Aston Martin V12 Zagato heads from Villa d'Este to the race track

Aston Martin V12 Zagato – Click above for high-res image gallery

Some concepts debut at an auto show and are never heard from again. Some make the rounds of minor local car shows. A small number make it into production. But it's full speed ahead for the Aston Martin V12 Zagato.

The collaborative effort between Aston Martin and Zagato was unveiled at the prestigious Concorso d'Eleganza Villa d'Este to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the original DB4GT Zagato. A stunning creation, the show car handily won the award for concepts at the Italian lakeside concours. The next step? Racing.

Right from the start, Aston announced that the V12 Zagato would be hitting the race track in no less rigorous a test than Germany's Nürburgring. And so it will, starting this weekend and returning in tandem next month for a second outing. But before it does, Aston's released these images of the car.

The car that debuted in Villa d'Este ditched the diamond-finish wheels from the advance pictures for blacked-out ones, but it has kept the front splitter, full roll cage and sliding plastic driver's-side window. The image above shows an even larger splitter, along with a giant rear wing. Otherwise, the racecar looks essentially the same as the coupe that won the Concorso D'Eleganza Design Award at Villa d'Este, but it'll likely feature a full competition livery when it makes its race debut this weekend. Check out the updated image gallery and the award announcement after the jump.
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Gaydon / Lake Como, 22 May 2011. At its world premiere this weekend, the Aston Martin V12 Zagato has won the Concorso d'Eleganza Design Award for Concept Cars and Prototypes on the shores of Lake Como, Italy.

Introduced as a modern interpretation of the famous Aston Martin and Zagato collaboration in the 50thanniversary year of the iconic DB4GT Zagato, the V12 Zagato was shown for the first time at this prestigious international event sparking great interest of visitors and customers.

All visitors to the Concorso D'Eleganza were invited to cast their vote for the best concept and prototype. Among ten entries from around the world, the Aston Martin V12 Zagato was voted the best in class.

Dr Ulrich Bez, CEO of Aston Martin, said: "We are thrilled to see that this car conquered people's hearts. With the V12 Zagato we managed to add just another successful chapter both to the history of Aston Martin and the future of our brand. This is an exciting car, powerful and incredibly beautiful."

Marek Reichman, Design Director of Aston Martin, added: "It is an honour to win this award in Italy, where many great designs originated from, and this victory shows that Aston Martin has successfully developed their own renowned design language over the past years. The result is a car that incorporates the core values of the Zagato design language which we perfectly translated into Aston Martin's modern design DNA."

Dr Ulrich Bez is looking forward now to taking the car to the Nürburgring where it will have its racing debut at the 53rd ADAC ACAS H&R-Cup VLN race in less than a week, on the 28th May. Aston Martin's Chief Executive Dr Ulrich Bez will lead a driver team which will eventually race two V12 Zagato cars at the Nürburgring 24 hour race on 25th/26th June. Dr Bez: "Nürburgring is where we sign-off every new model in terms of dynamics, and there can be no better place for the new V12 Zagato to be finally tested. The 24 hour race is the ultimate road test and a fitting introduction for the V12 Zagato".

"Based on the reactions of our customers to this race car, we hope to offer a road-homologated V12 Zagato in a small, limited number as soon as possible. First feedback has been great so far, this makes us confident that this new Aston Martin V12 Zagato will be a winner of the classic car vote at Villa D'Este in fifty years time."

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