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Aston Martin Could Shutter US Dealerships Over Failed Crash Tests

Aston Martin Could Shutter US Dealerships Over Failed Crash Tests

Things aren’t looking so good for Aston Martin’s future if the automaker fails to get an exemption from the U.S. government’s crash test standards regarding its DB9 and Vantage models. More specifically, both models fail to comply with the new side-impact crash standards coming into effect next month and therefore would not qualify for sale within the U.S. Bloomberg reports Aston Martin filed for an exemption for the two cars last year, but the word is still out on whether the automaker will be able to continue selling the two models without making significant structural changes to meet the higher standards.

The exemptions would allow the DB9 to be sold through August 2016 and the Vantage through August 2017. Without such leeway, the automaker could suffer tremendous financial losses to its dealer network, resulting in many lost jobs and closed franchises.

With the independently owned Aston Martin already in a tight financial bind, the automaker likely cannot afford to significantly alter the DB9 and Vantage to comply with the new legislation. Since Aston Martin isn’t a part of a larger organization of automakers, it cannot simply borrow technology or shift funds to fix the problem.

The new side-impact crash standards taking effect next month are designed to heighten a vehicle’s ability to protect occupants against impacts with solid objects such as utility poles and trees.

Click past the jump to read about the Aston Martin Vantage and DB9

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TMG-AMR North America Wants You to Dress Up Their Vantage GT3 Racecar

TMG-AMR North America Wants You to Dress Up Their Vantage GT3 Racecar

Back when we were all kids, a lot of us probably did that thing where we’d take a Bburago auto scale model and proceed to paint over the existing car’s body color in whatever livery we can think of.

It ruined far more models than we would’ve liked, but it was pretty fun.

Fast forward to today and the TRG-Aston Martin Racing North America team is asking us to submit our very own paint scheme creations for its Vantage GT3 racecar. The prize? They’re going to take that livery design of yours and use it to dress up their third race car.

All you need to do is do a preliminary design study using photos of the Vantage GT3 that you can download on TRG’s Facebook page. You can use any photo-editing program you want and you can enter as many times as you want with the deadline for submissions set on February 20. Once you’re done with your work, all you have to do is post the photo on their Facebook page!

It’s pretty easy to do if you’re proficient in any of the aforementioned photo editing software. What might be more difficult is impressing the panel of judges that include Kevin Buckler, CEO of TRG-AMR North America, John Gaw, Managing Director of Aston Martin Racing, and Aston Martin Racing Factory Driver Darren Turner.

But if you can catch the attention of these three individuals, you just might find your livery design on one of the three Vantage GT3s that will be racing in a 2013 Grand-Am event in North America.

Well, what’re you waiting for, guys! Start putting those creative juices to work!

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Aston Martin will Race in North America Next Season

Aston Martin will Race in North America Next Season

Aston Martin and TRG (The Racers Group) have just signed a partnership that will bring the famous British sports car to a North American racing series starting next season. TRG will receive a total of 10 race cars that will be seen in competitions like the Twelve Hours of Sebring, Grand-Am Continental Tire Sports Car Challenge, The Grand American Rolex Series and the Pirelli World Challenge Series.

The first model we will see on the race track is the Vantage GTE. It will be unveiled at the Sebring winter test session on February 7th and then raced in the Twelve Hours of Sebring in March. The TRG-AMR Vantage GT3 will be raced in competitions like The Grand American Rolex Series and the Pirelli World Challenge Series, while the V8 Vantage GT4 will be raced in the Grand-Am Continental Tire Sports Car Challenge.

The GTE version and the GT4 are based on the production version Vantage V8 and are powered by a 4.7-liter V-8 engine producing 420 horsepower, while the GT3 is based on the V12 Vantage and will be offered with a 6.0-liter V-12 engine.

"We are delighted to form this innovative new partnership with TRG which presents great potential across a variety of racing competitions. In TRG we have a proven race partner who clearly knows how to be competitive and win races, helping us achieve new levels of success in North American motorsport for Aston Martin," said John Gaw, Managing Director of Aston Martin Racing.

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New Vanquish Set to Make its U.S. Debut

New Vanquish Set to Make its U.S. Debut

We are all anxiously awaiting the release of the all-new Aston Martin Vanquish and the U.S. market won’t have to wait much longer. This 6.0-liter, 565-horsepower-powered supercar has already made its rounds through Europe and it is now time for it to hit the States. It has one jam-packed U.S. tour set up too.

It will debut on August 15th during the McCall’s Motorworks Revival festivities in Monterey, CA. It then makes the 12-mile journey around Jacks Peak County Park to land at the Quail Lodge Golf Club, where it will be shown during the Quail Motorsport Gathering on August 17th. Following the gathering at Quail Lodge, the Vanquish makes the 8-mile hike westward to The Lodge at Pebble Beach to participate in the Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance on August 19th.

That’s quite a full schedule, but Aston Martin is lucking out that all three of these high-dollar car shows are timed one right after another and within 25 miles of one another. This should give the new Vanquish plenty of west-coast exposure, but we have yet to hear of a landing on the east coast.

There are only two semi-major car shows remaining on the east coast this year – the South Florida International Auto Show and the Connecticut International Auto Show – so we are wondering when and if the Vanquish will make its way to the right coast or not. Either way, with the glory of the Internet, we can get a good look at it regardless of which coast it is on.

We’ll keep you updated on the tour U.S. tour schedule for the Vanquish.

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2012 Aston Martin Vantage GT4

2012 Aston Martin Vantage GT4

Over the years, Aston Martin has built and released the Vantage GT4 for competition in European GT4 races. This year, the British automaker is releasing the newest version of the Vantage GT4, only this time, it’s bound to unleash its fury on American soil for the first time.

It’s an ideal time for the Aston to release the Vantage GT4 in the US, especially after its successful return year to the American LeMans series where it bagged wins with the Aston Martin DBR1-2 prototype in a number of races, including Long Beach, Mosport, Mid-Ohio, Road America, and Laguna Seca.

For the 2012 racing season, the Aston Martin Vantage GT4 will be built and raced by Toronto-based partner Multimatic Motorsports. The car itself will be re-dissected for racing purposes, which means that all of the luxury amenities of the road version will be removed in favor of race-spec equipment. Certain parts will also be added, including a new splitter that increases downforce at the front of the car, as well as a new carbon fiber diffuser, and a redesigned underfloor that creates an area of low pressure under the rear of the car, increasing the car’s overall downforce.

One thing that will remain with the car though is its 4.7-liter V8 engine, which Aston has used ever since it began building the Vantage GT4 back in 2008.

For the 2012 season, Multimatic Motorsports will be fielding two cars, which will be driven by some noted drivers, including Scott Maxwell, Joe Foster, Ston Martin, chief engineer Chris Porritt, and Hollywood actor-slash-racer Patrick Dempsey.

UPDATE 01/25/2012: Aston Martin has announced that the beginning of its Grand-Am campaign will be on Friday, January 27th during the first round of the 2012 Continental Tire Sports Car Challenge (CTSCC) at the Daytona International Speedway. The company will join forces with Toronto-based Multimatic Motorsports to enter a pair of Vantage GT4s in the Grand American Road Racing series. "The first round of the Grand-Am Continental Tire Sports Car Challenge at Daytona will see Aston Martin realize a long-held desire to have the Vantage GT4 competing regularly in North America. Aston Martin Racing has built and sold nearly 100 Vantage GT4s since we raced the first one at the Nürburgring 24 Hour race in 2006, and it’s great to be present at last in such an important market with such a strong and experienced partner as Multimatic."

UPDATE 03/05/12: The Aston Martin Vantage GT4 is headed to the 2012 Geneva Motor Show with plenty of new aerodynamic components in preparation for the 2012 season. The most prominent modification is a new carbon fiber rear wing, a redesigned roll cage, and a reconfigured fuel tank to lower the race car’s center of gravity.

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Aston Martin One-77 and Cadillac Ciel mark their North American debut with Best in Show

Aston Martin One-77 and Cadillac Ciel mark their North American debut with Best in Show

For automakers, there’s nothing better than showing up at the debut for one of your automobiles and getting a top notch award for your hard work. Aston Martin, Cadillac, and Ford will vouch for that since their One-77, Ciel Concept, and Focus Plug-In Electric Vehicle were all given best in show awards at the 41st annual South Florida International Auto Show (SFIAS) by the Southern Automotive Media Association (SAMA). SAMA had to choose between many of the participants in Miami, but in the end, these vehicles were chosen because of their styling and marketability.

The Aston Martin One-77 was awarded the “Star of the Show” trophy because the nine-member SAMA judging panel decided it was the single vehicle on display at the show that South Floridians will most want to see. Other vehicles considered for the award were the Audi A7, the Lexus GS sedan, the Mercedes-Benz C-Class, the Toyota Camry, the Range Rover Evoque, and the Hyundai Veloster.

The Cadillac Ciel Concept was given the Best Concept Vehicle in the Show because of its stunning beauty and because SAMA considered it a forerunner of future Cadillac styling. Meanwhile, the Ford Focus Plug-In Electric Vehicle took home the “Best Green Technology Vehicle” in the show because of the fact that it is Ford’s first non-emissions, plug-in electric car to be mass produced and marketed in the United States. Other vehicles considered were the Mitsubishi i-MiEV, the Toyota Prius V, and various manufacturers’ hybrid and clean diesel technology vehicles.

The South Florida International Auto Show (SFIAS) runs until November 6, 2011, so stop by the Miami Beach Convention Center to check out these award-winning models.

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Aston Martin V12 Rapide set for Alaskan adventure

Aston Martin V12 Rapide set for Alaskan adventure

The Aston Martin V12 Rapide isn’t exactly the type of car that you’d bring out on a date with Mother Nature. Sure, it can get dirty once in a while, but for the most part, it belongs in the metropolis with paved concrete streets as its jungle.

So imagine our surprise when we found out that the British luxury sports saloon is being prepared for an expedition unlike anything it has ever done in the past, James Bond movies included.

Aston Martin is preparing the V12 Rapide for a three-day excursion into the heart of the harsh Alaskan wilderness as a way of slamming home the point that the Rapide is more than just stunning good looks and powerhouse powertrain; it can also survive the test of endurance and durability amidst some pretty serious conditions surrounding it.

The entire trip will take the V12 Rapide across 1,230 miles in Alaska, beginning in Anchorage all the way to the town of Fairbanks through the Prudhoe Bay all the way up to the town of Deadhorse just a stone’s throw away from the Arctic Ocean.

Continued after the jump.

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A spotter's guide on the cars running at the 2011 12 Hours of Sebring

A spotter’s guide on the cars running at the 2011 12 Hours of Sebring

Are you ready to have your 2011-racing itch finally scratched? With the 2011 Formula One season getting delayed by political unrest in Bahrain, the racing community turns its attention to the opening of the 2011 American Le Mans racing season this weekend with one of the most iconic endurance races in the world, the 12 Hours of Sebring.

Always one of the most eagerly anticipated races of the year, the 12 Hours of Sebring kicks off the 2011 ALMS season in grand fashion with the reigning champs from Peugeot Sport Total ready to defend their 2010 title against a field of heavyweight contenders, including headlined perennial contender, Audi, and last year’s runner-up, Aston Martin.

This year, Peugeot will be bringing the new Peugeot 908 HDi FAP to compete against the likes of the Audi R15+TDI and the Aston Martin Lola B08.

In addition to the top-of-the-field LMP1 class, the 2011 12 Hours of Sebring will also feature races from a number of different classes, including the new LMPC class, led by PR1 Mathiasen M/Sport’s Oreca FLM09, and the always-competitive GT class, which has a formidable entrant in the form of the recently-revealed Risi Competizione’s new Ferrari 458 GTC.

To keep you updated with all of the cars scheduled to participate in all of the weekend’s races, the folks over at SpotterGuides.com have provided everything you need to know about each and every car that will see the green light this weekend. Keep tabs on some of the favorites and be on the look-out for dark horses, because this weekend’s 12 Hours of Sebring endurance race is expected to be one for the books.

If you’re going to keep tabs on all the action from the confines of your own home, you can watch the race in its entirety online on ESPN3.com, or if you have an Xbox, you can catch the action through live streaming. If you miss out on watching the race live, ABC will have a recap from 12:30 – 2:00 pm EST with ESPN2 airing the same recap show next Tuesday, March 22, 2011.

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Aston Martin Vantage being sold at auto garage sale for $75,000

Aston Martin Vantage being sold at auto garage sale for $75,000

A reminder to those people who own sports cars; please treat them with utmost care. And in the event that you decide to sell these cars, please give them more respect than leaving them out in the sun like they’re some kind of rusted-up lawnmower in a garage sale.

If you’re wondering why we’re a little, shall we say, perturbed, it’s because we found out that there’s a man somewhere in Utah that decided to have a little auto sale of his vehicles, which really isn’t a big deal except that one of those vehicles sitting idly on the lot as if it was getting a tan just so happened to be an Aston Martin V8 Vantage.

If this guy wants to sell his Vantage, by all means, he’s got every right to do so. We just don’t know if he understands just how special this car is. Sure, there’s a $75,000 price tag attached to it, but in this case, it’s not really about the money.

It’s about an Aston Martin Vantage being treated just like any other used-up car, which it definitely is not.

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Aston Martin Cygnet coming to USA

Aston Martin Cygnet coming to USA

When Aston Martin first unveiled the Cygnet they announced that it would only be offered in Europe, and only to those customers who already owned an Aston Martin model. Oh, how things change, as Aston Martin has now stated that the Cygnet will be making its way over to the US in 2012.

What we don’t get is why Aston Martin would put a more expensive, rebadged Toyota iQ in the States. Sure, cars like this would make sense in highly congested cities or for people who like to throw some extra money away for a badge that says Aston, but, overall, wouldn’t people just buy the cheaper iQ?

When the Cygnet is offered in 2012, it will come with a 1.3-liter gasoline engine. An electric-only version with a 60-mile range will arrive in 2013. In the USA, the mini car will be priced at a steep $35,000. Of course, this price is nothing compared to the $200K for the newly launched Rapide sedan, but the rule still stands, only current Aston Martin owners can purchase the Cygnet. All the rest of us will just have to stick with the iQ if we want a vehicle like this, which is just fine by us.

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Video: Two minutes of Aston Martin V12 Vantage goodness

Despite being two years late to the party, nobody is really blaming the Aston Martin V12 Vantage for only coming to American shores now. The important thing is it’s coming and that bodes well for those who’ve been waiting since 2007 for the Aston supercar to arrive in America.

Of course, having about $180,000 - or more - in your bank account helps too. Powered by that gargantuan 6.0-liter V12 engine that produces over 500 horsepower, the V12 Vantage is no ordinary Aston exotic. If it were, we probably would have gotten tired of it a long time ago. However, with a combination of high-end performance capabilities and rare exclusivity, the V12 Vantage has become quite a ’unicorn’ of a supercar - those models that are so rare it’s hard to catch one, let alone own one.

That tag will almost certainly be dropped once the V12 Vantage makes its way to the US. And to tease what we’re in store for, the folks of Aston have released a quick look at the supercar in all its stupendous glory. The wait is finally over. The countdown for its arrival is on like Donkey Kong.

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2011 Aston Martin V12 Vantage pricing announced

2011 Aston Martin V12 Vantage pricing announced

The great British supercar manufacturer Aston Martin has wowed us with their recent designs. From the old DB9 to the gorgeous DBS, but now, there is a new kid on the block. Welcome to the $179,995 Aston Martin V12 Vantage for 2011.

Though the V12 Vantage has been out for awhile in Europe, Aston has just recently announced that the supercar will be heading to U.S shores.

The Vantage will get the usual V12 motor under the hood that will crank out 510 horsepower and 420 pound-feet of torque. The Aston will be able to hit 60 mph is just 4.2 seconds and on to a top speed of 190 mph. Peak power is reached at 6500 rpm, so the car isn’t a loud screamer like the Ferrari 612 or the BMW M5. Instead, the V12 Vantage is a relaxed grand touring car.

Full story after the jump.

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Aston Martin V12 Vantage headed to the US

Aston Martin V12 Vantage headed to the US

Look out, America; Aston Martin is finally bringing the V12 Vantage across the pond for the first time in history. The very first model going on-sale stateside will be the special-edition Carbon Black V12 Vantage, which will go on sale in the US towards the latter part of the year.

The sudden about-face by Aston Martin to begin selling the V12 Vantage was brought about by one plain and simple thing: demand for the car. After initially balking at plans of sending the V12 Vantage to the US because of supposedly low interest, the surprising number of people who have been clamoring for the car to make the trip across the Atlantic convinced Aston Martin that bringing the new luxury sports car to America would be a ’sensible move’.

As a result, engineers over at Aston Martin have begun making some tweaks on the Vantage to suit the needs and wants of its American clientele. While there’s still no word on what specific changes will be done, we should at least expect that the car’s 6.0-liter V12 engine, which is capable of producing up to 510 horsepower, will definitely be untouched.

Likewise, the price tag in the US for the V12 Vantage has yet to be announced, although we expect it to come out sooner than later. In the meantime, reservations for the car are already in full-swing, so any potential customer with the spare cash to buy one, might want to give the folks at Aston a call and inquire about how to get their hands on it.

Press release after the jump.

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Aston Martin at the 2009 South Florida International Auto Show

Aston Martin at the 2009 South Florida International Auto Show

The English automaker Aston Martin showed off their familiar DBS Volante, a model that we have seen earlier on this year. Marek Reichman, Aston Martin’s Director of Design, was kind enough to tell us a little bit about the new car earlier on when they made the $300,000 V12 powered drop top’s exclusive debut and even elaborated on the Jaeger-LeCoultre timepiece that completes the 007 experience. Also in attendance were a pair of V8 Vantage hard top and roadster models, showing the hand crafted super car maker’s game plan of offering two distinct automobiles as opposed to a compromised hard top convertible.

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007-like Cuff Links from Aston Martin

007-like Cuff Links from Aston Martin

007-like Cuff Links from Aston Martin
If you’re a big James Bond fan or just a huge Aston Martin enthusiast these fancy cuff links are for you. These Aston Martin cuffs are made from genuine sterling silver and feature the classic two-eared wheel spinner design. Cuff links aren’t usually something that business people take to seriously, so these will definitely set you apart from anyone else in a 007 like way for a very reasonably price. 007 gets them with the Aston Martin for free, you (...)

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Aston-Martin for sale and this time it is the Company.

Aston-Martin for sale and this time it is the Company.

Ford Motor Company to sell Aston Martin.

The Ford Motor Company looks like they are ready to sell the top sports car brand Aston Martin, they are looking for around six hundred million pounds, which is around one point eight billion dollars.

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