By on March 6, 2013

 

In the last two years, Aston Martin has offered six different models. They’re all rear-wheel drive. They all look the same. They all offer V12 engines with roughly 500 horsepower. And yet the most expensive one costs twice as much as the cheapest one.

 

If you’re confused, so are Aston dealers. The rich people who buy them aren’t, but that’s only because they arrive at the dealer, point to the one they want, and say “that one,” without regards to whether it’s a DB9, a Vanquish or a showroom alloy wheel display. Not that they could tell the difference anyway.

Fortunately, after two intensive months of Pontiff-emeritus style quiet reflection, I’m here to help you pick your way through the enormous mess that is Aston Martin’s current automotive lineup. And don’t worry: this isn’t just another post complaining about how they all look the same. Instead, I’m coming to you with real, hard facts, as you’ve come to expect after my post about the perfect first car.

A brief history

Let’s start with the basics. Ten years ago, and also twenty years ago, Aston made a car called the DB7. It was basically a Jaguar XK8 except, somehow, it had worse switchgear. The climate controls were from a Ford Mustang. The key fob was from a Ford Explorer. But the engine was from Aston itself, which practically guaranteed smooth operation for at least nine weeks after purchase.

Eventually, the DB7 was joined by a more modern car called the Vanquish, which is generally agreed to be the most beautiful car ever to use the Ford Focus’s turn signal stalks. Times were good. Everyone loved the Vanquish, except those who drove it, since its automatic transmission was designed to mimic the abilities of an 18-year-old who’s new to the stick shift. But who cares about jerky upshifts when it looks this good?

Following up the DB7

The trouble started in 2005, when it was time to replace the DB7. Aston debuted a car called the DB9, uncharacteristically skipping DB8 altogether because it was that good. And good it was: sleek styling. Beautiful presence. Rear-wheel drive. And a 6.0-liter V12 with nearly 500 horsepower under the hood.

There was just one problem: that car already existed. It was called the Vanquish. It also had sleek styling. It also had beautiful presence. It also had rear-wheel drive. And its 5.9-liter V12 produced 450 horsepower – just 20 shy of the DB9.

There was another problem, too: the cars looked similar. Not the same, mind you, but enough to get a few people asking questions. Namely, why does the more powerful DB9 cost $155,000, while the older, slower Vanquish costs $235,000? To rectify the situation, Aston quickly rushed a more powerful Vanquish to the market: the Vanquish S. It had 514 horses – 44 more than the DB9 – and alloy wheels with so many spokes that their function may have been solely to annoy car wash employees.

Enter the entry level

The Aston Martin range expanded again in 2006 with the arrival of a cheaper model called the V8 Vantage, which employed a unique strategy: not offering a 500-horsepower V12. It was priced from $110,000. That meant three Astons were now on sale: the V8 Vantage, the DB9 and the Vanquish, which – despite the new S model – was only being sold to the “I’ll have that one” crowd. And even then, at $10,000 under sticker.

The arrival of the Vantage brought more grumbles about styling. ‘The V8 Vantage looks too similar to the other two,’ people complained. Personally, I never understood that criticism. To me, the Vantage has some similar lines to the DB9, but the similarity ends with its overall proportions: the Vantage looks like the DB9’s baby brother. Or perhaps its offspring. Then again, I can tell apart a Sable and a Taurus, so my opinions on this topic may be in the minority.

A new flagship

By 2007, the only Vanquish units being sold were the result of “accidental” dealership fires, so Aston pulled the plug. This coincided with a new owner for the brand, which is the only way to explain the unusual decisions that have happened since.

In place of the DB9 came a new flagship, which Aston called the DBS, apparently because they were now too cool for numbers. And thus the confusion began. The DBS was based on the DB9. That meant it shared virtually everything, including the body panels. Indeed, exterior differences were slim. Clear tail lights to wow the Altezza crowd. A body kit. New wheels. Even for us Taurus/Sable spotters, it was a stretch.

Under the hood, the differences were even slimmer: both cars had V12s that displaced around six liters. The only advantage the DBS offered was 510 horsepower to the DB9’s 470.

I know what you’re thinking: so the DBS had a bodykit and 40 horses. What’s the big deal? Sounds like the Civic Si! Ah, yes. But while the Civic Si costs only $2,000 more than a Civic EX – or about 9 percent – the DBS was a full $100,000 more than the DB9. Even in Aston world, this is something like a 60 percent premium. For 40 horsepower and some Altezza tails.

What’s worse: people paid it. Because of the DBS’s use in Casino Royale, people lined up with money in hand to purchase the body-kitted DB9 as if it was actually worth the $265,000 Aston was charging. Unfortunately, this only encouraged Aston’s new owners to continue the madness.

It gets better before it gets worse

The 2010 model year finally brought in some new blood to the Aston world. That came in the form of the Rapide, a four-door sedan that still managed to look like all of the brand’s two door cars. Somehow, it also had about the same legroom. And, annoyingly, it had the same sixish-liter V12 that put out about 500 horsepower.

But at least it breathed new life into the Aston Martin lineup. Finally, one could again make the argument that the brand once again had three distinct models. Everyone was happy and all was right in the world, until…

Another DB9-based Aston debuts

If the DB9 and DBS weren’t bad enough, Aston decided in 2011 to add an entirely new model that somehow fell between them. Yes, that’s right: the DB9 is a four-seat, rear drive six-figure sports car with 470 horsepower; the DBS is a four-seat, rear drive six-figure sports car with 510 horsepower. And they needed something between them.

The in-between model was called the Virage, which used a bodykit that was also in between the DB9’s standard fare and the DBS’s full-on boy racer look. Pricing, too, was directly in the middle: the Virage started at $208,000. And what was under the hood of Aston’s newest “model?” You guessed it: a six-liter V12 producing about 500 horsepower.

Unfortunately, it got even worse. Now six years old, the V8 Vantage needed something to spice up its increasingly boring existence. So Aston created a new, more powerful version of the car. And how was that done? With – I swear this is true – a six-liter V12 producing 500 horsepower. Aston now claimed to offer five different models, each of which used the exact same engine. Sort of like Nissan and the VQ V6, actually. But at least the Murano and the 350Z never looked the same.

Today’s lineup

Fortunately, Aston seemed to realize the ridiculousness of their lineup quickly and pared down the offerings. For 2013, the DBS was sacked. So was the Virage. To make up for their loss, the DB9’s horsepower bumped to 510 without a corresponding price jump, pissing off everyone who spent $210,000 for a less powerful Virage just three months ago. Not that they’d be able to tell the difference anyway.

But Aston decided to give its DB9 platform one more shot: for 2013, the brand released yet another DB9-based sports car, this time resurrecting the Vanquish name that died after 2007. Styling remained highly similar to the DB9, though power is now up to 565hp. The price point? A whopping $280,000, or about $100,000 more than the DB9. Which, by the way, now costs the same as the V12 Vantage.

Confused yet? We all are. And it gets even worse: with the exception of the Rapide and the Vanquish, every one of the above models offered a convertible. Sometimes it was called Roadster. Sometimes Volante. It was always really expensive.

But for Aston owners, that’s the real allure. That, and being able to tell your neighbors you have “an Aston.” And with that kind of panache, who cares about silly details like the price and the model name?

Doug DeMuro operates PlaysWithCars.com. He’s owned an E63 AMG wagon, roadtripped across the US in a Lotus without air conditioning, and posted a six-minute laptime on the Circuit de Monaco in a rented Ford Fiesta. One year after becoming Porsche Cars North America’s youngest manager, he quit to become a writer. His parents are very disappointed.

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78 Comments on “The Confusing World of Aston Martin...”


  • avatar
    JMII

    Reminds me of Porsche… its a 911 right? Different spoilers, some with turbos, some without, a drop top version, some with AWD, some without and a slightly smaller version, plus now a 4 door version. But they all LOOK like 911s!

    • 0 avatar
      Vega

      But they are also called 911, Porsche doesn’t sell the variants as completely differenct cars. Plus they HAVE other, different looking cars in their lineup: Boxster, Cayman, Cayenne, Panamera.
      The Mid-engine cars proportions are clearly different from the rear engined 911 and the front engined cars.

      • 0 avatar
        sitting@home

        On Edmunds, Porsche have cars called “911″ priced from $85k to $245k. Are you saying they’re all just the same thing with a body kit ?

        • 0 avatar
          MinPVD

          They kind of all are 911s.

          you pay for the drive train and the removable top.

          It’s like how a bmw 328 and 335 are technically two different models of the car…

          but an audi a4 covers all the different options.

          edit: A6 actually. looks like you can’t get a plain a4 with a real engine anymore according to the audi website.

          yeah guy below me is right. I had forgotten about that.

  • avatar
    ott

    Great write-up, and as usual, right on the money. I never could tell one Aston from another, every model seems squeezed out of the same mould, using varying amounts of clay.

  • avatar
    Jellodyne

    You wouldn’t want to be seen in the CHEAP one, would you?!

    • 0 avatar
      niky

      I’m thinking the cheap Vantage is about all the Aston I can stand. Why pay more for extra sheetmetal between the character lines and styling cues? That’s just like buying a MINI Countryman!

  • avatar
    honfatboy

    Yes, exactly. I also have no trouble telling a Taurus from a Sable (or a Topaz from a Tracer, for that matter) but Aston has totally lost me.

  • avatar

    I am a lifelong Aston fan and former (and likely future… there’s a DB7 Vantage calling my name somewhere) Aston owner, and for me the way I think of the endless permutations of the Gaydon-era lineup is this: There is the DB9, and it is lovely. And there are some cars above and below the DB9, and they are whatever.

  • avatar
    otter

    I’ve gotta say, Doug, that I really enjoy your writing and this piece was a lot of fun. Clarifying, too (for as long as it will take me to forget all the hair-splitting distinctions, anyway) as some years ago I just gave up trying to tell most of them apart and just say to myself when I see one, “that’s an Aston Martin.”

  • avatar
    michal1980

    While the article is fine. i find it bordering on ripping off top gear, which has done this same aston bit more then a few times now.

  • avatar
    cargogh

    For me, Aston’s line up had become like trig when the teacher asked if anyone had any questions before proceeding, and I refused to raise my hand. Sometimes some additional tutoring is very helpful, and you have provided that.

  • avatar
    CJinSD

    I’m reasonably certain that the DB7′s engine was a supercharged version of the hoary old Jaguar AJ6, rather than some sort of actual Aston-Martin engine. I don’t think there has been an Aston-Martin engine since the last V8 was made in 2000. Their last 6 cylinder engine was installed in 1972. Everything since has been Jaguar or Ford powered.

    • 0 avatar

      Fair point. There were actually two engines. The first was that blown six, as you mention. Later models were called the DB7 Vantage and dropped that engine in favor of, rather predictably, a six-liter V12.

    • 0 avatar
      MeaCulpa

      Don’t bring up the splendid old V8. Those cars were awesome, not going over 300 km/h with 600 horses on tap and TWO superchargers only added awesome. It takes balls to sell a car with the worlds worst aerodynamics. The only bad thing about those cars, besides the thoroulhly confusing naming, was the horribly ugly body kit on the Le Mans edition.

      Scratch that. That confusing naming was also awesome, like the British guards regiments, and that body kit was pretty cool somehow.

    • 0 avatar
      crbf1

      The DB7 was based on the Jaguar XKS, not XK8. Engine was originally a 3.2L version of the Jaguar 4.0L Supercharged inline 6-cyl. The DB7 Vantage and GT got the 5.9L V12. Original versions of the V12 were built by Cosworth; AM then decided to make them in-house in Cologne.
      The Vanguish used a Lotus-developed, carbon fiber (central tunnel, a-posts) chassis, lots of Jaguar suspension bits, V12, 6-spd manual trans with hydraulic gear selection, and other stuff I forget. These are the last hand-assembled Astons, made in Newport Pagnell at the rate of 5-7 per week.
      The DB9 is / was the most modern — V12, transaxle, aluminum chassis.
      V8 Vantage is shorter DB9, launched with a dry-sump, 4.3L version of Jaguar’s 4.0L V8.

  • avatar
    WestwardGeoff

    Even their “halo” car, the One-77, has a profile that’s tough to distinguish from the current lineup (despite the $1 million premium).

  • avatar
    SlowMyke

    If the rich keep buying them, who cares? These are the exact sort of things the “more money than brains” crowd loves. They are fantastic looking, fantastic sounding and seem to be at least decent driving. I love when I see them on the road, rare as it is. Maybe sometime down the road the amount of money I have will surpass the amount of brains I have and I will be able to/want to own one. Then I can pick one up that another rich guy has already eaten the depreciation on. Until then, I hope they continue the fine Aston tradition of recreating the same car over and over because I really enjoy them from my current perspective.

  • avatar
    j3studio

    I know which one I want (DB9 coupe), so I guess I don’t see the problem …

  • avatar
    ZekeToronto

    With the model proliferation insanity, I’ll confess to having a bit of difficulty telling one Aston from another in recent years. Fortunately (for me, if not my future Aston dealer), the one I honestly prefer over all the others remains unchanged. It’s the “baby Aston”–the V8 Vantage. [I almost said \"entry level\" until I remembered about the fetus, er, Cygnet.] To me it’s the most attractive by far. And there’s nothing I need to do that I can’t get done with 420HP.

  • avatar
    MeaCulpa

    At Schiphol they had the V8 Vantage on display. The interior looked horribly cheap, like something straight out of a Titanium Mondeo, what a horrible let down that was.

  • avatar
    Morea

    ‘Vantage GTE’ is all you need to know because that’s the one that races, including at the 12 Hours of Sebring in 10 days!

  • avatar
    prosey

    Purely from an aesthetic standpoint: the way I SEE it, someone doesn’t have the *insert slang word for male genitals* or the intestinal fortitude (or, perhaps the permission from God) to design something new…for fear that the world will reject something other than what has come before?? Then again, I really can’t speak for the Aston design team, as I don’t know any of them personally. But at the end of the day, if one was dropped off on my driveway in some fanciful 007-esque maneuver… I wouldn’t complain the slightest.

  • avatar
    praeliber

    For an article published on a site called “the truth about cars”, it generously lack technical informations. This article do close to nothing to actually explain the differences between those cars. Not stating, for example, that the vantage is a 2 seater built on a shorter chassis, or that the DBS worth more because it was, among other thing, built on a chassis using carbon fibre, aluminium body panel, adaptive suspension (ADS) and carbon ceramic brakes.

    You see, they aren’t the same, but you have to be interested in engineering to notice. I don’t blame the author, the car world is slowly turning into a design only thing with even so called enthusiast not aware of what’s under the skin anymore.

    • 0 avatar

      Another good point, though I would submit that if the only distinctions are in the technical briefing, there may be a problem. It’s fine to have a Civic and a Civic Si. But imagine if the Civic and Accord rode on the same chassis and used the same engine.

      Also: the DBS does offer some big benefits. But what say you about the V12 Vantage vs. DB9 vs. Virage vs. original Vanquish?

  • avatar
    baconator

    Well, Aston sales are down about 40% from their pre-2008 peak, so there’s something here. But Aston’s strategy is no different from what Porsche practices with the 911 (which also has a >2x difference in price from base Carrera 2 to full-boat GT2, and only car nerds and valets can tell the difference) or Ford practices with the Mustang (base $20k vs. $60k for a Laguna Seca, and only car nerds can tell the difference). The numbers get eye-popping at the high end, but a $225k Virage is still a much better driving car than the Ferrari California or Bentley Continental that you would get at that price level. Gallardos and Mclarens are priced roughly on par with top-of-the-line Astons, but they are really different cars with different purposes. Many folks who in the Aston demographic can afford both an Aston and a low-slung 2-seater exotic, and I know a few who have that pairing.

    Note also that the VH-chassis Astons are also *much* better built and more reliable than Ferraris and Maseratis (they benefit from plebian Volvo electricals, a positive legacy of Ford’s ownership). They’re about on par with Gallardos, but the parts costs of Astons are a bargain relative to the Lambo parts.

    Top Gear, Evo, and now TTAC seem to be piling on this bandwagon to criticize Aston Martin. The company deserves more credit for continuing to evolve a relatively “analog” GT car that gives enthusiasts an engaging real-world driving experience. Like the Lotus Elise, AM’s current cars will still be fun to drive and look at 30 years from now, and the timelessness of them appeals to owners who eschew the fashion-and-technology driven pitch of Ferraris and Lambos. An Aston Martin is a Brioni, Ferrari is Prada, Lamborghini is Versace – like the Brioni suit, the Aston won’t look as flashy in a magazine photo spread, but it will reward long-term ownership.

    • 0 avatar

      Good point, and well-stated. I do disagree in one aspect: while Porsche does indeed have an enormous price delta between a C2 and the very much related GT2RS, the vehicles are highly differentiated. Not just stylistically, although the GT2RS could hardly be mistaken for a Carrera. The GT2RS also offers nearly twice the horsepower. The Astons, meanwhile, are rarely separated by more than 50.

      • 0 avatar
        baconator

        There is clearly a young, rich, and technology-oriented demographic that is walking out of the Aston showroom and buying Italian, but there are two core Aston demographics, at least in the US: one is a middle-aged professional or business owner who wants a touring car or “go-to-dinner” car for special occasions, and the enthusiasts who have an even sportier option or full-on trackday car in the garage, but like the Aston for its control feedback, looks, and heritage. None of these folks are out drag racing against 458 Italias.

        In that context “a little bit faster” Vanquish, with lots of engineering underneath it that enhance the response and emphasize design (carbon fiber skin, adjustable chassis, etc.) is enough to differentiate. Again, not for all potential owners, but it’s clearly enough for a the couple hundred a year that Aston needs.

        How many of these comments say “these buyers have more money than brains, but if I had more money and the same brain I’ve got, I’d buy one.” Aston has emotional appeal in a market segment where the purchases are, let’s face it, nearly entirely emotion. If speed per dollar were the only thing that mattered, all the Ferrari buyers would get modified 996 Twin Turbos or breathed-on Corvettes.

    • 0 avatar
      CJinSD

      Sales are most likely down because the market is worried that long term Aston Martin ownership will include the orphan car experience. That leaves the slight majority of ostentatious car customers who lease and don’t worry about real residuals. Is 60% of the volume that wasn’t sufficient before going to be enough now that they don’t have a real car company to share the high development expenses of modern car production? Time will tell, probably sooner rather than later. It can’t help that Ford is slapping their design cues on rental cars, or that Subaru is poised to get into the Aston design language dilution business since failure to prevent Ford has put their look in the public domain.

      • 0 avatar
        dolorean

        Somehow CJ you manage to try to make me feel sorry for rich a-holes and I just…can’t…do it. If Ford’s design’s look so similiar to A-M’s designs, they’ve got no one but A-M to blame by having the same car roll out in different guise for the Caviar crowd for fifteen years. Randianism in motion.

      • 0 avatar
        kkt

        Sales are most likely down because of the economy. Fewer individuals can afford exotics, and some of those who can afford them find it’s no longer the in thing to flaunt it with an exotic.

  • avatar
    DaveDFW

    “There was another problem, too: the cars looked similar. Not the same, mind you, but enough to get a few people asking questions. Namely, why does the more powerful DB9 cost $155,000, while the older, slower Vanquish costs $235,000?”

    I remember asking substantially the same question to the woman guarding the Aston booth at the Dallas auto show years ago. She looked thoroughly unamused, and ran through a high-level list of the things that differered between the two.

    She closed by quoting MSRP, adding that they “didn’t accept food stamps.” If she treated others with the same level of respect, I assume she was shot later that day.

    • 0 avatar
      sportyaccordy

      You shouldn’t have insulted her with questions regarding frivolous matters like “value”.

      One thing that just can’t be conveyed on paper, Youtube vids, etc is the presence one of the big Astons has on the street. I still remember the first time I saw a… it had to be a DB9. Navy blue, gorgeous. Even more gorgeous in a sea of beat up NYC cars. When a car stands out in NAVY BLUE you know you got the design right. I would def try and get in at the lowest price point possible though.

    • 0 avatar
      jetcal1

      DaveDFW,
      I believe that store is out of business.

      Arrogance has no place in sales. The
      person you offend today maybe affluent
      in a few years, and they will remember..

      Used to love the way some stores
      treated some of us coming back from
      tax free/hostile fire deployments with
      no bills and a dozen paychecks in our
      pocket. One of my troops
      bought herself a nice ‘vette, paid
      cash. Still has it 22 years later.

  • avatar
    seabrjim

    Excellent! Great article. Who is the bigger idiot, those who buy them blindly, or the Aston marketing geniuses who are responsible? Oh wait, the cash is rolling in, that answers that.

  • avatar
    philadlj

    Rejoice, for the new “Rapide S” has 550 horsepower and a new, gawking face inspired by Keanu Reeves’ in “Bill & Ted’s Excellent Adventure.”

    http://www.astonmartin.com/cars/rapide-s

  • avatar
    chrishs2000

    How did you not include the $50,000 Scion iQ Cygnet?!?!?

  • avatar
    MAQ

    “The rich people who buy them aren’t, but that’s only because they arrive at the dealer, point to the one they want, and say “that one,”….

    Don’t know why you would think the “rich people” don’t do their homework before they would spend that kind of money. After all, they didn’t get rich by being stupid and they would probably search out articles like this one. I did.

    • 0 avatar
      CJinSD

      Many of them got rich by being born and are just fine being exactly that clueless. I’m no class warrior, but the best circles are as riddled with morons as the worst circles are.

      • 0 avatar
        redav

        Most “rich people” became and stay rich because they don’t buy AMs or other “rich people” things. The result is that those who are meticulous don’t buy these unless $100k is near their level of resolution.

  • avatar
    gslippy

    I thought I was the only one who was confused.

    I suspect the problem is that Aston Martin operates on a shoestring budget and can’t really diversify its products. Yet, somehow, they think that creating countless permutations of the same car helps the situation.

    It would be far more interesting if they had 2 or 3 really different cars.

  • avatar
    USAFMech

    Other than the confusing pricing, this article is completely backwards. You keep saying 6-litre, 500-600hp V12 as if it’s a bad thing. It should, “Dear A-M, Dr. Bez, et al., We have noticed that you keep putting 6L V12′s in all your cars. Well done. TTAC, B&B, et al.”

    • 0 avatar

      Hah! With every article I write, there’s a comment that makes me reconsider my entire line of thinking. This is today’s.

    • 0 avatar

      Well said sir! And I’m glad Doug caught it, as well.

    • 0 avatar
      kkt

      Exactly! The same applies to the looks. Thank you, Aston Martin, for making all those drop dead gorgeous vehicles.

      • 0 avatar
        tjh8402

        exactly….our main complaint about aston martin is that they make too many drop dead gorgeous cars with rear wheel drive and a sonorous normally aspirtated V12 in the 500-600 hp range? tragic…

        I’ll take two, a 3 pedal V12 Vantage for myself and then a DB9 Volante for cruising…ok fine, I’ll take a few more, throw in a Vantage GTE so I can go to Le Mans, a Vantage GT4 for Conntinental Challenge, and how bout a CPO DBR9 and Lola-Aston B09/60 for vintage racing (jk about the CPO part – something tells me they don’t do that for racecars).

  • avatar
    DDayJ

    Nice article as always. Don’t forget about the real Aston game changer, the Cygnet!

    • 0 avatar
      corntrollio

      There’s also the Zagato, which I believe is an aluminium bodied V12 Vantage with a body-kit and also a bigger fuel tank that’s designed for racing. Limited edition for homologation. And it costs more than the Vanquish.

      6L V12, of course. With “only” 510 hp.

  • avatar
    Styles79

    Meh, my interest in Astons began and ended with the twin-supercharged Vantage of the 90′s, now that’s a cool car!

  • avatar
    Kyree S. Williams

    You got me. I can recite Lincoln’s MK-alphabet-soup, I can name all of the BMW chassis codes off of the top of my head, and I can even tell you the various special-editions of the older-than-Methuselah Lamborghini Gallardo. But Aston Martin is the one automaker whose models have such little real-world differentiation of purpose between them that even *I* get confused…

  • avatar
    mkirk

    Man those new Fusion Coupes look good!

  • avatar

    I haven’t read this yet but I’m greatly looking forward to.

    I have to pre-agree that Aston’s lineup is stupid. But, it’s probably this way because they don’t have enough money. Does this excuse it?

    At least the V8/V12 Vantage does pretty well in GT3 racing, or something, or whatever, as far as I know. They platform name is “V-H”, I know that (vertical horizontal).

    Did you mention the Rapide S? It’s special.

    Also, two Duratecs!

  • avatar
    blowfish

    http://forum.vanpeople.com/showtopic-169730.php

    This is an AM adv to lure u to buy a preowned AM, the consolation side is the first dude who paid enuf for the privilege to de-flower her, most likely 50-80k for that.

    Even newer mercs are looking pretty similar except by the size/ girth.
    And some of them has same engine as the big ones too.

    many cars one can upgrade them by just changing the number on the rear trunk lid.
    IE goes from C250 to C63 nobody knows until the hood is opened anyways.

    • 0 avatar
      corntrollio

      “many cars one can upgrade them by just changing the number on the rear trunk lid.
      IE goes from C250 to C63 nobody knows until the hood is opened anyways.”

      Except for enthusiasts who know you’re a poseur. And for housewives, when their V6 Camry beats you from a red light.

      • 0 avatar
        blowfish

        Except for enthusiasts who know you’re a poseur. And for housewives, when their V6 Camry beats you from a red light.

        Infact most of the time a dude who drives a fast car rarely need to prove he’s faster.
        when u drive a real c63 u get clowns all day in a civic snug up to u trying to have a run with u.

        • 0 avatar
          corntrollio

          “Infact most of the time a dude who drives a fast car rarely need to prove he’s faster.”

          Agreed, but the point still stands, and it would be obvious it’s not a real C63 to anyone who would actually want to race.

  • avatar
    Fordson

    This piece is spot on – I thought the same thing every time I see an A-M. Also, the factory claims each and every one of them will go from 0-60 in between 4.2 and 4.6 seconds. No faster and no slower.

    For the guy who said Ford does the same thing with the Mustang…you can get a Mustang with a 305 hp V6, a couple 400+ hp V8s and a 650 hp supercharged, larger V8. There are no Astons that make over twice the power of other Astons, unless you count the Cygnet…and really, no one does.

  • avatar
    korvetkeith

    I’ll take one of those black or silver ones.

  • avatar
    djn

    I’m amused. I recall when Aston made a car that looked like a Ford Mustang, and now Ford makes a car that looks like an Aston.

  • avatar
    Tick

    “The rich people who buy them aren’t, but that’s only because they arrive at the dealer, point to the one they want, and say “that one,” without regards to whether it’s a DB9, a Vanquish or a showroom alloy wheel display. Not that they could tell the difference anyway.”

    That’s an arrogant and smug thing to say. This comment alone illustrates the problem I see in this website as of lately. Last I checked, making blanket statements about groups of people was still called “stereotyping”. This site is steadily becoming a haven for what I call petro-hipsters. I’ve said it before. If I came on here and called every Subaru driver a lesbian, I’d get crucified. But coming onto this site and badmouthing the drivers of another manufacturer is just fine, because those are just ignorant rich people right? It’s not like they got where they are through education or hard work right?

    • 0 avatar
      Compaq Deskpro

      To quote George Clooney from “Up In the Air” – “I stereotype. It’s faster.”

      I suspect the stereotype of tasteless and stupid rich people may have been proliferated by the increased popularity of Real Housewives of Wherever and Kardashians Do This and That type of shows.

    • 0 avatar

      Dude. I owned a 911 Turbo and an E63 AMG. I don’t have a vendetta against the wealthy. It was a JOKE. I have also made the Subaru/lesbian joke on here. People got mad then, too. My suggestion: breathe in, breathe out. Also, possibly consider reading your local news website, where they will go as far as possible to avoid injecting any form of opinion or humor into their articles.

      • 0 avatar
        Tick

        Derek called it satire. You called it a JOKE. I call it lazy writing and pandering to your audience. It used to be that this website used snark and sharp wit. Now it’s become a support group for the automotively inadequate

        If I didn’t know for a fact there was an alternative to this, I wouldn’t saying anything

        • 0 avatar
          stephenjmcn

          According the sidebar here on the site, there are 21 possible writers/editors you could read. I personally like Doug’s stuff, and clearly you don’t. There are other writers I don’t like so much, and you probably do.

          This is ok – personal taste is personal taste, or we’d all be reading the same stuff and driving the same cars.

    • 0 avatar
      corntrollio

      “If I came on here and called every Subaru driver a lesbian, I’d get crucified.”

      No, you actually wouldn’t. In fact, people say that all the time on this site with impunity, including some columnists. The most recent instance I can remember is here:

      www dot thetruthaboutcars dot com/2013/02/review-rental-legacy-by-subaru-a-future-writer-story/#comment-2007526

  • avatar
    jacob_coulter

    Great article, this is always something that has puzzled me. They all look about the same, I’m amazed anyone buys anything other than the entry level model. It probably comes down to what color combination the dealer has on the lot for the person buying it.

    I will say though, I still love them, and they’re on the “Powerball List” of cars I would probably run out and buy. It’s like owning a Ferrari but a lot less douchey. I mean it’s James Bond’s car!

  • avatar
    CoreyDL

    YOU HAVE FORGOT THE CYGNET. How dare you!

  • avatar
    roadscholar

    If Doug ever writes a book, I will buy it sight unseen.

  • avatar
    mvoss

    Nice article and very much needed. Being the token car guy sometimes, people will see an Aston and immediately turn to me to ask “Whoa, an Aston! Which one is that?!” and I am just as confused as they are.

    You forgot one thing, Doug, the headlights get longer. That’s an extremely important distinction!

  • avatar
    Virage

    It’s often easy to criticize a vehicle one hasn’t driven and likely can’t afford. I’m amused by strings like this where people attempt to comment authoritatively about vehicles that they likely have come no closer to than the glossy pages of an auto magazine, if that. I own my second Aston Martin and it is by far one of the most beautiful cars ever built. For sure it does not top the charts in outright performance but it has plenty of punch coupled with a subtle elegance unmatched by its more flashy Italian counterparts. Suffice it to say perhaps folks who have never even been in an Aston Martin ought to reserve judgment until they have. But then again jealousy is a funny thing…………….

  • avatar
    nlau1

    Author has taken a very flippant view here and clearly written an article for clicks and page views. Its nothing short of a sensationalised story.

    All those cars mentioned above serve a purpose (to a certain degree, some more than others) in the AM line-up. Like a range of snacks, they all offer a different flavour. The Vantage is a more hardcore sports car, whereas the DB is a more relaxed classic GT style car. Each of those cars has a different driving characteristic.


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