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    Drew Dowdell

    ...a preview of more to come...

    The Aston Martin DBX, the first SUV for the brand, will be debuting on November 20th in Beijing, China. However, some information and pictures have been released early. 
    The starting price of the DBX in the US will be $189,900.  A lot of money, but from the looks of the interior, it could be money well spent. The interior is draped in high quality leather, suede surfaces, and brushed metal trim.  AM says they spent 6-months just to determine the optimum seating position for 99th percentile male to the 5th percentile female.  This was done to make sure that all of the screens and even the hood are visible without restriction.  The center console is the floating bridge type that allows for storage underneath. 
    Order books for the  DBX open with the debut on the 20th of November. 


    Drew Dowdell

    The next film will feature an Aston Martin Rapide E

    The legendary character of James Bond is going green in the next film. But don't worry about Bond being put into a Pruis, the spy's ride will be an Aston Martin Rapide E sporting 602 horsepower and 700 lb-ft of torque. Only 155 Rapide Es will be built retailing at £250,000 ($331,822).
    The Rapide E has a top speed of 155 mph and can reach 60 from 0 in 4 seconds for fast getaways while the Pirelli P Zero tires feature sound deadening to make the vehicle as quiet as possible when sneaking up on villains. 
    The move is a push by director Cary Joji Fukunaga who is described as "a total tree-hugger". 
    The release of next Bond movie has been set back months by script re-writes and replacement of the original director.  Rami Malek who recently starred as Freddie Mercury in Bohemian Rhapsody is reportedly in talks to be the next Bond villain. 
    Aston Martin's ties with the Bond franchise goes back to 1964 when Bond drove an Aston Marti DB5 in Goldfinger. 
    Related:
     

    William Maley

    Yep, Aston Martin is getting into the SUV game

    Aston Martin is the latest automaker to join the SUV craze as they have revealed a development prototype for the upcoming DBX.
    The DBX name should sound familiar to some as Aston introduced a concept with the same name at the 2015 Geneva Motor Show. While the concept took a Vantage and gave it a slightly higher ride height, the prototype embraces a practical five-door layout. Oddly, the overall shape reminds us slightly of the Alfa Romeo Stelvio. The front end is pure Aston with a grille design seen on other models and slim headlights.
    Aston is being coy on other details about the DBX. We expect it to use a new platform that will underpin the upcoming Lagonda sedan and SUV. At launch, the DBX will come equipped with either a V8 or V12 engine. We expect a hybrid powertrain to come in the future considering where the DBX will be built (St. Athan air base in Wales), will become the “home of electrification” for the brand.
    “Seeing a DBX development prototype in action is a momentous chapter in the story of our first SUV, for it is the moment it really comes alive. DBX is so much more than ‘just’ an SUV; it will be the first model built at our brand-new facility in St Athan. As such, it is very much the start of a bold new era in the company’s long history,” said Aston Martin CEO Andy Palmer.
    Aston is planning to launch the DBX towards the end of 2019.
    Gallery: Aston Martin DBX Development Prototype

     
    DBX: PROTOTYPE OF ASTON MARTIN’S FIRST SUV BEGINS TESTING
    Name of Aston Martin’s first SUV officially confirmed as DBX  Prototype testing has commenced with DBX tackling Welsh Rally stage Extensive test programme will encompass some of the world’s harshest environments DBX programme on schedule for product launch in Q4 2019  14 November 2018, Gaydon, England: Aston Martin has made a significant and symbolic stride towards the luxury brand’s first SUV – now officially confirmed as being named DBX – with the first development prototype being put through its paces along a demanding Welsh Rally stage in the hands of the company’s Chief Engineer, Matt Becker.
     
    This first test for DBX signifies the start of an extensive testing programme. One that has begun in Wales, as a nod to Aston Martins’ new St Athan production facility in the Vale of Glamorgan. 
     
    Though simulation is an essential part of DBX’s early development phase, this first prototype drive in Wales signifies the start of ‘real world’ testing, in which the SUV will be subjected to a punishing regime that will ultimately see development prototypes of the all-new machine tackle some of the world’s harshest environments, from the frozen Arctic and scorching deserts of the Middle East to high Alpine passes and the high-speed demands of the German autobahnen and Nürburgring Nordschleife.
     
    The unique nature of DBX in the Aston Martin range means it requires a dedicated test programme; one that features new processes, procedures and standards that reflect its all-purpose role. So, while it will perform with the verve and poise of a true Aston Martin, its dynamic envelope has to extend into areas previously off-limits to the marque’s sporting roots. Naturally this includes impressive multi-terrain and towing capabilities as befits a state-of-the-art SUV.  
     
    Speaking of his drive in the DBX development prototype, Aston Martin Chief Engineer, Matt Becker, said: ‘We have already developed and tuned DBX in the driving simulator, which has enabled us to make excellent progress in advance of the first physical prototype cars being available. Still, it’s always a big day when you get to put the first actual miles on an early prototype and I’m delighted with the near perfect correlation between the simulator and this prototype. As an engineer, it’s genuinely exciting to get a feel for the car you’re working to create. DBX is a very different kind of Aston Martin, but we will be testing it in all conditions and across all terrains to ensure it delivers a driving experience worthy of the wings badge’
     
    DBX is scheduled to be unveiled in the last quarter of 2019 and will be built at Aston Martin Lagonda’s St Athan facility; a state-of-the-art luxury manufacturing plant that will ultimately become the ‘Home of Electrification’ when the marque’s fully-EV models enter production.
     
    Aston Martin Lagonda President and Group Chief Executive Officer, Andy Palmer said: “Seeing a DBX development prototype in action is a momentous chapter in the story of our first SUV, for it is the moment it really comes alive. DBX is so much more than ‘just’ an SUV; it will be the first model built at our brand-new facility in St Athan. As such, it is very much the start of a bold new era in the company’s long history.”

    William Maley

    Reveals info on the powertrain and range

    September is turning out to be a month focusing on electric vehicles. Already, Mercedes-Benz has pulled the cover off the EQC and Audi is planning to reveal the E-Tron crossover next week. Now Aston Martin has announced official specifications for its first electric vehicle, the Rapide E.
    The model being worked on with Williams Advanced Engineering will use two electric motors on the rear axle to deliver 602 horsepower and 700 pound-feet of torque. 0-60 mph is said to take under 4 seconds and the Rapide E can hit a top speed of 155 mph. A 65-kwh lithium-ion battery pack is estimated to provide a range of over 200 miles on the new WTLP test cycle - somewhat disappointing when compared to the likes of the Tesla Model S 75D which offers a range of 259 miles. Using a 50kW charger, the Rapide E can get a 150 mile charge in just an hour. There will also be a 100kW charger that provides a charge of 5 miles per minute. 
    The Rapide E's exterior and underbody has been tweaked to improve aerodynamics. This includes a unique design for the wheels. The Pirelli P Zero tires feature sound deadening to help make the vehicle as quiet as possible.
    Aston is only planning to build 155 Rapide Es when production kicks off late next year. The model will be used as a rolling testbed for future Aston and Lagonda electric vehicles.
    "As our first all-electric production model, Rapide E will fast-track our knowledge and help us ensure the character and high-performance capabilities of our future EV models and enhance the unique qualities found in all Aston Martins as we know them today. Rapide E will also serve as a critical step on our path to re-launching Lagonda as the world’s first zero-emission luxury marque," said Andy Palmer, CEO of Aston Martin.
    Source: Aston Martin


    Rapide E: Secrets of First All-Electric Aston Martin Revealed
    Rapide E to be Aston Martin’s first Battery Electric Vehicle (BEV) Product name confirmed as ‘Rapide E’ Aston Martin developing Rapide E with Williams Advanced Engineering Production run of 155 units Twin electric motors to produce over 610PS and 950Nm of torque creating most powerful Rapide model Features innovative 800V battery system; DC/DC converter facilitates fast charging, even on 400V network Cars will be built in dedicated facility at Aston Martin’s St. Athan site First customer deliveries scheduled for Q4 2019 12 September 2018, Millbrook, England: With development of Aston Martin’s first all-electric production car – the Rapide E – progressing apace, the luxury British marque has today confirmed a raft of technical details for the strictly limited 155-unit special edition.
    Working closely with Williams Advanced Engineering (WAE) as its development partner, Aston Martin has utilised the hugely successful leader in Electric Vehicle (EV) technology to kickstart a new era for Aston Martin’s powertrain technology and overcome the technical challenges associated with packaging the battery system and motors within the space available.
    Throughout the development process, the engineering team have focused on achieving effective cooling of the batteries and motor to ensure consistent performance, while strict weight targets have been stringently observed using lightweight alloys and carbon composite materials.
    Rapide E will be powered by an 800V battery electrical architecture with 65kWh installed capacity using over 5600 lithium ion 18650 format cylindrical cells. These are mounted in a bespoke battery pack where the original 6.0-litre V12, its gearbox and fuel tank were located. This battery system powers two rear mounted electric motors producing a combined target output of just over 610PS and a colossal 950Nm of torque.
     
    Rapide E’s range target is over 200 miles under the Worldwide Harmonised Light Vehicle Test Procedure (WLTP), while the model is capable of charging at a rate of 1851,2 miles of range per hour using a typical 400V 50kW charger. However, the car’s 800V high-voltage battery system enables faster charging of 3101,2 miles of range per hour, using an 800V outlet delivering 100kW or higher.
     
    Being an Aston Martin, the Rapide E is being developed with a high-performance objective. Projected top speed for the Rapide E is 155mph, with a sub-4.0sec 0-60mph time and a 50-70mph time of just 1.5sec. It’s important to stress that these figures are not restricted to a narrow window only when the batteries are fully-charged. Instead the target is for maximum performance on-demand throughout majority of the battery state of charge window, as would be expected from a conventional internal combustion-engined car. This includes the ability to drive a full lap of the Nürburgring with absolutely no derating of the battery and the ability to cope with the daily demands of repeated hard acceleration and braking.
     
    The car’s exterior and underbody has also been aerodynamically optimised and complemented with newly-designed aerodynamic wheels. Shod with Pirelli P-Zero low rolling-resistance tyres featuring noise-cancelling foam, Rapide E aims to achieve higher levels of aerodynamic, frictional losses and cooling performance over the standard Rapide S.
     
    It has also been an objective of the project to retain and enhance the feel, character and delivery of the V12-engined Rapide S. To this end, careful attention will be paid to the development and tuning of both the electric powertrain and the chassis, with particular focus applied to software integration. The rear-wheel drive Rapide E’s twin electric motors will drive through a Limited-Slip Differential, which combined with revised spring and damper rates ensures the pure handling characteristics for which the petrol-powered Rapide S is already renowned.
     
    Though the Rapide E will be built in low volumes, it is being subjected to Aston Martin’s stringent and exhaustive testing protocols, with the dedicated WAE team working closely alongside Aston Martin personnel to ensure every aspect of the prototype test programme follows the marque’s established procedures. Uniquely, customers will be an extended part of the ongoing Rapide E programme, with their comments and driving experiences providing an invaluable stream of feedback that will help shape and improve future Aston Martin EVs.
    In addition to WAE, the Rapide E programme enjoys the support of other technical partners including Hyperbat Limited – a new joint venture company between Williams Advanced Engineering and Unipart Manufacturing Group – as the battery manufacturer, Integral Powertrain Technologies for the electric motors, Xtrac for the transmission and the H1PERBAT project consortium with grant funding from the Advanced Propulsion Centre. 
    Speaking of the Rapide E programme, Andy Palmer, CEO Aston Martin, commented: “Environmental responsibility and sustainability is a global challenge faced by us all. As a career automotive engineer, I’m proud that the car industry is leading the way in finding long-term solutions and reducing harmful emissions. As Aston Martin’s CEO, I take particular satisfaction working with Williams Advanced Engineering and our other associated technology partners to bring Rapide E to reality. As our first all-electric production model, Rapide E will fast-track our knowledge and help us ensure the character and high-performance capabilities of our future EV models and enhance the unique qualities found in all Aston Martins as we know them today. Rapide E will also serve as a critical step on our path to re-launching Lagonda as the world’s first zero-emission luxury marque”.

    Rapide E will be built at the upcoming St. Athan production facility, announced as the future ‘Home of Electrification’ for both the Aston Martin and Lagonda brands. Aston Martin is accepting expressions of interest via its global dealership network, with pricing available on application. Customer deliveries are set for Q4 2019.

    William Maley

    Its stupid and completely unnecessary... I love it.

    Remember the Aston Martin Cygnet? It's ok if you don't as the vehicle is a bit of an odd unicorn. This is basically a Toyota/Scion iQ in fancy clothing that was aimed at Aston customers who wanted a small city car. The model was a flop and would be killed off in 2013.
    Recently, a Cygnet owner called up Q by Aston Martin personalization department to make his/her vehicle somewhat special. The end result is this, the V8 Cygnet. Yes, Aston Martin's engineers swapped the 1.3L four-cylinder for the 4.7L V8 from the last-generation Vantage S. Horsepower has increased from 97 to 430. Aston says the V8 Cygnet can hit 60 mph in 4.2 seconds and reaches a top speed 170 mph.
    The Cygnet underwent some significant surgery to handle this newfound power. Engineers added a small torque tube to send power to the rear wheels, fabricated a new firewall and transmission tunnel from scratch; borrowed a number of suspension parts from Vantage, and installed wider wheel arches for larger brakes and tires.
    Inside, Q welded in a full roll cage, and installed Recaro bucket seats with four-point harnesses along with a FIA-compliant fire suppression system. The driver faces a removable, Alcantara-covered steering wheel and an instrument cluster from the Vantage. One nice touch is Aston Martin leaving in the air conditioning system.
    “The V8 Cygnet shows the fun side of both Aston Martin and its customers. It is also a fine example of the engineering talent within the company as it’s no small achievement to fit the Vantage’s V8 engine so harmoniously into the Cygnet’s compact body. I am sure that it will amaze and thrill people when they see and hear it on the hill at the Festival of Speed,” said Aston Martin Vice President & Special Operations Officer, David King.
    The V8 Cygnet will be making itself known this weekend as it runs up the hill at the Goodwood Festival of Speed in the UK.
    Source: Aston Martin


    ASTON MARTIN V8 CYGNET: THE ULTIMATE CITY CAR
    A one-off creation for a customer through the ‘Q by Aston Martin – Commission’ service 4.7-litre, naturally aspirated V8 sits under the bonnet and drives the rear wheels Carbon composite flared wheel arch extensions Power-to-weight ratio of 313bhp/tonne Thursday 12 July 2018, Goodwood: One of the most exciting, outrageous and diminutive creations ever to wear the famous Aston Martin wings will be making its world debut at the 2018 Goodwood Festival of Speed. Dubbed the ‘The Ultimate City Car’, a one-off Aston Martin Cygnet has been built with a 4.7-litre, 430bhp V8 engine from the Vantage S and a very short torque tube.
     
    The V8 Cygnet has been brought to life for a single customer through the ‘Q by Aston Martin – Commission’ service. This section of the British marque’s bespoke personalisation service allows the ultimate in freedom of expression when designing an Aston Martin and the V8 Cygnet continues to push these boundaries.
     
    Aston Martin Vice President & Special Operations Officer, David King said: “The V8 Cygnet shows the fun side of both Aston Martin and its customers. It is also a fine example of the engineering talent within the company as it’s no small achievement to fit the Vantage’s V8 engine so harmoniously into the Cygnet’s compact body. I am sure that it will amaze and thrill people when they see and hear it on the hill at the Festival of Speed.”
     
    Developed in-house by Aston Martin’s engineers, the starting point for the project was a right-hand drive Cygnet steel body shell and panels. A roll cage was welded to this, becoming an integral part of the chassis in the process, while a new front bulkhead and transmission tunnel were fabricated from sheet metal to accommodate the characterful 4.7-litre naturally aspirated V8 Vantage S powertrain. Subframes and suspension are also derived from the previous generation Vantage and a steel fuel tank housing has been mounted in the boot area, utilizing every inch of space.
     
    Despite all this work, the car remains very recognisably a Cygnet from the outside. The face of the little Aston Martin remains largely untouched, with no extra bulges in the bonnet and just a subtle black mesh for the famous grille. However, there is no disguising the extra width of the wheel arches. In order to accommodate the significantly wider front and rear tracks, beautiful carbon composite flared extensions were made. These also house the new forged, five-spoke, diamond-turned wheels, which have grown from 16” to 19” in diameter.
     
    At the rear of the car the distinguishing new feature of the V8 Cygnet is the central twin exhaust pipes. The exhaust is a bespoke system with twin underfloor mufflers and catalytic converters. With relatively short distances involved from manifold to tail pipe the V8 Cygnet has a voice that belies its compact size.
     
    The engine itself is the 4.7-litre, naturally-aspirated V8 that is more usually found beneath the bonnet of the previous-generation Vantage S. Bespoke intake trunking had to be designed and there are twin conical air filters. There is no sense in which the engine has been neutered for the Cygnet, however, with power and torque figures remaining at 430bhp and 490NM (361lb ft) respectively.
     
    The gearbox is also taken from the V8 Vantage S with a seven-speed Sportshift II transmission taking care of the shifting. Power is transferred via a miniature torque tube to the 9.5” rear wheels, which are complemented by 275/35 Bridgestone tyres.
     
    Weighing just 1375kg when full of fluids, the V8 Cygnet has a power-to-weight ratio of 313bhp/tonne. As a result, the V8 Cygnet is capable of accelerating faster than the V8 Vantage S with 0-60mph taking just 4.2 seconds. With a top speed of 170mph it is over 60mph faster than the regular Cygnet.
     
    Braking is taken care of by 380mm discs clamped by six-piston monoblock calipers at the front and 330mm discs gripped by four-piston mono block calipers at the rear. The calipers are painted yellow to contrast with the Buckinghamshire green of the bodywork. Most of the remaining parts of the braking system are taken from the V8 Vantage S with ABS and a fixed brake bias valve. Inside, there is a bespoke brake pedal housed in the V8 Vantage-derived pedal box.
     
    The rest of the interior is largely indicative of the fact that this V8 Cygnet could easily be used for competition. In addition to the roll cage there is a fully FIA compliant fire extinguisher system and seating is taken care of by composite, fixed back Recaro bucket seats with four-point harnesses. The alcantara covered steering wheel is removable and behind this sits a bespoke carbon dash with the familiar Vantage instrument cluster. There are, of course, little touches of luxury inside as well, with leather pull straps on the unique carbon door cards and two USB ports alongside the bespoke controls for the air conditioning.
     
    This very special one-off Cygnet is a timely reminder of what a ground-breaking car the original was, bringing luxury to the city car segment. What’s more, the market place shows that prices of Cygnets are rising as it looks set to become a future classic. Of course, classic status is already almost assured for this new V8 version of the Cygnet that epitomises the concept of a ‘pocket rocket’ and is sure to be a firm favourite of the crowds at the Goodwood Festival of Speed this weekend as it joins a plethora of other Aston Martins on the hillclimb.
    V8 Cygnet – Technical Specification
     
    Body: 
    RHD Cygnet steel bodyshell and panels with integrated welded-in cage
    Sheet metal fabricated front bulkhead and transmission tunnel
    Vantage subframes
    Steel fuel tank housing mounted in the boot area
    Carbon composite flared wheel arch extensions
    Mesh front grille
    Dark exterior hardware
    Body painted Buckinghamshire Green
    Yellow brake calipers
     
    Interior:
    Two seat configuration
    Fixed back Recaro composite driver and passenger seats with
    Adjustable seat runners driver’s side, fixed position passenger side
    Four-point harnesses
    Bespoke carbon composite instrument panel incorporating Vantage instrument cluster
    Bespoke HVAC controls
    Twin USB ports
    Bespoke carbon fibre door cards with leather pull straps and Cygnet door release handles
    Full FIA compliant fire extinguisher system
    Removable alcantara steering wheel
     
    Engine:  
    All-Alloy Quad Overhead Camshaft, 4.7-litre V8
    Dry sump lubrication
    Front mid-mounted engine, rear-wheel drive
    Vantage S cooling system
    Twin concial air filters on bespoke intake trunking
    Bespoke exhaust system with twin underfloor mufflers and catalytic convertors
    Twin centre exit tailpipes
    30-litre ATL Savercell fuel tank
     
    Electrical System:
    V8 Vantage S electrical architecture
    Cygnet front and rear lights
    FIA compliant cut off and isolation system
    Rear mounted battery
    Bespoke lightweight HVAC system
     
    Performance
    Maximum Power: 430bhp
    Maximum Torque: 490Nm (361lb ft)
    Maximum Speed: 170 mph (274 km/h)
    Acceleration: 0-60 mph in 4.2secs
     
    Transmission: 
    V8 Vantage S seven-speed Sportshift II gearbox
    Bespoke torque tube with steel propeller shaft
    Limited-slip differential
     
    Suspension:  
    Front Independent double wishbone, coil springs, anti-roll bar and passive dampers
    Rear Independent double wishbone, coil springs, anti-roll bar and passive dampers
     
    Wheels and Tyres
    Lightweight forged five-spoke silver diamond turned wheels
    Bridgestone tyres
    Front 8.5×19” 235/40/19
    Rear 9.5×19” 275/35/19
     
    Brakes:  
    V8 Vantage S braking system with ABS and fixed brake bias valve
    Front 6-piston monoblock calipers, 380mm 2 piece floating ventilated discs
    Rear 4-piston monoblock calipers 330mm 2 piece co-cast ventilated discs
    V8 Vantage derived pedal box with bespoke brake pedal                     
     
    Dimensions
    Length:                                   3708mm
    Width:                                     1920mm (excluding door mirrors)
    Height:                                    1500mm
    Wheelbase:                            2020mm
    Front Track:                            1570mm
    Rear Track:                             1560mm
    Weight:                                   1375kg (kerbweight)
    Weight Distribution:                50%/50% (Front/Rear)

    William Maley
    Within less than a decade, Aston Martin's lineup will be comprised of electric and hybrid vehicles.
    "By the mid-2020s, every model in our lineup — all series production cars — will either have hybridization or will be fully EV," said Simon Sproule, Aston Martin's global chief marketing officer to Automotive News.
    This is part of Aston's Second Century plan that began back in 2015. Aside from introducing new versions of its core lineup (DB11, Rapide, Vanquish, and Vantage), the plan calls for seven additional models, including a mid-engine sportscar and luxury crossover. The plans also calls for shorter life cycles for each vehicle generation, which means the likes of the DB11 and Vantage will be up for replacement as Aston works on their electrification plans.
    This move comes on the heels of Volvo and Jaguar/Land Rover announcing plans to electrify their lineups in the near future, and various European governments setting stricter emission standards.
    As we reported back in June, Aston's first electric vehicle, the RapidE will launch in 2019. An all-electric and plug-in hybrid version of the DBX are due sometime after.
    Source: Automotive News (Subscription Required)
     

    William Maley

    Aston Martin announces their first electric vehicle, though with some changes

    About two years ago, Aston Martin unveiled the RapidE concept which took a standard Rapide and swapped the V12 for an electric powertrain. At the time, the company was planning to put this model into production. Today, the company made it official.
    Aston Martin announced that the production version of the RapidE would begin rolling off the assembly line in 2019. The model would be based on the Rapide AMR - more extreme version with changes to the chassis and bodywork. Information on the powertrain and range will be announced at a later date. Development work will be carried out by Williams Advanced Engineering - the folks who helped out with the Rapid E Concept. Aston says they will only 155 RapidE models.
    But according to Reuters, plans for the RapidE looked very different. Last February, Aston Martin announced a partnership with Chinese conglomerate LeEco (best known for being a key investor into EV startup Faraday Future). The two pledged to launch an all-electric Rapide by 2018 by jointly developing and manufacturing. But LeEco pulled out of the project sometime this year due to major financial issues. This caused Aston Martin to scramble and make some major changes. Aston Martin CEO Andy Palmer said the company reduced the number of vehicles it was originally planning (by two-thirds) and will be relying heavily on Williams in the development.
    "We've decided to make this car rare, which will obviously tend to push the price higher. Aston Martin now plans to proceed independently, funding further development of RapidE by ourselves," said Palmer.
    Source: Reuters, Aston Martin
    Press Release is on Page 2


    ASTON MARTIN CONFIRMS PRODUCTION OF FIRST ALL-ELECTRIC MODEL
    Aston Martin confirms production of RapidE – the brand’s first all-electric model Williams Advanced Engineering confirmed as lead engineering partner RapidE will be based on the Rapide AMR  Limited build run of 155 cars with production set for 2019 27 June 2017, Gaydon: Less than two years after being unveiled as a concept, Aston Martin is today confirming that the all-electric RapidE will enter production in 2019.
    Set for a limited production run of 155 cars, RapidE is Aston Martin’s first all-electric model. As such it spearheads development of the brand’s low- and zero-emission vehicle strategy laid out by Aston Martin’s President and CEO, Dr Andy Palmer, in the company’s Second Century Plan.
    RapidE sees a continuation of the collaboration with Williams Advanced Engineering who worked on the original RapidE Concept. Based in Grove, Oxfordshire, Williams Advanced Engineering will assist Aston Martin with the complex task of engineering integration.
    Based upon the forthcoming Rapide AMR concept, RapidE will deliver four-door sports car looks and dynamics of the Rapide S powered by an all-electric powertrain replacing the six-litre V12 engine. More information will be revealed about the RapidE’s all-electric powertrain in due course. Thhe instantaneous delivery characteristics of electric motors means the RapidE will offer a unique driving experience of a kind not experienced before in an Aston Martin.
    Aston Martin President and CEO, Dr Andy Palmer, said of the RapidE: “Having unveiled the RapidE Concept back in October 2015 we reach another milestone with the confirmation that we are now putting the first all-electric Aston Martin into production. RapidE represents a sustainable future in which Aston Martin’s values of seductive style and supreme performance don’t merely co-exist alongside a new zero-emission powertrain, but are enhanced by it. The internal combustion engine has been at the heart of Aston Martin for more than a century, and will continue to be for years to come. RapidE will showcase Aston Martin’s vision, desire and capability to successfully embrace radical change, delivering a new breed of car that stays true to our ethos and delights our customers.”    
    Paul McNamara, Technical Director at Williams Advanced Engineering said: “Williams Advanced Engineering has always endeavoured to work collaboratively with its customers to meet their sustainability challenges and find energy efficient solutions. For today’s car manufacturers, this is particularly important as legislation demands more energy efficient vehicles. This project with Aston Martin will draw on the extensive battery and EV experience we have accumulated and we are extremely pleased to be supporting this prestigious British company with their future electrification strategy.”

    William Maley

    Watch out Bentley and Rolls-Royce!

    Aston Martin will soon be relaunching the Lagonda brand as a competitor to the likes of Bentley and Rolls-Royce. Speaking with Motoring, Aston Martin boss Andy Palmer said Lagonda would standard apart from its parent company.
    “Historically, Lagonda competed with the likes of Rolls and Bentley. [but] it has been largely dormant or has often been used as a sub brand… or a pet name of Aston, so lots of confusion. We’re going to get rid of the confusion… The direction I gave to Marek [Reichman, Aston Design boss] was look, Rolls Royce, is the epitome of luxury. It’s first class in a [Boeing] 777 – big, comfortable, we can’t compete with them. [So instead] Give me Concorde – the best of speed; the finest of fastest cars," said Palmer.
    The Lagonda lineup will comprise of two models, although what they will be is unknown at this time. Palmer says he hasn't signed off on plans for either model. He does admit it will likely be a sedan and SUV. Both models will use Aston's bonded aluminium platform and not one from their partner, Mercedes-Benz. Both models are expected to debut sometime in the next decade.
    Source: Motoring

    William Maley

    When Aston Goes Electric!

    A couple months back, we reported that Aston Martin is working on electric version of the Rapide to deal with stricter emission standards and increased competition from the Tesla Model S. Today, we get our first glimpse at what that might look like.

    The RapidE concept may look like your standard Rapide on the outside - aside from the somewhat goofy graphics. But underneath is where a new electric powertrain developed with Williams Advanced Engineering. Now technical details on the RapidE concept are non-existent. But Autocar was able to gleam some powertrain information on a possible production model from CEO Andy Palmer. The first model will produce around 550 horsepower - a similar number to the current Rapide - and have an overall range of 200 Miles. The second model will be super-performance version with an electric motor on each wheel. Total output is expected to be around 800 to 1000 horsepower.

    Along with the debut of the RapidE concept, Aston Martin announced a new deal with Chinese investment firm ChinaEquity to explore the possibility of putting the RapidE concept into production. If its given the green light, we could be seeing a production model in about two years time.

    “We see luxury electric vehicles as an intrinsic part of our future product portfolio and welcome ChinaEquity into the next phase of study for the project development. The exciting RapidE concept tangibly demonstrates the capability and ambition of Aston Martin towards developing low- and zero-emission sports cars," said Palmer in a statement.

    Source: Aston Martin, Autocar



    http://youtu.be/uPHWfahHRi8

    Press Release is on Page 2



    Aston Martin Unveils Electric Concept Rapide During State Visit
    World debut of Aston Martin full electric RapidE concept Chinese investors engaged in study towards first all-electric Aston Martin Aston Martin and ChinaEquity to explore concept’s production potential
    21 October 2015, Gaydon: Aston Martin is today showcasing a fully electric concept of its Rapide S four-door sports saloon outside Lancaster House in London – the venue for a meeting between Their Royal Highnesses Prince William, Duke of Cambridge; Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge and President of The People’s Republic of China, Xi Jinping.

    The new RapidE concept has been developed in collaboration with Williams Advanced Engineering at its facility in Grove, Oxfordshire. It is on display today in support of a creative summit organised by the British government’s successful GREAT campaign to showcase the best of what the UK has to offer and encourage people to visit, do business, invest and study in this country.

    Aston Martin CEO, Dr Andy Palmer, said: “We see luxury electric vehicles as an intrinsic part of our future product portfolio and welcome ChinaEquity into the next phase of study for the project development.

    “The exciting RapidE concept tangibly demonstrates the capability and ambition of Aston Martin towards developing low- and zero-emission sports cars.”

    During the Lancaster House event, Aston Martin and Chinese investment group, ChinaEquity, announced an agreement to explore the development of a production version of the RapidE concept. If successful, the new luxury sports car would be constructed at Aston Martin’s global HQ in Gaydon, Warwickshire, and could be brought to market in around two years.

    On the signing of this agreement, Chairman Chaoyong Wang of ChinaEquity said, "We are delighted that Aston Martin not only provides a high performance driving experience to customers, but also show’s their social responsibility by showcasing a new generation of electric car with zero emissions. We are excited to participate in the development of the RapidE and to make a contribution to Sino-British clean energy and green environmental strategy. We feel confident that there are significant opportunities for electric cars in China and the world."

    Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster Rt Hon Oliver Letwin MP who has supported the development of the project said: “Aston Martin is an iconic British brand, and I welcome their agreement today with ChinaEquity. It is a great example of British and Chinese businesses working together to develop links and bring benefits to the UK economy. It also demonstrates how a collaboration between the UK and China can develop the innovative low emission solutions needed to tackle the pressing global issue of air quality.”

    William Maley

    Aston's CEO Reveals An Electrifying Plan for the Rapide

    Aston Martin is readying their own electric vehicle. Speaking with Automotive News at the Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance, Aston CEO Andy Palmer revealed that the British sports car maker will be launching an all-electric version of its four-door Rapide in the next two years.
     
    The emphasis on electric cars for Aston Martin is being driven by two key factors; emissions and competition from the Tesla Model S.
     
    “If you want to keep making V-12 engines, then you’ve got to do something at the opposite end of the spectrum,” said Palmer.
     
    This is important in markets in China where emission standards are becoming stricter for V8 and V12 engines.
     
    Also, Aston Martin is going on the offensive. Palmer points to the Tesla Model S and says there is an opportunity for a sexy and powerful electric car to sit above the P90 D, Tesla's most powerful model.
     
    “What Tesla clearly shows you is we haven’t hit the ceiling in terms of price. But I think it’s hard, though not impossible, for them as a relatively new brand to keep pushing up and to go into that super premier area,” said Palmer.
     
    Palmer did give some details of what he hopes for the electric Rapide: 800 horsepower, all-wheel drive, a range of 200 Miles, and a pricetag around $200,000 to $250,000.
     
    Source: Automotive News (Subscription Required)

    William Maley

    Two models to replace one? That's what Aston Martin has planned for the Rapide.

    Aston Martin has an interesting plan when it comes time to replace the somewhat old Rapide. Car and Driver spoke with Aston Martin CEO Andy Palmer who said they have two new models that will take the place of the Rapide; a new crossover and a sport sedan wearing the Lagonda nameplate.
    “However, we have a [further] business plan, and within that there’s three legs to the strategy. First is replacing the entire sports-car range; second is the DBX, and that appeals to a different set of audiences; and the third is the sports sedan, which will carry that beautiful badge,” (Lagonda label pin on his coat) said Palmer.
    First off is a production version of the DBX concept shown at the Geneva Motor Show. Whereas the concept looked like a V8/V12 Vantage with an increase in ride height and electric powertrain, the production model will go with a five-door style and come powered with either a gas and plug-in hybrid powertrain.
    As for the new sport sedan wearing the Lagonda name, this isn't the current sedan known as the Lagonda Taraf that will be sold in Middle East and a few other markets. Instead it will be an all new model.
    Source: Car and Driver

    William Maley

    Aston Martin's DB10 Plays Alongside James Bond

    Over the course of his long and fictitious career in espionage, secret agent James Bond has driven a wide variety of vehicles. But he is synonymous with Aston Martin. In many of the films, Bond can be seen driving in a DB5, V8 Vantage, DB7, and most recently, the DBS. But the next James Bond film will feature a new Aston Martin.
    Called the DB10, the vehicle will star along side Daniel Craig in the upcoming Spectre. Aston Martin didn't release any technical details about the vehicle, but did go into some detail about the design which breaks away somewhat from the current design language that has been a part of the company for awhile. Working with EON Productions – the studio responsible for the Bond films – Aston Martin's design team led by Marek Reichman created a new shape that is similar in size to the current V8 Vantage.
    "In the same year that we celebrate our 50-year relationship with 007, it seems doubly fitting that today we unveiled this wonderful new sports car created especially for James Bond. To be partnering once again with EON Productions is great news for this company and for everyone around the world that loves to see Bond at the wheel of an Aston Martin. I'm incredibly proud of everyone in the team at Gaydon who have brought this special project from concept to reality," said Aston Martin CEO Andy Palmer.
    Aston Martin will be building ten of these special models. You'll be able to see the DB10 in action when Spectre releases next November.
    Source: Aston Martin
    Press Release is on Page 2
    Built for Bond: Aston Martin debuts unique car for Spectre
    - Aston Martin DB10 created specifically for new Bond film
    - Partnership with EON Productions spans 50 years of cinema history- Demonstrates the breadth of Aston Martin's bespoke capabilities
    4 December 2014, Gaydon: Aston Martin together with EON Productions, the producers of the James Bond film franchise, unveiled Bond's stunning new car, the Aston Martin DB10, on the 007 stage at Pinewood Studios.
    The luxury British sports car brand is delighted to confirm that James Bond will once again drive an Aston Martin in Spectre. On this occasion, it will be a model developed specifically for the film and built in-house by the brand's design and engineering teams.
    Led by Aston Martin Chief Creative Officer, Marek Reichman, the design team worked closely with the film's director, Sam Mendes, to create the ultimate car for the world's most famous spy.
    Celebrating the great British brand's half century with Bond, which started with the iconic DB5, the DB10 gives a glimpse to the future design direction for the next generation of Aston Martins.
    Dr Andy Palmer, CEO of Aston Martin, said: "In the same year that we celebrate our 50-year relationship with 007, it seems doubly fitting that today we unveiled this wonderful new sports car created especially for James Bond.
    "To be partnering once again with EON Productions is great news for this company and for everyone around the world that loves to see Bond at the wheel of an Aston Martin.
    "I'm incredibly proud of everyone in the team at Gaydon who have brought this special project from concept to reality."
    Production will be strictly limited to 10 of the bespoke sports cars, developed and built by the designers, engineers and highly skilled craftspeople at Aston Martin's Gaydon headquarters.
    Spectre is due for general release on 6 November 2015.

    William Maley

    End of the line of Aston Martin In the U.S.?

    Aston Martin could lose a big market in the U.S. if federal regulators don’t exempt the brand from an upcoming safety rule.
    The rule in question deals with new side-impact crash regulations that require vehicles to better withstand the impact from running into a pole or tree. This rule has been phased in over the past few years, but low-volume manufacturers like Aston Martin have been given an exemption runs out this month. Convertibles built by low-volume manufacturers don't lose their exemption till next September.
    According to Reuters, Aston Martin reached out to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration in March asking for exemptions up until 2017 for the DB9 and Vantage. These happen to be the oldest models in Aston Martin's lineup. Aston Martin explained that with money tight during the recent recession, they weren't able to redesign the DB9 and Vantage to meet the upcoming standards. The lack of the exemption would cause "substantial economic hardship" to Aston Martin, including the possible closure of dealers in the U.S.
    A spokesperson for NHTSA told Reuters that a decision hasn't been made at this time.
    "The agency has been in contact with Aston Martin regarding their exemption request and is awaiting additional information from their dealers," the spokesperson said.
    Source: Reuters
    William Maley is a staff writer for Cheers & Gears. He can be reached at william.maley@cheersandgears.com or you can follow him on twitter at @realmudmonster.

    William Maley

    Aston Martin Gets A New CEO

    Since the end of 2013, Aston Martin has been without a CEO and the automaker has been on the hunt for one since. But now, the British sports car maker has found one. In a statement released today, Aston Martin has announced that Andy Palmer of Nissan is the company's new CEO.
    "Andy's wealth of experience on the global automotive stage in marketing and sales, engineering and technology, and luxury and brand management will be instrumental in taking Aston Martin forward through its most significant and ambitious period of investment to date," said Aston Martin in a statement.
    Palmer has been with Nissan for many years, and was most recently the company's Chief Planning Officer and chairman of Infiniti. Taking Palmer's place as CPO is Philippe Klein, who is currently the head of product planning at Renault.
    Source: Aston Martin
    Press Release is on Page 2
    Andrew Palmer is the New CEO of Aston Martin
    Gaydon, UK; 2nd September 2014: Aston Martin Lagonda ("Aston Martin") is pleased to announce that Aston Martin will appoint Andrew Palmer as its new Chief Executive Officer to lead the company in its next phase of technology and product creation. Dr Palmer, 51, will join Aston Martin from Nissan Motor Corporation where he served as Chief Planning Officer. Palmer will assume operational responsibility for all aspects of the business.
    'Andy' Palmer CMG is a British-born chartered engineer, chartered manager and businessman with 35 years of automotive industry experience. Palmer was Chief Planning Officer, Executive Vice President and Member of the Executive Committee of Nissan Motor Company reporting directly to the President and CEO. His responsibilities included Corporate and Product Planning, Program Management, Electric Vehicles, Global Marketing Communications, Global Sales and IS/IT. Palmer also served as Chairman of Infiniti.
    Palmer's duties at Aston Martin will commence after he completes a transition period from his current employer.
    Palmer started his professional career in 1979 aged 16, as an apprentice at Automotive Products Limited (UK). In 1986 he joined Austin Rover to eventually become Transmissions Chief Engineer of Rover Group. Palmer joined Nissan in 1991 and was based in Japan for the past 13 years.
    In 2012, Palmer was named the automotive industry's most influential British executive by Auto Express, and in 2013, the world's third most influential Chief Marketing Officer (after Apple and Samsung CMO's) by the CMO Influence Study, conducted by marketing firm Appinions for Forbes magazine. Furthermore, among Interbrand's Best Global Green Brands 2013, Nissan claimed the fifth position with Palmer being credited with "elevating marketing to a science." Palmer was appointed Companion of the Order of St Michael and St George (CMG) in the 2014 New Year Honours for services to the British automotive industry.
    A statement from the shareholder board of Aston Martin said, "We're delighted that Andy will join us as our new CEO at this important time at Aston Martin. Andy's wealth of experience on the global automotive stage in marketing and sales, engineering and technology, and luxury and brand management will be instrumental in taking Aston Martin forward through its most significant and ambitious period of investment to date."

    William Maley

    The Lagonda SUV May Have Been Canned

    Every luxury automaker it seems has gone mad for SUVs. Companies like Lamborghini, Bentley, and even Rolls-Royce are hard at work on a SUV. But it seems that one has possibly gone back on their plans.
    Back in 2009, Aston Martin showed off the Lagonda SUV concept. Reactions to the concept were mixed to say in the least. But former CEO Dr. Ulrich Bez said the company was considering go ahead with the project. Now Aston Martin's Director of Design, Marek Reichman hints that SUV may have been axed.
    “We first showed the Lagonda SUV concept back in 2009. We still have plans for the brand. There might be some surprises in the marque’s re-establishment into the market place, but as a very unique coachbuilt experience. And that’s probably what’s most befitting of the brand,” said Reichman to Piston Heads.
    “It’s more. It’s the reinvention of the marque, the brand, but done in a very, very limited way. It’s not something we believe that is a mass product.”
    What are these plans? A possible one is an exclusive four-door sedan. Earlier this year, spy shots captured a distinctive four-door sedan undergoing testing by Aston Martin. The speculation is that sedan will be a Lagonda.
    Source: Piston Heads, Autoblog
    William Maley is a staff writer for Cheers & Gears. He can be reached atwilliam.maley@cheersandgears.com or you can follow him on twitter at @realmudmonster.

    William Maley

    Coming Soon To Aston Martin Vehicles: Engines From AMG

    It was five months ago that Aston Martin and Mercedes-Benz signed a letter of intent to begin a technical partnership between the British sports car maker and the German's automaker fast branch, AMG. Now, the two have announced the technical partnership is a go.
    As part of this of this new partnership, Aston Martin will work with AMG on building bespoke V8 engines for their lineup. In return, Mercedes-Benz's parent company, Diamler AG will get five percent of non-voting shares in the automaker and receive observer status on the board.
    "Our company is this year celebrating its centenary, and the partnership agreed today underpins prospects for Aston Martin's bright, vibrant and dynamic second century in the sports car business. This strategic collaboration for Aston Martin will, in our next generation of luxury sports cars, offer our customers increased performance and efficiency whilst retaining the unique character and style of an Aston Martin," said a Aston Martin spokesman.
    Source: Aston Martin
    Press Release is on Page 2
    ASTON MARTIN AND DAIMLER SIGN TECHNICAL PARTNERSHIP AGREEMENTS
    - Supply and development agreements for engines signed
    - Electric/Electronic (E/E) component supply planned- Daimler to receive up to five per cent equity in Aston Martin
    Thursday 19 December, 2013, Gaydon/Stuttgart: Aston Martin Lagonda Ltd and Daimler AG have signed an agreement for a significant technical partnership between Aston Martin, Daimler and Mercedes-AMG GmbH, a 100% subsidiary and high-performance brand of German automotive corporation Daimler AG.
    Following the signing of a Letter of Intent in July the two companies have continued to work together, exploring opportunities for co-operation and these discussions have resulted in the signing of definitive agreements.
    The agreement will allow Mercedes-AMG and Aston Martin to develop bespoke V8 engines supporting Aston Martin's launch of a next generation of models that will incorporate cutting edgetechnology and newly-developed engines, combining high performance and fuel efficiency.
    Daimler will receive up to five percent non-voting shares in Aston Martin without cash consideration in several steps following the progress of the technical partnership. At the same time, the company will receive an observer status on the Aston Martin Holdings board. Daimler joins Aston Martin's existing shareholder body that includes Primewagon, Adeem Investment and Investindustrial.
    The parties are working to conclude the terms of an additional cooperation for the supply of electric/electronic (E/E) components. Furthermore, the two groups will investigate additional areas of cooperation in the future.
    Aston Martin will continue to manufacture all of its sports cars at its Gaydon headquarters in Warwickshire, England.
    A spokesperson for the Aston Martin board said: "Our company is this year celebrating its centenary, and the partnership agreed today underpins prospects for Aston Martin's bright, vibrant and dynamic second century in the sports car business."
    "This strategic collaboration for Aston Martin will,in our next generation of luxury sports cars, offer our customers increased performance and efficiency whilst retaining the unique character and style of an Aston Martin."
    Tobias Moers, Chairman of the Management Board of Mercedes-AMG GmbH: "By signing the Umbrella Agreement and the Engine Agreement both parties have agreed to this technical partnership: Mercedes-AMG will provide the British icon Aston Martin with engines for their forthcoming sports cars. At our company´s headquarters in Affalterbach we are proud to work with Aston Martin – this agreement is a real win-win situation for both sides.

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