The Aston Martin Virage Shooting Brake mark’s Zagato’s second world premiere in 2014, following the debut of the Lamborghini 5-95 Zagato at the Concorso d’Eleganza Villa d’Este, continuing the celebration for the design firm’s 95th anniversary.
Set to debut at the Chantilly Art & Elegance, this one-off completes the Aston Martin-Zagato centennial trilogy, which started in 2013 with the DBS Coupé Zagato Centennial (delivered to a young Japanese collector) and DB9 Spider Zagato Centennial (conceived for the well-known American car collector Peter Read), and celebrates 100 years of Aston Martin Lagonda Ltd.
This Virage Shooting Brake was commissioned by a European client who desired an atelier-level, collectible modern car, paying homage to Zagato’s artistic, Italian coachbuilding tradition.
Below we report an official document on the history of the “Shooting Brake” style.
The Shooting Brake body style
The Shooting Brake body has had different meanings throughout automotive history. Since the 60s, however, it commonly refers to a luxury coupé, rigorously-styled with two doors and a functional boot space.
This body was created to accommodate drivers’ sport and leisure passions, such as hunting or golf, while providing the exciting driving experience of a fast and exclusive GT.
Nearly all of the most prestigious English marques include a Shooting Brake model (or an “authorized” conversion) in their model line.
Aston Martin was a real pioneer in this field and has remained a trendsetter. After some conversions made during the 60s and the 70s by local coachbuilders and customizers on the DB5, DB6 and DBS basis, the company decided to engage in the particular niche of Shooting Brake design on its own starting in the early 90s.
This was entrusted to the actual Aston Martin’s Customer Service Division, which managed special requests.
Despite its British origin, the Shooting Brake shape has always been highly valued in Italy and, therefore, all of the top Italian coachbuilders expressed their ability with this body style.For example: Fiat 130 Maremma by Pininfarina (1974), Ferrari 330 GTC 2+2 by Vignale (1965), Lamborghini Flying Star by Touring (1966), Aston Martin Jet 2 by Bertone (2004), Mercedes 230 SLX Shooting Brake by Frua (1964), Chrysler Plainsman Two-door Station Wagon by Ghia (1956) and Zagato itself with the Mercedes-Benz S600 V12 Shooting Brake (1995).
Since its founding in 1919, Zagato has mainly focused on sport and race cars. As a leading coachbuilder since the beginning with 2-door/2-seat coupé and spider variations, Andrea Zagato decided to re-interpret the sleek body of the Aston Martin Virage as a Shooting Brake under a “Milanese” design approach, in perfect accordance with the model’s outstanding performance capability.