Design Micropost: Zagato versus Citroen

Zagato is interesting and Aston Martin is less so. Citroen was interesting and is less so. What do they have in common?

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Pretty much nothing except that both the rather costly Aston Martin Zagato of 2016 and the rather cheap Citroen C1 have a similarly unappealing faux-wraparound windscreen-to-side-glass.

Here is the side view:

2016 Aston Martin Vanquigh Zagato: source
2016 Aston Martin Vanquigh Zagato: source

The non-boring thing is that the rest of the car here and the rest of Zagato’s designs are much more absorbing than the official cars. The 2016 car punks up Aston’s normal shapes just enough to create a tension between what you know and what is new. The highlight running over the a-pillar, across the cant rail and down over the rear haunch is exquisite. You can see they are really pleased with it and justifiably so.

Zagato really ought to be doing Aston’s standard bodywork. They have a feel for the firm, as much of a rapport as Pininfarina had for Peugeot. Aston Martin seem to be, like Rolls, to be in a position to have short-runs of cars and to be able to sell them all. You could imagine Aston easily shifting 50-100 Zagato variants every year without stealing sales from the mass produced cars they normally trade in.

Bristol might still be around if they’d found a way to use the skills of people such as Touring, Zagato and Bertone instead of doing it in house all the time.

Here is the 2013 Zagato Centenniel convertible which is channelling the 1960’s in subtle way. Is this retro? Or is this merely a reference?

2013 Aston Martin DB9 Centenniel Zagato: source
2013 Aston Martin DB9 Centenniel Zagato: source

And this is a one-off showing the eternal appeal of a real shooting brake:

2014 Aston Martin Virage shooting brake: source
2014 Aston Martin Virage shooting brake: source

You don’t have to go too far back in time to find wraparound A-pillars done better:

1991 Buick Park Avenue: note the wraparound glass
1991 Buick Park Avenue: note the wraparound glass

Skoda did a much nicer job of this here:

2007 Skoda Fabia rental

Lastly, if you don’t feel like spending a thousand ninety hundred thousand euros on an Aston Zagato, you can have a little of the same style for about €10,000:

2011 Fiat 500 Zagato concept: source
2011 Fiat 500 Zagato concept: source

Sorry, it’s only a concept and one that ought to have made into production, no? This makes me think that more should be made of the capacities of the styling houses than is currently the norm.

[Slide show sources: Aston Martin and Citroen]

Author: richard herriott

I like anchovies. I dislike post-war town planning.

9 thoughts on “Design Micropost: Zagato versus Citroen”

  1. Zagato has created many extremely attractive Aston Martin´s – some of them are simply spectacular cars. With the exception of the Aston Martin Vantage Zagato of 1987 – a car that does not not look like a 90000 GBP car at all – it does not even look as expensive as a normal Aston Martin. Despite the glazed a-pillar….

  2. The Zagato Centennial is a super looking car. Shame it was only a one off, but hey ho, I cannot afford a standard DB9, never mind a bespoke one.

  3. You can buy something very similar to that Zagato 500 concept – The Lancia (Chrysler) Ypsilon.

  4. I took a closer look at the A-pillar of the Citroen C1 – it is a jigsaw puzzle with a lot of parts…

    1. The C1’s A-pillar is one of the worst crimes of the 21st century. And I’m not just talking design crimes either.

      In fact, all of the C1’s styling is quite baffling. Somewhere in the bowels of Citroen in the not too distant past, a team of people looked at a CAD/CAM rendering of that and said, “Yes, this is as good a job as we can do.”

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