Aston on track
A COLLISION between the outrageous track-only Vulcan and the limited-edition DB10 will ignite Aston Martin’s future.
And Formula One is also calling.
The British brand has its allnew DB11 ready for unveiling in March, quite likely with a turbocharged AMG V8 under the bonnet, while grand prix teams have been calling in the hope that an Aston badge can bring Mercedes-Benz F1 power.
Aston is the new darling of the prestige world as it prepares a product offensive that will deliver at least one new car every year from 2016, including an overdue SUV — based on the DBX concept, coming in 2019 — and potentially a fullyelectric flagship.
“We have an exciting future. It is one of the most amazing periods in the history of Aston Martin,” the company’s chief designer and creative director, Marek Reichman, says at this week’s Dubai motor show.
“What Vulcan and D10 do is show a direction for our sorts of cars. They are more about the sheer driving dynamic. So Vulcan and DB10 show a hint of what’s to come. We have a crossover in our second century plan and an all-new DB11. Every year there’ll be something that reignites the flame.”
Aston is coy about any Formula One connection, after ruling out a deal earlier this year, but company insiders admit there have been calls from a number of teams including Force India.
“We’ve had all sorts of approaches,” admits Aston spokesman Simon Sproule.
“But anything concerning Formula One is just speculation. And we do not comment on speculation.”
Aston is at Dubai to showcase the DB10 that stars in the latest James Bond movie, Spectre, although all 10 copies have been sold. There are still a couple of Vulcans without owners, but those are $2 million cars that can never be used on the road. Both are projects conceived under new Aston boss, Andy Palmer, to bridge the gap to the DB11 and the cars that follow. But it’s the product plan, and link to Mercedes-AMG that will provide engines and other technology, which is the real deal.
“Part of the reason to do this is a new CEO with a second century plan for Aston Martin, new investment for the plan, and then Mercedes,” Reichman says.
“Now we have the best of big brothers. They are with us, but they don’t own us. We have our own destiny and own choices.”
He will not be drawn on design specifics, but does admit the new generation of Astons will move away from the current cookie-cutter package.
He laughs when he says he plans a line-up where even his mother “can see the difference immediately” between the various cars in the range.
“Vulcan and DB10 hint, but the DB11 is completely different because it’s our true GT car. It has a very proud face. “It’s the car for a long drive.” “We’ve established a strong DNA.
“We’ve had that instant ‘wow’, now it’s about differentiation ...to stretch and pull the DNA. The plan is to get even greater differentiation.”