Few events on the motoring calendar are as glamorous as the Villa D’Este Concours d’Elegance. It’s right up there with the Montarey Car Week and the Monaco Grand Prix as the place for petrolheads to see and be seen. Exclusive cars and a hotel at Lake Como, what could be better than that?
Being a Concours event there’s emphasis on vintage and classic cars, especially ones with a six-figure or more price tag attached to them. While its a celebration of the old, it’s also a place where manufacturers showcase their latest concepts. This year was no exception with Aston Martin, in partnership with Zagato, and BMW showed off their exclusive concepts for the Villa D’Este Concours.
Aston Martin and Zagato have a long history of working together, since the DB4GT Zagato from 1963. Over the next five decades Aston-styled Zagatos have divided opinion with creations such as the Virage Zagato, DB7 Zagato, and more recently the V12 Vantage Zagato. Their latest car, based on the Vanquish, is perhaps their most universal car yet. Just look at it. I challenge you to find an unappealing aspect of its design.
The styling is like a “greatest hits” compilation of Aston and Zagato designs from past and present. The larger grille that dons Aston-Zagato cars is there, as is the double bubble roof. The wrap around windscreen effect is a carryover form the Vantage Zagato. The profile screams DB10, while the the rear-end has obvious Vulcan and DB11 cues to it. The wing mirrors are inspired by the One-77 and the side strake is taken from the CC100.
Being based on the Vanquish, all the oily bits are carried over. That means a 6.0-litre naturally aspirated V12 sits under the bonnet pumping out 592hp/435kW. Power is sent to the rear wheels via a 6-speed ZF auto. The entire body is made from one-piece carbon fibre panels.
This time last year BMW unveiled the CSL Hommage Concept at the Villa D’Este Concours. The CSL Hommage was essentially a redressed M4. This year BMW have done the same thing to the fabulous new M2. The 2002 Turbo Hommage Concept celebrates the first compact sedan from Bavaria, a car from a time when having a turbo was something special.
The Hommage Concept, appropriately, has the same twin-turbocharged 3.0-litre straight six from the M2. That translates to 370hp/272kW, 500NM of torque, and some fantastic exhaust notes. But I’m not too fussed about its performance figures because just look at it. I want BMW to make a limited run of this car because it’d be a damn shame for something that looks this good to not go into production.
It’s a plethora of 1970s styling cues from the ‘shark nose’ front (complete with yellow headlight covers), the exaggerated front spoiler, and those arches. Good god. It just needs those front fog lights and I reckon it’d be perfect. And look at those wheels. They’re 20-inches, considerably larger than the original 2002 Turbo’s 13-inches. But at least they look great, and the carbon-ceramics brakes are a nice extra touch too.
Both Aston Martin and BMW haven’t confirmed whether they’ll make road-going versions of their concepts in the future. I hope they do, not only because they look fabulous and I want to see one on the road. But also because how amazing would it be if the production versions of these cars starred at the 2056 Villa d’Este Concours?