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Aston Martin DB11 Officially Goes Into Production

Aston Martin DB11 Officially Goes Into Production

CEO Andy Palmer has promised to "personally inspect" the first 1,000 models

Production for the Aston Martin DB11 has officially began at the British automaker’s home production facility in Gaydon, England. No less than Aston Martin CEO Andy Palmer was on hand to witness the milestone event.

Palmer understandably called the event “an exciting moment for the entire company” as production of the DB11 signals the official start of the company’s ambitious “Second Century Plan.” The DB11, which was just launched at the 2016 Geneva Motor Show in March, is expected to lay the groundwork for as many as seven new models from the British automaker, including next-generation versions of the Vantage and Vanquish sports cars, as well as the DBX electric crossover, a pair of

Lagonda

badged sedans, and a supercar that will compete against the likes of the Ferrari 488 GTB.

The importance of the DB11 to Aston Martin is evident by Palmer’s promise to personally inspect the first 1,000 DB11 models to be produced. Considering that interest in the car is off to a resounding high – Aston has already received 3,000 orders for the DB11 – production of the successor to the DB9 should make it an incredibly busy time inside the Gaydon facility as Aston Martin officially starts a new chapter in its long and illustrious history.

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Aston Martin AM-RB 001 Getting Massive Interest From Prospective Customers

Aston Martin AM-RB 001 Getting Massive Interest From Prospective Customers

Demand is said to be outmatching supply by three to one

To the surprise of absolutely no one, the Aston Martin AM-RB 001 is getting massive interest from prospective customers. Sure, it’s going to cost in excess of $3 million and the estimated launch date isn’t until 2020, but that hasn’t stopped at least 450 customers from voicing their interest in the hypercar, so says Simon Sproule, Aston Martin’s director of global marketing communications.

Speaking with Motoring Australia, Sproule indicated that upon the AM-RB 001’s revelation in July, the British automaker already received 370 requests to be listed for the car. Now that number is up to 450 and all of this comes well after Aston Martin announce plans to cap production of the hypercar to just 99 units.

Turns out, a lot of people are already jostling to be included among the 99 lucky owners of the AM-RB 001, even though it’s not clear if Aston Martin will have a stringent selection process to determine the owners like Ford recently did with the new GT supercar. What’s clear is that people are tripping over themselves and others to get a hold of the AM-RB 001.

In related news, Aston Martin design boss Marek Reichman also confirmed reports that the British automaker plans to launch a mid-engine sports car that will be based on the same platform as the AM-RB 001. That model won’t get the same

F1

inspired aerodynamic qualities, nor will it be subjected to the same kind of automotive diet as the hypercar. But it will be released at some point after 2020 and it will be packaged in a similar carbon fiber chassis similar to the range of mid-engine sports cars that McLaren has been producing in recent years.

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Aston Martin Ends Production Of The DB9

Aston Martin Ends Production Of The DB9

The iconic grand tourer was discontinued to make room for the new DB11.

Aston Martin is currently in the middle of a massive lineup refresh that already brought us the 2011 Aston Martin DB11 and will soon introduce successors for both the Vantage and the Vanquish, as well as the company’s first crossover vehicle. Unfortunately, for gearheads like us, every reorganization process also means that iconic models must be discontinued to make way for brand-new products. With the DB11 on its way to dealerships, Aston Martin is bidding farewell to the DB9.

Although this is a sign of progress and brings a faster and more technologically advanced vehicle to the streets, the discontinuation of the DB9 is also a sad event, putting an end to one of the most important Aston Martins ever built.

Introduced in 2003 as a replacement for the DB7, which was developed under Ford ownership and based on a Jaguar platform that was nearly two decades old, the DB9 was the company’s first all-new vehicle in years. While the drivetrain wasn’t exactly new, the previous dated platform was replaced with the aluminum Vertical Horizontal architecture, while the exterior was thoroughly redesigned by Ian Callum and Henrik Fisker. The DB9 was gorgeous to look at and its styling became the norm for future products.

What’s more, due to the fact that Ford sold Aston Martin in 2006 and the Brits had to make without proper financing, the DB9 became the base for every model that followed, including the DBS, Vanquish, Vantage, and the four-door Rapide (many of which are still in production as of 2016).

After 13 years in production, the DB9 was sent off to the history books on July 22, when the "Last of 9" Edition, obviously limited to nine examples, rolled off the assembly line.

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Aston Martin's A37 Powerboat Comes To Life

Aston Martin’s A37 Powerboat Comes To Life

Partnership with Quintessence Yachts finally bears fruit for British automaker

One year after announcing its partnership with Quintessence Yachts, Aston Martin’s first foray into the maritime industry is finally taking shape with the launch of the AM37 powerboat. The 37-foot boat made its long awaited debut at the Larusmiani Concept Boutique exhibition as part of the festivities of the 55th Milan Design Week.

Some of you might recall Aston Martin’s announcement back in April 2015 when it said it was in talks to build the opulent AM37 with the yacht builder and naval architect Mulder Design. It happened sooner than I expected, and now the AM37 is ready for its first close-up. Details surrounding the boat’s make and features read like a luxury list mixed in with state-of-the-art technologies. The wooden decked powerboat comes with a sliding carbon fiber deck cover that can be used to protect the boat’s interior from external forces. It functions much the same way as canvas and elastic materials, except that this one uses the always extravagant carbon fiber material.

It also has a swimming platform and an electronic anchor system that can be used through a 15-inch touchscreen multimedia display. Speaking of systems, the AM37 also has a remote control system that allows the owner to control a variety of appliances inside the powerboat, including the air-conditioning, the refrigerator, and even an espresso machine, that is, if there’s one found in the boat. If there isn’t, the standard cocktail bar should suffice, right? In terms of functionality, the AM37 also features a bimini top, a swimming ladder, and underwater lights.

Meanwhile, power comes in the form of three unique engine options. The base model of the AM37 can use either twin-diesel engines that pump out 370 horsepower each or twin gas engines at 430 horsepower apiece. Then there’s the range-topping AM37 S, which ups the performance ante with a pair of 520-horsepower gas engines. That’s a total of 1,040 horsepower for the top-of-the-line variant, enough to propel it to a top speed of 52 knots, which is about 60 mph on land. That may not seem like much compared to Aston Martin’s lineup of sports cars and supercars, but 52 knots on the open water is fast.

Aston Martin has yet to price the AM37, but considering that the automaker (or should I say boat builder now?) plans to officially launch the powerboat in the latter part of 2016, expect those details to arrive sooner than later.

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Aston Martin DB11 Receiving Massive Pre-Orders

Aston Martin DB11 Receiving Massive Pre-Orders

1,400+ pre-orders taken despite Aston Martin not releasing the full details

Aston Martin may have struck a gold mine with the recently introduced DB11. That was the tone laid out by CEO Andy Palmer when he told The Motoring Report at the Australian Grand Prix that more than 1,400 customers have already pre-ordered the DB11 despite the British automaker not yet releasing the car’s full specs.

The massive interest in the DB11 can be attributed to a lot of things, but given what we know about the car so far, the two most obvious sources of attention are the car’s overall aesthetic design and it’s 5.2-liter twin-turbocharged V-12 engine that pumps out 600 horsepower and 516 pound-feet of torque. Customers who know the nitty gritty details about their cars are likely to have appreciated the fact that the DB11 also comes with a new-generation chassis, suspension, steering, and technology, the last of which comes with the assistance of technology partner Daimler.

With many of the specifics still unknown, the notion the DB11 is already getting significant attention can be considered a massive coup for Aston Martin. The British automaker isn’t particularly known for having unlimited resources, so when one of its cars gets this kind of attention, it’s something that the company should be proud of.

If anything, Aston Martin’s goal for the DB11 to be its resident GT car is off to a great start. The kind of interest is generating gives the automaker the confidence to believe that its plan for the car to appeal to a broader consumer base is working flawlessly.

Aston Martin’s duty now is to ensure the DB11 will justify the massive demand it’s generating. No pressure, right Dr. Palmer?

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Henrik Fisker Files $100 Million Lawsuit Against Aston Martin

Henrik Fisker Files $100 Million Lawsuit Against Aston Martin

Aston Martin and Henrik Fisker are back in each others cross hairs. The former Aston Martin designer uncorked the latest haymaker in the form of a $100 million lawsuit, accusing his former employer of committing civil extortion. The lawsuit, which was filed in U.S. Federal District Court, claims that Aston Martin sent Fisker a “threatening letter” pertaining to the latter’s new Force 1 supercar that he planned to display at the 2016 North American International Auto Show in Detroit.

Apparently, Aston Martin believes that the design of the Force One supercar has too many similarities to the Aston Martin DB10 even though the British luxury marque acknowledged that it wasn’t privy to the final design of the Force One. For his part, Fisker immediately took action, arguing that Aston Martin’s allegations were completely baseless because the company’s claims was based solely on a teaser image of the supercar.

Fisker’s lawyer, Jonathan A. Michaels of MLG Automotive Law, added that Aston Martin simply felt “threatened” to see its former designer return to the market to compete against the company. Michaels threw extra shade in Aston Martin’s direction, saying that the company hasn’t done anything remotely close to ground-breaking ever since the designer left the company. Fisker himself lobbed his own personal grenade in Aston Martin’s direction, claiming that the company is simply “trying to intimidate me to prop up their own flailing company and to mask their financial and product deficiencies. I refuse to be intimidated and that is the reason for today’s filing." Fighting words, indeed.

Both Henrik Fisker and MLG Automotive Law are seeking punitive damages, court costs and compensatory damages from Aston Martin at a value of not less than $100 million.

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Aston Martin Posts $110.9 Million Loss For 2014

Aston Martin Posts $110.9 Million Loss For 2014

Aston Martin is knee deep in the red after posting its 2014 financial results that saw the British carmaker post losses amounting to $110.9 million — three times more than its figures in 2013 when it reported losing $39.4 million.

According to the company, the staggering losses in 2014 are attributed to a number of factors, most alarming of which are declining sales numbers all over the world, especially in China. In 2014, Aston Martin only sold 3,661 units, a far cry from the 4,200-plus units it sold in 2013. Company CEO Andy Palmer also told Reuters that a February 2014 recall of most of its units built between late 2007 to the start of 2014 was another determining factor in the company’s less-than-stellar financial results. The recall was attributed to the use of a counterfeit plastic material by a Chinese sub-supplier in creating accelerator pedal arms. A total of 17,590 cars were recalled, including all of the company’s left-hand-drive models built since November 2007 and all right-hand-drive models built since May 2012.

The company’s problems doesn’t appear to be abating anything soon, and even Palmer himself admitted that Aston Martin isn’t going to be profitable until 2017. It’s a bad look all around for the brand, but company execs, including the majority shareholders made up of Kuwaiti and Italian private equity investors, are confident that the on-going brand expansion is still within reach of hitting 15,000 annual sales by 2020.

It seems like a longshot given how far away 3,661 units are to 15,000, but at this point, there’s no other recourse for Aston Martin other than to hope that it hits its targets.

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Aston Martin CEO Denies Road-Going Version For The Vulcan

Aston Martin CEO Denies Road-Going Version For The Vulcan

The recent news that buyers of the new 2016 Aston Martin Vulcan track car were also clamoring for a street-legal version of the car came as no surprise to anybody. And the fact that, when questioned about the prospects of such a machine being built, Aston executives gave noncommittal answers about it being difficult should also have come as no surprise. Well, it seems that we now have an official answer from Aston brass about the car, and it isn’t happening. The exact wording from Aston was “While there has been some understandable interest in a road-legal version of the Vulcan, we have no plans for one and all our efforts now are making it the ultimate Aston track supercar.”

This is in stark contrast to the Vulcan’s direct competitors, like the 2015 Ferrari FXX K, which comes in both road and track versions. But Aston wanted the Vulcan to be an engineering showcase, something that pushed the limits of what a car could do, and laws governing what could and couldn’t be taken on the road would only get in the way. A road version would mean compromises, and sometimes you just have to avoid those.

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Aston Martin Sues Fisker Over Thunderbolt Copyright Infringement

Aston Martin Sues Fisker Over Thunderbolt Copyright Infringement

In a peculiar turn of events, Aston Martin has filed suit against Henrik Fisker, alleging that Fisker copied a number of a design elements on the

Vanquish

based Thunderbolt sports car. The suit also states that Fisker is misleading potential Thunderbolt buyers when he says that the model is based on the latest Aston Martin Vanquish, when in fact the car has the underpinnings of an older DB9 or DBS. Truthfully, the single photo of the interior of Fisker’s Thunderbolt does show a more old-school center console.

The news is even more surprising considering that Fisker used to be head of design at Aston Martin and was responsible for the V8 Vantage and the DB9’s looks. On top of that, Aston Martin says that the designer contacted his former employer in the early stages of development for the Thunderbolt, and Aston Martin believed that the final design would look different. After the Thunderbolt was shown at the Amelia Island Concours d’Elegance, Aston Martin promptly filed a suit in a California court. "Fisker’s bad-faith intent to free-ride off the tremendous goodwill associated with the famous Aston Martin mark, wings logo, side vent mark, and Vanquish mark could not be more transparent," the carmaker said in the legal filing.

The complaint mentions harsh words like "trademark infringement, false designation of origin, dilution, false advertising, intentional interference with contractual relationship and interference with prospective economic advantage." In other words, the relationship between Henrik Fisker and Aston Martin couldn’t have turned more sour.

Continue reading to learn more about Henrik Fisker’s cars.

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Aston Martin Will Stick to V-12 Engines and Manual Gearboxes

Aston Martin Will Stick to V-12 Engines and Manual Gearboxes

In the current automotive realm, automakers are scurrying to find ways to remain emissions-compliant in some of the largest markets around the world. Namely, North America and Europe, two markets that are becoming the strictest as they continue to tighten regulations and standards. While I am a fan of seeing the Earth become a better place, I am a bit torn, as we are now seeing large-displacement engines disappear, and one manufacturer that may be affected by this is Aston Martin.

The company is notorious for being one of the few automakers to still offer a V-12 engine, but many people in the industry think that this engine is on the way out. That may be a little premature, as according to new Aston boss, Andy Palmer, there are future plans for its existing 5.9-liter V-12. Sure, Aston is soon going to start offering its cars with AMG-built 4.0-liter V-8 engines, but it also plans to update its 5.9-liter V-12 to keep it emissions-compliant and continue to offer it in its top-range models like the upcoming DB9 replacement.

What’s more, Palmer also addressed manual transmissions, and was clear about the company’s desire to be the last man standing in the world of rowing you own gears. This will make things rather interesting once the 4.0-liter V-8 makes its way over from Mercedes, as there are no Mercedes or AMG models that have a manual transmission paired with this engine.

Continue reading to learn more about Aston Martin’s V-12 engine.

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Aston Martin Lagonda Taraf Now Available In Europe

Aston Martin Lagonda Taraf Now Available In Europe

Introduced a few months ago in Dubai, the Lagonda Taraf, Aston Martin’s first production vehicle to wear the iconic name in nearly 30 years, made its European debut at the 2015 Geneva Motor Show. The Taraf’s European launch comes as a surprise, as the British initially announced the sedan would be available in the Middle East only. It turns out Aston Martin decided to broaden the Taraf’s availability to mainland Europe, the United Kingdom, South Africa, Hong Kong, and Singapore at the request of Andy Palmer, who became the company’s new CEO in 2014.

"Opening up the Lagonda Taraf to an increased number of customers around the world was a high priority for me as soon as I joined Aston Martin late last year. I wanted to be able to offer this exceptional saloon to the potential owners from around the globe who have been enquiring about it, and I’m very happy that we have been able to expand the Lagonda proposition," Palmer said in a statement.

Although Aston Martin has yet to announce when the sedan will go on sale, it did mention the Taraf has been re-engineered to become available with either left- or right-hand drive. Unfortunately, the Brits have no plans to bring it to the U.S. Only 200 examples will be made, with pricing expected to start from around the equivalent of $450,000. In fact, due to the highly bespoke nature of the car, the Taraf could fetch in excess of $600,000, which would make it pricier than a fully specced Rolls-Royce Phantom.
Continue reading to learn more about the Aston Martin Lagonda Taraf.

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Aston Martin Needs Money; But A Cheap Model Is Not The Solution

Aston Martin Needs Money; But A Cheap Model Is Not The Solution

Aston Martin will require a huge cash investment in order to give its vehicle lineup and architectures a much-needed overhaul. But even at the expense of some profits, the British sports-car marker appears to have no desire to chase volume. In an interview with AutoGuide recently, Julian Jenkins, president of Aston Martin’s American operations, said that while the automaker is looking to expand to new segments, it won’t do so at the expense of the brand’s image and exclusivity. In short, don’t expect any cars to slot in beneath the 2015 Vantage GT with its $99,000 price tag.

Jenkins said that rare sports cars will continue to be the main focus of Aston Martin, and the brand could be looking to go even further upmarket to accomplish this. Aston Martin has already unveiled the Lagonda Taraf sedan, which will be limited to exclusive customers in the Middle East, but the brand is also looking to grow in Mexico, South America and Asia.

One thing that wasn’t discussed, however, was the potential SUV that has been mentioned frequently in recent years, as Bentley, Lamborghini and other low-volume performance/luxury brands consider building one. Jenkins left the open the possibility of a new Aston Martin SUV, or perhaps some other type of vehicle, by saying: “if there is a segment, if there is an opportunity that we can sit comfortably within we will go after it.”

Click past the jump to read more about what Aston Martin wants in its lineup.

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