Egg spoons fell to the tabletop and kippers went uneaten as noblemen across the land gazed in slack-jawed silence at the new Cullinan [s]SUV[/s] high-bodied car unveiled by Rolls-Royce this morning.
It’s a vehicle so excessive in its dimensions and interior trappings, even long-deceased kings might find it gauche. Or, perhaps, just the right thing with which to ferry their corpulence from one sherry-stained dinner function to another. Polarizing, to say the least. One internet wag remarked that the Cullinan resembled a hearse with a backseat.
Regardless of how you feel about it, no one’s going to deny that Rolls-Royce now stands regally atop the luxury SUV hill, gazing down upon its lesser rivals with contempt. Clearly, the thought of the century-old British automaker pulling this off must have ground Lagonda’s gears, as the recently revived British luxury marque sought to get out in front of the introduction with an announcement of its own.
It seems the rivalry didn’t end after a testy spat earlier this year.
While the United States’ obsession with massive V8 engines was picking up steam, Britain was falling in love with the inline six. In the years following World War II, Aston Martin was acquired by David Brown for a pittance and entered into the era that would define it forever. This era included the engine stylings of Tadek Marek — a man with a serious penchant for the straight six. Eventually both Aston and Marek would move on to motors with more cylinders, but the company would still hold onto the inline six until the new millennium as an entry-level option. It’s last application was on the base-model DB7.
Unless you count the DB4’s continuation, we’ve not seen any Aston Martin hosting a straight-six configuration since then. However, the company recently let slip that it’s talking about borrowing one from Daimler. Specifically, the turbocharged 3.0-liter from Mercedes-AMG.
Aston Martin is pretty damn pleased with itself, having just debuted a futuristic and luxurious electric car concept in Geneva — one it says will attract the next generation of ultra-well-heeled motorcar buyers.
The Lagonda Vision Concept previews a real-world car scheduled for production in 2021, with another to follow by 2023. Bearing a re-launched brand name long associated with the Aston marque, this Lagonda coddles its passengers in a Blade Runner-esque shell that’s outfitted like one of those sexy, Roger Moore-era James Bond escape pods. There’s cashmere and silk. Savile Row tailors were brought in to handle the upholstery. Quite simply, it’s the future of motoring, Aston Martin claims, so you’d better get used to it.
Filled with unbridled enthusiasm over his new creation, Aston design chief Marek Reichman got a little personal during an interview with Britain’s Autocar. Let’s just say his target, now aghast, is having none of this nonsense.
Aston Martin is seeking a joint venture in China to ensure a future for itself in the world’s largest electric vehicle market, according to CEO Andy Palmer. The brand has previously stated it wants BEVs to account for roughly 25 percent of its global sales by 2030, with the remaining fleet adopting hybridized powertrains. However, Palmer said those early EVs sold in China may not wear the Aston name.
The automaker has also decided to build the RapidE electric sports sedan, limiting its production to 155 units sometime in 2019. While the model currently exists only as a test mule based on the gasoline-powered Rapide, Palmer claims the finished product will provide Tesla shoppers with what they should have been offered in the first place.
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.
Aston Martin, builder of premium British GT cars, does not sell nearly as many cars as it used to. In fact, Aston Martin’s 2017’s output will fall some 30 percent below the brand’s record volume from a decade ago.
But that’s only part of the story. Aston Martin’s global 2017 volume will be 36-percent higher than it was just last year. Moreover, Aston Martin sales will more than double in the next two years.
Your dreams of an upmarket, V12-powered, British version of the 1996 GMC Yukon GT can be put to bed. The production version of 2015’s Aston Martin DBX Concept will not maintain the concept’s bodystyle.
Production vehicles periodically trace very little back to the concept vehicles that were originally intended to act as previews. Indeed, the defining element of the DBX shown in Geneva in March 2015 is gone. “There are aspects of the car that have changed dramatically,” Aston Martin CEO Andy Palmer says, “perhaps none more so than the fact that it is now a four-door.”
Although the coupe format has been cast aside, Aston Martin’s boss believes the company will not have to trade beauty in exchange for true 4×4-ness. “If Aston Martin wants to survive, it must do a SUV,” Palmer says. And in this era, there are aspects of perceived SUV-ness that simply aren’t compatible with a two-door format.
We’ve got a special treat for you today — this glorious Aston Martin Lagonda from that future dystopia now long past, 1984. And futuristic it was, when you consider this car was sprawled across luxuriously carpeted showrooms beginning in 1976.
So let’s go back in time. Is your leisure suit ready?
The notion of American football being included in a non-pickup automotive advertisement is already ridiculous. I have nothing against the NFL personally. It has an exceptionally broad appeal, but it evokes a sort of blue-collar stars and stripes forever type of pride that makes it a superb platform to promote army recruitment and Ford’s F-150.
So, when I found out that Aston Martin — one of the most sophisticated brands in history — was making Tom Brady the face of its next advertising campaign, I was understandably upset. Not quite catching your girlfriend in the backseat of a Kia with your best friend upset, more like your dad telling you he’s starting an emo band upset. There’s an overwhelming sense of confusion and a pressing urge to do everything in your power to stop it from happening, because you know it’s all an egregious mistake and feel that — deep down — they must realize it, too.
Rumors that Aston Martin is destined for an initial public offering, either eventually or imminently, have persisted ever since former parent Ford offloaded the British luxury marque in 2007.
The brand has come a long way since Ford dropped it off at the orphanage by expanding into new segments, spawning a sub-brand, and entering the non-automotive realms of merchandise and luxury speedboats. As its trajectory increasingly mirrors that of recently spun-off Ferrari, sources claim an IPO is right around the corner.
We’re all used to driving curvaceous V12 sedans, right? Now, how would you react to news that your luxury automaker of choice planned to strip all fossil fuel-related hardware from it just to satisfy some squares with exceptionally strong regulatory powers?
That’s the situation for fans of the Rapide S, which Aston Martin claims is — in AMR guise — the world’s fastest four-door vehicle. Aston claims it just can’t keep building all of these 12-cylinder beauties in Europe’s regulatory environment. For some vehicles, gas has to go. And guess which model takes the first hit?
Aston Martin CEO Andy Palmer promised it at Toronto’s Canadian International Auto Show in February and today he delivered: the psychotic AM-RB 001 hypercar will shed its fax-machine name and henceforth will be known as the Valkyrie. Tremendous.
Oh, and Aston also used the Geneva Motor Show to introduce its own performance brand in the vein of AMG and M, to be called AMR.
Aston Martin is allowing customers to [s]ruin[/s] tailor any of its current models through its updated Q commission service. These bespoke Astons allow shoppers to choose specialty themes or create a completely unique car from scratch. Some of the early results are reminiscent of Bentley’s more interesting factory customizations of the Continental, but Aston Martin seems to be taking it even further.
While much of the new paint and fabrics on offer are absolutely gorgeous, especially those in the aptly named heritage collection, it would be very easy to assemble some of the other collections into a legendary eyesore.
Who loves stick shifts? Aston Martin CEO Andy Palmer loves stick shifts!
In an industry that’s rapidly heading towards autonomous vehicles, “mobility solutions” and other high-tech dreams of a 21st century society, Old World charm is becoming increasingly hard to find. Leave it to a British automaker to take a stand for old technology.
During a speech at the Canadian International Auto Show this morning, Palmer declared his devotion to the antiquated row-your-own transmission, stating that Aston Martin will always keep the three-pedal lifestyle alive.
I am considering adding a fourth car to my family fleet, and I’m seriously weighing the options between a new Ford Mustang GT coupe with a manual or a 2005-2008 (or so) Aston Martin DB9. This would be a car I would drive around 3,000 miles per year.
In anticipation of your first questions, my other cars are a 2004 Honda S2000 AP2, which I plan to keep forever, a 2013 VW Touareg VR6 and an utterly original 1991 Mercedes-Benz 420 SEL (W 126) with just 113k miles. I can afford, within reason, higher ownership costs associated with a luxury GT as long as the engine doesn’t have to come out of the car for service (like seemingly every Ferrari before the 360).
It looks like a DB9 coupe with under 30,000 miles can be had for around $45k or so. I’d love to find a manual gearbox but they are rare.
Please give me three good reasons why I should run to my local Ford dealer and find a ‘Stang. Or not. Thank you!