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Bentley Continental Zagato

Italian coachbuilder gives British bruiser a stylish makeover.

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Zagato has created a stunning machine in the shape of the GTZ. It successfully blends Italian style with the brutish looks of Bentley’s Continental GT. The design is full of gorgeous detailing, and a limited production run of only nine models will ensure it takes its place in history. But however exclusive the GTZ is, it’s still difficult to get away from that incredible price tag, especially when the GT Speed on which it is based only costs £137,500.

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Luxury car badges don’t come any more exclusive than Bentley. Or do they? Last year, the Crewe firm’s global sales reached a record high of 10,000, and it was the Continental GT range that drove that success.

So if you’re in the market for a truly individual Bentley, look no further than this – the Zagato GTZ. Unveiled at the Geneva Motor Show earlier this year, it’s the result of a joint venture between the Italian styling house and the Crewe company.

Based on the stunning 600bhp GT Speed, the GTZ features a coach-built body and an even more luxurious interior. Only nine examples will be made, each carrying a price tag of around £400,000. Mixing Italian design with traditional Bentley road presence, the Zagato GTZ is striking.

The Continental GT’s menacing shape is given elegance with a sleeker tail, more pronounced haunches and a trademark Zagato double-bubble roof. The look is finished off by a bolder metal grille and two-tone paintwork.

Needless to say, the detailing is exquisite. Each of the unique new body panels, hand-made from aluminium, is flawless, while the LED tail-lights cost a reported £30,000 a pair!

The interior trim has been re-upholstered in luxurious leather with Z motifs stitched into the seatbacks. And there’s beautifully crafted full leather headlining for the roof, too. The driving experience is identical to the Continental GT Speed’s, which means that despite its considerable weight and size, the GTZ handles well with strong grip. Acceleration is seemingly endless, and the Zagato promises to have an even higher maximum than the GT Speed.

Only one example of the GTZ is being delivered this summer, and that’s to a UK collector. But orders are now being taken for the GTZ Cabriolet, due in 2009. This will again be available in a limited run of nine – although prices are set to start at a huge £500,000.

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