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The BMW Zagato Coupe has been revealed at the exclusive Villa d’Este Concours d’Elegance on the banks of Lake Como in Italy.

The one-off coupe is the result of BMW getting together with Milanese coachbuilder Zagato, and it’s a pretty result at that.

The sleek, low-slung design of the BMW Zagato Coupe is the fusion of both companies through many hours of exquisite hand-craftsmanship. The aluminium body, finished in a unique Rosso Vivace paint colour, has been built entirely by hand.

While not a production car, the Zagato Coupe is far from a design study, with the intention from the outset being to design a road-going, aerodynamically optimised vehicle capable of achieving high speeds while still meeting legal regulations and safety standards.

BMW says the car is registered for road use and meets all legal requirements worldwide. “The challenge lies in injecting the emotional appeal of a concept car into a road-legal machine. And we think we have succeeded in doing just that with the BMW Zagato Coupe,” said Dr Andrea Zagato, the third generation to head the company.

The car’s extremely long bonnet, set-back cabin and Kamm Tail (named for Professor Wunibald Kamm’s work with aerodynamics) exude a purposeful stance and sum up the dynamic focus of the car. The iconic ‘double-bubble’ roof, the two domes built into the roof structure, is a signature of Zagato designs.

The design sees an interpretation of the classic BMW face with twin circular headlights flanking the trademark kidney-shaped radiator grille that features a matt finish for the frames below the Bavarian brand’s logo.

The seemingly ‘normal’ grille illustrates Zagato’s attention to detail as a closer look sees countless small matt Zagato ‘Z’ letters. Above are two air intakes integrated into the bonnet sending extra air into the engine bay.

The muscular rear end is entrusted with transferring power to the road and follows two other Zagato design cues being cut almost vertically to enhance aerodynamics and features a tinted transparent glass panel above the rear bumper.

Other details include a rear diffuser, matt-finish exhaust tips, five-spoke 19-inch wheels with the same matt treatment and chrome badges from both manufacturers.

Light and dark shades of grey leather cover the interior highlighted with red stitching on the instrument panel, doors and seats, with the latter matched by headrests embroidered with a ‘Z’.

Joining the car are two exclusive matching Zagato accessories – a hat bag and a travel bag – with the travel bag recreating the form of the double-bubble roof and is designed to maintain its lines even when empty.

The BMW Zagato Coupe isn’t the first time BMW has incorporated the hand of the Italians: in 1939 a coupe based on the BMW 328 was built to race in the Mille Miglia which it did successfully in 1940, the BMW 3200 Michelotti Vignale and BMW 700 in 1959, the BMW 3200 CS Bertone in 1962 and the BMW M1 in 1978.

Zagato took home the prestigious Concorso d’Eleganza Design Award in both 2010 and 2011.

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