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Aston Martin Rolls Out Limited Line of “Goldfinger” DB5s

Continuation models will offer plenty of gadgets like revolving license plates – but no word on machine guns and ejection seat.

by on Aug.20, 2018

The original James Bond, Sean Connery, with the original Aston Martin DB5 in Goldfinger.

“Bond. James Bond.” For those who’ve always fantasized about being able to speak that familiar line, they can now lay claim to another feature from one of Agent 007’s most iconic adventures.

Working with the special effects team from the most recent James Bond film, Aston Martin has recreated the classic DB5 that originally appeared in “Goldfinger,” and it plans to offer 25 full-size reproductions that, the British marque claims, will include an assortment of “working gadgets.” Those will include “revolving number (license) plates and more,” we’re told, though Aston isn’t ready to reveal whether that also includes the machine guns and ejector seat Bond had at the ready.

Behind the Scenes!

“The connection between Aston Martin and James Bond is something of which we are very proud and it is remarkable that the DB5 remains the definitive James Bond car after so many years,” said Aston CEO Andy Palmer. “To own an Aston Martin has long been an aspiration for James Bond fans, but to own a Silver Birch DB5, complete with gadgets and built to the highest standards in the very same factory as the original James Bond cars? Well, that is surely the ultimate collectors’ fantasy.”

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First Drive: 2019 Aston Martin DBS Superleggera

The hills are alive with the sound of…a 715 hp V-12.

by on Aug.01, 2018

The Aston Martin DBS Superleggera becomes the 3rd in what will become a 7-model line-up.

We’re not quite at the top of the world, but from our perch high up in the quaint Bavarian mountain town of Berchtesgaden, one can see nearly forever. But it’s the guttural roar echoing off the steep and rocky Alpine cliffs that has caught our attention. Faint, at first, it grows ever louder, until the sleek GT coupe pops into view, racing through the mountain pass towards our hotel. The good news is that the driver will soon be handing us the keys to the 2019 Aston Martin DBS Superleggera, the car we’ve crossed an ocean to drive.

Low, wide and finished in what Aston dubs “satin xenon” paint, the Superleggera has an imposing presence. Not surprisingly, it bears a strong resemblance to the DB11 that came to market barely a year ago, as well as the more aggressive Aston Vantage that followed. Indeed, all three share their underlying platform, albeit with some notable revisions to DBS to handle its incredible power. It is, in fact, the third in what the British automaker promises will be a series of seven distinct models and, for at least the moment, replaces the familiar Vanquish nameplate – though there are hints that badge may yet return.

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The DBS Superleggera also shares the same 5.2-liter twin-turbo V-12 found in the DB11, albeit with some notable revisions, including significantly more boost, meant to punch it up to a spectacular 715 horsepower and 664 pound-feet of torque. With its heavy emphasis on lightweight carbon fiber, the 2+2 weighs in at around 3,725 pounds. Do the math and you’re talking about a foreboding power-to-weight ratio that allows for 0 to 60 launches in a mere 3.3 seconds and a top speed of 211 mph. It also gives Aston bragging rights when compared to a Ferrari 812 Superfast, which has about 147 lb-ft less torque.

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Aston Martin Wants to Take to the Air

Automaker brings flying Volante Vision Concept to British air show.

by on Jul.16, 2018

A rendering shows the Aston Martin Volante Concept flying over London, possibly heading to Paris.

We’ve heard some of Aston Martin’s products describes as “rockets” before. But now, it seems, the automaker truly does want to take to the air.

Aston today pulled the wraps off the Volante Vision Concept at the annual Farmborough International Air Show outside London. There are a number of projects currently underway to develop flying automobiles. Some are aimed at ride-sharing services like Uber, others for individual owners. The Volante Vision Concept, Aston explains, “aims to bring luxury personal transportation to the sky.”

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The project teams the British automaker up with aerospace giant Rolls-Royce, Cranfield University and Cranfield Aerospace Solutions. The design they’ve come up with would have vertical take-off and landing, or VTOL, capabilities, potentially allowing it to take off from a parking lot or field, rather than having to go to a conventional airstrip. (more…)

With AMR, Aston Rapide Gets a Little More Rapid

205 mph sedan is fit for street or track.

by on Jun.13, 2018

The Aston Martin Rapide AMR was first shown as a concept at the Geneva Motor Show.

Aston is no slouch when it comes to performance, but it’s in the midst of amping things up another notch with the help of its motorsports operations, Aston Martin Racing.

Appropriately, fast on the heels of the new DB11 tune-up, it’s pulling the covers off the Rapide AMR, a production version of the concept first shown at the 2017 Geneva Motors Show. If you happened to get a look at the prototype, it turns out, you’ll have a good idea what will soon be hitting the street – and the track, as many buyers will likely be finding ways to push the performance version of Aston’s sedan to its limits.

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The new performance models, Aston explained in a statement previewing the Rapide AMR, “draw a direct engineering and aesthetic link between the company’s successful race team and its road cars. As such the Rapide AMR is a sports car capable of comfortably transporting a team of race drivers to a circuit on the other side of a continent and then tackling the track when they get there.” (more…)

First Look: Aston Martin DB11 AMR

"A new dimension of race-inspired dynamism."

by on May.11, 2018

The new DB11 AMR will become the fast model in Aston's current line-up - top speed 208 mph.

Aston Martin is ready to pump up its already serious DB11, taking the street-legal grand tourer and given it some serious track capabilities.

Long rumored, the 2019 Aston Martin DB11 Grand Tourer is making its official debut today – not entirely a surprise after some initial details accidentally leaked out over the last few days.

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The automaker boasts that the AMR edition not only replaces the V-12-powered DB11 as the flagship of the nameplate’s expanding range, but that it delivers “a new dimension of race-inspired dynamism and performance to the DB11 family.”

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Pass the Bubbly? Rolls-Royce Cullinan Promises a Luxury Ride Even on the Roughest Trails

British marque officially introduces its first off-roader since the days of Lawrence of Arabia.

by on May.10, 2018

The slogan for the new Rolls-Royce Cullinan hints at its capabilities: "Effortless, Everywhere."

Don’t call it an SUV. Rolls-Royce prefers to refer to its all-new Cullinan as “an all-terrain, high-bodied car that makes the idea of authentic, luxury off-road travel a reality for the first time.”

Whether you stick with SUV, borrow “Sport Activity Vehicle from Rolls’ parent BMW, or find some other, more elegant term, the Cullinan really does appear to live up to its promise of delivering go-anywhere drivability, even as the folks luxuriating in the back can sip on champagne chilled to the perfect temperature by a built-in refrigerator.

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“Our customers expect to go everywhere in luxury, effortlessly and without compromise,” said Torsten Muller-Otvos, the CEO of Rolls-Royce Motor Cars. “The super-luxury lifestyle is evolving (and) luxury is no longer an urban concept. More and more it is about embracing and experiencing the wider world.”

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Luxury Plug-Ins Shift Emphasis on Performance

Emphasis shifts from mileage.

by on Apr.02, 2018

The production Aviator's fastest powertrain package will pair a turbo-six with electric drive.

When the first hybrids came to market nearly two decades ago, the emphasis was on mileage, the original Honda Insight delivering as much as 70 miles per gallon, albeit at the expense of what might be described as the fun-to-drive factor.

That approach carried over as more advanced, battery-based models came to market – and as luxury brands started to plug in with vehicles like the Cadillac ELR. Based on the Mainstream Chevrolet Volt, Caddy’s first plug-in hybrid was lavishly equipped but took almost 10 seconds to get from 0 to 60.

Performance News!

A visit to this year’s New York Auto Show will reveal a wide array of PHEVs, and among mass market brands, like Chevy, Honda, Hyundai and Toyota, fuel economy is still the primary target. But it’s another matter entirely among luxury brands, such as BMW, Lincoln, Mercedes-Benz and Volvo. There’s no question they’re also using battery power to boost mileage, but they’re also putting a premium on performance.

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Aston Martin Goes to Extreme With Electric Lagonda Vision Concept and Track Ready Valkyrie AMR Pro

Lagonda set to become all-electric sub-brand.

by on Mar.06, 2018

The Lagonda's modest exterior conceals the Vision Concept's unexpectedly large interior package.

This year’s Geneva Motor Show is going to extremes, from environmentally friendly EVs to exotic performance vehicles. And perhaps nowhere is that more apparent than at the Aston Martin stand where two debuts cover both ends of that spectrum.

The British marque’s Valkyrie AMR Pro is a track-only version of the 1,000- horsepower Valkyrie hypercar. The Lagonda Vision Concept, meanwhile, reveals Aston Martin’s plan to not only revive the once popular Lagonda nameplate but transform it into a zero-emissions sub-brand.

Geneva News!

“Lagonda exists to challenge (conventional) thinking,” said Aston Martin President and Chief Executive Officer, Andy Palmer, who noted that the show car also previews a new design language that will “potentially” return on two Lagonda models planned to reach market by 2023.

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Opinion: Mid-Engine Corvette: Too Little, Too Late?

Our veteran spy photographer says electric drive is the way to go.

by on Mar.02, 2018

Off to a rocky start? Our spy photographer thinks GM is on the wrong path with its mid-engine Vette.

Drop the mid-engine Corvette. Now.

It’s time for GM to stop its development of an icon vehicle, the 20?? mid-engine Corvette. Yes, the long, long overdeveloped car that has diverted GM’s innovational (?) attention for over 25 years. The car could be way behind what is happening in the 2-seat racing-type model of today.

Automotive Insight!

Huge changes are ongoing in the automobile business. We all see that. Car companies are formed and reformed, replaced, absorbed. New technologies are in huge development – autonomous cars and trucks are surely on the way. Electrics are moving – in some instances, shoved – on the scene, replacing the internal combustion engine.

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McLaren Captures Most Beautiful Car Award for 2017

Company's 720S beats out entries from Aston, Ferrari and Porsche.

by on Feb.01, 2018

The 720S boasts a name that matches its horsepower: 720. It comes from a 4.0-liter twin-turbo V8.

The McLaren 720S was named “The Most Beautiful Supercar of the Year 2017” at the Festival Automobile International Awards in Paris.

The award was given by a jury of 17 members from a diverse range of industries, who named the 720S the Most Beautiful Supercar of the Year 2017 against fierce competition from Aston Martin’s V8 Vantage, Ferrari’s Portofino and the Porsche Panamera.

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“The 720S being awarded the Most Beautiful Supercar of the Year is another great achievement and honor for everyone at McLaren Automotive,” said David Gilbert, McLaren’s managing director for Europe. (more…)

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