Aston’s brand de­signs

VANTAGE - - Viewpoint - Richard Meaden, ed­i­tor

LIFE MUST HAVE BEEN beau­ti­fully sim­ple for Aston Martin in late 1959. Pretty sweet, too, given the DBR1 had won Le Mans and the World Sports Car Cham­pi­onship. With the age­ing DB MKIII re­tired, the road car ‘range’ con­sisted solely of the new and won­der­ful DB4, in reg­u­lar sa­loon and new GT forms.

It’s per­haps no won­der this is seen as the golden pe­riod for Aston Martin. One where pride and con­fi­dence were sky­high, the cars were gen­uinely world-class and the com­pany was en­joy­ing a rare pe­riod of fi­nan­cial sta­bil­ity, thanks to the mu­nif­i­cence of David Brown. Aston was a mar­que at the height of its pow­ers.

To­day Aston Martin is that most mil­len­nial of things: a brand. What’s the dif­fer­ence? Well, leaf through this edi­tion of Van­tage and you’ll find the AM37S. Not the lat­est limited-edi­tion Van­quish, but a speed boat. All £1.6m-worth of it. Mean­while, Aston has also em­barked on its first prop­erty de­vel­op­ment project, in the form of a 66-storey res­i­den­tial tower in Miami. It’s all part of Aston’s ‘Art of Liv­ing‘ phi­los­o­phy, ap­par­ently.

Mean­while, back in the au­to­mo­tive world, work con­tin­ues on the rad­i­cal ex­pan­sion and repo­si­tion­ing of the model ranges. With the DB11 suc­cess­fully in­tro­duced and work well ad­vanced on the all-new Van­tage, the back­bone of the car busi­ness is al­most in place, but a vast amount of work re­mains to be done.

Ac­cord­ing to chief en­gi­neer Matt Becker, one of the big­gest chal­lenges is defin­ing the char­ac­ter­is­tics and po­si­tion­ing of the cars that take Aston into un­charted ter­ri­tory. Cars such as the AM-RB 001 hy­per­car and DBX hy­brid SUV.

Aston Martin’s one-model days might be long gone, but, at this piv­otal pe­riod in the com­pany’s his­tory, a firm grasp of what it is that sep­a­rates Aston from the rest has never been more vi­tal. Thank­fully, in Becker, Aston has just the man for the job.

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