At the 78th Geneva International Motor show 2008, Zagato Atelier takes great pleasure in introducing the Bentley GTZ, the latest in a long line of collaborations with the very best British car manufacturers over the Milanese Atelier 's 89 years history.

Following on from the recent presentations of the Ferrari 575GTZ in 2006 and the Maserati GS Zagato at the Villa D'Este in 2007, the Bentley GTZ is a neo-classic Zagato interpretation of the style of a British GT.

The project was conceived during a discussion between Dr. Ing. Franz Josef Paefgen, CEO of Bentley Motors Limited and Dr. Andrea Zagato, President of Zagato at the Pebble Beach Concours D'Elegance in 2006. At a ‘Tribute to Zagato' presentation, Zagato showed a selection of 50' 60's models, near by the recent berlinettas presented during the last 3 years. Dr. Paefgen was struck by the beauty of those cars and reminded of the historical significance of the art of the Carrozzeria (coachbuilders) which was both being maintained and carried forward by Zagato.

Zagato Bentley GTZ, 1 of 7
Zagato Bentley GTZ, 2 of 7
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Starting from the styling cues of the last neo classical coupes, which became milestones of Zagato design in the new millennium, the challenge was to apply the same design language to a completely different proportion of vehicle: the Bentley Continental GT Speed.

Even with many technical restrictions and carry-over parts in order to maintain the basic functions of this extremely sophisticated vehicle, the Zagato design team managed to give a distinctive and attractive character to the Zagato coupe.

Pronounced fender lines, double-bubble roof, round tail with all new rear combination lamp are harmoniously integrated in to an imposing body adding a more aggressive and sharp feeling without losing the absolute solidity which is part of the great charm of the original coupe. The same time the hand painted pin-stripe coordinated with the interior colour adds a refined and exclusive elegance to the extrovert body lines helps to make the look of this car appropriate to be special limited-production model born between two great automotive cultures: Bentley and Zagato.

Text and photos courtesy of Zagato