Thursday, July 30, 2009

Aston Martin enters race

Aston Martin is taking its LMP1 GT cars to the Le Mans Series night race in the Algarve this weekend.
Aston Martin LMP1 Car Pics
The British team will enter two of the cars which finished in the Le Mans 24 Hours race is June; the 007 car will be driven by Jan Charouz, Tomas Enge and Stefan Mucke, while the 009 car will be entrusted to Harold Primat, Miguel Ramos and Darren Turner.
Aston Martin LMP1 picture gallery

2009 Aston Martin LMP1 picture

2009 Aston Martin LMP1

2009 Aston Martin LMP1 front view

2009 Aston Martin LMP1

2009 Aston Martin LMP1 side view

2009 Aston Martin LMP1

2009 Aston Martin LMP1 wallpaper

2009 Aston Martin LMP1

The race at the new Autodromo Internacional Algarve in Portugal will be the first ever Le Mans Series night race. It starts on Saturday evening at 7.15pm local time and should finish around six hours later, after 1000km and 215 laps.

Aston Martin Racing team principal George Howard-Chappell said, “I’m hoping that our testing here earlier in the year will be of some benefit and in addition we are happy to be racing again.

“We need to focus on trying to win the championship and also on winning races outright, which should be possible now without the factory diesel cars.

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Aston Martin geared up for Algarve night race

LMS - Aston Martin Racing - AMR

© Aston Martin Racing

Following a fourth overall and highest petrol finish at the Le Mans 24 hour race in June, Aston Martin Racing continues with the remainder of the Le Mans Series (LMS) and heads to the new Autodromo Internacional Algarve in Portugal for the first ever LMS night race.

Aston Martin Racing will field two LMP1 cars for the third round of this year’s Le Mans Series. Hoping to secure their third consecutive LMS podium finish, the 007 car of Jan Charouz (CZ), Tomas Enge (CZ) and Stefan Mucke (DE) will be joined by the 009 car of Harold Primat (CH), Miguel Ramos (PT) and Darren Turner (GB).

The Aston Martin LMP1 cars will take the rolling start of the Algarve 1000 kilometres at 19:15 local time on Saturday 1 August. The race will finish at approximately 01:15 on Sunday morning after 215 laps.

The iconic blue and orange Gulf liveried Aston Martins will take to the track on Thursday afternoon at 16:45 and again at 21:30 for two free practice sessions, the second of which is a two hour session after sunset allowing the team and drivers to prepare for Saturday’s night race. The third and final free practice session takes place on Friday at 13:45 prior to a 20 minute qualifying session at 19:40.

Completed in 2008, the 4.65 kilometre/2.89 miles long circuit is one of the most modern in Europe, benefiting from excellent safety and comfort for both drivers and spectators alike. The undulating terrain lends itself to an exciting circuit packed with elevation changes and blind corners that will challenge all of the competitors.

Although the Autodromo Internacional Algarve is new to the Le Mans Series, it is familiar to the team as Aston Martin Racing held an endurance test at the track in April.

Six weeks on from the team’s Le Mans 24 hour endeavour, Aston Martin Racing Team Principal George Howard-Chappell is looking forward to competing at the new Algarve circuit: “I’m hoping that our testing here earlier in the year will be of some benefit and in addition we are happy to be racing again. We need to focus on trying to win the Championship and also on winning races outright, which should be possible now without the factory diesel cars. I am also looking forward to welcoming back our Portuguese driver Miguel Ramos to the squad.”

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Aston Martin V8 Vantage

Aston Martin V8 Vantage

The 'baby' Aston is strong, fast and remarkably reliable

Who hasn’t dreamt of owning an Aston Martin? Launched in 2005 as a new entry-level model for the brand, the V8 Vantage was intended to bring that dream just a little bit closer for some of us. Now, four years on, it’s got even closer still, with early cars available second-hand at almost half the original £80K asking price.

Built in an immaculate, purpose-designed factory in Warwickshire – where production continues today – the Vantage combines an extruded alloy and composite body with a superb Jaguar-derived 4.3-litre V8 and either a manual or semi-automatic ‘Sportshift’ six-speed gearbox. The resulting ‘baby’ Aston is strong, fast and remarkably reliable – the latter fact being borne out by the number of car hire companies that lend them out to ‘persons of restricted talent’ with few problems.

The V8 Vantage looks as stunning today as it did when it was launched. Understated in a way that other exotics can only dream of, it draws admiring glances from people who would shake their head in disgust at gaudier cars. The standard model’s 380bhp V8 is delightfully revvy, with peak power arriving at 7000rpm, although the lack of mid-range torque does mean extra downshifts are required when pressing on.

Slipping into the well sculpted seat you are surrounded by superb design, the dash uncluttered and very elegant. The start-up message – ‘power, beauty, soul’ – is a bit cheesy, and calling the ignition key an ‘Emotion Control Unit’ is just plain silly, but once on the move these things are soon forgotten. The Vantage’s ride is sharp, but not jarring, giving wonderfully precise control that makes the car thrilling to drive on ‘real’ roads yet relaxing on long journeys. It’s a testament to the car’s superb balance of power and handling that so many owners use their Vantage as a daily driver.

But it’s very usable as a tourer too. The boot is big enough to take a reasonable amount of luggage for the two occupants, while unlike many other cars in this class it doesn’t pretend to have rear seats; instead there is an honest luggage shelf which is ideal for storing nibbles, a camera and papers for a long journey. It’s probably worth putting a map there too, as the satnav is not so good – derived from the Volvo system, it is probably the weakest aspect of this otherwise near-perfect car.

The proof of any performance car’s pedigree is in racing, and the Vantage enjoyed racing success almost straight out of the box: the N24 racer was basically a road-going Vantage with a roll cage. This car inspired the N400 version of 2007, the N standing for Nürburgring, the 400 referring to its 400bhp. To help complete the competition picture it also boasted the firmer Sports Pack suspension and the later, thicker anti-roll bar.

Prodrive produced a special variant of the Vantage, too, with four upgrade packages available in any combination. The engine tweak gave an extra 45bhp, taking the total to 425, the suspension mods made the car feel more stable and accurate through corners, and there were options that added new wheels and high-downforce aerodynamics.

In 2008 the factory improved the engine further. With detail modifications and a new capacity of 4.7 litres, it brought more mid-range grunt and upped power to 420bhp, while also managing the neat trick of being 13 per cent more economical.

Sunday, July 26, 2009

Aston Martin DB7

Aston Martin
Aston Martin DB7 in buckinghamshire green metallic. 3.2 supercharged engine. Automatic gear box.

Well looked after with full aston martin service history. Has been re-sprayed and looks better than some cars with half the miles.

Also has the AP Racing big brake upgrade a £3k option when new! Brakes done recently all round ( disk and pads) at a cost of £1700. MOT until march next year. Tax until august. Almost new bridgestone s02 tyres on the rear. Lots spent in the last 18 months.

Moving house soon so she has to go. Any questions please email, call or text me.

Looking for £18500 or near offers.

Saturday, July 25, 2009

Aston Martin Offers Upgrade Packages for 4.3-liter V8 Vantage Owners

Aston Martin V8 Vantage

When Aston Martin released the hugely popular V8 Vantage in 2006, they fitted it with a 4.3-liter V8 and 380 horsepower. This wasn’t enough for many people, since the Vantage’s competitors such as the Porsche 911 Turbo and Audi R8 were easily faster. Finally AM decided to up the ante for the 2009 V8 Vantage and bore out the engine to 4.7 liters, add a high-performance Sports Package and tighten the chassis, making the Vantage a real kick-in-the-nuts to Porsche and Audi.

Not wanting to leave the 2006-2008 V8 Vantage owners behind in their 380 HP weenie-mobiles, Aston Martin created an upgrade package allowing them to increase their horsepower to 400, add around 7 ftlbs of torque, and hit a slightly higher top speed of 177 mph. All of this is done through a new air intake system originally designed for the DBS which opens a valve at 5500 RPM, letting more air in and allowing for more power. The engine computer has also been tweaked to optimize ignition timing and allow for a higher octane fuel to be used.

Additionally, due to the popularity of the new Sport Pack option on the 2009 Vantage, Aston Martin is allowing previous owners to retrofit a Sport Pack onto their older car. The Sport Pack increases handling performance with upgraded springs and Bilstein dampers, and adds the sexy new lightweight 5-spoke alloy wheels

Still not as quick as the 2009 V8 Vantage, and you still can’t get the excellent Sport/Comfort mode in the Sportshift 2009s, but it’s definitely an upgrade that I hope many will take. Pricing has not yet been announced, but don’t expect it to be cheap.

New Photos of Aston Martin One-77


Aston Martin has finally revealed the One-77, and I must say, they did not disappoint.

This is the most extreme representation the historic marque has ever built, with an equally extreme price of £1,050,000. Translated into English, the One-77 will slash a $1,500,000 to $2,000,000 size hole in your bank account.

Power will come from a 7.3 liter V-12 engine. Now, this has not been officially confirmed, but horsepower is rumored to be around 700, with torque pegged at 533 pound-feet. Am I the only one who thinks those numbers are a little too weak, especially in a car costing as much as a Bugatti Veyron? Top speed had damn well better be over 200 mph, and I’m hoping for a 0-60 time of less than 3.5 seconds.

I believe it is the only car to ever feature a 100 percent carbon fiber chassis, though I could be wrong. Body panels are aluminum, and it features a retractable spoiler, adaptive suspension, carbon ceramic brakes, and all those goodies requisite of a modern supercar.

It is also completely customer centered, meaning you can customize it any way you want— 2+2 seating, open top, exotic wood trim, you name it, and you got it. Assuming, of course, that you are one of those who placed an order before all 77 examples were sold.

More pictures after the jump.




Aston Martin Opens Showroom in Charlotte, NC

Aston Martin Charlotte

Worldwide economic meltdown? Don’t tell Aston Martin. They just opened a new showroom in Charlotte, NC. As it turns out, Aston Martin isn’t doing too bad for themselves. Unlike most of the other high-end sports car

/ supercar / luxury car companies, Aston Martin is no longer owned by an automotive giant - ever since Ford sold them to private company, they no longer suffer the same inevitable fate as the big auto makers.

I attended the grand opening of Aston Martin Charlotte, and had a chance to sit down with Bill Norman, Operations Manager SE Region of Aston Martin North America to chat about the dealership and future plans for Aston Martin…

Aston Martins

Upon arriving at the Foreign Cars International dealership, which also sells Maserati and Ferrari, you’d swear the economy was in great shape. Outside sat two DB9s, one Volante, and inside the new 300 square foot showroom sat two V8 Vantages, a DB9 Volante, a DBS, and a DBS Volante - the only one currently in North America. Sleek and modern interior design is what the higher profile clientele want, and that’s what they get.

Foreign Cars International already has an Aston Martin dealership in Greensboro, NC; only an hour and a half drive away. You’d think with only 37 dealers in North America they would want to space them further apart, but since the Greensboro dealer saw a lot of buyers based out of Charlotte (which is one of the largest financial centers in the US,) it makes sense to open another one closer to their customers.

Aston Martin One-77

Also take into consideration that North Carolina is a hub for driving enthusiasts. No, we’re not all about Nascar like many people think. The main cities here are swarming with sports cars. Real sports cars, not mid-90s Camaros. And as Mr. Norman explained, Aston Martin caters more to driving enthusiasts than high-profile execs trying to impress everyone. After driving the 2009 V8 Vantage, I can certainly attest to that. Each car is hand built, with no robotics involved. A very minimal amount of plastic is used in each car - instead replaced with aluminum, carbon fiber, glass, leather, and stainless steel. Each upholstery, each engine, transmission, and body is made for each individual car; the parts are not mass produced. As a result, each car takes 33 days to build, and the quality truly stands out among the rest. When you become an Aston Martin owner, you’re invited to all customer events held around the world, which turns out to be relatively frequent.

With this much customer focus and more models in the pipeline, Aston Martin is poised for growth. The exclusive One-77, while it won’t be sold in the States (EPA regulations,) will boost brand image as a proper supercar. The incredible 600 hp V12 Vantage will redefine the term “grand tourer.” Although no plans have been announced, Aston is talking about a successor to the DB9. The DBS Volante is almost on the market here, and then we have the Rapide four-door, which we won’t talk about right now. With most companies becoming more economical and “green” (even Audi and Ferrari,) it’s good to see a company that refuses to abandon their principals and high-displacement sports car roots.

Aston Martin V12 Vantage

Needless to say, there’s a lot to be excited about from the brand from Warwickshire, UK. Expanding their dealership network along with their line-up will help accomplish continued growth.

Aston Martin DBS Volante Debuts at Geneva Motor Show

Aston Martin DBS
Few carmakers have the pedigree - the panache - of Aston Martin, and even fewer cars can match the elegant DBS. Now Aston Martin has seen fit to add a drop-top version of the DBS, called the Volante.

The DBS Volante is powered by the same 6.0L V12 engine rated at 510hp (380kW) and 420lb-ft (570Nm) of torque as the hard-top DBS. Top speed in the convertible variant is 191mph (307km/h) and it sprints to 62mph (100km/h) in just 4.3 seconds.
"The DBS Volante delivers the utmost relaxed driving experience with the hood up or down. It combines engineering excellence with design perfection," said Aston Martin CEO Ulrich Bez. "The DBS Volante offers a subtle mix of power and performance. Adding to this, the fine craftsmanship - it is an unparalleled ownership and driving experience."

Only the 16th convertible Aston has built in its 95-year history, the DBS Volante rides at the forefront of the company's available technology. Beyond the simply awesome sounding V12, the car gets a choice of six-speed manual or Touchtronic automatic six-speed transmissions. Structural rigidity is preserved well, with the Volante exhibiting 75% of the stiffness of the coupe, thanks in part to a rigidly mounted rear sub-frame and optimized front and rear shear panels.

Carbon ceramic brakes are standard, and the most cutting edge materials are used throughout the car, including a carbon fiber hood, front wing and trunk lid. Despite the weight-shaving measures, the DBS Volante is still a big GT, with a curb weight of 3,990lb (1,810kg). An Active Damping System (ADS) keeps the big car's roll under control, however, and can be tuned for comfort or speed.

Aston's partnership with Bang & Olufsen bears more fruit in the DBS Volante, with the BeoSound DBS in-car entertainment system's 13-speaker symphony part of the standard equipment package as well.

Most of the rest of the running gear is shared with the coupe, making the DBS Volante not just attractive but eminently capable on the road, the track or cruising the strip.

The new DBS Volante joins the DB9 Volante as Aston's only current convertible models.


To start the new DBS, Aston Martin's stunning flagship, just insert the ECU. That's the stainless steel and sapphire Emotion Control Unit. Oh, make no mistake. This car, indeed, is in control of your emotions. Once inserted, the ECU glows red. Your eyes will widen, your adrenalin will pump. Yeah, you may even have to take a couple of deep breaths to compose yourself. How in the world did James Bond ever take his mind off this thing long enough to nail the bad guys?

Aston Martin One-77

Before we talk about the race-bred technology and the hand-built V-12's raw power, just look at its lines. Built with aluminum and carbon fiber, the DBS has been sculpted, every curve and crease, with the impression of speed and performance in mind. That's Aston Martin talking, with me in full frontal nod.

This is the first road-ready Aston to implement so much carbon fiber to establish a lightweight and nimble creature.

Flared wheel arches are filled with 20-inch wheels that offer a glimpse of the race-induced carbon ceramic brakes (lighter, more durable and magnificent stopping ability). The carbon fiber hood bulges to accommodate the power source underneath. Five hand-finished alloy slats add class and distinction to the grille.

The DBS, the priciest of the Aston Martin clan, is a direct descendant of the DB9, a racing machine that owns back-to-back GT1 Class honors at LeMans 24-Hour in 2007 and 2008. But the DBS is lighter by some 200 pounds and a third of a second quicker.

Heck with the new and sweet Bang & Olufsen sound system; the sound of the 6.0-liter V-12, maker of 520 horses of raw power, is even sweeter. This is a front to mid-engine car powered by the rear wheels. Hold onto your carbon fiber armrests as DBS flies to 62 mph in 4.3 seconds, and is capable of hitting 191 mph. Eleven-and-a-half inch wide tires grab the road like a roller coaster grabs the rails on the loop-de-loops. And new this year, as an alternative to the six-speed manual tranny, is a paddleshifted six-speed automatic. It offers quicker shifts and response, and the proof is in the fact that it, too, will get you to 62 mph in 4.3 seconds. Push into Sport mode and DBS winds it out further and shifts up at higher speeds.

Cornering in the DBS is virtually lean-free and is aided by a damping system with five settings. The system has sensors that take continuous readings and adjust to the driving conditions. Holding you in place during this spirited ride are nicely bolstered seats that clutch you just right at the thighs and ribcage. DBS is a two-seater but a backseat is optional in place of the storage area behind the front seats. Still, it's not built for rear-seaters, unless you're bringing the youngsters for a thrill.

Leather is soft and smells great, complemented by Alcantara suede trim. Stitched on the seats is the DBS logo, a reminder to yourself and guests that this is as good as it gets in an Aston Martin. And the seats have 10-way electrical adjustments.

The instrument panel is elegant, featuring white numerals over a dark graphite background for easy reading. The polished alloy gear knob blends with the similarly adorned center console. The Bang & Olufsen sound system, developed exclusively for the DBS, puts out a total of 1,000 watts and includes a 6-CD changer.

Could you drive the DBS daily? With pleasure. Should you? Well, let's just say this car is built for pure performance, not practicality.

So who in the world, in these days more than ever, can swing the base price of $269,000 for the DBS? Not many of us. And, consider that the C6 Corvette offers a heavy dose of power and fun for a fraction of the money.

Still, a Corvette is not an Aston Martin. Doesn't pretend to be. So for the few, the proud and extremely comfortable who can afford the luxury and performance at this level, the DBS is ready to seize your emotions.

Base Price: $269,000 ($273,000 with Touchtronic shifter)

Aston Martin One-77 On Its Way to Nurburg

Aston Martin is working on a pre-production model that will take on the Nurburgring. The version we saw at car shows was just a prototype with a running engine. The new model will be the next stage in development and fine tuning. The testing will be finished around the spring of 2010. First cars will arrive at customers mid-2010.

About 40 confirmed orders have been taken. Each car will take about three and a half months to build. The One-77 will be produced in a limited series of 77 pieces. Pricing is still unknown for us at this stage.

Just enjoy some of the high-res pictures made at Ville d’Este concours event in Italy:

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Toyota, Aston Martin Forge Deal

Toyota Motor Corp. said it will produce its ultracompact iQ model for U.K. car maker Aston Martin, in its first tie-up under the leadership of its new president, Akio Toyoda.

Toyota, the world's biggest car maker by sales volume, will supply the iQ -- built at a plant in Japan -- to the U.K. car maker. Aston Martin will redesign the car to sell it as the Cygnet under its own brand.

Getty Images

Toyota's fuel-efficient iQ ultra-compact car.Toyota iQ

"Now is the right time for Aston Martin to take this first bold step to embark on this special project," Aston Martin Chief Executive Ulrich Bez said in a news release.

A spokeswoman at Aston Martin's Japanese unit said the company will sell the Cygnet in Europe and other countries, though details such as sales targets and launch dates have yet to be determined.

The deal comes as global auto makers introduce smaller, lower-emission cars to meet stricter emission regulations in markets world-wide, a big challenge for makers of large, gas-guzzling automobiles such as Aston Martin, whose cars have been featured in James Bond films.

The Japanese car maker is trying to rebound after posting its first net loss in almost six decades in the most recent fiscal year. The company's new president is the first member of the founding family to take up the post in 14 years.

For Toyota, the move could boost output volume and improve production efficiency for the iQ. Amid an economic slump, the car isn't selling as strongly in Japan and Europe as the company had initially hoped.

Partnering with the luxury-sports-car maker also could boost Toyota's brand image.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Aston Martin Lagonda SUV on indefinite hold, may not be built at all

Sources have told Inside Line that the Lagonda SUV, which made its debut at the 2009 Geneva Motor Show in concept form, won’t be built for now, or at all. Sources said that Aston Martin Lagonda chairman David Richards was one of the many who was not pleased with the concept that made its debut in March.

Aston Martin boss Ulrich Bez said that the project is on an indefinite hold due to the global economic uncertainty.

“We have several sources ready to invest upward of a quarter-billion pounds,” said Bez, “but the timing right now is simply wrong. We have some work to do yet, and it takes a lot of investment.”

“Our intention with Lagonda is to produce as much volume as we see today from Aston Martin. So essentially, doubling our volumes once up and running.”

Sources said that Richards wants to get another Lagonda concept to debut at a major auto show this year.

Aston Martin Lagonda Concept:

Aston Martin Lagonda Showcased at Geneva

Back in February, we had reported that Aston Martin was going to showcase a new Lagonda Concept at the Geneva Motor Show. Well, that’s what they did as the Aston Martin Lagonda Concept was unveiled at the Geneva Motor Show. Aston Martin seems to be very excited about the revival of the luxury brand that is Lagonda and have called it the car of the future.

Aston Martin Lagonda

According to Aston Martin, the car will also be introduced in Russia as well as other emerging markets such as India, China, South America and Middle East and they have mentioned that the Aston Martin Lagonda will be a blend of total usability along with a new form and innovative new technology and materials.

Aston Martin Lagonda 2

Dr Ulrich Bez is the chief executive of Aston Martin Lagonda. Bez explains, “An Aston Martin is an authentic, pure sports car, but Lagonda is something else, a new brand that will reach into new markets. Lagonda will create a new kind of customer relationship, instilling the spirit of travel, adventure and style into a single, formidable package.”

Aston Martin Lagonda 3

Though not much information has been revealed about the new car by Aston Martin, the Lagonda Concept will be a four-seater car that will have a powerful four-wheel drive. Aston Martin intends to have a strong presence for the Lagonda globally as they plan to put it in some hundred global territories.

Monday, July 20, 2009

Car-mad dad names son Aston Martin

Aston Martin
Aston MartinHE GREW up dreaming of his first luxury sports car and now Craig Martin has his very own Aston Martin – his nine-week-old son.

Proud parents Craig and Jacqueline Mann welcomed their first arrival in May.

The couple, who live in Portlethen, were hoping for a boy, but had picked out Georgia if the baby was a girl.

So when the big day came, the couple were delighted when little Aston Martin was delivered.

Jacqueline said Craig, 36, who is a vehicle spray painter, has been involved with cars since he was a little tot and had chosen the name early on in the pregnancy.

The 36-year-old nursery assistant said: “Craig liked the name when I first found out I was pregnant. And I came around to it – it’s grown on me.

“With his last name being Martin, we just think the names go really well together.

“People do ask us to repeat it, but most folk know it because of James Bond.

“Aston is a really good little boy and is really contented.

“He likes watching the Formula 1 racing with his dad, who is a big fan.”

Craig’s dad George, who passed away four years ago, owned a vehicle recovery business.

Jacqueline said: “George would be really proud of the name we’ve given Aston.”

Aston has been given George as a middle name, after his grandad.

Jacqueline said: “Craig wants an Aston Martin for his 40th birthday – that’s his dream.”

But he might have to settle for his tiny son being the only Aston Martin in his life for now.

Video: Aston Martin Rapide Spied in Kuwait!


Someone with lousy taste in music happened upon a thinly-disguised Aston Martin Rapide in Kuwait and posted a short vid at YouTube.

We’re not sure what the slick saloon was doing in Kuwait; maybe Aston was doing some hot-weather shakedown testing. But it’s definitely the Rapide, and it looks a lot like the one that Edmund’s spied making the rounds of the Nurburgring last month.The video, first posted by Autoblog Espanol, is really short and we’d wish the guy had turned off his damn radio so we could hear its sweet V12.

Aston is aiming the big sedan at Porsche’s bloated Panamera and hopes to inflict some pain on Mercedes, BMW and Audi in the sedan war. The car’s beautiful silhouette evokes the DB coupes, and the car is just as sexy under the skin. The hand-built 6.0-liter V12 puts down 470 horsepower and propels the car to 60 mph in less than 5 seconds. Top speed is in the ballpark of 200 mph.

Aston Martin will unveil the production model at the Frankfurt auto show in September.

Check out the videos from Kuwait and the ‘ring after the jump.

UPDATE: As reader wierd points out, two Kuwaiti investment banks own a big chunk of Aston Martin, which could explain why a British car that will be built in Austria was spotted in Kuwait.

Photo: Aston Martin

The Rapide in Kuwait:

And at the Nurburgring:

Car by Toyota, cabin by Aston Martin

Aston Martin Cygnet concept

Aston Martin engineers work on the concept Cygnet.

(Credit: Aston Martin)

There's an old joke, part of which says that in hell, the cooks are English. If that's true, then today's news suggests our world is far from fiery. Aston Martin has taken Toyota's iQ small car platform and built a luxury commuter car.

Aston Martin suggests the iQ-based concept Cygnet would work like a yacht's tender to a DB9, DBS, or Vantage. There is even a suggestion in Aston Martin's press release that the Cygnet could be sold as an option to one of Aston Martin's bigger cars.

We like the idea that a luxury car doesn't have to be a huge gas guzzler. Lexus is already exploiting that theme with its new HS 250h. And we can imagine that a fuel-sipping iQ would be quite nice fitted with wood and leather coachwork, a pothole-absorbing suspension, and sound-deadening cabin. Especially as dense traffic in urban areas means you're not exactly tapping the 470 horsepower available in a DB9.

Aston Martin Cygnet: Design Analysis

Chris Hrabalek has strong views on the new Aston Martin city car: but does he love it or hate it?
The Aston Martin Cygnet is a fantastic concept. If you don’t share this opinion or cannot understand the brilliance of this car, nor its instant classification as an automobile milestone, then it’s probably better that you stop reading now.

In the history of the automobile, few products have been radical enough to make a difference in arguably the most conservative and complex era of product design. Vehicles such as the Ford Model T, the original Mini, the Smart Fortwo and the Segway have one thing in common: a perfect blend of engineering, design and execution.

Since the Smart Fortwo’s introduction at the 1998 Paris motor show, over a decade ago, and after thousands of new car debuts from hundreds of different brands, there has only been one car that can match this original two-seater city car with regard to conceptual uniqueness: the Toyota iQ.

Quite why the Toyota Motor Corporation was not brave enough to brand and market the iQ as a real ‘Lexus’ from day one is beyond me; the car is sold with a respectable price premium and, in modern times, size (or the lack of it) is no longer a criterion of luxury. On the contrary, genuine luxury equals freedom, and there’s certainly no freedom in trying to find a parking space for a Bentley Arnage, Maybach 62 or Rolls-Royce Phantom in a downtown metropolis during rush-hour.

Now, one could probably argue that a hyper-luxury limousine should be chauffeur-driven. Perhaps; but where is the luxury in limiting choice and hence restricting freedom? Especially when a product such as the Phantom is so beautiful, so magical, to enjoy from the commanding position of the driver’s seat.

It’s refreshing to see that Aston Martin is a brand with vision. After criticism of the DBS and initial doubts regarding the One-77, the Aston Martin Cygnet has hit the bulls-eye. The metaphor used by CEO Ulrich Bez to understand the Cygnet – ‘an exclusive tender for a luxury yacht’ – is as promising as the intention to sell the Cygnet only to existing Aston Martin owners. What’s better than showing off your status? Having status!

A cruise through the finer locations of this world, and past the driveways of multi-million-pound villas in any country you care to name, would prove that next to the odd ultra-luxury limousine is almost always a small city car, parked there for the ‘other half’ – or often for the self-indulgent big cheese.

It would be unfair to be harsh regarding the styling of the Cygnet at this stage, especially since the technical brief given to Design Director Marek Reichman was comparable to the hands-tied package of your average bus designer. Not much room, in other words, for creative flexibility. I would be surprised if Marek had more leeway than +/- 2mm. Rather than niggling away at a well-executed styling proposal, it’s probably better to wait and see; or rather ‘experience’ the Cygnet under real-life conditions.

The Aston Martin Cygnet is a truly amazing product. It’s original, brave and clever, and will provide the brand with a realistic solution which enables it to continue selling hairy-chested V8 and V12 supercars, even under ever-tightening EU fleet emission legislation. And I am more than certain that there will be the odd client dying to get their hands on the ‘Emotion Control Unit’ of the Cygnet, probably even prepared to purchase an additional Vantage V8 alongside it, just to experience this modern and ultimate feeling of luxury.

Aston Martin Rapide Review and Pictures

Aston Martin Rapide : New Model Car of Year 2010. Enjoy The Gallery Wallpapers. Soon more Pictures. Please remember to leave your comments.

Aston Martin Rapide Video
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Aston Martin Rapide Concept Car
Aston Martin Rapide  Concept Car
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Aston Martin Rapide : Car Year 2010. Number 006. Prices, Photos, Images, Accesories, Wallpapers and Videos.

Aston Martin Rapide Luxury Car
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