Tag Archives: aston martin

Aston Martin to relaunch Lagonda brand

2009 Aston Martin Lagonda Concept

Lagonda, the sportscar company bought by Aston Martin some 66 years ago, is to get a new lease of life as its parent company looks to boost sales and break into other premium car markets.

Speaking to Drive, Aston Martin’s CEO, Dr. Ulrich Bez, said: “I am confident in the future we will see a Lagonda on the road,” but indicated that the first new cars to carry Lagonda branding probably won’t be making an appearance for at least five years.

Aston Martin has been toying with the idea for some time and in 2009 showcased a Lagonda concept SUV at the Geneva Motor Show (pictured above). However, that was when the company was still under Ford’s ownership and had unfettered access to the US automaker’s parts bins and R&D facilities.

Since regaining its independence, Aston Martin has struggled in the face of increasing competition from Ferrari, Porsche, Lamborghini, McLaren and Mercedes and its most recent accounts show that while the rest of the motoring industry is in rude health, it actually made a loss over the past 12 months.

Aston needs to reinvigorate its line-up and it needs to innovate if it is to continue to compete with the best of the rest, and a partnership with Mercedes Benz AMG, is a very big step in the right direction. Breaking into the growing luxury SUV market seems to be another key step to profitability.

1985 Aston Martin Lagonda

Let’s hope for Aston Martin’s sake that the resulting car is nothing like the last Lagonda-branded vehicle the company built.

The Aston Martin Lagonda, which launched in 1974 (immediately after coming out of bankruptcy) was throughout its 16-year lifespan the world’s most expensive production car. As well as being one of the most costly cars ever built, it was also one of the most technologically advanced, using TV screens rather than dashboard dials and a computerized engine management system.

As such it was incredibly unreliable and thanks to the complexities of the construction process took up to three years to reach each perspective owner.

In all, just 645 were produced and during that time the car won a host of unwanted accolades including an appearance on the Time magazine list of “The 50 Worst Cars of All Time.”

Aston Martin Lagonda interior

aston martin logo

Aston Martin announces AMG partnership

aston martin logo

With an announcement that is bound to send shivers down the spines of the British car company’s loyal client base while increasing the pressure on its Italian and German supercar competition, Aston Martin has revealed that its next-generation vehicles will be powered by AMG engines.

If all supercar contests were based simply on looks, rather than top speed, acceleration and cutting-edge technological features, Aston Martin would win. The somewhat eccentric British car maker more than any other seems to understand the strength and beauty of a sweeping line and how to use just the right amount of chrome to create a look that is both imposing and attractive.

Unfortunately, in recent years the company has been slowly falling behind the competition when it comes to what’s under the hood and inside the cabin. Its Cosworth engines pale in comparison to the latest Ferrari, Lamborghini, Porsche and Mercedes powerplants. This inability to keep up is due to the fact that the company is no longer under the stewardship of Ford and so no longer has access to the US company’s research and development, technical partnerships or deep pockets.

For those that don’t know, AMG is a German engineering company that hand-builds engines with ridiculous performance. Moreover, it also likes to take existing cars and give them the AMG treatment. Fast cars become supercars and supercars become hypercars, such is its magic touch.

AMG currently builds engines for Pagani but it is the company’s incredible work with Mercedes-Benz that has cemented its reputation and that in 2005 led to Mercedes buying the firm outright. As a result, all of Mercedes’ world-beating vehicles have AMG at their heart and very soon, Astons will also be beating to the same rhythm.

Still, in a typically reserved British manner, Aston Martin Product Development Director Ian Minards said of the agreement: “The opportunity to include content from Mercedes-AMG GmbH in our next generation sports cars is, clearly, good news.” Indeed.

550 Aston Martins

Aston Martin’s birthday celebrations in pictures

Aston Martin Kensington Gardens

The British luxury car manufacturer marks its centenary in inimitable style and with the biggest gathering of Aston Martins in history — some 550 vehicles past, present and future with a combined value of some £1 billion (US$1.5 billion).

Kensington Gardens Aston Martin

Kensington Gardens

As befits a car company associated with British (fictional) secret service agents, aristocracy and nobility, Aston Martin chose the sumptuous surroundings of London’s Kensington Gardens for the week-long UK leg of its global centenary celebrations.

550 Aston Martins

550 Aston Martins

In total a record-breaking 550 Aston Martins were on display with a total insurance value of over £1 billion.

The Bond factor

The Bond factor

The event attracted over 50,000 visitors and featured a number of individual themed exhibitions and features, including a heavy focus on the brand’s association with James Bond.

Aston Martin A3

The A3

Every significant Aston Martin road car ever produced was represented from ‘A3′, the oldest surviving car…

Vanquish Volante Kensington Gardens

Vanquish Volante

…to the Vanquish Volante, Vanquish Centenary Edition and V12 Vantage S.

CC100 Kensington Gardens


The CC100 Speedster Concept, which made its debut at this May’s 24 Hours of Nürburgring race was also on show alongside a number of Aston Martin’s most historic race cars.

DB9 Spyder Zagato Centennial

The DB9 Spyder Zagato Centennial and the DBS Coupe Zagato Centennial

One huge surprise was the inclusion of two special Zagato-designed cars – the DB9 Spyder Zagato Centennial and the DBS Coupe Zagato Centennial, which until this event had only appeared as artist’s renderings and rumors.

Kensington Gardens AstonMartin

Aston Martin Vanquish Volante

Aston Martin reveals new Vanquish Volante

Aston Martin Vanquish Volante

Aston Martin unveiled, this week, their upcoming 2014 Vanquish Volante convertible model, which it touts as the “pinnacle” of their sports car line-up.

The $300,000 convertible version of the flagship Vanquish can go from 0-62mph (100km/h) in 4.1 seconds and on a top speed of 183mph (295km/h) and, thanks to its 6.0-litre V12 engine, power is always on tap at any speed and acceleration is prompt at any point from idle to redline.

2014 aston martin vanquish volante

A super GT car rather than an out-and-out supercar, the Volante is designed for long, entertaining and exciting continental roadtrips rather than for setting new lap records at the local circuit.

Hence a six-speed automatic, rather than manual transmission – but that doesn’t mean that the car can’t hold its own against its competition!

Aston Martin Vanquish Volante blue

As with many flagship Astons, however, the emphasis of the Vanquish Volante is as much on comfort as it is on out-and-out performance, and cabin space is such that rear-seat passengers will be able to avoid discomfort on longer journeys.

Luggage space is also rather generous for a car of this nature making it great for long weekends away or even for everyday use. This has been achieved by separating the roof’s storage compartment from the trunk space.

Aston Martin Vanquish Volante interior

A number of convertibles, particularly those with metal rather than cloth retracting roofs, tend to lie flat in the trunk when retracted, taking up space that could have otherwise been used for suitcases and other loads.

Aston Martin Vanquish Volante start button

Inside it’s business as usual: cut-glass buttons with haptic feedback that vibrate to touch, a swooping center console and large-screen touch-sensitive infotainment display.

Aston Martin Vanquish Volante photo

Aston Martin has also introduced new trim designs for the Volante but with its Q branch bespoke arm up and running, the sky’s the limit as to what clients can specify in terms of wood veneers, leather and other internal and external features.

Aston Martin Vanquish Volante back

Q branch and the options book notwithstanding, the standard car will cost £199,995 in the UK, €264,995 in continental Europe, $297,995 in the US and $323,974 in Dubai.

The order book is open now and the first deliveries are expected towards the end of 2013.

Aston Martin V12 Vantage S pic

Aston Martin V12 Vantage S

The new range-topping Aston Martin V12 Vantage S draws on the company’s race car technology to create an extreme, track-focused supercar.

Aston Martin V12 Vantage S

The car, which Aston Martin claims plays second fiddle only to its One-77 hypercar in terms of performance, is capable of hitting 205mph (330kph) and is the first vehicle from the British company to feature its new seven-speed Sportshift transaxle and gearbox, derived from its racing car technology.

Developed for performance in any driving conditions, the V12 Vantage S offers drivers over 500bhp (573PS) of power and plenty of torque across the rev band from idling to red line, so that power and acceleration are always there, no matter at what speed the car is traveling or in which gear.

Aston Martin V12 Vantage S photo

Also helping the Vantage S to deliver when needed is the new gearbox — essentially a hydraulically assisted automated manual transmission — which ensures the smallest possible gap between gear changes and therefore loss of torque.

And while this will no doubt make the car incredible on the track or in straight-line drag races, a paddle-shift gearbox will never replicate the delicacy and control that a manual gearbox and a clutch give the driver.

Aston Martin V12 Vantage S pic

It doesn’t matter how fast a car can go if it can’t be parked at the end of a hard day’s racing. Reverse parking without a clutch pedal is not for the faint-hearted, especially when the car being parked costs over $200,000.

But this is clearly a car focused on speed. Much of the aluminum bright work usually associated with Aston Martins — such as on the air intake grilles — has been replaced withcarbon fiber, while inside, the now familiar dashboard layout has a new addition — selector switches for engaging the car’s active damping system to tailor performance for Normal, Sport, and Track conditions

Aston Martin V12 Vantage S interior

For example, switching to Sport mode opens the exhaust, increases the speed and timing of gear changes, firms the suspension and backs off the sensitivity of the power steering. All of which makes the V12 Vantage S one of the most hardcore road cars the company has ever developed.

Aston Martin V12 Vantage S top

Aston is yet to confirm pricing, but expect the V12 Vantage S to retail for €175,000 before optional extras when Aston Martin starts taking orders.

Luxury cars going increasingly customized

Bespoke Home of Rolls Royce motor collection

New statistics reveal that the demand for personalization in the ultra luxury car segment is not only a growing trend but is one being driven by Middle Eastern clients.

According to Rolls-Royce, in q1 2013, nearly every one of its flagship Phantoms were commissioned with bespoke personalization, while 75% of its smaller Ghost luxury saloons also left the production line with some form of client personalisation.

The company’ figures, which stretch back to 2005, show that even seven years ago, 50% of all clients were in search of something more than ‘stock’ luxury — 75% of cars destined for the Middle East were personalized, as were 55% of European and 50% of vehicles destined for Asia.

However, in North America, a region that has made customization — of every type of car from family run-around to limousine — mainstream, a mere 30% of orders were for customized Phantoms.

Fast forward to today and the US is only behind the Middle East in terms of personalization — 95% of Phantoms headed for the US are customized, compared with 100% of those destined for the Middle East and 93% of those sold in Europe.

This growing demand is such that Rolls-Royce has had to expand The Home of Rolls-Royce, its bespoke personalization arm, doubling the number of designers, craftsmen and engineers it employs.

But this trend is not confined to Rolls-Royce. Aston Martin and McLaren have also witnessed growing demand for bespoke features.

Aston Martin officially opened its Q by Aston Martin bespoke personalisation service in April, allowing discerning clients to specify both interior and exterior features, but its dedicated designers are happy to help a customer design any luxury item, be it a yacht or even a house — Aston Martin claims that its designers have already worked in collaboration with a client’s architect for that very purpose.

McLaren showcased what it calls its Special Operations division, which is charged with the delivery of bespoke projects, at the Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance in August 2011.

Twenty-one months later, 25% of McLaren cars leaving the production do so following bespoke customisation and roughly 50% are for North American clients.

“The levels of McLaren Special Operations content on the 12C and 12C Spider has been steadily increasing throughout the year, with a diverse range of upgrades requested from owners looking to put a unique twist on their McLaren,” says Paul Mackenzie, Programme Director at McLaren Automotive.

To celebrate the growing demand for personalization, Rolls-Royce has handed design duties over to its bespoke department for a special range of Phantom and Ghost models that will launch later this year.

Each model produced will feature a special celebration motif in hand-crafted marquetry, plus a special embroidered pattern adorning armrests and console lids that require 112,533 individual stitches and that, even with a precision embroidery machine, take over an hour to complete.

Meanwhile McLaren is expanding the reach of its Special Operations unit too, so that clients who specified their supercars before the company started offering the service, can re-specify their cars.

Rolls Royce motor cars bespoke design

Aston Martin CC100 Speedster Concept Car

Aston Martin CC100 Speedster Concept Car

British car maker Aston Martin celebrates its 100th anniversary with the Aston Martin CC100 Speedster Concept sports car.

It pays homage to AM’s 1959 Le Mans and Nurburgring-winning DBR1, perhaps the automaker’s greatest sport triumph on the track, as well as hinting at future design direction.

Aston Martin CC100 Speedster Concept Car

The body and interior are crafted entirely from carbon fibre, designed and constructed in less than six months at Aston Martin’s global headquarters in Gaydon.

Aston Martin CC100 Speedster Concept Car

The car borrows the open-top “speedster” body style from the DBR1. But it dispenses with the windshield and adds huge cutouts in the so-called “swan wing” doors, which open at an upward angle and are a hallmark of modern Aston Martins.

Aston Martin CC100 Speedster Concept Car

The Aston Martin CC100 Speedster Concept car uses a version of the company’s potent 6-liter V12 engine and a six-speed automated manual transmission.

Aston Martin CC100 Speedster Concept Car

The new car is claimed to have a limited top speed of 180 mph (290 km/h) while being capable of reaching 62 mph (100 km/h) in just over 4.0 seconds.

Aston Martin CC100 Speedster Concept Car

Ulrich Bez, Aston Martin’s CEO, drove the CC100 in a surprise debut at the Nurburgring, making a parade lap around the German track before the start of an annual 24-hour endurance race that kicked off yesterday.

Aston Martin CC100 Speedster Concept Car

Aston Martin Centenary Tour

Aston Martin Centenary Tour begins in Europe

Aston Martin Centenary Tour

A convoy of cars is coming to 19 cities and eight European countries over the next seven weeks for the Aston Martin Centenary Tour.

Accompanying the 2013 Vanquish, the British carmaker’s current flagship model, will be a 1921 Aston Martin A3 — the oldest existing car from the company’s 100-year history — and of course the iconic 1963 DB5 made famous by its ongoing association with that other major UK export — James Bond.

The cars are traveling to Aston Martin dealerships throughout Europe, starting in Cologne, Germany, on April 23 and ending in Paris, France, on June 13, via Luxemburg, Switzerland, Italy, Austria, The Netherlands and Monaco. Each stop on the tour will coincide with a number of special local events to celebrate the milestone and to help Aston Martin fans get closer to the cars.

Although the European leg of the tour will end in June, it will mark only the first stage of the company’s planned year-long celebrations.

Other events include a lap of honor for 100 lucky Aston Martin owners at the start of the Le Mans 24-hour endurance race on June 22 and a special appearance at the Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance in California in August.

The following is a full run-down of the Centenary Tour stops:

– 23rd April – Cologne (Germany)
– 25th April – Luxembourg
– 26th April – Hilversum (The Netherlands)
– 30th April – Bremen (Germany)
– 3rd May – Dresden (Germany)
– 6th May – Vienna (Austria)
– 7th May – Salzburg (Austria)
– 8th May – Munich (Germany)
– 13th May – Memmingen (Germany)
– 16th May – Milan (Italy)
– 17th May – Cadenazzo (Switzerland)
– 19th May – 21st May – N24 Adac Nürburging (Germany)
– 23 May – Stuttgart (Germany)
– 24th May – Düsseldorf (Germany)
– 29th May – Kronberg (Germany)
– 1st June – Safenwil (Switzerland)
– 6th June – Monaco
– 11th June – Lyon (France)
– 12th June – Bordeaux (France)
– 13th June – Paris (France)

Aston Martin DBR1 photo

Aston Martin CC100 confirmed

Aston Martin DBR1

Only two examples of Aston Martin’s new two-seat open top racing car will be built, and they will make their debut at this year’s Nürburgring 24-hour race in May.

Inspired by the Aston Martin DBR1 that legendary British racing driver Sterling Moss piloted to victory in the 1959 Nürburgring 1000km, the CC100 will be based on the Aston Martin V12 Vantage platform and like, the original, will have a completely exposed cabin, no roof and no doors. The lucky owner will have to climb in and out of the car each time he or she wishes to put it through its paces.

The company’s CEO, Dr. Ulrich Bez, confirmed at the Geneva Motor Show that the car would cost somewhere between £330,000 and £1.4 million and that two examples would be produced.

The first will be to celebrate Aston Martin’s first 100 years in business, and the second will honor Moss’s victory 54 years ago.

Bez also revealed that at this year’s Nürburgring 24-hour race in May that he will drive the CC100 and that Sterling Moss will be reunited with the DBR1.

Aston Martin Silver Cross Surf

Aston Martin creates $3,000 luxury baby stroller

Aston Martin Silver Cross Surf

Luxury car manufacturer Aston Martin has teamed up with pram company Silver Cross to unveil the ‘world’s most exclusive pram’.

The two companies claim the Aston Martin Edition of the Silver Cross Surf is “designed to perfection with every detail considered”, down to the leather which is an exact match to that used in the cars.

The Silver Cross air-ride suspension guarantees a smooth ride on all terrains and the multi-position handlebar “ensures comfortable pushing for everyone”.

To be sold exclusively at Harrods in London in April, the Aston Martin Silver Cross Surf stroller is set to be one of the most expensive strollers on the market.

Each stroller, which retails for £2,000, will come with its own certificate of authenticity and an engraved brushed chrome plaque to confirm that it is one of a limited edition.

aston martin bertone

Bertone Aston Martin Jet 2+2

bertone aston martin

Italian coachbuilder and car styling company Bertone has created a one-off Aston Martin Rapide shooting brake known as the Jet 2+2.

The Jet 2+2 is a followup to the Italian design house’s previous Jet 2 shooting-brake concept unveiled in 2004 and based on the first-generation Aston Martin Vanquish.

As the car’s name suggests, the interior features two rows of seats that come lined in plush, perforated leather and feature a two-tone design.

The car’s 2+2 designation refers to the four individual seats inside; the rear seats fold flat to create even more luggage room. The interior is also dressed in polished wood and aluminum trim.

Aston Martin Rapide shooting brake interior

Power comes from a 470bhp version of Aston’s 5.9-litre V12 taken from the current Rapide, rather than the more potent 550bhp version from the upcoming Rapide S.

Only one example will be built. The stunning concept was commissioned as “a strict one-off” by a collector and the project has the full approval of Aston Martin.

Look for both the new Bertone Jet 2+2 shooting brake concept and 2014 Aston Martin Rapide range at the 2013 Geneva Motor Show, which kicks off March 5.

Aston Martin Rapide shooting brake

007legends aston martin

Aston Martin no longer Britain’s coolest brand

007legends aston martin

Apple has been named as the UK’s coolest brand, taking first place from luxury car brand Aston Martin in the 2012 CoolBrands rankings.

In fact, the exclusive and much idolized carmaker, which has held the top spot in the annual CoolBrands list for six of the past seven years, was beaten not just by Apple in first place, but also by YouTube, which moved up into second place.
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Aston Martin Vanquish Blue

Aston Martin Vanquish to Debut at Pebble Beach

Aston Martin Vanquish Blue

Aston Martin is bringing its new Vanquish to the U.S., with the supercar set to appear at a number of events surrounding the Monterey automotive week in California.

The Vanquish will first appear at McCall’s Motorworks Revival on August 15, before attending the Quail Motorsports Gathering on August 17 and then the Pebble Beach Concours two days later.
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Aston Martin Rapide Kahn Design

Aston Martin Rapide by Kahn Design

Aston Martin Rapide Kahn Design

Specialist A. Kahn Design from Bradford, UK has released their program for the Aston Martin Rapide.

Finished in a sexy shade of Onyx Black, the Rapide has been dressed with a matte black front bumper grille mesh, hood vents in billet aluminum, black brake calipers, matte black side vent grilles and tinted privacy glass

Other upgrades include the addition of sports exhaust, tinted glass, and RSX-F wheels with 21-inch rims in platinum silver finish.
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Aston Martin V12 Vantage Roadster

Aston Martin V12 Vantage Roadster

Aston Martin V12 Vantage Roadster

The new Aston Martin V12 Vantage Roadster has leaked ahead of an official debut later this week.

The V12 Roadster gets the same engine and gearbox as the V12 Vantage Coupe which means the 6.0 litre V12 with 510bhp and a six-speed manual ‘box.

Differences to the coupe include a revised rear deck lid with a reshaped spoiler, redesigned front air intake and modified front and rear suspension.
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The Aston Martin Vanquish

Aston Martin unveil the new Vanquish

The Aston Martin Vanquish

Aston Martin‘s new DBS successor has been renamed the AM310 Vanquish and it borrows heavily from the spectacular One-77 coupe.

Built on the latest version of Aston Martin’s VH (vertical horizontal) architecture, the car’s components make use of materials such as bonded aluminium and carbon-fibre, improving overall rigidity by 25% over the outgoing model and reducing weight.
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aston martin one-77 bike

Aston Martin One-77 Bicycle

aston martin one-77 bike

Aston Martin and Factor Bikes have teamed up to create the world’s most technologically advanced superbike, the One-77.

Based on the Factor001 by Factor Bikes, the Aston Martin-branded two-wheeler will feature the same “motorsport-derived data logging system,” providing over 100 channels of performance feedback like speed, rate of climb and power.
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Aston Martin one-77 crash

Aston Martin One-77 Crash in Hong Kong

Aston Martin one-77 crash

The number of Aston Martin One-77 supercars in existence has now dropped from an original 77 cars to 76 following a crash that took place last week in Hong Kong.

This sole image, found on Weibo, shows that the wreckage inflicted on the supercar was quite severe, suggesting that significant speed was a factor in the crash.

The incident was the result of the driver hitting a kerb at high speed. Reports have stated there were no other cars involved in the crash and no-one was injured.
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