Aston Martin Now Sells Idiotic Tom Brady 'Signature Edition' Vanquish
I’ve already made the case against Aston Martin using Tom Brady as a brand ambassador. However, after months of marinating in a pool of semi-rational anger, I came to the realization that not everyone would view it as a step down from James Bond.
Brady was chosen specifically to appeal to the United States because Aston wants to bolster sales in North America. His eerily straight teeth and All American Good Looks™ were a marketing selection, albeit an incredibly boring one.
While I prattle on endlessly about how unsettling I find the man, what I find particularly bothersome is that we’re supposed to presume Brady is an automotive enthusiast and ambassador of good taste. However, I’ve never seen him doing guest spots on motoring shows and his penchant for the finer things appears to be nothing more than a byproduct of his being successful. So, when Aston announced the $360,000 car he spent five months helping design was finished, my eyes rolled so far back into my head that it induced a nose bleed and I subsequently passed out.
When I came to, I wondered if I had overreacted slightly. After all, I think I’ve seen photos of Brady driving around in an Audi R8 and a brief Google investigation turned up that he also drives (or has driven) a Rolls-Royce Ghost. Those are the kinds of cars you might buy when you care about what you’re driving. Still, I’ve never seen him spotted at an auto show, racing event, or openly discussing the finer points of motoring. Granted, he doesn’t often open that sexy little mouth without a paycheck coming his way — but one would hope for at least an inkling of genuine enthusiasm.
I suppose I haven’t witnessed Daniel Craig making an appearance on Top Gear, either. But then again, Aston Martin didn’t involve him in the production of a limited edition model with his name attached to it. I’m holding Brady to a higher standard because Aston has forced me to, and also because I don’t like him very much — a point which should be abundantly clear by now.
So what did we end up with under Brady’s guidance? The Vanquish S Volante ‘Tom Brady Signature Edition.’ Essentially, it’s a black and blue convertible going for a few thousand more than the base model. What makes it different is that Brady used Aston Martin’s bespoke vehicle service — called “Q” — to preselect most of the trim options for you. Instead of outfitting your own car, you get to have one where a quarterback has already checked all the boxes for you.
Additionally, the limited edition models come with Brady’s signature on the sill plates and features “TB12” badges on the headrests, fenders, and rear of the vehicle. Apparently, Aston thinks the key to America’s heart is blatantly tacky accoutrements. The automaker might as well convince Richard Petty to do the next celebrity-endorsed model, paint it light blue, and stick the number 43 anywhere it will fit — it least then it’ll have a direct connection to American motorsports.
Beyond the visual enhancements, there isn’t much going on with the TB12 model. The Vanquish still uses the same 580-horsepower 6.0-liter V12 you’d get if you chose the paint options yourself, and I’m not seeing any discussion of performance upgrades.
“It was an easy decision to go with the Vanquish S for the special edition — it is an incredible car to drive and is truly a work of art. Going through the process of curating a unique Aston Martin has been fascinating,” Brady said in a press release. “We started with a blank canvas and finished with this beautiful car. It’s been great to see it all come to fruition and I’m proud to share a name with it. I hope you enjoy it as much as I do!”
Despite having helped design the vehicle and being so proud, Tom probably won’t own one. That’s probably because driving around in a production vehicle with your own name on it is almost as stupid as driving one embossed with someone else’s.
Here’s my biggest problem with this: It feels like something you’d expect from a lesser brand. I know Aston Martin wants to improve sales in the United States, but this is so desperate. Every time Brady says something, there isn’t even the slightest hint of earnestness. It’s lazy, he doesn’t seem to care, and using him as Aston’s brand ambassador genuinely boggles the mind. It’s like trying to solve a crossword puzzle in a language you don’t even speak.
The only clue I’ve managed to find to all of this came via an interview the company’s chief creative officer, Marek Reichman, had with ESPN. In it, he attempted to associate Brady’s football career with automotive design before revealing something fairly telling.
“When he does something on the field, he sees the result immediately,” Reichman explained. “His world is very short in terms of timing. So one thing he made clear to us was that he wanted to be able to make a move and feel the immediacy of performance.”
“This car touches people through a voice in Tom that they understand,” he continued. “He speaks English in an American’s English, and he’s telling the world why he loves our product. It’s as simple as that.”
A voice they’ll understand? Tom Brady speaks exactly like someone who has endured multiple concussions. It sounds to me like Aston Martin views its North American client base as a jumble of simpletons, unable to appreciate a product without some kind of celebrity endorsement.
Aston Martin says it will only produce 12 Tom Brady Signature Edition Vanquish S Volantes for $359,650 apiece. If you’re seeking more-affordable products featuring your favorite NFL star’s name, Brady also has his own line of TB12 snacks, a meal service, and a $200 cookbook. Interestingly, those items all have some connection to physical health — a subject one might assume a world-class athlete would know a thing or two about.
Deliveries of the stupid Vanquish are scheduled to begin in the first quarter of 2018.
[Images: Aston Martin]
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