Wednesday, 28 March 2012

Zagato Bentley Continental GTZ

The Continental is a polarising model for Bentley. It represents a departure from their brick-like, cruising-around-in-Blenheim-Palace splendour into something overtly sporting, but unfortunately is now inextricably linked with blingin' footballer chavitude. It generates a lot of revenue, but do the Bentley old guard feel that it's diluting the brand?
The Zagato Continental GTZ of 2008 was a bold effort to counter this image disparity. Taking the celebrated design house's classic cues - double-bubble roof, gaping mouth, two-tone paintwork, complex arrangements of curves and angles on single panels - and plastering them all over the Conti's oversized coupé silhouette offered something altogether classier for the Bentley aficionado, distancing itself from the training ground car park by some margin.
It was the first ever Zagato-bodied Bentley, and cost from £400,000 (not including the initial £137,000-odd outlay for the donor car; £100,000 of the upgrade cost reputedly went on the unique tail-lights), for which buyers received the same engine, the same drivetrain and the same interior as regular Conti drivers. But that's not the point, is it? It's a Zagato Bentley, two great names that sit devastatingly well together. And it looks ace.
It's just a shame that they only built nine of them...

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