Aston Martin launched the much anticipated Vantage and the DB11 Volante to the Australian market ahead of the Formula 1® 2018 Rolex Australian Grand Prix. The luxury English marque are proud to release the two extraordinary models into the Australian market after experiencing strong sales in 2017. Marek Reichman, Aston Martin’s Vice President and Chief Creative Officer, alongside Simon Sproule, the Vice President and Chief Marketing Officer, and Patrik Nilsson, President of Aston Martin in Asia Pacific, were all in Melbourne to celebrate the releases. “We are thrilled to be here in Melbourne to celebrate the arrival of the new Vantage and DB11 Volante to Australian shores. We have already experienced significant interest from the Australian market in both vehicles, reaffirming the strong affinity for Aston Martin in Australia,” said Nilsson.
First launched globally in late November 2017, Reichman offered the analogy of the Vantage as dressing for the gym, unadorned and designed for function. “The Vantage is stripped, raw and focused,” said Reichman. “With lines inspired by the DB10’s design language and the dramatic forms of the Aston Martin Vulcan, it’s a car that transforms the traditional exterior cues of an Aston Martin sports car as we redefine and grow the marque’s model range.” With a new alloy, 4-litre twin turbo V8 engine and an 8-speed ZF transmission, the new Vantage has taken performance to a whole new level.
As a key model of the Aston Martin family for seven decades, the new Vantage has been elevated with increased functionality, while building upon its racing heritage. “When we look at the new Vantage, I have to take a step back for a change because it’s not just about design—it’s beautiful through its design—but it’s more about function … so it’s about designing to fit the purpose of the car which is a true front mid-engine car,” said Reichman. The Vantage doesn’t have a grille but instead features a low nose to allow air flow to cool the engine and flow over the car. Reichman pointed out that there is a hint to the old V8 Vantage design of the seventies and eighties, with the signature 'S' curvature on the front. This ’S’ curvature is echoed on the rear of the car and creates a duck tail typically found on a Vantage, designed to provide downforce. “So when you’re half a kilometre in the rear of this car at night and the lights come on, you’ll know it’s an Aston Martin both from the front and from the rear,” he added. Reichman reasoned that the duck tail combined with a functioning diffuser—“the first full production functioning diffuser on any Aston Martin,”—eliminates the need for active aero because “the body work does all the aero”. Stripped back and ready for action, the new Vantage is focused and designed for the automotive athlete. “It’s a single customer we look at as a proxy for the segment, which is why you have separation between DB11 and Vantage.”
Circling back to his comparison, if the Vantage was dressing for the gym, Reichman likened the DB11 to wearing an elegant dress or a suit from Saville Row. “DB11 Volante is pure elegance and style. Its magnificent beauty is complimented by its innate sporting ability and sensory engagement, to deliver a new dimension of open-top driving pleasure,” said Reichman. Powered by a new 4.0-litre twin-turbo 510PS V8 engine, the DB11 Volante is built around the all new bonded aluminum structure first seen in the DB11 Coupe. Lighter and more rigid than the model it replaced, the DB11 Volante has been engineered to deliver a much broader gamut of abilities. Greater levels of performance and handling accentuate the more sporting side of its character, while increased refinement, comfort and interior space ensure it remains a consummate grand tourer. DB11 Volante was first revealed worldwide in October 2017 and is the most elegant of Aston Martin convertibles, setting new standards of performance, innovation, engineering and style. One of the defining features of the DB11 Volante is its convertible roof. Combining the timeless appeal of a fabric hood with the very latest acoustic and insulation materials, the all-new 8-layer roof cossets occupants from the extremes of weather and wind noise. Folding to a class-leading stack height, the Volante’s hood takes just 14 seconds to lower and 16 to close and can be operated remotely from the key, or on the move at speeds of up to 31mph (50km/h) with a 31mph (50km/h) headwind.
Aston Martin are actively catering to the different segments within the market, with their first SUV scheduled to launch in 2019 and hybrid and electric models on the horizon. Sproule said that Aston Martin are preparing for the future with all new models to be “hybrid or electric by mid next decade”. Sproule also stated that the marque is experiencing somewhat of a “product renaissance”, with new product ventures into property, airplanes and even submarines.
“When Andy [Palmer] came onboard and started talking about the seven cars, it wasn’t because we like seven as a number—because of James Bond—it’s because we know there are seven customers, seven segments within the market place,” said Reichman. “So each of the products is pitched to a cluster of customers within the segment and they have their own idea of what they feel is beautiful, of what they think is a technical sports car or grand tourer or SUV or mid-engine car.” The marque is intuitively diversifying its offering alongside delivering exceptional new models to the market at an extraordinary pace. Reichman views the foray into new markets as a platform to improve and cross-pollinate technological advancements. “From a designer’s perspective, the more times you collaborate, the more you learn and the more you can apply that back to the core product as well.”
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Photos courtesy of Aston Martin.