Picture the scene if you will. Dubai International Airport, 8.30am. The sun’s out in full swing, the balmy 27 degrees is set to rise higher still, and those of us who have just disembarked the (very) early morning flight from Heathrow are wondering if a jacket was necessary after all.
Through security and baggage claim, and finally out the main doors to meet my crankandpiston hosts for the remainder of the week. In the office’s VW ‘rocco too, no less!
Post-handshakes, I’m expecting a “how about a quick coffee before we get you checked into your hotel?”. As you can imagine, the “right, suitcase in the boot, we’re taking you to an Aston Martin event” came as a bit of a surprise.
Our destination is the Armani Hotel in Dubai’s Buj Khalifa – the tallest building in the world says my travel guide – in which Aston Martin will unveil the new V12 Zagato. The two companies have a rich automotive heritage. This is unlikely to be a Scotch egg and vol-au-vent affair.
After sampling the culinary delights provided by our genial hosts, the invited crowd are ushered through into the arena. Stage right, an Aston-shaped shroud is the focus of all attention.
After an introduction by Chief Designer Marek Reichman and Aston Martin’s General Manager Mark Kenworthy has raised suspense sufficiently, a deft flick of the latter’s wrist unveils the marque’s latest work of art. Queue the sound of gasping and lower jaws hitting the carpet.
Nobody can take their eyes off the plush red main attraction, and for good reason. The sleek contours of the V12 Zagato are gentile yet striking, Aston Martin’s inherent style and poise having been delivered by the ladel full during the design process. Alongside that, the sporting connotations are a sight to behold: those racing grills; the ‘come on then!’ wheel arches; those daring inlets behind the front wheels; and, of course, that floating Z. It spells ‘phwaor!’ in any language.
No doubt the sight of this handsome beast cruising down the road will have any petrolhead or art lover scrambling for their camera phone.
But be quick. With only 150 heading to the showrooms, that possibly blurry photo will be rarer than you think.