All posts in “Aston Martin”

Aston Martin Poised For Growth, Greater Things

Aston Martin, that uniquely British builder of beautiful sports luxury cars is planning to expand its horizons and its sexy product portfolio. And it’s now in an excellent position to do so.

Tobias Moers, the man who took the reigns of Aston Martin Lagonda this summer as it’s new CEO, released a positive and optimistic progress report on Aston Martin’s aggressive new business plan today. Moer’s bold ambitions to build and expand Aston Martin’s product portfolio, increase sales, and make Aston Martin one of the greatest luxury car brands in the world are one step closer to reality.

The lynchpin of that plan is a cooperative agreement with Mercedes-Benz AG that was struck last week. This agreement gives Aston Martin access to Mercedes-Benz advanced technologies that will assist Aston Martin in the areas of design, engineering, and manufacturing while easing the associated financial burden. This sharing of technologies is essential to Aston Martin’s future as it will allow it to both remain competitive on the world stage and to focus more of it’s investment capital in the areas that truly differentiate Aston’s products from it’s competitors.

As a result of this cooperation and shared expense, Aston-Martin has been able to retool their business plans to include an expanding product portfolio. As a result, a wide range of new, exciting, and of course beautiful products are in development. According to Moers, they are now in an excellent position with the right management team, the right business partner, and the funding necessary to transform Aston Martin into one of the greatest luxury car brands in the world and a cutting-edge automotive tour de force.

The Aston Martin DBS Superleggera leads this month’s list of discounts

The average price of a new car in America last year was $35,932. This month, the biggest discount off the retail price of a new car in America is awfully close to that figure at $34,001. For those keeping track (as we do every month with a post like this one), that’s by far the largest discount we’ve seen so far this year, and it means buyers of the 2020 Aston Martin DBS Superleggera are paying an average transaction price of $273,819.

The British automaker calls the DBS “the ultimate production Aston Martin.” With a 715-horsepower V12 engine pulsating underhood, sufficient to push this grand touring coupe from 0-60 in a skosh over 3 seconds and on to a top speed of 211 miles per hour, who are we to argue?

If that’s too rich for your blood — and let’s be honest, it’s still a whole heck of a lotta money — the next biggest discount might be at least a little more attractive. According to data provided by TrueCar, buyers of the 2019 Mercedes-AMG GT are seeing discounts of $23,103 off the car’s average sticker price of $159,995. That’s a heck of a lot of car for $136,892, though admittedly still expensive. But at 14.4% off retail, it’s a better deal than the $132,122 average transaction price of the 2020 BMW M8. The BMW’s $16,497 discount equals 11.1% off the M8‘s $148,619 sticker.

For a look at the best new car deals in America based on the percentage discount off their suggested asking prices, check out our monthly recap here. And when you’re ready to buy, click here for the Autoblog Smart Buy program, which brings you a hassle-free buying experience with over 9,000 Certified Dealers nationwide.

Revealed: Aston Martin shows first V12 Speedster prototype

The V12 Speedster — Aston Martin’sliving show car” — has moved from the realm of dreams (and digital renderings) to the physical world. Here it is in the metal. In the composite? A bit of both, we’d reckon, but we can say this for certain: it’s definitely not glass.

Aston Martin’s 88-unit, $950,000, topless supercar is officially entering the physical development stage “in earnest,” the company’s spokesperson said, and here are the photos to prove it. Aston Martin had originally planned to start delivering V12 Speedsters in the first quarter of 2021, but whether that’s possible in the world of COVID-19 remains to be seen. 

The company says this prototype is intended for “dynamic development,” meaning it’s going to be used to fine-tune road and track performance. Based on the details Aston Martin has released so far, we’re inclined to believe that it will be a treat in both departments.

Fortunately, we have Aston Martin’s previous renderings.

Aston says the V12 Speedster is powered by a 5.2-liter twin-turbo V12 making 700 horsepower and 555 pound-feet of torque. Power goes to the rear wheels by way of a ZF eight-speed automatic gearbox. The British luxury builder claims this combo is good for a run to 62 mph in 3.5 seconds and a top speed of 186 mph.

The platform itself is made by combining elements of the DBS Superleggera and Vantage. It has 21-inch forged, center-locking wheels, huge carbon ceramic brakes and adaptive dampers.

As you can see from the gallery, Aston Martin did not include any photos of the prototype’s interior, and we suspect that’s because it doesn’t actually have one yet — at least not anything worth showing. That’s just as well. This is a single-purpose toy, not a touring coupe, and anything more than a well-anchored set of seats and intuitive driver controls is just a bonus anyway. 

Aston Martin Victor: 1 of 1 Hypercar Built from Vulcan and One-77 Parts

Aston Martin’s Q by Aston Martin recently revealed its most ambitious project to date. The Aston Martin Victor is a one-off. Built from a mix of Vulcan and One-77 parts, it has taken the internet by storm.

The name picks up where the Vulcan left off. The Victor was a jet-powered strategic bomber, the last of three V Bombers which included the Vulcan. Produced by Handley Page, these bombers were designed to carry the British nuclear deterrent.

Aston Martin Victor Highlights

– Inspired by the iconic Aston Martin V8 Vantage of the 1970s and 80s
– Pentland Green exterior
– Forest Green and Conker Bridge of Weir leather, cashmere and carbon interior
– 842 Nm of downforce at 100 mph
– 7.3-litre V12 engine producing 836 bhp
– 6-speed manual with power delivered to the rear


Aston Martin Victor Price

The Victor is a bespoke Aston Martin design. It looks like no other modern Aston Martin. Many of its design elements were inspired by the Aston Martin RHAM/1 racer, itself built off the platform of an Aston Martin DBS V8.

Aston Martin’s iconic front grille sits front and centre. Either side, two simple circular headlights keep the design clear, sitting atop a deep front splitter. The front bonnet includes a deep ‘U’ shaped air vent, similar to the Vantage GT12.

A long design-line runs the entire length of the side with an elongated side air outlet. The side sill is taken directly front the Vulcan. A boat tail rear end blends simplicity with complex details. The 18 individual light strips that make up the rear lights and the deep rear diffuser are highlights.

Chassis & Power

Aston Martin Victor Engine

The Aston Martin Victor uses a One-77 chassis. It weighs less than an original One-77 with GT4 levels of downforce. It is capable of producing 842 Nm of downforce at 100 mph, compared to 525Nm for a race-prepared Vantage GT4.

The One-77’s naturally-aspirated 7.3-litre V12 has been rebuilt by Cosworth. It now puts out 836 bhp and 821 Nm of torque, uprated from One-77’s 750 bhp and 750 Nm ratings.

Power is delivered to the rear wheels through a six-speed manual transmission, supplied by Graziano. As the most powerful manual Aston Martin, the Victor includes a bespoke motorsport clutch.


Aston Martin Victor Interior

The interior is pure Vulcan. Heavily redesigned, yet retaining the feel of Aston Martin’s unique racer, the Victor includes huge carbon fibre shapes.

The digital dashboard display is complemented by a second central infotainment system. The steering wheel is lifted straight from the Vulcan while the gear shift gets a traditional wooden touch.

Pricing is unknown as the Aston Martin Victor is a one-off. Hopefully Q by Aston Martin takes on more of these projects in years to come!

Aston Martin Vantage and DBS Superleggera 007 Editions are shaken and stirred

We’re 25 movies into the James Bond franchise at this point and it’s well established that 007 has developed an unhealthy taste for Aston Martins. To wit, the upcoming film “No Time To Die”, says the British motoring company, “will be released around the world in November 2020 and will feature no fewer than four iconic Aston Martin sports cars: the iconic DB5; the classic Aston Martin V8; the brand’s latest super GT,  DBS Superleggera; and the exceptional Aston Martin Valhalla.”

To herald the occasion, Aston Martin has rolled out two new 007 Editions. We’ll start with the Vantage 007 Edition, which is inspired by the Aston Martin V8 from 1987’s “The Living Daylights.” Cumberland Grey paint joins a unique mesh grille with chrome bezel, a dashed yellow diffuser that the automaker says is “inspired by the hazard stripes on the film car’s rockets” and sun visors with an embroidered radio station frequency of 96.60 FM, which will make sense to diehard Bond fans. A series of optional mock weapons, ski racks, and faux bullet holes round out the package.

Aston Martin’s flagship DBS Superleggera also gets a 007 Edition. Only 25 will be produced, each in Ceramic Grey highlighted by a black carbon fiber roof, mirror caps, splitter, diffuser and rear Aeroblade. Bond-specific emblems join unique 21-inch wheels and an interior finished in black leather with red accents.

Want one? Aston Martin is currently taking orders, with deliveries expected in the first quarter of 2021.

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The Rolls-Royce Dawn leads this month’s list of discounts

If you’re one of the few readers of this site who is in the market for a $350,000 Rolls-Royce Dawn, well, first of all, good for you. And you should be prepared to keep some extra money in your pocket, too, as the drop-top Roller leads this month’s list of the largest monetary discounts with an average of $14,733 taken off the machine’s $359,250 sticker price. That means buyers are paying an average transaction price of $344,517 for the 2020 Rolls-Royce Dawn this month, according to data provided to Autoblog by TrueCar.

An intriguing pair of supercars land in second and third positions this month. The 2019 Acura NSX is selling for an average of $145,174 this month, which represents a 9% discount, or $14,373. With an eerily similar 9% discount of $14,079 comes the 2020 Aston Martin Vantage, which has an average transaction price of $142,002 this month. The Maserati Quattroporte is up next with an average discount of $13,634.

Another Rolls-Royce model lands in the fifth spot, but instead of the aging Dawn it’s the brand-new Cullinan SUV. Although the luxury ‘ute boasts a large discount of $12,427, its staggeringly high retail price of $332,750 means buyers are getting a little less than 4% off the sticker. More interesting to most buyers will be the 2019 Lincoln Navigator, which is one of our favorite full-size SUVs in America. Buyers of Lincoln’s range-topping vehicle are getting average discounts of $11,761. That represents a 13.4% savings for a final price of $75,940.

For a look at the best new car deals in America based on the percentage discount off their suggested asking prices, check out our monthly recap here. And when you’re ready to buy, click here for the Autoblog Smart Buy program, which brings you a hassle-free buying experience with over 9,000 Certified Dealers nationwide.

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James Bond’s Nostalgic Aston Martin DB5 is Ready

Aston Martin has announced that the first of 25 Aston Martin DB5 continuation models is complete. The British firm plans to make 25 classic DB5’s with working gadgets inspired by the James Bond film, Goldfinger.

It has been 55 years since the last Aston Martin DB5 rolled off the Newport Pagnell production line. During its original production run, fewer than 900 saloon examples of the Aston Martin DB5 were built between 1963 and 1965.

Construction of the new Aston Martin DB5 continuation model is handled by Aston Martin Works. Each example requires 4,500 hours of work. Each gets Silver Birch paint like the original and a range of gadgets.

The list includes:


Rear smoke screen delivery system
Rear simulated oil slick delivery system
Revolving number plates front and rear (triple plates)
Simulated twin front machine guns
Bullet resistant rear shield
Battering rams front and rear
Simulated tyre slasher
Removable passenger seat roof panel (optional equipment)


Simulated radar screen tracker map
Telephone in driver’s door
Gear knob actuator button
Armrest and centre console-mounted switchgear
Under-seat hidden weapons/storage tray
Remote control for gadget activation

The Goldfinger edition Aston Martin DB5 sits on an authentic DB5 mild steel chassis structure. Under the bonnet there’s a 4.0-litre naturally aspirated inline six-cylinder engine generating around 300 hp.

Power is delivered through a five-speed ZF manual transmission with a mechanical limited slip differential. Braking is through a servo-assisted hydraulic Girling-type steel disc brakes with rack and pinion steering.

24 more examples will leave Aston Martin’s factory with the price set at a staggering £2.75 million.

AMG Boss Tobias Moers Confirmed as Next Aston Martin CEO

Coronavirus could not have arrived at a worse time for British supercar manufacturer, Aston Martin. The company had arrived at the end of the development program for its make or break Aston Martin DBX SUV, having secured further investment from turnaround expert Lawrence Stroll.

With current CEO, Andy Palmer at the helm, the company had enjoyed somewhat of a renaissance since its dark days at the beginning of the 2010’s. Since arriving in 2014, Palmer returned Aston to profitability, revamped its ranges, opened a factory in South Wales, and oversaw the company’s stock market launch.

Yet it was the later that proved his undoing. While the company shares floated at 545 p, since 2018, they have been on a consistent downwards trajectory. Late last week, the quoted price was as low as 33 p.

Clearly, urgent action was necessary to avoid bankruptcy. It was announced on Tuesday that Andy Palmer would step down, a victim to circumstances. The announcement was quickly followed by an announcement that Tobias Moers will take over from 1 August.

Aston Martin Vantage 2020Aston Martin Vantage 2020

Palmer’s immediate departure leaves Keith Stanton to fill the gap as interim chief operating officer. Three further directors, Richard Solomons, Imelda Walsh and Tensie Whelan, were also confirmed departures as part of the shake up.

The news was met with instant relief. Aston Martin’s share price soared, during the early part of this week. Indicating that the markets approved the move.

So just how dire is Aston Martin’s position? The company’s latest results show that it sold 578 vehicles during the first quarter of 2020, down from 1,057 in the same period last year. It announced a £118.9 million loss before tax, up from £17.3 million the year before. That said, with DBX and Valkyrie in the pipeline, it was clear that these losses were only temporary.

And what of Aston Martin’s new CEO? Tobias Moers is currently the CEO of Mercedes-AMG, a 5% shareholder in Aston Martin. AMG also provides engines, electronics and consulting. Moers will be stepping into a business he knows intimately.

Holding the top job at AMG for 7 years, it seems the perfect move, with Moers reportedly frustrated at the direction the Mercedes-Benz parent company wished to push its performance arm.

Mr Moers said: “I am truly excited to be joining Aston Martin Lagonda at this point of its development. I have always had a passion for performance cars and relish the chance to work for this iconic brand.”

Aston Martin confirms 3.0-liter turbocharged V6 for Valhalla

When the Aston Martin Valhalla hits the scene in 2022 (hopefully), it will be powered by an all-new 3.0-liter turbocharged V6 engine that will be fortified and electrified in a hybrid configuration that we don’t yet know much about. Interestingly, Aston Martin says the V6’s hybrid element will be tuned and sized for each specific vehicle in which it’s installed. In the Valhalla, the dry-sump engine will be mounted directly behind the passenger compartment, and its so-called ‘hot V’ design will allow for relatively compact dimensions. And compact also means lightweight — the automaker says the complete engine weighs less than 440 pounds.

Just the fact that the British automaker is investing the engineering effort to produce a new engine is significant. The company hasn’t engineered its own in-house powertrain since 1969, when Tadek Marek’s 5.3-liter V8 engine found its way under the hood of Aston Martin’s aptly named DBS V8. The new 3.0-liter V6 is codenamed TM01 in Marek’s honor. With that in mind, we expect this powerplant to serve in various Aston Martin models for a number of years.

We look forward to further details in the future, especially the all-important horsepower and torque figures. In the meantime, feel free to peruse the high-resolution image gallery above, where you’ll see intricately milled castings along with the engine undergoing dyno testing and running red hot with the lights down low.

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Aston Martin Valkyrie heads to public roads for the first time

The Aston Martin Valkyrie may not be headed for the WEC racing series anymore, but it is finally hitting public roads. Aston Martin shared some images of the start of public road testing and tuning with a production prototype. The car is undisguised because, well, we’ve seen it a number of times before, but it’s still interesting to see it in such mundane settings.

Public roads really emphasize how alien the Valkyrie looks. In particular, the shot of it in front of other production cars show that it’s about half their height. It also doesn’t look especially longer or wider than some of the somewhat small cars in the background such as that Hyundai Kona. And of course the Valkyrie’s deep diffuser openings, undulating fenders and little cockpit all look outrageous on the street. We mean that in the best way possible.

Aston still plans to begin delivering Valkyries to customers in the second half of this year. It will make at least 1,000 horsepower and rev to over 11,000 rpm. It will be street legal, though not when equipped with the track package or if it’s the 1,100-horsepower AMR Pro variant.

Aston Martin V12 Speedster Officially Revealed

Aston Martin’s Speedster has been officially revealed. The British brand’s marketing department have clearly been sipping the creative juices once again. They took the ‘name it as you see it approach’, arriving at the name Aston Martin V12 Speedster.

The V12 Speedster competes with the Ferrari Monza SP2 and the McLaren Elva, two brand new Speedster models to be launched at a similar price range. It has taken 12 months to build and arrives through the ‘Q by Aston Martin’ team.

As you would expect, the V12 Speedster uses Aston Matin’s 5.2-litre, Twin-Turbo V12 engine, with peak outputs of 700 hp and 753Nm of torque. The engine is front-mounted and sends the power it generates through a ZF 8-Speed automatic transmission with a limited-slip differential driving the rear wheels.

Aston Martin quotes a 100 km/h sprint time of 3.5 seconds on the way to a limited top speed of 300 km/h. To create a unique experience, Aston Martin offers a bespoke stainless-steel exhaust system.

The chassis is a mix of bonded aluminium parts lifted from the Vantage and DBS Superleggera models. It gets independent double-wishbone front, and multi-link rear suspension, with coil springs and adaptive damping. The latter offers Sport, Sport+ and Track modes. 21-inch centre locking wheels and carbon-ceramic discs are also. The discs measure 410 mm at the front axle and 360 mm at the rear.

The majority of the bodywork is carbon fibre. The design is similar to the one-off CC100 Speedster Concept of 2013 and takes inspiration from the 1959 Le Mans-winning DBR1.

Just 88 will be made available starting at £765,000 including VAT. Deliveries are expected to take place this time next year.


Aston Martin V12 Speedster is a $950,000 exotic dream that’s wild as the wind

The roofless, windshield-less, ultra-rare, ultra-expensive supercar space is getting busy. We had the Ferrari Monza SP1 and SP2; then we got the McLaren Elva, and now the Aston Martin V12 Speedster is joining the ranks. McLaren will let you add a windshield to the Elva, but there’s no mention of glass when it comes to the Aston. Invest in some sturdy goggles.

Revealed at Aston Martin’s Gaydon HQ (instead of the canceled Geneva Motor Show), the V12 Speedster is designed to provide the most visceral driving experience in the Aston lineup. There will only be 88 of them, and pricing starts at $950,000. That’s an absolute bargain compared to the Elva, which has a base price of $1.69 million. But if you’re considering buying one of these, its price is likely the last question you’ll have.

Aston says the V12 Speedster is powered by its 5.2-liter twin-turbo V12, making 700 horsepower and 555 pound-feet of torque. That’s mated to a ZF eight-speed automatic, sending power to the rear wheels. It’ll hit 62 mph in 3.5 seconds and a top speed of 186 mph — get some heavy duty headgear for that trip. The platform itself is made by combining elements of the DBS Superleggera and Vantage. It has 21-inch forged, center-locking wheels, huge carbon ceramic brakes and adaptive dampers. But the design is what really caught our eye.

It’s billed as “a living show car,” and we completely agree. The body is made almost entirely from carbon fiber. Miles Nurnberger, director of design at Aston Martin, detailed the design’s inspiration in a statement.

“There’s clear lineage from the 1959 Le Mans winning DBR1 to our Centenary celebratory CC100 Speedster Concept in 2013,” Nurnberger says. “There is also a bit of 1953 DB3S in the mid-section, so it really is our latest incarnation of the Speedster concept. It’s also inspired by fighter jets as much as it is by our history, and it has been created to deliver an incredibly visceral experience, hence why it is a V12, rather than a V8.”

The front hood nostril is especially eye-catching. Aston hasn’t implemented this design touch on a car in a long while, and we love seeing it on a new vehicle like this. Nurnberger says it allowed for some extra space under the long hood that it needed for the V12, too.

That interior is similarly stunning. It’s separated into two distinct cockpit areas by a slab of carbon fiber, but it still allows for interaction between the two people in the car below that piece. The design, like so many supercars and sports cars before it, is said to be inspired by fighter jets. This specific spec is a special F/A-18 spec that Aston says will be available to order. It features a number of fighter jet touches throughout. You’ll get to hear the car’s roar better than other Aston’s, too, as the company developed an especially loud stainless steel exhaust system for the V12 Speedster. Its lack of a roof should make it even more audible for those in the cockpit.

Aston Martin says its order books are open now for the V12 Speedster, so it’s not completely sold out yet. Deliveries are slated to begin in the first quarter of 2021. All 88 cars will be hand-built and made to the spec you desire.

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Aston Martin spars with WEC over Valkyrie’s exit from racing

Confirming an earlier rumor, Aston Martin announced it has stopped developing the track-going version of the Valkyrie it planned to enter in the World Endurance Championship’s (WEC) new Hypercar category. It blamed its decision on a recent change in the regulations, but the sanctioning body responded that’s not the full story.

The British company explained it’s unhappy with the WEC’s decision to harmonize the Hypercar class with the LMDh category and the WeatherTech Sportscar Championship during the early 2020s. Without providing additional details, it declared the Valkyrie will not make its racing debut at the Silverstone track in August 2020 and it will not challenge Glickenhaus, Toyota, Peugeot and others in the 2021 edition of the 24 Hours of Le Mans. It added it’s considering canceling the program altogether, meaning the Valkyrie would never race.

Aston Martin isn’t quitting racing; far from it. It will continue to enter the Vantage GTE in WEC events around the world, and the Racing Point Formula One team will be rebranded Aston Martin after the 2020 season. The sudden and unexpected entry into Formula One led by investor Lawrence Stroll may have played a role in convincing executives to cancel the Hypercar program. Racing is expensive, and Aston isn’t doing well.

The Fédération Internationale de l’Automobile (FIA) that regulates the WEC doused cold water on Aston’s explanation. It opined the harmonization doesn’t impact the category, and it pledged to prove this claim when it releases additional technical specifications in March 2020. It instead blamed the decision to withdraw the Valkyrie from racing on the highly-publicized financial issues that have plagued Aston since 2019.

“The decision announced by Aston Martin is very regrettable but perhaps not unexpected in light of the persistent rumors over the last six months concerning the fragility of the brand’s exposure in the rapidly-evolving automotive market,” it wrote. As of writing, executives haven’t responded to these allegations.

Aston Martin and the FIA both noted they’re open to working with each other to find a solution, but the carmaker’s statement is highly ambiguous. It affirms Aston’s future presence in the racing world will be “defined by its activities at the highest level of both single-seater competition and endurance GT racing” and glaringly leaves the Hypercar category behind. To us, it sounds like the program has already been consigned to the attic.

The 2020-2021 WEC season begins in August 2020, so Aston Martin and the WEC need to quickly find a common ground if they want to salvage the Valkyrie’s racing career. Even if the car doesn’t race, the street-legal version remains on track for production, and the first deliveries are tentatively scheduled for late 2020.

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Aston Martin Vantage Roadster finally doffs the cap

Two years after the hardtop Aston Martin Vantage redefined the Vantage nameplate yet again, the coupe has dropped its top. Below the shoulder the Vantage Roadster holds true to nearly everything that compelled us to label the coupe “a significant milestone.” Above the shoulder, a fabric top envelops an “ultra-compact” Z-frame that drops in 6.7 seconds and unfurls in 6.8. The carmaker says it’s the fastest fully electronic mechanism out there, and operates at speeds of up to 31 miles per hour. Thanks to the frame’s compact design, the car’s lines don’t differ much from the hardtop. Nor do the performance specs: The convertible gains 132 pounds over the fixed-roof, needs 3.5 seconds to hit 60 mph instead of 3.5, and maxes out at 190 mph, five miles per hour less than the coupe. Losing the rear hatch takes a bit out of luggage space, though, which declines from 12.4 cubic feet to seven. Aston Martin says the cubby will still swallow a full-sized golf bag and related paraphernalia.

The Mercedes-AMG-sourced 4.0-liter twin-turbo V8 delivers the full 503 horsepower and 505 pound-feet of torque. Engineers tuned the suspension, differential, driving aids, and driving modes specifically for the convertible. The carmaker has made its seven-speed manual transmission newly available on the coupe this year — it was offered previously only on the Vantage AMR — but the droptop is barred from the row-your-own party. The Vantage Roadster sticks with the ZF eight-speed automatic. Convertible buyers can avail themselves of other additional kit introduced this year to celebrate 70 years of the Vantage name, said first applied to a more powerful version of the 1951 DB2 called the DB2 Vantage. The potential extras include Aston Martin’s historic vane grille as well as new wheel designs.

Deliveries begin in Europe during Q2, U.S. shoppers can expect summer delivery. Pricing starts at $161,000, an $8,000 premium over the coupe.

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Soundcheck: Aston Martin Valkyrie begins to scream

In July, Aston Martin published the first video of the Valkyrie on track at Britain’s Silverstone Circuit during the Formula One Grand Prix weekend there. Test driver Chris Goodwin didn’t push the 1,160-horsepower coupe to its limits, merely massaging the throttle for the camera a few times. The English carmaker headed back to Silverstone this month with a group of guests in tow, and this time the test driver put a little more muscle into the fly-bys. Since the track was wet, the soundtrack still can’t be considered the ultimate experience, but even so, the 6.5-liter Cosworth V12 sounds exceptionally good.

This new video injects a high-pitched wail that was missing in July, the kind of wicked, soaring keen that jellies one’s organs and notifies the mind of blinding terrors on approach. In fact, the Valkyrie now makes all the noises Formula 1 fans wished the F1 race cars could make. That’s no hyperbole, either. Compare the modern Cosworth to the 3.5-liter Honda V12 in the 1991 McLaren MP4/6, the resemblance is clear. Remove the street-legal equipment on the Aston Martin and let Goodwin uncork it, as we expect to happen in next year’s World Endurance Championship, and it’s clear the WEC might have the best sounding racers in all of motorsport.

Deliveries are scheduled to begin before the end of the year, so Aston Martin should be wrapping up its validation testing on Verification Prototype 1 if it hasn’t already. After that come competition entries into the FIA World Endurance Championship (WEC). And after that, someone will need to convince at least one owner to drive the Valkyrie on the street so that we can all enjoy the noise.

Aston Martin DBS Superleggera Concorde Edition Revealed – 10 Cars Only

In its centenary year, British Airways is also celebrating the 50th anniversary of one of its most iconic airplanes, the Concorde! Aston Martin appears keen to celebrate the groundbreaking, supersonic airplane too, revealing the special edition Aston Martin DBS Superleggera Concorde yesterday, 50 years after Concorde first took to the air.

For those few who haven’t heard of Concorde before. It flew between 1976 and 2003 as the first commercial supersonic passenger plane. It was operated exclusively by British Airways and Air France. It was developed and manufactured as a joint venture between Sud Aviation (later Aérospatiale) and the British Aircraft Corporation (BAC). It’s success was due to the fact that it cut travel times roughly in half, due to the fact that it could travel at supersonic speeds.

For its homage, Aston Martin’s Q by Aston Martin division has created 10 special edition versions of the DBS. It joins the Aston Martin Wings Series, following on from the Vanquish S Red Arrows Edition; Vantage Blades Edition; and the V12 Vantage S Spitfire 80. The commission comes via Aston Martin Bristol.

On the outside, the unique touches include bespoke side strakes milled from solid aluminium; a bespoke livery comprising British Airways colours on the roof strake, aero blade and rear diffuser; black tinted carbon fibre roof with Concorde silhouette graphic; the famous British Airways ‘Speedmarque’ logo in chrome on the front wings; a Q by Aston Martin wing badge with black enamel infill; authentic jet black painted Civil Aviation Authority aircraft identifier numbers and bespoke inspection plaques signed by Aston Martin Lagonda President and Group CEO Andy Palmer and British Airways Chairman Álex Cruz.

The interior gets predominantly blue design features. It includes the Concorde logo on the front seat facings; a Mach Meter graphic embroidered on the driver’s side sun visor; a unique headliner featuring printed Alcantara displaying a ‘sonic boom’ graphic; paddle shifters made from titanium from Concorde compressor blades; floor mats in Terence Conran design pattern; seatbelt buckle badges milled from solid aluminium and bespoke sill plaques.

Aston Martin DBS Superleggera Concorde Edition Interior

Aston Martin will handle the sale of the 50 unit production run. Parts of the proceeds from the sale of each individual car will be donated to the Air League Trust, a not-for-profit organisation that teaches under-privileged children how to fly, and offers support for them to work in engineering.


Aston Martin DBS Superleggera Concorde Edition celebrates airspeed

This year is the 100th birthday of British Airways, as well as the 50th anniversary of the first flight for the Aérospatiale/BAC Concorde supersonic passenger jet. Today marks the 16th anniversary of the Concorde’s final hop, when Concorde 216 registered as G-BOAF flew from Heathrow to Bristol, England, with 100 BA employees on board, to roll into a display space at the Aerospace Bristol museum. That same plane was the last Concorde built, coming off the line in 1978 at BAC Filton Bristol. To celebrate the plane and BA and its aerospace neighbor, Aston Martin Bristol commissioned 10 special editions called the DBS Superleggera Concorde. Pieced together with the expertise of Q by Aston Martin, the coupe is the latest in Aston Martin’s aviation-inspired Wings Series specials, following the Vanquish S Red Arrows Edition, Vantage Blades Edition, and V12 Vantage S Spitfire 80.

Dressed in white, the coupe gets ornament in British Airways livery colors on the front splitter, roof strake, rear spoiler, rear diffuser, and inside the Aston Martin wings badge. A Concorde graphic decorates the black, carbon fiber roof, and a Concorde-shaped chunk of solid aluminum streaks through the side strakes. The British Airways “Speedmarque” logo is on the front fender above the black enamel Q by Aston Martin badge, the rear fenders wearing registration G-BOAF.   

Printed Alcantara on the Superleggera’s cockpit headliner displays a sonic boom graphic, the front visors get mach meter graphics, the front seats show off Concorde and Speedmarque logos. Pieces of titanium compressor blades from the supersonic bird have been turned into paddle shifters, and embossed solid aluminum seatbelt buckles shine the Concorde again. The floor mats adopt a design by Sir Terence Conran, he being one of three designers commissioned to upgrade the Concorde’s interior not long before the jet went out of service.

The 5.2-liter V12 engine holds steady at 710 horsepower and 664 pound-feet of torque, plenty of thrust for booming travel on the ground. Aston Martin Bristol says it will donate part of the proceeds from each sale to the Air League Trust, a nonprofit that teaches underprivileged children how to fly and helps open doors for them into engineering professions.

Special Report: The 2019 Aston Martin Vantage, better than a 911?

For decades the Porsche 911 has been the yardstick, the go to car for the affluent man or woman that fancies a great sports car that can thrill on the weekend and, if they so choose, trundle through commuter traffic without fuss or issue in the week. The formula has remained the same too – flat six at the back a couple of seats for the little ones just ahead of the engine a manual or auto transmission in the middle and a reasonably sized boot/frunk at the front. Buying a 911 is a no brainer, they hold value as a result of the ludicrous demand, they are almost all a joy to drive and they are as reliable as a Volkswagen Golf. Few challengers have come and gone, even fewer have the lineage or provenance of the 911 and few are as accomplished all rounders.

An Aston Martin would normally not cross a Porsche 911 buyers mind, the previous generation 2005-2018 Vantage was often considered a competitor. In reality there was a signifiant gulf between the two not only in abilities, but also the ownership experience. That all changed with the introduction of this, the latest generation Vantage. Why the sudden change? Well, the partnership with Mercedes-AMG brought a tried and tested, modern V8. The partnership extended to the infotainment system that was always a point of criticism in Astons of old. These updates significantly boosted the appeal of the Vantage, it started to catch buyers attention. Then the media drove the Vantage on road and track and the rave reviews did wonders for the credibility of the Vantage.

Here I am, in Q4 2019 having recently driven the Porsche 992 911 Carreras in S and 4S guises, both as coupes and cabriolets. I find myself somewhat well placed to draw comparisons with the Vantage that has just been delivered on my driveway. Styling is subjective, but it cannot be denied that the gaping Vulcan like front grill, dramatic taught lines and wide rear haunches provide a visual punch that knockout the subtle, stylish and suited Porsche. These cars are visually sending out different messages.

The same can be said for the interior, the 992 is clean, sharp, functional. The Aston is, again, a lot more dramatic with its button festooned square steering wheel. The dash is also littered with buttons and the gear selector is not a conventional stick, but the buttons that Aston have used for a number of years. The British contender lacks rear seats – for the few that shoehorn their children in the back seat or use them as extra storage space, this may be a dealbreaker. On the topic of space, there is no glovebox in the Aston.

Onto the engines. Once again, this is a story of contrasts. For cars that share a target audience, this is the biggest difference. Front mid engined V8 plays rear engined flat six. Both are turbocharged and both are available with auto and manual gearboxes. Start them up and another sensory contrast makes itself known – sound. This, for me, is a significant differentiator. The 992 sounds the same way as it looks, smooth and sophisticated. It turns heads but does not snap necks. The Aston does the latter, the V8 with the sports exhaust is rude on startup and in Sport+ or Track mode, it warbles like an old school V8, then splatters, bangs and howls as you push on. The whip cracks on up shifts and gun shots on downshifts are a far cry from the 911s image. The relation to the Mercedes-AMG’s noises is there, but the Aston is far more brutal, raucous and hard-edged. It is different enough.

The sounds accompanying the gearshifts may be entertaining, the shifts themselves from the ZF eight-speed cannot match the finesse and scarcely believable speed of the PDK box. The Aston’s steering is not hyper fast as many cars on sale today, but it does lack precious feel. Given that it is the first time Aston has adopted an EPAS system, it is fair to say that it will improve in the future as Porsche’s did.

The Aston wins on power, 503bhp vs a Carrera S with 450. 0-100 times are very similar, both will hit the measure in the mid threes according to their press releases. Porsche, as per, are conservative and in the real world would leave the Aston behind from a standing start.

As a daily driver the Vantage is fantastic. Around the congested London streets it is comfortable, the steering is light, the ride supple and the seats are comfortable. The brake pedal is a touch too sensitive but adjusted modulation over time alleviates this, a little more travel would be an improvement as would a glovebox. I suspect the reason for their being a lack of glovebox is the engine being situated so far behind the front axel, the dash itself is quite high. This means there is a sporty post box like view out of all the windows. Racy, not very good for general visibility. The blindspot from the wing mirror position also takes some getting used to.

The comparisons on tangible elements are all good and well. The majority of measures swing towards the 911, particularly when you consider the Carrera S is around £20,000 less than the Vantage. Then you turn to how the cars make you feel and this is where the Aston sets itself up fabulously. Could you imagine James Bond driving a 911? No. The feeling of rarity, bonafide specialness is part and parcel of owning an Aston Martin. If you drive through London you’ll need an abacus to keep count of the 911s that you’ll cross paths with in just an hour around Kensington and Mayfair. Vantages are far rarer, they command attention, something only the most hardcore 911s can do. This may sound trivial, but to me, and I suspect a genuine sports car owner, the way the car make you feel is taken into consideration. Mute the head and focus on the heart and there is a gulf separating the Porsche and the Aston, the Aston gives you this warm happy feeling that is a charm that few competitors possess.

It cannot be denied that the 911 is more accomplished in its abilities, in equal measure anyone considering a 911 would be foolish not to get behind the wheel of the Vantage, it is a fine machine and one that might just charm them off of their feet, perhaps for the drama and noise alone.


Daniel Craig Customized a Special Aston Martin for the Neiman Marcus Christmas Catalog

Every year, Neiman Marcus releases a collection of items for their Christmas catalog that, if we’re being frank, is completely absurd, over the top and only for the incredibly rich. We’re not buying any of…