zagato collaborated closely to build the one-off handcrafted masterpiece. The goal was to craft a "BMW seen through the eyes of Zagato," an aero-optimized, steet-legal car that could hit speeds like a track car but still meet all the legal obligations of an everyday driver.

As your eyes wander around the Zagato Coupe's body, they're probably jumping from one distinctive feature to the next - the long hood, the double bubble roof, the flat Kamm Tail in back. Or maybe they're held captive by the full picture, trying desperately to reconcile the BMW designations of kidney grille and propeller badge and the somewhat un-BMW leopard-like stance, pushed-back cabin and bulging muscles.

The overall coupe strikes a stunning compromise between unbridled Italian flair and meticulously engineered German luxury. The Zagato-derived shape and stance meet with more subtle BMW-inspired lines and cues. And if you look closely, you'll see that this compromise is woven into the Zagato Coupe's very DNA. The kidney grille may be iconic BMW, but this one is made up of dozens of little "Zs" (for Zagato). The five-spoke wheels subtly emulate propellers, a nod to both companies' aviation roots.

Not just any paint could adorn such a collaborative masterpiece, and BMW/Zagato use what they call Rosso Vivace, which appears to the eye as everything from near-black to vibrant red, depending upon the light outside. The parties achieve the look with a multi-stage application process consisting of a black application primer coat, a layer of shimmering metallic silver, six ultra-thin coats of the exclusively developed red shade, and two layers of clear coat.

"For me, the BMW Zagato Coupé holds a very special magic. It exudes a certain spontaneity which, when combined with the type of unconventional solutions typical of Zagato, lend the car a very individual elegance,” says Zagato chief designer Norihiko Harada.

While engine identification was built right into last year's V12 Zagato, BMW makes no mention of what lies under that dramatic hood.

BMW would be a much more exciting brand if it came out with an actual model like this every now and again. Let's hope it follows Aston's lead in sending this one-off to limited production.


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