By on March 17, 2008

aston-martin-dbr9-01.jpgWell, who doesn't? But Jonny's willingness to accept a Mercedes-engined Aston Martin highlights an important trend in upmarket automotive marketing: the end of mechanical snobbery. Yes, there are still brand purists who believe that the greasy bits' provenance is more important than a well-turned fender, a respected badge or comparative performance. That the connection between track and road is a holy one, whose realization establishes the brand's all-important bloodlines. But these engineering-savvy enthusiasts– who were always a minority of any luxury or high-performance marque's buyers– are a dying breed. Today's 30 or 40-something sports car buyer is likely to desire Nissan's GT-R because of its status as a Playstation plaything, rather than any racing glory. (Ferrari is the exception that proves the rule.) They're willing to judge expensive automobiles on their own merits, regardless of what lies beneath, who made it or how it got there. This open-mindedness (a.k.a. ignorance) is no bad thing. It gives a deluxe car company greater freedom to be itself, if you know what I mean.

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12 Comments on “Daily Podcast Pt. 2: Lieberman Wants a Faster Aston...”

  • avatar
    Martin Schwoerer

    Yeah, but would a Merc-engined Aston have any soul?

    People who pay top Euro don’t base their decisions on Playstation experiences, I would say / I would hope.

  • avatar

    Why does an aston need to be faster? They make some of the best looking cars on the road, thats what they do. Everyone screams about a brad identity. Aston makes gorgeous cars that go pretty quick, thats there niche. 99.262% of the people that are buying a car in this price range dont care if it does 0-60 in 5.6 sec or 5.2 sec. its all about the look. a 911 or a f430 will turn some heads but an aston will make ppl stop and really take notice. they are doing everything right, just keep it up. As its been said before, you dont have to be all things to all buyers.

    though im afraid they wont be able to top themselves and we will either A- have the same looking cars for the next 15 years or B- they will try to hard and end up with something really bad.

  • avatar
    Stephan Wilkinson

    When I owned a DB4 in the ’70s, I used to tell people it was the world’s fastest vintage car–all hat and no cattle, in current terms.

  • avatar

    Aston’s need to be fast because even if you might never actually need to go 0-60 in less than 4 seconds, it’s nice to know you can, especially if you spent Aston-Martin-type money. Nobody wants to blow over $100k on a car and know some punk in an Evo is faster 0-60, even if it doesn’t come down to a street race

    911s hardly turn anybody’s head, while an F430 will turn many more heads than an Aston will (I saw a DB9 in a parking lot and had to explain to my girlfriend what was special about it, one look at a Ferrari and nearly anybody can tell that it’s something special)

  • avatar

    A good business plan for this climate would be different HP versions.

    AM V8 350 hp 95,000
    AM V8 425 hp 110,000
    AM V12 500 190,000

    This could open the door for much greater volume

  • avatar
    Edward Niedermeyer

    Daimler would probably make more money selling engines to Aston than they do selling Maybachs. But there’s no way Aston is for sale… there’s nothing lost in translation on that point.

  • avatar
    Jordan Tenenbaum

    I don’t think it’s a good idea for Aston. I mean, there’s absolutely nothing wrong with their engines now. TVR still uses inline sixes that go back quite a way, and Bentley still has the 6.75 litre around. Don’t get me wrong, there’s nothing wrong with Merc engines, they just aren’t British; something the world needs more of. Insert Lucas joke here.

  • avatar

    The S600, SL600, S65 AMG and SL 65 AMG all are twinturbo V12s…

    Currently they’re selling both the S63 (V8, normally aspirated) and S65 as well as the SL 63 and SL 65. I don’t know if the SL600 is still on sale after the redesign, but the S600 definitely is…

    Stendahl syndrom looming…

    Or not, since I would buy a BMW anyway over any Mercedes at this point…

  • avatar

    @ Jordan Tenenbaum ,

    Aston V12’s are made from 2 Ford V6 blocks. How British is that?

  • avatar
    Jordan Tenenbaum

    British enough.

  • avatar

    Guys, guys…the TT V12s are alive and well in the current S/CL/SL600 and the S/CL/SL65 AMG’s. The non AMG cars have smaller turbos and 5.5L vs 6.0L, but there has been no 12 cylinder car in MB’s arsenal without turbos since 2002!

  • avatar

    Oh, and Jonny….the new naturally aspirated 6.2L V8 has a marginally higher peak HP rating than the old blown 5.4, but outpowering the V12? Seriously?

    The TT V12 at 604 HP is a full 100 HP more than the 6.2.

    Therefore….the CL63/S63 will be left in the dust by the CL65/S65 V12 Biturbos. Even the smaller non AMG CL600/S600 TT V12s will match the new 6.2 V8s in power and kill them in torque, thanks to those little hairdryers in the exhaust path.

    Even though the 6.2s have a 7 speed automatic vs the 5 speed in the V12 TT’s, there is no comparison in acceleration.

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