Posts from ‘Aston Martin’
If you were paying attention to marketing in 1984, you likely remember Apple’s landmark television advertisement “1984.” The computer maker’s ad portrayed a dystopian world chillingly similar to the one conceived by George Orwell in his horrifying 1949 novel of the same name.
One sure way to load your inbox with nasty emails is to publish a list of ugly cars. I caught the most flack for selecting the Toyota Celica as one of five nasty-looking rides for my 1995-2004 list. Please be sure to check that out.
Consumer Guide Automotive editors are a discerning bunch. When rating vehicles in the category of Acceleration, they have to be blown away—almost literally—before they will bestow a perfect score of 10. Horsepower is not enough; editors look for a car that’s quick from a stop and delivers smooth, linear power.
In celebration of 50 years of James Bond films. (Dr. No was released on October 5, 1962.)
For about as long as I can remember, plastic model-car kits have been part of my life. Some of my earliest memories of my mom involve the two of us working on a model kit at the kitchen table. I still have a 1/43-scale 1969 AMX she helped me build around 1974.
Aston Martin will soon be 100 years old. Except for its tenure under Ford ownership (1987-2007), Aston has not had the resources of a major automaker backing it up. In fact, for much of its history, the company has been underfunded and in and out of bankruptcy. In spite of its financial instability, Aston has built fast, beautifully crafted cars that have inspired fierce loyalty from owners. Today, Aston is independent again, but it has solid financial backing from the Mideast.
I was recently at the Chicago unveiling of the new Aston Martin Vanquish, which replaces DBS as the flagship of the Aston line. Vanquish also foreshadows the future of Aston Martin with new styling on a revised platform with an improved engine. This fresh engineering will later extend to other models in the range. The structure of the Vanquish is 25 percent stiffer than the DBS, yet the car is lighter—thanks in part to carbon-fiber body panels.
Although the layout of the 6.0-liter V12 remains the same, the engine is said to be 85 percent new. Vanquish’s 565-horsepower V12 engine has 55 more horses than the outgoing DBS. Torque increases from 420 pound-feet to 457 and is said to be spread across a wider rev range. Previous Aston V12s didn’t come alive until about 4000 rpm.
Only weeks after showing its Project AM310 concept at a toney classic-car gathering in Italy, boutique British automaker Aston Martin released details and photos of the expected production version. Called AM310 Vanquish, it replaces the 2-seat V12 DBS grand touring coupe and revives the name of that car’s predecessor, the 2002-07 V12 Vanquish. Though we haven’t heard what “AM310” signifies, Aston says the new Vanquish should start U.S. sale in early 2013 as a 2014 model. The base price will be five bucks shy of $280,000, about $1,500 more than the outgoing DBS coupe. A companion Volante convertible should arrive in early 2014.
Aston Martin marks its 100th anniversary next year, making the new Vanquish a kind of early birthday present. Far more important, Britain’s Autocar magazine says “the chassis, engine, styling and interior improvements introduced on the [AM310] will be rolled out across the rest of the range before the middle of the decade.” That implies similar updating for redesigns of the mainstay V12 DB9 coupe and Volante (which may be renamed too), the smaller V8 and V12 Vantage models, and the coupe-styled V12 Rapide sedan.
Whether racing on the circuits of Europe or designing exciting cars for Main Street, USA, Carroll Shelby, who died Thursday at age 89, left an indelible mark on the automotive world.