AMV10 Aston Martin Concept Car

aston-martin-amv10It is said that Mercedes will take Aston Martin and a future Aston Martin super car may appear within some years.

Aston Martin AMV10 it’s a virtual proposal which can be a starting point for building a new supersport model with clasic architecture – central engine. The model reminds us of the exclusive Jaguar XJ220, but it keeps untouched some important design elements of the Aston Martin brand.

Sabino Design introduced a completely radical idea for the flagship Aston Martin: the AMV10.

This car was created by tuners who were very likely to be inspired by the Jaguar XJ 220, as a result the looks and the middle engine layout are similar to those of the legendary Jag, rather than the DB9/ V8 Vantage.

Furthermore the car will feature a V10 engine (producing 700 hp), which was never used by Aston before.

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2010 Lagonda Aston Martin Concept Car

aston-martin-lagonda-concept-front-side-588x406The Aston Martin Lagonda Concept that appeared at Geneva Motor Show this year is unlikely to morph into a production car, according to reports.

Ever since its purchase by Aston Martin in 1947, the Lagonda brand has played second fiddle to the firm’s sports cars. That may well change, as Aston Martin’s announced it intends to revive the brand, offering this – the 2009 Lagonda concept – as proof of its intent.

Certainly, it doesn’t look like an Aston Martin, but apart from the 1964 Rapide (built from the Aston Martin DB4) and seven sedans built from the 1975 DBS coupe, few ever have. Some, like the wildly angular 1976 model, have pushed the envelope of automotive styling.

Aston calls the Lagonda a “four-seat international tourer,” which we take to mean as a crossover. Indeed, the Lagonda is an all-wheel-drive vehicle, and its short overhangs, tall stance, and large 22-inch wheels suggest it’s made to traverse surfaces other than tarmac. We’re told the concept uses a V-12 for power; we’d guess it’s the same 6.0-liter V-12 found in the DB9.

While the vehicle looks like a Chinese knock-off of a Bentley Conti GT, a Chrysler 300, the Land Rover LRX concept, and an AM Rapide it is supposed to be a Lagonda. Aston Martin is trying to postition the Langonda brand as a less-sporty, more luxurious marque that will appeal to the wealthy elite in established and emerging markets. Currently, Aston is only sold in 34 countries but CEO Dr. Bez hopes to offer Lagonda in over 100.

Lastly, the taillights look like they could have been the work of Peter Schreyer. Yes, they’re so attractive that they are befitting a Kia.Although many may critisize the choice of producing a 4WD CUV/SAC/SUV/SAV, Russian oil barons and Chinese sweatshop owners are surely delighted at the prospect of a high-end vehicle they can use year ’round. Especially if it will help to differentiate them from the simpleton Cayenne and X6 owners. Perhaps Aston Martin and Lagonda haven’t made as much of a mistake as the automotive media would have you believe.

Aston Martin Joins With Toyota on Small Car

480-astonAston Martin has announced a new compact car concept, the Cygnet. Aston calls the car a “luxury commuter concept,” but that wasn’t the biggest surprise in the news release.

The Cygnet, which means young swan, takes traditional Aston styling cues — big-mouth grille, alloy wheels and what appears to be carbon-fiber vents cut into the hood — and transposes them onto the petite proportions of the Toyota iQ city car. At only 117.5 inches long, the iQ, which Toyota began selling in Japan and Europe late last year, is slightly longer than a Smart Fortwo.

Despite the Aston makeover, the Cygnet will still be powered by Toyota’s 67-horsepower 998-cc 3-cylinder engine — 353 horsepower shy of the Aston Martin V-8 Vantage, a slinky $120,000 sport coupe that, until now, served as the brand’s budget model. The V-8 Vantage can accelerate from zero to 60 miles an hour in 4.5 seconds. The iQ takes roughly three times as long.

One obvious question is whether the whole thing is a joke. After the number for the Aston Martin headquarters in Gaydon, England, was punched in, a polite spokesman said the Cygnet, while still a concept, is very much for real. “A lot of our customers have two, three or four cars in their garage,” he explained. Company research found that this fleet often includes at least one small car for zipping around town.

“This concept — akin to an exclusive tender to a luxury yacht — will allow us to apply Aston Martin design language, craftsmanship and brand values to a completely new segment of the market,” said Dr. Ulrich Bez, Aston Martin’s chief executive, in a news release.

So seeking to capitalize on this niche within a niche market, Aston Martin came up with the Cygnet. Based on trusty Toyota underpinnings, the production version could arrive by 2010. Prices and production numbers are not set, but, according to the Aston spokesman, the price could be around $33,000. The Toyota iQ starts at $15,800 in Britain.

Already having an Aston Martin sports car could help your chances even more because sales priority will be given to existing clientele. Sales will initially be limited to Britain and Europe. But Americans can take heart. Scion could begin selling a version of the Toyota iQ in the United States as soon as late 2010, reports Motor Trend. It is likely to cost much less than the Cygnet.

Aston Martin DBS Volante

aston_martin-dbs_volante_2010The cool, calm, glamourous exterior of the Aston Martin DBS hides a bit of a secret.

You see Aston’s biggest hitter is a bit of an old-school monster. The drivetrain is awesome. It may not quite have the frenzied top end of the Ferrari 599GTB’s Enzo-derived motor, but the glorious 6-litre V12 and heavyweight manual ‘box make the DBS feel like a very serious supercar. It has 510bhp and 420lb ft and in the wet the traction control has no answers for a clumsily applied throttle pedal. For that reason alone I think it’s a very special car – a link to the flawed but wonderful Aston’s of old.

Somehow adding ‘Volante’ in to the mix doesn’t quite fit this mildly sadistic streak that runs beneath the sophisticated DBS surface. Or at least it shouldn’t. A Volante really is a south of France cruiser – forget all that rubbish about putting you closer to the elements, a convertible supercar is about making you more visible to the poor people you’re driving past. Fact. And as I love the DBS for what it does, not what it says about you to passers by, the thought of chopping off its roof makes me groan just a little bit. Not least because the only DB9 Volante I’ve ever driven was pretty, erm, wobbly.

Having said that Aston has gone to great lengths to eradicate shake and shimmy and flex, the most significant upgrade being a hard-mounted rear subframe attached at six points to the aluminium tub (the DB9 makes do with four), and I have to admit it feels like an entirely different car to that muddled DB9 (perhaps it was a bad one). It rides firmly and yet that killer convertible telltale, the steering column shake, is almost completely absent. Not only that but the DBS’ agility is intact: It changes direction positively, grips hard and even when the front tyres are really loaded-up the steering never clonks or feels like the assistance is struggling. The balance is well-judged too, with just a bit of understeer as you start to ask questions of the P Zero rubber. Of course you can light up the tyres should you disable the traction control (which seems much more effective now), but the DBS isn’t an easy, languid slider in the mould of an M3 and feels big and intimidating when it does go sideways. Best avoided unless on track, I’d suggest.

The drivetrain is still wonderful, although the added weight of the Volante (115kg) does blunt the huge punch and the car we tried was a torque-converter auto with the paddle shift ‘Touchtronic’ system, further chiseling away at the crazy edge that defines the manual Coupe. Aston still claim that the DBS Volante hits sixty in 4.3-seconds and runs on to 191mph, but it doesn’t feel quite that ferocious. In some ways it has become a fast cruiser to the hard-edged Coupe’s supercar.

Aston Martin V8 Vantage

Aston_Martin-V8_Vantag

Aston_Martin-V8_Vantag

Aston Martin V8 Vantage – originally launched to widespread critical acclaim at the Geneva Motor Show in 2005 – is to receive significant technical enhancements, reaffirming the car’s position as one of the world’s most desirable and exhilarating sports cars.

While the universally distinctive and award-winning shape of the Aston Martin V8 Vantage is retained, the car benefits from a number of technical changes which include significantly up-rated engine performance from a new 4.7 litre power unit in both Coupe and Roadster variants. Other changes include revised dynamics to take full advantage of increased power and torque availability, improved Sportshift™ transmission software and a new sports suspension option.

The 4.7 litre V8 engine has a power output of 420bhp (an 11% increase on the previous 4.3 litre unit) and delivers peak torque of 470Nm (15% increase), providing the Aston Martin V8 Vantage with new reserves of mid-range performance, an improved 0-60mph time of 4.7 seconds and top speed of 180mph (288kph). Combined European fuel economy and CO2 emissions are also improved by 13% (Sportshift™).

Inside, the changes include a new centre console and revised switchgear and the introduction of an ECU replacing the previous V8 Vantage key. Externally, the acclaimed Aston Martin V8 Vantage design appearance is enhanced with a range of new standard and optional 19” alloy wheels.

Aston Martin Chief Executive Officer, Dr Ulrich Bez said: “Continued development and evolution of our unique VH (Vertical-Horizontal) architecture has brought even higher levels of refinement and dynamic performance to our whole range.

“With the new 4.7 litre engine and associated changes we have taken the Aston Martin V8 Vantage to new levels of performance to produce an even more desirable sports car.

“The Aston Martin V8 Vantage is now the most successful Aston Martin in our history and we are confident these changes will continue its appeal and driving enjoyment for both new and existing customers.”

Engine

Improvements in performance have been achieved through a number of carefully developed changes to Aston Martin’s acclaimed V8 engine.

The cylinder bore and stroke has been increased from 89mm to 91mm and 86mm to 91mm respectively, giving a total displacement of 4735cc.

The increase in cylinder bore is facilitated by a move to cylinder liners that are pressed into the pre-machined aluminium alloy block, allowing a thinner liner than was possible with the cast-in design of the 4.3 litre engine.

The new forged steel crankshaft provides the 91mm stroke and incorporates new holes in the counter weights for reduced rotating mass and improved inter-bay breathing. New forged steel con-rods and cast aluminium pistons complete the capacity-related changes.

Other key changes include efficiency improvements to the dry sump lubrication system, including a new sump casting with oil pick-up points moved from the front and rear to the sides of the sump. The cylinder heads are modified with a new intake port and an inlet valve size increase from 34.9mm to 35.9mm. The intake manifold has been modified to match the new port to optimise air flow.

Transmission

The Aston Martin V8 Vantage transmissions have also undergone changes to improve performance and to handle the increased levels of power and torque. Both the standard manual stick-shift gearbox and the optional Sportshift™ transmission benefit from a modified clutch and flywheel, reducing clutch pedal efforts and delivering a 0.5kg weight saving, reducing the rotating masses within the powertrain, and hence increasing engine responsiveness.

Aston Martin’s Sportshift™ transmission has undergone a series of specific changes to broaden the capabilities of the gearbox to offer customers enhanced comfort and convenience with sporting capabilities. Changes include a revised control strategy, allowing the transmission, rather than the engine, to dictate how best the engine torque should be deployed to optimise performance and deliver power smoothly and consistently.

‘Dual Throttle Map’ software is also featured. When ‘Comfort’ mode is selected the engine reacts in a smoother more progressive manner to driver throttle inputs and in the default ‘Sports’ mode the throttle mapping is more aggressive, delivering a more dynamic and sporting feel.

Sportshift™ now also has the capability to take inputs from the steering wheel enabling the current gear to be held when the car is negotiating a corner and hill descent detection, allowing a low gear to be held, maximising the effects of engine braking.

Suspension

A series of improvements are introduced to the Aston Martin V8 Vantage chassis and suspension setup to deliver improved body control and low speed ride quality; enabling the driver to take full advantage of the increased performance potential.

A number of the improved components originally introduced on the Aston Martin V8 Vantage Roadster are now carried over to the Coupe, including revised upper damper mountings and bump stops. Additionally, the front spring rates are stiffened by 11% at the front and 5% at the rear.

Steering geometry is also modified to improve steering feel, while the front lower suspension arm compliance bushes are stiffened by 22% to provide enhanced steering response and handling.

The Aston Martin V8 Vantage also now benefits from Bilstein dampers as standard; these low-friction dampers provide improved levels of dynamic capabilities and further improve ride quality.

Design & Optional Equipment

Also introduced as an option for both Coupe and Roadster variants is a new Sports Pack which comprises forged lightweight alloy wheels aiding a lower unsprung mass, re-tuned Bilstein dampers with improved dynamic response, up-rated springs and a revised rear anti-roll bar (Coupe only). The Sports Pack is intended to offer greater agility, high speed body control and precision feel for the most enthusiastic of drivers.

Although the award-winning exterior design of the Aston Martin V8 Vantage remains largely unchanged, a new 20-spoke 19” alloy wheel is introduced as standard, with either diamond turned silver or graphite finishes available as options, affording customers maximum choice. Alternatively, as part of the Sports Pack option, a 5-spoke lightweight aluminium wheel will be provided.

In the cabin, a new centre console constructed from die cast zinc alloy with a graphite silver finish is introduced along with a new ECU – first seen on the Aston Martin DBS in 2007. The ECU – constructed from glass, polished stainless steel and polycarbonate – replaces the key used previously for the Aston Martin V8 Vantage. The revised car also includes a new Hard Disk Drive (HDD) Navigation System offering faster route processing, additional features and improved graphics. Full ipod/MP3 integration is retained as standard equipment.

First shown as a concept car at the 2003 North American International Auto Show in Detroit, the Aston Martin AMV8 Concept caused a worldwide sensation as it allowed Aston Martin to enter a new sector of the premium sports car market with a genuine alternative to other cars on offer. Deliveries of the Aston Martin V8 Vantage Coupe to customers began in late 2005, joined by a convertible sibling in 2007 when the Aston Martin V8 Vantage Roadster was launched. The car is hand built at Aston Martin’s Headquarters at Gaydon, Warwickshire, UK and to date more than 10,000 have been delivered to customers around the world.

Performance

* Max speed: 180mph (290 km/h)
* Acceleration: 0-60mph 4.7 seconds
* 0-100km/h (62mph) 4.8 seconds
* Max power: 313kW (420bhp) @ 7000 rpm
* Max torque: 470 Nm (346 lb.ft) @ 5750 rpm

2010 Aston Martin Rapide

aston_martin_rapide_2010

Aston Martin’s much-anticipated Rapide sedan has finally broken cover with an official pic, and it’s gorgeous.
The big sedan will go head-to-head with Porsche’s bloated Panamera and try to take some starch out of Mercedes, BMW and Audi as the big sedan war heats up.
“The Rapide will be the most elegant four-door sports car in the world,” Dr. Ulrich Bez, company CEO, said in a press release. “It completes the Aston Martin range while conveying our established attributes of power, beauty and soul.”
And spectacular styling.
Back before the economy cratered and auto sales tanked, it seemed everyone and his brother was promising a big sedan with power to match. Even companies that really have no business building sedans – coughPorsche coughLamborghini – were arguing they simply must have a four-door high-performance sedan if they are to compete.

Aston Martin’s much-anticipated Rapide sedan has finally broken cover with an official pic, and it’s gorgeous.

The big sedan will go head-to-head with Porsche’s bloated Panamera and try to take some starch out of Mercedes, BMW and Audi as the big sedan war heats up.

“The Rapide will be the most elegant four-door sports car in the world,” Dr. Ulrich Bez, company CEO, said in a press release. “It completes the Aston Martin range while conveying our established attributes of power, beauty and soul.” And spectacular styling.

Back before the economy cratered and auto sales tanked, it seemed everyone and his brother was promising a big sedan with power to match. Even companies that really have no business building sedans – coughPorsche coughLamborghini – were arguing they simply must have a four-door high-performance sedan if they are to compete.

The Aston Martin DB9 is a Drag

Aston Martin DBR9

I’m on the phone with Automobile Magazine’s road test editor and all-around Anglophile, Marc Noordeloos, discussing the gorgeous Aston Martin DB9 sitting in my driveway. From the background, his British (and very fabulous) mother-in-law yells that the DB9 is nothing more than an English Camaro.
So I wonder: if I had a Camaro in my possession right now instead of the DB9, what would I do with it? I’d probably take it drag racing. It just so happens that Infineon Raceway, a quick drive from my house, hosts a quarter-mile drag race most Wednesday nights. And it just so happens that it’s Wednesday.
I had just admitted to Marc that the DB9 felt slow. He laughed at me and reminded me that the DB9 was capable of a 0-to-60-mph run in the mid-four-second range and a quarter-mile somewhere around 13 seconds at 110 mph. So either something is wrong with this particular DB9, or something is wrong with me, was the implication. I assume it’s the latter, but I head off to the dragstrip to prove my insanity.
This being the first time I’ve ever run a car down a quarter-mile track, I had no idea what I was doing. My social anxiety was compounded by the fact that everyone was staring at me, the dude in the only $200,000 car on the grid. To my surprise, there were no insults thrown my way-at least none that I heard. People actually were nice-especially a couple in their sixties in their full-size pickup next to me on the grid. They walked over to me to offer the services of their son’s company, Central Coast Clear Bra, to protect my lovely new Aston from rock chips. By the time I explained the car wasn’t mine, they had also figured out that I was a drag strip virgin. So had the official, who was trying frantically to get my attention. Apparently I needed to do something called a qualifying run.
So I pull the big DB9 up to the lights, which gradually turn green, and I’m off. No wheelspin, no drama. The helmet seems so unnecessary, I think, as I keep my foot down with the automatic transmission orchestrating supple shift after supple shift. This is so unbelievably easy. And the Aston’s V-12, which sounds like not much of anything from inside the cabin, must have been doing a whole lot of something under the hood, because it hurtled the 4000-pound DB9 down the quarter-mile track in 12.851 seconds at 111.85 mph.
Yikes. There’s definitely nothing wrong with the Aston; I had just gotten more proof that I’m out of my mind. This is an observation that the officials share with me after they notice me hauling ass down the return road. Apparently I was slightly over (like, um, quadruple) the 15-mph speed limit. Which, in my defense, isn’t posted anywhere.
When I got back to the staging grid, my mentors in the F-150 explained some of the intricacies of bracket racing, wrote a number on my windshield, and sent me on my way. The rest of the evening was uneventful-I ran twice before I was eliminated. Both runs were within a hair of 13.0 seconds @ 111 mph.
But one thing is certain: the Aston is definitely not slow. I didn’t do a thorough check, but I didn’t see anything in the street class that was remotely close to the Aston’s thirteen-second achievement.
No, I realize later, the reason the Aston feels so slow is because I had just driven a brand-new 2009 Chevy Corvette ZR1 a few days earlier. I’m apparently ruined for life. If a 5.9-liter, 470-hp Aston Martin V-12 sounds unimpressive and feels slow, I fear I may never recover. Nothing on this planet can compare to the acoustic fury generated by the ZR1, not to mention its accelerative thrust.
I hereby sentence myself to driving nothing but mid-1980s four-cylinder Mercedes-Benz diesels until my sense of “fast” is restored. A 240D automatic should do. I think they did the quarter-mile in about three minutes, maybe four. What a drag.
I’m on the phone with Automobile Magazine’s road test editor and all-around Anglophile, Marc Noordeloos, discussing the gorgeous Aston Martin DB9 sitting in my driveway. From the background, his British (and very fabulous) mother-in-law yells that the DB9 is nothing more than an English Camaro.
So I wonder: if I had a Camaro in my possession right now instead of the DB9, what would I do with it? I’d probably take it drag racing. It just so happens that Infineon Raceway, a quick drive from my house, hosts a quarter-mile drag race most Wednesday nights. And it just so happens that it’s Wednesday.
I had just admitted to Marc that the DB9 felt slow. He laughed at me and reminded me that the DB9 was capable of a 0-to-60-mph run in the mid-four-second range and a quarter-mile somewhere around 13 seconds at 110 mph. So either something is wrong with this particular DB9, or something is wrong with me, was the implication. I assume it’s the latter, but I head off to the dragstrip to prove my insanity.
This being the first time I’ve ever run a car down a quarter-mile track, I had no idea what I was doing. My social anxiety was compounded by the fact that everyone was staring at me, the dude in the only $200,000 car on the grid. To my surprise, there were no insults thrown my way-at least none that I heard. People actually were nice-especially a couple in their sixties in their full-size pickup next to me on the grid. They walked over to me to offer the services of their son’s company, Central Coast Clear Bra, to protect my lovely new Aston from rock chips. By the time I explained the car wasn’t mine, they had also figured out that I was a drag strip virgin. So had the official, who was trying frantically to get my attention. Apparently I needed to do something called a qualifying run.
So I pull the big DB9 up to the lights, which gradually turn green, and I’m off. No wheelspin, no drama. The helmet seems so unnecessary, I think, as I keep my foot down with the automatic transmission orchestrating supple shift after supple shift. This is so unbelievably easy. And the Aston’s V-12, which sounds like not much of anything from inside the cabin, must have been doing a whole lot of something under the hood, because it hurtled the 4000-pound DB9 down the quarter-mile track in 12.851 seconds at 111.85 mph.
Yikes. There’s definitely nothing wrong with the Aston; I had just gotten more proof that I’m out of my mind. This is an observation that the officials share with me after they notice me hauling ass down the return road. Apparently I was slightly over (like, um, quadruple) the 15-mph speed limit. Which, in my defense, isn’t posted anywhere.
When I got back to the staging grid, my mentors in the F-150 explained some of the intricacies of bracket racing, wrote a number on my windshield, and sent me on my way. The rest of the evening was uneventful-I ran twice before I was eliminated. Both runs were within a hair of 13.0 seconds @ 111 mph.
But one thing is certain: the Aston is definitely not slow. I didn’t do a thorough check, but I didn’t see anything in the street class that was remotely close to the Aston’s thirteen-second achievement.
No, I realize later, the reason the Aston feels so slow is because I had just driven a brand-new 2009 Chevy Corvette ZR1 a few days earlier. I’m apparently ruined for life. If a 5.9-liter, 470-hp Aston Martin V-12 sounds unimpressive and feels slow, I fear I may never recover. Nothing on this planet can compare to the acoustic fury generated by the ZR1, not to mention its accelerative thrust.
I hereby sentence myself to driving nothing but mid-1980s four-cylinder Mercedes-Benz diesels until my sense of “fast” is restored. A 240D automatic should do. I think they did the quarter-mile in about three minutes, maybe four. What a drag.