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
NHTSA Pole Crash Test Videos
Why It Matters
Aston Martin looks to be between the proverbial rock and a hard place with this new crash test standard’s impending implementation in the coming weeks. Without complying to such standards, the brand will begin losing money and its dealer network will begin to falter. This could mean Aston Martin may retreat to other world markets, abandoning U.S. sales.
The Vantage is a beautiful, two-door sports car with two engine options and two roof styles. The V-8 Vantage makes 420 horsepower and comes with a fairly supple ride quality for a gentlemanly driving experience. The Vantage S comes with the same V-8, but makes 436 horses and gets a tighter suspension.
Upgrade to the V-12 Vantage S and you’ll get 565 horsepower thumping from the V-12’s six liters. Both a coupe and convertible models are available.
Pricing starts at $116,700 for the base Vantage and $131,200 for the convertible.
The DB9 is similar to the Vantage, but is a little larger and comes only with the 6.0-liter V-12 under its hood. In this application, it makes 510 horsepower and 620 pound-feet of torque. Zero to 60 mph sprint happen in 4.6 seconds and the sound while underway is tremendous.
The DB9 makes an excellent GT car, having the ability to carve canyon roads just as good as it easily speeds down the highway at a quickened pace.
The DB9 starts at $183,700 for the coupe and rises to $198,700 for the convertible.