Aston Martin auto news

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2014 Aston Martin Vanquish Volante

03/26/2014   [Original: Autoblog]
Category: Convertibles, Sports/GTs, Aston Martin, Driving, Luxury

2014 Aston Martin Vanquish Volante

Recently, a fellow editor at AOL asked me to choose "the most beautiful car on the road" for a story he was preparing. I was allowed to choose any vehicle, at any price, as long as it was a model currently in production and offered for sale. The well-oiled gears in my head only needed to turn about half a revolution before I had an answer: The 2014 Aston Martin Vanquish Volante.

My decision was simple and my logic sound, because the two-seat Volante is jaw-droppingly gorgeous - whether in pictures or in person. Its long, slender chassis is covered in an artfully sculpted carbon-fiber skin that reeks of sexiness, power and exclusivity. In my mind, there's nothing on the road today with such exquisite lines.

But a seductive appearance is meaningless if there's no substance beneath the skin. To allay my concerns, Aston Martin invited me to Palm Springs to spend a couple of days with the car. The region's desert topography promised nice weather and spectacular drive opportunities - that is, if I could stop staring and climb behind its wheel.

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Mercedes to offer SL, GL platforms to Aston Martin?

03/23/2014   [Original: Autoblog]
Category: Convertibles, Coupes, Sedans/Saloons, Sports/GTs, SUVs, Aston Martin, Mercedes Benz, Luxury

Mercedes-Benz SL550

2013 Mercedes-Benz GL550The agonizingly slow courtship between Aston Martin and Mercedes-Benz has been a regular topic of conversation ever since the 2009 Lagonda Concept debuted, riding on a Mercedes GL chassis. Beyond that one polarizing concept, though, nearly every other attempt to pair the two brands up in a major way has fallen through. Only the technical partnership between Mercedes and Aston for certain components from AMG, which was negotiated back in July, has held up so far.

That may finally be set to change, according to an excellent profile of the two brands' relationship from Automobile, which claims that two platforms will unite the Germans and Brits. The first tie up is, not surprisingly, a sports car.

As Aston Martin's VH platform - which underpins every car that comes out of Gaydon - continues to age, the pressure will well and truly be on Aston to find a next-gen replacement to underpin the successors to the Vantage, Vanquish, DB9 and Rapide. Automobile claims Mercedes has just such an architecture, in the form its new modular sports car platform. This new platform is slated for the next-generation SLK and SL and is still in its design infancy.

Automobile claims that this fact, along with MSA's versatility - MSA can handle just about any body style - makes it a logical replacement for VH. The fact that it's being designed with plug-in and autonomous technology in mind is a big bonus as well.

As for the other platform, well, it's an SUV. It is not, however, a production version of the Lagonda Concept. Instead, Automobile claims this will be a proper, big, high-riding SUV in the same vein as a Range Rover. Despite previous reports, the Aston SUV would likely end up riding on the next-generation GL platform, which is codenamed X167, although it's still far from a done deal.

"Dieter [Zetsche] is quite chuffed about the Aston thing and he is willing to let them in on X167," an anonymous Mercedes board member told the mag. "Money, however, is a big issue. Aston's 500 million pound ($833.5 million) four-year investment plan is just not enough when you need to renew your entire model range and think about adding an SUV."

According to the board member, to make sharing X167 palatable to Mercedes, Aston will need to hand over another batch of stock, increasing the five-percent share already owned by MB.

The entire profile of Aston's future with Mercedes is available over on Automobile. It really is worth a read. What are your thoughts, though? Should Aston be handing over stock to gain access to additional platforms? Is a car that rides on the bones of an SLK really a proper Aston? Have your say in Comments.

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Aston Martin brings ice driving program to America [w/video]

03/19/2014   [Original: Autoblog]
Category: Coupes, Sports/GTs, Videos, Aston Martin, Luxury

Aston Martin Vanquish on Ice in Colorado

With between four and six hundred horsepower channeled to the rear wheels from a V8 or V12 engine mounted up front, an Aston Martin - any Aston Martin, really - might not seem like the smartest choice for driving on ice and snow. But that can also make it the most fun, and the most enlightening to experience.

That's the point behind the Aston Martin On Ice program: allowing customers to drive the latest Gaydon has to offer on slippery, wintery surfaces. But whereas the On Ice program has been established for years in St. Moritz, Switzerland and in the Swedish Lapland, this year it arrived in America for the first time.

A series of custom tracks - including a braking/cornering loop, slalom, skid pad and a full circuit - were carved into the snow in Crested Butte, CO, where expert driving instructors taught customers a thing or two about how to handle a powerful twelve-cylinder GT car like a DB9, Vanquish or V12 Vantage.

The program has concluded for the season, returning next February, but in the meantime Aston will use the Colorado base camp as the center of its driving experience through the Rockies. Check out the video footage and the details in the press release below.

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Disgraced Chinese supplier claims it has been wronged by Aston Martin

03/06/2014   [Original: Autoblog]
Category: Convertibles, Coupes, Sports/GTs, China, Plants/Manufacturing, Recalls/TSBs, Aston Martin, Luxury

Aston Martin V8 Vantage

In what could be called a case of carma, the Chinese plastic supplier that forced Aston Martin to recall about 75 percent of its production since 2007 now says that it has lost about most of its customers and is facing financial ruin. Shenzhen Kexiang Mould Tool Co. produced the accelerator pedal arms for most Aston Martin models out of a counterfeit plastic and may have to close its factory due to the scandal.

Shenzhen Kexiang claims no wrongdoing in the affair, saying the whole matter was caused by Aston Martin not fully understanding its supply chain. Its general manager Zhang Zhi Ang told Automotive News: "This whole situation is caused by Aston Martin." According to the automaker, its supplier, Fast Forward Tooling (HK) of Hong Kong, hired the molder as a sub-contractor to supply the part. Initially, Shenzhen Kexiang claimed to have never been contracted by the Hong Kong company, but later admitted that it wasn't sure if it made the parts because it worked for so many contractors, according to Automotive News.

Aston Martin found that the accelerator arms were produced from a counterfeit form of the DuPont plastic that it had requested for its sports cars. Initially the recall covered 689 2012-2013 vehicles but further research indicated that it went back as far as November 2007 for some models. Aston Martin says it will replace the throttle assemblies on the affected vehicles and that there have been no reported accidents or injuries caused by the counterfeit plastic.

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Geneva: 2015 Aston Martin V12 Vantage S by Q not for the faint of heart or thin of wallet

03/05/2014   [Original: Autoblog]
Category: Coupes, Sports/GTs, Geneva Motor Show, Euro, Aston Martin, Luxury

2015 Aston Martin V12 Vantage S with Q customization

In 2012 at the Geneva Motor Show, Aston Martin brought along a Virage Volante that had been fully decked-out by its then-new Q extravagant customization team. Q, in addition to offering a limitless world of options to dandy car-shoppers, seemed then to tacitly offer a slightly stronger connection with everyone's favorite super-spy, James Bond.

Remember when just driving an Aston was cool enough?

Apparently, cool or no, the base version of the already sumptuous Aston Martin V12 Vantage S simply won't slake the thirst for opulence that some buyers suffer maddeningly from. Here then, the 2015 V12 Vantage S by Q, a car described by the manufacturer as being "a unique and ultimately luxurious Vanquish for the most demanding, and discerning, of customers." "Picky" might be another way to say it...

We kid. In all honestly, the latest Q car is hard to find fault with, no matter how foppish we might believe its eventual owners to be. The triple-tone colorway of Orange, Stratus While and a Jet Black roof is certain to grab attention, while the interior fitted in True Teal and Californian Poppy leather is almost guaranteed to please even the most rabid Miami Dolphins fan.

The dream of the Q service doesn't stop with custom colors and expensive trims, we must add. Aston reminds us in the press release below that the dream-makers were also responsible for the creation of the fabulous CC100 Speedster Concept. If your motive longings have even a hint of Britishness to them - or if you just want to feel a bit more like 007 - you now know whom to call.

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Geneva: 2015 Aston Martin V12 Vantage S by Q not for the faint of heart of thin of wallet

03/05/2014   [Original: Autoblog]
Category: Coupes, Sports/GTs, Geneva Motor Show, Euro, Aston Martin, Luxury

2015 Aston Martin V12 Vantage S with Q customization

In 2012 at the Geneva Motor Show, Aston Martin brought along a Virage Volante that had been fully decked-out by its then-new Q extravagant customization team. Q, in addition to offering a limitless world of options to dandy car-shoppers, seemed then to tacitly offer a slightly stronger connection with everyone's favorite super-spy, James Bond.

Remember when just driving an Aston was cool enough?

Apparently, cool or no, the base version of the already sumptuous Aston Martin V12 Vantage S simply won't slake the thirst for opulence that some buyers suffer maddeningly from. Here then, the 2015 V12 Vantage S by Q, a car described by the manufacturer as being "a unique and ultimately luxurious Vanquish for the most demanding, and discerning, of customers." "Picky" might be another way to say it...

We kid. In all honestly, the latest Q car is hard to find fault with, no matter how foppish we might believe its eventual owners to be. The triple-tone colorway of Orange, Stratus While and a Jet Black roof is certain to grab attention, while the interior fitted in True Teal and Californian Poppy leather is almost guaranteed to please even the most rabid Miami Dolphins fan.

The dream of the Q service doesn't stop with custom colors and expensive trims, we must add. Aston reminds us in the press release below that the dream-makers were also responsible for the creation of the fabulous CC100 Speedster Concept. If your motive longings have even a hint of Britishness to them - or if you just want to feel a bit more like 007 - you now know whom to call.

Continue reading 2015 Aston Martin V12 Vantage S by Q not for the faint of heart of thin of wallet

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Geneva: Aston Martin V8 Vantage N430 is the V8 Vantage's hardcore cousin [w/video]

03/04/2014   [Original: Autoblog]
Category: Convertibles, Coupes, Sports/GTs, Geneva Motor Show, Aston Martin, Luxury, Racing

Aston Martin V8 Vantage N430

Aston Martin's racy Vantage N430 made its auto show debut, popping onto the show floor of Geneva's Palexpo for the world's media.

The lightweight, hardcore version of the V8 Vantage now boasts 430 horsepower (as indicated by its name) from a 4.7-liter V8. A retuned exhaust should add to this engine's already sonorous belching. 60 miles per hour arrives in 4.6 seconds while the N430 tops out at 190 mph. A six-speed manual is standard, while a seven-speed Sportshift II automatic is optional.

The N430 is available in both coupe and convertible variants, but regardless of which body style you choose, you'll be getting weight-saving carbon-kevlar seats and lightweight, ten-spoke wheels. That doesn't mean the N430 lacks luxuries, though. Aston Martin will happily fit a 1,000-watt Bang and Olufsen stereo and the choice of either carbon-fiber or piano black interior trims.

Take a look above for our entire batch of live photos of the new N430, and then scroll down for a promo video, official photos and the press release from Aston Martin.

Continue reading Aston Martin V8 Vantage N430 is the V8 Vantage's hardcore cousin [w/video]

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ETC: Dog sent packing after eating owner's $130,000 Aston Martin

02/06/2014   [Original: Autoblog]
Category: Sports/GTs, Etc., Aston Martin, Luxury

Royston Grimstead

When is Man's Best Friend not really Man's Best Friend? As a Somerset, England man found out, it's when she's taking a few bites out of your $130,000 Aston Martin. Royston Grimstead left his home one morning, only to return to find the wheel arch of his British convertible chewed to bits, courtesy of one of his dogs.

Luce, the four-year-old Border Collie/Spaniel mix guilty of the damage, may have had motive, according to Grimstead. According to the 42-year-old man, he was already trying to find a new home for the adorable dog, claiming it didn't get along with his other canines. "She must have overheard me because she's normally friendly and never really chewed on anything before," Grimstead said.

Luce has found a new home, and according to the Bridgwater Mercury, Grimstead's insurance will cover the damage. Hopefully, Grimstead has now learned a valuable lesson from all of this: Always take the Aston Martin to work.

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Report: Aston Martin recalling majority of cars built since late 2007 over counterfeit Chinese parts

02/06/2014   [Original: Autoblog]
Category: Convertibles, Coupes, Sports/GTs, Recalls/TSBs, Safety, Aston Martin, Luxury

Aston Martin DB9

Back in June 2013, Aston Martin recalled just under 700 vehicles over faulty throttle arms that could break without warning. Bad news, for sure - and things just got a whole lot worse. According to Reuters, the British luxury brand now needs to recall 17,590 vehicles due to counterfeit plastic materials being used by a Chinese sub-supplier - that's roughly 75 percent of the company's output over the same period.

Basically, here's how it boils down: with the exception of the Vanquish, Aston Martin will recall all left-hand-drive vehicles built since November 2007, and all right-hand-drive cars built since May 2012. Just as we told you in the recall notice from 2013, the accelerator arms in these cars may fracture, increasing the risk of a crash.

Shenzhen Kexiang Mould Tool Co Limited, a Chinese company that molds the accelerator pedal arms in these affected models, was using counterfeit plastics, according to Reuters. These bad plastics were supplied by Synthetic Plastic Raw Material Co Ltd, of Dongguan.

An Aston Martin spokesperson tells Reuters that there have been no reports of accidents or injuries in conjunction with this problem.

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Video: Motor Trend pits Aston V12 Vantage S against Jaguar XKR-S GT in battle of the Brits

12/21/2013   [Original: Autoblog]
Category: Coupes, Sports/GTs, Videos, Aston Martin, Jaguar

Aston Martin V12 Vantage S vs. Jaguar XKR-S GT

With the recent increase in higher-performance versions of already high-performance vehicles, like Mercedes-Benz and its AMG Black Series, the public is now gaining even greater access to speed and maneuverability. Two of the most recent sports cars to get their wicks turned up include the Jaguar XKR-S GT and the Aston Martin V12 Vantage S.

Both of these cars are the pinnacles of their lines, with the Jag lording over the XKR-S, XKR and XK while the Aston rules over the standard V8 Vantage S and V8 Vantage. Motor Trend has opted to pit the two rivals together for some thorough testing, and it just happened to bring along a few video cameras to capture all the action.

There's nearly 19 minutes of super hot sports car action below, so scroll down and enjoy.

Continue reading Motor Trend pits Aston V12 Vantage S against Jaguar XKR-S GT in battle of the Brits

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