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Aston Martin V12 Zagato endurance racer is a snake with two heads

Aston Martin has been haemorrhaging new cars in 2011 -- in a good way. The latest to spill on to the tarmac is the V12 Zagato. Somebody pass a mop.

Rory Reid

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Aston Martin has been haemorrhaging new cars in 2011 -- in a good way. Not content with with unleashing the near-mythical One-77 hypercar, the gorgeous new Virage and Vantage S, and the ever-so-slightly uncharacteristic Cygnet, the Gaydon-based car maker has just spilled forth the Aston Martin V12 Zagato. Somebody pass a mop.

Italian design company Zagato's influence on the car is clear. It's a surprising departure from current Astons, many of which can be difficult to differentiate to the untrained eye. You can spot the V12 Zagato a mile off thanks to the huge air intake at the front, the double bubble roof, the almost wagon-style, snake head-looking rear end and exhausts that look like they could set fire to your calves if you get too close. 

Aston Martin has gone to great pains to highlight that those gorgeous design details can't be created using mass production pre-formed panel techniques. The company says many of the V12 Zagato's panels consist of multiple pieces of aluminium that are forged using a manual wheeling machine and traditionally crafted body bucks. The roof and front wing alone are made up of 12 separate pieces.

Below all that metal, the V12 Zagato is powered by a V12 engine producing 510bhp and 570Nm of torque -- the same numbers you'll find in the V12 Vantage, the car on which the V12 Zagato is based. Aston Martin has yet to release performance figures, but expect a 0-62mph time of 4.2 seconds and a maximum speed somewhere in the region of 190mph.

The V12 Zagato will be shown off at the posh Villa d'Este Concours car show on the shores of Lake Como this Saturday, where be-suited onlookers will ogle it while trying for dear life not to dry-hump the thing.

If it escapes unsoiled, the car will make its racing debut at the the Nurburgring on 28 May. All things being well, it'll get another outing at the 'ring in a 24-hour race on 25 and 26 June, where Aston Martin's CEO, Dr Ulrich Bez, will lead a team of drivers.

Have a gander through our photo gallery above to get a closer look.

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