New year, new limited-run Aston Martin. Well, not entirely, because we've seen the Vanquish Zagato Shooting Brake before. But this January sighting of a prototype is the first to offer a proper glimpse of a real, non-CGI car's exterior. And what an exterior it is, mixing the pretty face of the Vanquish with the gorgeous lines of a shooting brake penned by Italians.
Aston's clearly not too bothered about hiding this car's identity, with the camo a simple wrap devoid of cladding. That being said, the roof's centre section of glass looks to have been covered, perhaps because this test car has been running around since before Aston put images of the model's sumptuous interior out last month.
Since then, we've known it'll feature Zagato-embossed tan leather and no shortage of carbon fibre. The material covers the extended rear deck and is used for the construction of a strengthening strut in the back to remind you this isn't your average big-boot estate, but rather a supercar that's taken on a rather different form.
On that subject, since the Zagato uses the base of the Vanquish, power comes from Aston's old 5.9-litre V12 engine with 600hp. It's long been superseded by the turbocharged 5.2-litre, but there's little doubt the use of natural aspiration from this older engine will only serve to boost the Zagato's appeal and - perhaps more importantly for the clientele interested in one - its long-term appreciation potential. Because let's face it, very few of the 99 shooting brakes planned for production are likely to see much mileage.
Following the Zagato Shooting Brake will be a run of just 28 Speedsters, which will be the end of the Vanquish Zagato family - the Coupes and Volantes already having been produced - and, ultimately, the end of this Vanquish era entirely. We'll next see the name when it adorns an all-new mid-engined supercar due at the start of the next decade...
[Images: S. Baldauf/S.B. Medien]