Caving Under Pressure: The Detroit Auto Show May, In Fact, Move to October
The Detroit Auto Show is on the cusp of a long-overdue decision that will effectively move the show out of the winter doldrums of January into a later month with a far more inviting climate. Nothing is official yet, but there’s growing momentum that America’s most esteemed auto show will be moved from January to October beginning in 2020. A decision is expected to be made in the coming weeks as the Detroit Auto Dealers Association is scheduled to vote on uprooting the show from its winter roots and moving it to the fall.
Aston Martin Just Put Bentley and Rolls-Royce of the Future in Check with the Lagonda Vision Concept
These days every automaker has their eyes set on the future, and Aston Martin just showcased their vision of the ultra-luxurious, autonomous future with the Lagonda Vision Concept. Basically, a car designed with Bentley and Rolls-Royce customers in mind, the Lagonda offers a unique look inside and out with a few materials inside that you wouldn’t usually expect. It’s, naturally, all-electric because that is the future, and it even has a steering wheel for the ultra-wealthy that still like to grip the wheel from time to time. This model will never make it to production, but Aston says that its design language is a preview of the future and at least some of the DNA could make its way into production as soon as 2021.
Unveiled in 2017, the Valkyrie is by far Aston Martin’s most spectacular and radical vehicle yet. It’s extreme compared to other supercars too, mostly because it blends the designs of Le Mans prototypes and Formula One cars in a very unique way. But Aston Martin and Red Bull Racing didn’t stop there and took the concept to new heights with a track-only version under the AMR Pro banner. The car was just unveiled at the 2018 Geneva Motor Show, and it eclipses just about anything at the Swiss event, including the new and brutal McLaren Senna GTR.
Aston Martin CEO Hints at a Special Surprise for the Geneva Motor Show
Aston Martin will be in attendance at the 2018 Geneva Motor Show, and it’s not going there with the usual cadre of models that we’ve already seen. On the contrary, the British automaker is lining up an epic roster of showcase models, including what CEO Andy Palmer describes as “one or two surprises.” We don’t know what these two surprises are, but since it came from Palmer himself, we’re going to go out on a limb and say that we could be in for a quite a treat when we stop by Aston’s booth in Geneva.
2018 Aston Martin Vanquish Zagato Speedster
Introduced in 2012, the second-generation Vanquish isn’t yet as old as the model it replaced, but it won’t be long until Aston Martin unleashes the third-generation car. And it seems that the grand tourer is getting a proper send off with several special-edition models up for grabs. Arguably the most spectacular of them all is the Zagato, which was built in both coupe and Volante body styles. Limited to only 99 units each, the Zagatos are long gone as of 2017, but if you’re still looking to get one, Aston Martin just unveiled two new version wearing the Zagato badge. One of them is the Vanquish Zagato Speedster, a two-seat drop-top that steps away from the usual convertible configuration.
The Speedster’s arrival is far from surprising, because we’ve already seen a camo-free example being driver near the Nurburgring track earlier this summer. However, it is a bit surprising that it was designed as a two-seater, as is the fact that Aston Martin expanded the current Vanquish Zagato range to no fewer than four models, including a shooting brake. Find out more about the Zagato Speedster and what makes it stands out compared to other models in the review below.
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Aston Martin Announces Additional Vanquish Zagato Models
What happens when you mix British good looks with Italian flair? The answer is one very desirable automobile, as evidenced by nearly six decades of collaboration between Aston Martin and Zagato. The latest products of this happy union are new Speedster and Shooting Brake iterations of the Vanquish, which join the Coupe and Volante to bring the grand total of Zagato’d Vanquish models to four. Revealed during Monterey Car Week just five days ahead of the Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance, Aston says production will be limited to 325 units total, including 99 Coupes, 99 Volantes, 28 Speedsters, and 99 Shooting Brakes.
Production is already underway, with deliveries expected through 2018. Unfortunately, anyone looking to grab one of the more rare Speedster models is out of luck, as all 28 are already spoken for. Updates from the design house only pertain to the exterior and cabin, while the mechanicals remain unchanged. That means as much as 580 horsepower from an all-atmosphere 6.0-liter V-12 powerplant, with output routed rearwards by way of a Touchtronic III gearbox. Adaptive dampers help it handle. Outside, you’ll find carbon fiber body components, plus taillights inspired by the outrageous Vulcan racing car and a 3D Zagato “Z” theme for the front fascia. Inside is herringbone carbon fiber with anodized bronze trim.
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2018 Aston Martin Vulcan AMR Pro
After years of struggle and maintaining a lineup consisting mainly of old designs, Aston Martin unveiled the Vulcan in 2015. Although it wasn’t the first limited-edition model to have a unique styling, the Vulcan was the first supercar to wear the British badge. It was powerful, fast, radically different from any other Aston Martin, and built in limited numbers. It was also a track-only vehicle, which made it even more exotic. Two years later and the Vulcan returns, this time with an AMR Pro upgrade that makes it even more aerodynamic.
Launched in early 2017, AMR is the company’s new performance brand that basically brings the technology seen in Aston Martin Racing competition cars to customer vehicles. Essentially a body kit upgrade to the already potent Vulcan, the AMR Pro package makes the supercar more aerodynamic and quicker at the race track. At the same time, it moves Aston Martin closer to the likes of Ferrari, Lamborghini, and McLaren, companies that have solid customer racing programs and highly customizable products thanks to bespoke high-performance divisions.
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This Gorgeous Aston Martin V8 Vantage S Will Be Sold in China Only
Virtually nonexistent outside Asia until 1990, the Chinese automotive industry has expanded dramatically in recent years and its the largest in the world since 2008. As a key market on a global scale, China benefits from many privileges, including exclusive models from several important automakers. For instance, BMW launched the 1 Series Sedan in China only and Buick designed most of its U.S. lineup with the Chinese market in mind. Now, Aston Martin is also looking to expand in the country and it built a bespoke V8 Vantage S as a marketing tool.
Called the Great Britain Edition (not exactly inspired, huh?), comes from the company’s already familiar Q division and is limited to only five units. Granted, it’s not the kind of car that will spend too much time in showrooms, but it should give Aston Martin a relevant answer to the question: will Q-made grand tourers sell in China? Based on what type of luxury cars are popular in China, the answer is yes, without the Great Britain Edition, but hey, Aston Martin needs a solid showroom at the Shanghai Auto Show.
So what exactly makes this car special aside from having its country of origin in its name?
For starters, it’s finished in Stratus White and has bright, metallic blue mirror caps and rear diffuser insert. It might sound plain, but it’s a gorgeous combination. Just look at the pictures. The exterior is rounded off by red, white, and blue fender badges, but more goodies can be found inside. From the deep Aurora Blue leather with bespoke Zagato wave quilting to the Anodised Blue rotary knobs and Union Jack embroidery, the cabin is as bespoke as it gets and it’s the perfect example of pure British craftsmanship.
Pricing for one of the five limited-edition model is set at CNY2,088,000, which converts to around $303,185 as of April 2017. Definitely not cheap, but we’re talking about a very exclusive car here.
2017 Aston Martin Vantage AMR Pro Concept
Around since 2005, the current-generation Aston Martin Vantage might seem a bit long in the tooth, but it’s still one of the finest luxury grand tourers you can buy. Updated over the years and offered in numerous limited-edition models, the Vantage will definitely be missed when a new generation comes around. But, the current iteration isn’t going away anytime soon and Aston Martin decided to spice things up by including it in its brand-new AMR program, which was launched at the 2017 Geneva Motor Show.
If you’re familiar with the company’s intense racing program, you probably already know that AMR stands for Aston Martin Racing. The reason why the Brits are using the same letters for this project is because all non-racing AMR cars will be inspired by the successful
spec racers you’ve seen on the track in recent years. In short, Aston Martin just launched its very own high-performance department. And the good news is that it will make both road-legal and race-ready models.
Specifically, the AMR lineup will include two types of cars. There will be plain AMR versions closely related to their road-going counterparts and AMR Pro cars on the more extreme side of things. This Vantage falls in the latter category and the AMR Pro badge also means that its development was led by the Q by Aston Martin Advanced Operations, the department that helped create vehicles such as the Vantage GT12, Vantage GT8, and the Vulcan.
Although just a concept here, the Vantage AMR Pro is set to become a full-fledged, fully customizable production model, joining the Rapide AMR concept that was also displayed at the Geneva Motor Show.
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2017 Aston Martin Rapide AMR Concept
Developed as a spiritual successor to the iconic Lagonda, the Rapide was launched in 2010 and became the company’s first four-door in two decades. Updated to "S" specification in 2013, when it also received an upgraded V-12 engine, the Rapide soldiered on unchanged until 2017 and there weren’t many hints that Aston Martin is planning on doing something new anytime soon. However, the sedan was included in the new performance AMR program that the British firm launched at the 2017 Geneva Motor Show.
Essentially a high performance brand similar to Mercedes’ AMG and BMW’s M division, AMR is actually inspired by the Aston Martin Racing motorsport division and adds numerous bespoke features, as well as drivetrain upgrades. The AMR lineup will include two types of cars. There will be plain AMR models closely related to their road-going counterparts and AMR Pro cars with more extreme specs, including versions for track use only. The Rapide AMR concept is part of the former, being less aggressive than a track-prepped car but slotting above the regular model.
Aston Martin didn’t say how many of the features created for the show will make it to the production model, but it’s safe to assume that every single add-on will be made available to customers. Especially given the already high degree of customization you can get with standard models.
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Vengeance Volante by Kahn Keeps the Iconic Aston Martin DB9 Alive
Established in 1998, British tuner Kahn Design has made a name for itself by modifying Land Rover vehicles almost exclusively. However, the firm also modified various other models in recent years, including Jeep, Porsche, and even Maybach. Kahn is also part of the Ant-Kahn project, which builds sports cars inspired by designs from the 1960s. More recently, the British tuner launched its first official
based project, the Vengeance WB12. Essentially a widebody version of the DB9. At the 2017 Geneva Motor Show, Kahn unveiled the Volante variant.
As the name suggests – assuming you’re familiar with Aston Martin’s naming strategy – Volante stands for the convertible. So we’re basically looking at a chopped off Vengeance, but that’s not to say that the Volante isn’t on the spectacular side. Significantly wider than the standard DB9, it also boasts radical modifications front and rear. The front fascia has a completely new bumper with a wider grille and reshaped side intakes, while the rear sports a carbon-fiber diffuser, a trunk lid spoiler, and round taillights inspired by vintage sports cars from the 1960s. On top of that, it’s wrapped in an attractive light blue color complemented by multi-spoke, black wheels.
Inside, there’s handcrafted black leather on all seats and custom door panels. The red stripes on the center console and stack add o splash of color to the black cabin, while the steering wheel is wrapped entirely in Alcantara.
Much like the coupe, the Volante comes with the DB9’s standard drivetrain, meaning the car gets its juice from a 6.0-liter V-12 engine rated at 503 horsepower and 457 pound-feet of torque. In standard guise, the DB9 needs around 4.5 seconds to hit 60 mph from a standing start, to go with a top speed of 183 mph. There’s no word on pricing, but expect to pay around 50 percent above the DB9 Volante. Production will be limited to just a few units, likely no more than 20.
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Aston Martin Launches Performance AMR Division in Geneva
British sports car maker Aston Martin has just taken another step toward expanding its lineup with the introduction of the performance-oriented AMR division. Derived from the Aston Martin Racing arm, AMR made its public debut at the 2017 Geneva Motor Show, where two production-ready concepts previewed the first models to wear the new badge.
Based on the regular models but developed With enhanced performance, sharper dynamics and more aggressive styling, the AMR cars will pretty much slot between the standard road-going lineup and the race-only vehicles created for GT4- and GT3-spec racing. The AMR brand follows in the footsteps of iconic Aston Martin road cars from the past, such as those that received the Vantage designation before it became a stand-alone nameplate. Vantage-specification models were launched in 1951 and the project eventually steered the marque to an historic outright win at Le Mans in 1959.
AMR cars will also take inspiration from Aston Martin Racing. Established in 2004, the motorsport division has enjoyed great success in the FIA World Endurance Championship (WEC), winning the GT Drivers’ Championship in 2016 and securing three class victories at the 24 Hours of Le Mans. On top of that, the company’s GT3 and GT4 programs have brought home countless victories and championship titles over the last decade.
The AMR lineup will include two types of cars. There will be plain AMR models closely related to their road-going counterparts and AMR Pro cars on the more extreme side of things, including versions for track use only. The development of all AMR Pro models will be led by the Q by Aston Martin Advanced Operations, the highly-skilled department that helped create outstanding vehicles such as the Vantage GT12, Vantage GT8 and Aston Martin Vulcan.
At the Geneva Motor Show, Aston Martin brought the Rapide AMR and the Vantage AMR Pro as the first products from the new performance division. Find out more about them below.
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