As­ton goes a sporty road

Bri­tish mar­que sees racing as a path to sales, writes PAUL GOVER

Herald Sun - Motoring - - Front Page -

WINNING at the Nur­bur­gring is not enough for As­ton Martin. De­spite sweep­ing two pro­duc­tion classes in this year’s Ger­man 24-hour clas­sic, in­clud­ing a fresh victory for the lat­est V12 Van­tage coupe, the Bri­tish brand is do­ing all it can to trans­late motorsport suc­cess into show­room re­sults.

That could even lead it into grand prix racing in 2010 with David Richards, the Prodrive and Ford Per­for­mance Racing chief who is also the chair­man of As­ton.

Richards has filed an en­try for next year’s For­mula One world cham­pi­onship, but that’s an­other story.

Though the track work has been pay­ing off for As­ton, it’s also work­ing to cre­ate a Road Sport range to give a halo to the brand and bridge the gap to its su­perex­otic One-77 coupe.

It’s al­ready push­ing the V12 Van­tage RS and now has a drop­top model ready to go: the Volante RS.

As­ton is not be­lieved to be go­ing as hard­core as Porsche is with its RS mod­els, par­tic­u­larly the stripped-down GT3 RS, but As­ton still wants to of­fer more per­for­mance.

It’s also fol­low­ing Bent­ley, which is do­ing the RS job with its grow­ing line-up of Speed mod­els.

The V12 Volante RS was seen dur­ing road test­ing in Ger­many but there is no news yet about a po­ten­tial on-sale date or price tag. But the car will be fast with a 6-litre V12 in the nose.

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