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  •   Susanne Roeder reacted to this post about 5 months ago
    Water wings ASTON MARTIN DESIGN TEAM HELPS CREATE AM37 ‘SPORTS SUPER YACHT’

    AM37 SPORTS BOAT / WORDS Jethro Bovingdon / IMAGES ASTON MARTIN / #Aston-Martin-AM37 / #Aston-Martin / #2016

    It doesn’t get much cooler than pointing the long, elegant bonnet of your Aston Martin south and not stopping until you get to Monaco on a warm summer’s evening. Maybe you’ll stay at the Hotel de Paris, spend an evening on the tables at the Casino de Monte-Carlo. The next day? A short amble down to the Hercules Port and then a day on the yacht, I guess. And it would be only natural and fitting for the yacht to be as effortlessly stylish as your Vanquish or One-77. Which is where the AM37 comes in, a collaboration between Quintessence Yachts and Aston Martin.

    And just about the most ridiculously desirable object on planet Earth. Aston Martin’s design department is obviously incredibly highly regarded even beyond the usual automotive boundaries. So much so that it has a three-person team under the banner ‘The Art of Living’ that’s dedicated to projects away from car design. They’ve produced fabric collections with renowned couture fabric and lace maker Emilia Burano, exquisite furniture with Formitalia and now the jaw-dropping AM37 with Quintessence.

    Marek Reichman, chief creative officer and design director, explains what made them take on such an ambitious project and what makes this 11.28-metre (37ft, hence the name) sports superyacht unique. You have to imagine him smiling broadly as you read, because he really is fired-up about the AM37. ‘Quintessence were coming with a blank sheet,’ he begins. ‘They were saying: “This is going to be your design, with some practical input from our naval architect.”

    ‘We clay-modelled it here, we did the surfacing here, every piece of data to create the boat came from here. So that was part of the attraction – they were not coming with a perceived view of what AM37 should be.’

    Even so, Reichman’s vision wasn’t easy to execute and there were plenty of heated debates with the naval architects, the Dutch firm Mulder Design. ‘It was harmonious after we’d had our struggles!’ he laughs. ‘What I learnt is that different disciplines apply the same techniques but at different times. It was like when I first got here. You have to prove your knowledge. Now the relationship is good – we’ve both learnt a huge amount and they’re saying: “We’re glad we didn’t force you away from those ideas.”’

    So it’s a luxurious, sporting yacht available with two 370bhp Mercury diesel engines or twin 430bhp #Mercury petrol engines, or in S form with twin 520bhp petrol engines and a top speed of 52 knots (60mph). It has a composite hull and carbonfibre structural strengthening, beautiful teak decking and accommodation consisting of a small galley kitchen, sofa/double bed, dining table and toilet (because even the superglamorous produce waste). Each AM37 will be built in Southampton and, while pricing hasn’t been confirmed, we’d bet on not getting much change from £1 million. But what makes it Aston Martin?

    ‘It’s always based around beauty. It has to be,’ explains Reichman. ‘In itself that creates longevity. The hull is very sharp – you look at the front view and many powerboats have a bluff front these days, whereas AM37 is quite traditional. I wanted this look so that when seen in profile AM37 has a very defined point at the front. Stemming from that is the teak cabin, the greenhouse flowing up from it with that unique concave glass. The metal strips that run from the tip of the yacht and sweep up the glass create a very cab-rearward look, so even when it’s static it looks like it’s powering away.’

    Beyond the simple beauty there’s innovation driven by the aesthetic, too. An electrically operated three-piece deck made from carbonfibre completely covers the cabin when the boat is moored and then retracts below the aft deck, where it joins the carbonfibre Bimini cover that can be raised to provide shade from the sun. Marek loves this feature. ‘When you’re moored you get this beautiful deck – and that came from the inspiration of seeing stunning Thames River cruisers: beautiful wooden cruisers that are so simple.’

    Of course an Aston Martin can’t just look right and Marek and Quintessence were at pains to ensure the AM37 was suitably effortless. ‘We wanted AM37 to feel like it’s planing, smooth and controlled,’ he recalls. ‘So you can only hear the sound of the water, not the boat interrupting it, fighting the surface. An incredibly serene ride, easy and comfortable to go fast in and therefore confidence-inspiring. It’s not an out and out speedboat, it’s a pleasure powerboat that has all the power that you need when you need it. Just like a DB11, absolutely. When you see AM37 moored beside one of our cars I’m certain you’ll see the shared philosophy, the shared authenticity. They’ll impart the same feelings and sensations.’

    ‘It has all the power that you need, when you need it. Just like a DB11, absolutely’

    Left, from the top Aston design themes continue into the cockpit; top speed will be 52 knots; carbonfibre deck slides forward to cover the cockpit when moored.
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  •   BimmerPost reacted to this post about 8 months ago
    SHOWROOM STARS #Aston-Martin-One-77 / #2016 / #Aston-Martin / #2016-Aston-Martin-One-77 / £1,800,000

    Aston Martin Works, UK. +44 (0)1908 610620, www.astonmartinworks.com

    The economics of buying a brand new car outright still make little sense in general – the AA reckons that the average new car is worth just 40% of the purchase price after three years – but in recent times several hypercars have demonstrated that not everything loses value the moment it is driven away from the showroom. Defying the depreciation curve with particular belligerence is the Aston Martin One-77, a £1.2-million machine when delivery began in 2011, and even more expensive in the UK once Her Majesty’s Government had added VAT at 20%.

    It was easy to understand why the price tag was so large, though: each of the 77 cars built was completed to the buyer’s specification inside and out, and beneath the handcrafted aluminium body was an awe-inspiring 750bhp V12, then the most powerful naturally aspirated petrol engine in the world. (That title now belongs to the 6.2-litre 770bhp unit in the Ferrari F12tdf but, if the factory figures are to be believed, the One-77 is nonetheless the quicker car, topping out at a tyre-shredding 220mph.)

    It was devastatingly attractive, too – very recognisably a post-DB9 Aston, but with a don’t-mess, all-business aesthetic of its own. Unsurprisingly, in the years since 2011, those who were unable to secure a One-77 when new have been prepared to pay handsomely to acquire a used car. Handsomely enough, in fact, that values are already far north of the new price.

    ‘Used’ is probably the wrong word, for there are not many One-77s in the world that are driven regularly. Indeed, the car currently available through Aston Works has done just 900 miles, and presents in correspondingly pristine condition.

    Its first owner picked a combination of Pearl Black paint over a silver-and-black interior. That wouldn’t have been our choice, but we needn’t worry about that: not only do we not have £1,800,000 to spend, but the car is also unlikely to be available for long. The market shows that the world’s car enthusiasts have conferred classic status on the One-77 already. Getting hold of one will only get harder.
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  •   Andrew English reacted to this post about 2 years ago
    ASTON MARTIN DB4 GT CONTINUATION

    The original #Aston-Martin-DB4-GT was built between #1959 and #1963 / with eight of the original 75 in special lightweight form. Aston Martin has now announced it will build a further 25 lightweight cars, to original specification, each with 340bhp from their twin-spark straight-six engines. Production will commence in late 2017. It’s clearly the latest fashion: Jaguar, Lister and Shelby have all created continuation cars in recent years. McLaren F1 continuation model, anyone? #Aston-Martin-DB4 / #Aston-Martin / #Aston-Martin-DB4-GT-Lightweight /
    • No spurious 'lost' chassis numbers or factory fire mythology then. Just a pure profit motive. Ferrari must be looking at the auction prices of theirNo spurious 'lost' chassis numbers or factory fire mythology then. Just a pure profit motive. Ferrari must be looking at the auction prices of their back catalogue and considering the same thing. 250 'continuation' 250 GTOs anyone? And sod the authenticity.  More ...
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  •   David Vivian reacted to this post about 3 years ago
    / #2017 / #Aston-Martin-Vanquish-S / #Aston-Martin-Vanquish / #Aston-Martin /

    Aston Martin’s world may currently be consumed by all things DB11, but this doesn’t mean it has forgotten about the models that still have a few more years’ life left in them. Models such as the Vanquish.

    Now available in £199,950 Vanquish S trim, its 5.9-litre naturally aspirated #V12 has undergone a refresh, resulting in power climbing from 568bhp to 595bhp. The engine work includes a redesigned, largercapacity intake manifold to increase airflow at higher revs. The 0-62mph time drops three-tenths to 3.5sec as a result, but top speed remains 201mph.

    The eight-speed Touchtronic III auto gearbox gets a tweak, and so too the springs, dampers and anti-roll bars. There’s also a new aero kit finished in carbonfibre.
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  •   Stuart Gallagher reacted to this post about 3 years ago
    Enter the Dragon Bonhams, Goodwood, UK 10 September / #Aston-Martin-Speed-Model-Red-Dragon / #Aston-Martin-Speed-Model

    The #Aston-Martin Speed Model ‘Red Dragon’ is the star of the show. It was built in #1936 as the ultimate ‘Ulster’ Aston Martin for Richard Seaman, to challenge Germany’s sophisticated new BMW 328s in the most important UK race of the period, the RAC TT on the Ards circuit in Northern Ireland.

    Unfortunately, a win with the 2-litre Aston wasn’t to be. Seaman set the fastest lap in his class but the engine seized after 12 laps. The car was then sold to Dutch owner/driver Eddie Hertzberger, who raced it in the 1937 and 1938 Mille Miglia and in the Spa and Le Mans 24-Hour races.

    Amateur racing driver Dudley Folland acquired the car after World War Two. Folland had started his racing career as ‘Tim D Davies’, driving a Frazer Nash in the 1935 Le Mans before graduating to the Aston.

    John Polson, the specialist who consigned the car, says: ‘Folland chose “Red Dragon” because it was the most competitive British-built car available in the early years after the war.’ Folland finished third in the Paris 12-hour race at Montlhéry in 1948; a few weeks earlier he and co-driver Ian Connell had been holding second in the Spa 24 Hours until Connell crashed.

    Both races were won by the new Ferrari 166 Spider Corsa V12. Folland was so impressed by the Ferrari that he ordered one for himself – the first Ferrari in the UK – and in the meantime modified the Aston Martin with lightweight bodywork resembling the Ferrari’s. In 1949 he ran the Aston again at Le Mans, and in more recent years it has become well known at AMOC events.

    Now, still bearing Carmarthenshire-born Folland’s Welsh red dragon, it’s expected to fetch between £1.6 and £2m, more than the Ferrari 275 GTB also consigned to the Revival sale.
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  •   Nick Trott reacted to this post about 3 years ago
    Aston Martin’s future is here. As important as the DB4 and the DB9 once were – perhaps even more so – the DB11 pioneers a new seven-car range. Words David Lillywhite. / #Aston-Martin-DB11 / #Aston-Martin / #2016

    We make no apologies for featuring the DB11 again. This is the first full drive of a production car, a car that brings in a critical new era for Aston Martin. It’s arguably the most important car in the company’s history, because the design and technology behind it will form the basic of another six new models, and – assuming it’s successful – it will financially support the last three of those new models.

    Everything has gone into this. It’s still pure Aston Martin in looks but a clear step forward – and in technology terms it’s a massive move on from the current range. The new all-alloy sub-structure uses more pressings than the outgoing VH architecture, with added alloy castings to further enhance its strength and versatility. Within virtually the same exterior dimensions as the DB9, an extra 65mm in the wheelbase and more efficient use of space means there’s significantly more leg and head room both front and rear. The engine is an all-new 600bhp twin-turbo V12, the transaxle the same ZF eight-speed auto, and the electrical architecture is sourced from Daimler.

    Aston wants there to be more distinction between each model in the range, which meant enhancing the DB11’s GT characteristics. So improved comfort, more relaxed behaviour at high speed and a better ride at any speed were all high on the wish-list. That it’s more civilised is clear from the first push on the ‘crystal’ key starter, because there’s now a soft-start pushand- hold option to mute the exhaust on startup. Fear not, however: the neighbour-baiting exhaust flare is still there on a standard start.

    It’s equally clear that the ride is smoother than the DB9’s, less prone to jiggling over rough surfaces, while the exhaust rumbles subtly above the faint whirr of the transmission. Definitely quieter than the DB9. The steering feels more fluid, though ironically it’s now electrically assisted rather than hydraulic, and the brakes are wonderfully progressive.

    Through the corners it’s precise but not razor-sharp in the softest ‘GT’ mode, a trade-off of the GT character, and every now and again the test car would lurch slightly mid-corner as if the rear dampers were overwhelmed. It was such a subtle effect that five seconds later you’d wonder if it really happened – but it did, and ex-Lotus handling guru Matt Becker said later at the press launch that software engineers were on their way to tweak out the behaviour.

    A flick of the suspension mode switch into Sport mode eliminates the ‘lurch’ with only the smallest compromise to the ride, the engineers deliberately avoiding the tooth-rattling firmness of previous Sport settings. If you want that, there’s Sport-Plus, best left for the track.

    There’s nothing about the DB11 that’s not an improvement on the DB9, and that includes the interior, which is even more exquisite. And of course the DB11 is quicker: 200mph and 0-62mph in 3.9 seconds. Retailing at £154,900, it signals an exciting new era for Aston Martin.

    Top and above. No rear spoiler to corrupt the lines thanks to new AeroBlade aerodynamic technology; interior is a huge step on from DB9’s; all-new aluminium structure.
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  •   David Lillywhite reacted to this post about 4 years ago
    Viewpoint / Why #Aston-Martin-DB11 has to deliver / #Aston-Martin / #2016 /

    Such is the pace of development at Gaydon these days, it’s genuinely hard to keep up. Witness another issue of Vantage and another raft of exciting new Astons. Whether it’s the welcome – and surprising – decision to offer the V12 Vantage S with a manual transmission, the equally welcome – but perhaps more predictable – announcement of a trackinspired Vantage GT8 and Vanquishbased #Zagato , or the frankly astonishing (no pun intended) news of a collaboration with Red Bull that will see an all-new Adrian Newey-designed hypercar, Aston Martin is making headlines.

    Ridiculous though it sounds, with so much going on, it would be easy to forget about the DB11. Fortunately, Aston provided us with the perfect reminder of its most important new model in a decade by granting us an early drive of a ride and handling development prototype. Though it’s far from a definitive appraisal – we’ll bring you that in our next issue – our time at a private test facility near Rome offered a fascinating and tantalising glimpse of what the signed-off car will feel like.

    If impressions from this early ‘engineering’ drive are accurate, Aston’s all-new GT unashamedly refocuses its emphasis on refinement and luxury. With a sporting twist, naturally.

    The importance of those special qualities was brought to the forefront of our minds in the making of another story for this issue. Comparing one of the first DB9s with one of the last was a valuable exercise. Not just because it graphically illustrates just how much the DB9 has evolved, but because it highlights what an achievement that car was when it was launched.

    The GT8s and Zagatos and hypercars are enormously exciting of course, but successfully replacing the DB9 is more important than all of those projects combined. Aston Martin needs a new landmark car. DB11 needs to deliver.
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  •   Ben Barry reacted to this post about 4 years ago
    Hardcore V8 Vantage: catch it if you can

    TRACK-INSPIRED LIMITED - EDITION GT8 SELLING FAST / WORDS RICHARD MEADEN PHOTOGRAPHY / / #Aston-Martin / #Aston-Martin-Vantage-GTE / #Aston-Martin-Vantage / #Aston-Martin-Vantage-GT8 / #2016

    It might be getting long in the tooth, but the V8 Vantage is showing no signs of losing its bite if the GT8 is anything to go by. Following in the slipstream of its big brother the GT3-inspired GT12, the GT8 is Aston’s road-going interpretation of its #Aston-Martin-Vantage-GTE-World-Endurance-Championship contender.

    Developed by Aston’s Special Projects team, the £165,000 GT8 is a strictly limited-edition model with a production run of 150 cars. Powered by a slightly more powerful iteration of the familiar 4.7-litre naturally aspirated V8, the GT8 has 440bhp and 361lb ft of torque and is available with a choice of six-speed manual or seven-speed Sportshift II paddleshift gearbox. Performance? Well, it’ll hit 60mph from a standstill in 4.4sec and storm on to a top speed of 190mph. Presumably on the Mulsanne Straight. So far as suspension and brakes are concerned the GT8 keeps things simple, with fixed-rate dampers (with a suitably track-focused set-up) and cast iron discs, 380mm at the front, 330mm rear. Michelin Pilot Sport Cup 2s and a mechanical limited-slip diff complete the package.

    In keeping with its road-racer vibe, the GT8 focuses on reducing weight to increase performance. Savings come from extensive use of carbonfibre, though to achieve the claimed 100kg saving and 1510kg kerbweight you’ll need many of the cost options. These include a carbonfibre roof, centre-lock forged magnesium wheels, polycarbonate rear screen and side windows, a titanium centre-exit exhaust and carbonfibre sports seats.

    If you go for that little lot you may as well go for the optional aero package and ‘halo’ paint scheme. The former adds a large wing to the rear decklid and an additional lower element to each corner of the front splitter, while the latter gets you brightly coloured accents mimicking those on the GTE race-car. As you can see, it looks the part. Sounds the part, too, according to those who’ve heard it. But then it should do for what amounts to a near-£200k car when optioned to the hilt.

    How will it drive? It won’t have the borderline lunatic performance of the GT12, but experience of that car’s noseheavy weight distribution and limited traction suggest the lighter, less powerful but better-balanced GT8 will be a more biddable machine. We also like the fact you can have it with a manual gearbox, and the old sweet-shifting six-speed unit at that, even though the paddleshift transmission is perhaps more in keeping with a 21st century quasi-racer.

    By the time you read this the chances are all will be sold. If you’re one of the lucky 150, bravo! If you’re not, console yourself with the fact we’ll bring you a full test of the GT8 in the next issue.

    Above and below. Optional aero package adds the large rear wing and the lower elements to the front splitter; ‘halo’ paint scheme adds race-car-style accents.
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  •   Ben Barry reacted to this post about 4 years ago
    / #Aston-Martin-DB4GT / : icon reborn / #Aston-Martin-DB4 / #Aston-Martin /

    ASTON MARTIN WORKS TO BUILD A LIMITED RUN OF ‘CONTINUATION’ CARS; POSSIBILITY OF RACE SERIES / WORDS RICHARD MEADEN / IMAGE AMHT ARCHIVE

    As we closed for press, news was emerging from Aston Martin Works of an extraordinary plan to produce a special series of DB4 GT Continuation cars. Details were sketchy, but it seems the cars will be completely new, rather than relying on original DB4 donor cars. As you would expect, numbers will be limited. The precise quantity is unknown, but is unlikely to approach the 75 original DB4 GTs built in period. If one were in the mood to speculate, a further 25 cars would round things up nicely.

    Practically and emotionally, Works’ recently refurbished facilities at Newport Pagnell are the perfect place in which to build this new batch of cars, and the combined pool of knowledge and experience at the Tickford Street premises is second-to-none.

    The decision to build these cars is sure to divide the Aston Martin community, just as the four Sanction II and a further two Sanction III DB4 GT Zagatos did in 1991 and 2000. Contentious at the time – despite being built using donor cars and given ‘works approved replica’ status by the factory – the Sanction cars are now classics in their own right, albeit with values a long way behind those of the original batch of 20 cars.

    Like much of the project, the precise specification of the Continuation cars remains undisclosed, but it’s reasonable to assume they will adopt some of the engine and chassis enhancements that have become the default specification for all but the most committed purist. There’s also the question of whether the Continuation cars will be road-registered, as all original DB4 GTs were in period, or whether they will be built as FIA-approved race-cars (like the batch of six Lightweight E-types recently built by Jaguar Heritage), or track-only cars in the vein of Aston Martin’s own Vulcan. Price? Well with the aforementioned Lightweight E-types reputed to cost around £1.2m (plus taxes) we can expect the DB4 GT Continuation to be in the same seven-figure ballpark. As Astons have always been reassuringly expensive when compared with Jaguars, perhaps even a little more.

    Though controversial, the DB4 GT Continuation project is a bold and interesting move by Works. Combining Aston Martin’s proven business models for so-called ‘boutique’ supercars such as the One-77 and Vulcan, and special limitedseries models such as the V12 Zagato, Taraf and new Vanquish Zagato, the DB4 GT Continuation promises to tap into the same rich seam of top-tier Aston Martin enthusiast who until now has perhaps not considered a owning a classic Aston. We envy them already.
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  •   Ben Barry reacted to this post about 4 years ago
    1959 / #Aston-Martin-DB4-DP2155 / #1959 #Aston-Martin-DB4-Works-Prototype-DP2155 / #Aston-Martin-DB4-Works-Prototype / #Aston-Martin

    We’ve been asked to point out that the value of the unique, #Works-developed DB4, designated DP2155, as featured in the last issue of Vantage, is currently estimated at £2.2 million, not £1.2 million as was printed erroneously in the specification table. We apologise for the error. The car is currently for sale. For more information, please contact: [email protected]
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