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Aston Martin took out a 165 Million dollar loan to put into R&D for new models, and will be sourcing engines and possibly other parts from Mercedes-Benz. The first *new* car, apparently, will be whatever Bond has in Bond24.
Aston Martin took out a 165 Million dollar loan to put into R&D for new models, and will be sourcing engines and possibly other parts from Mercedes-Benz. The first *new* car, apparently, will be whatever Bond has in Bond 24.
Mercedes "bought" 5% in the deal with the new engines and parts merger. Word on the car forums I follow is that they're looking into buying a bigger piece to help Aston while also further developing an AMG* sub brand through mutual research and development.
I'd be ecstatic if they did, because only good, powerful, beautiful things can come of it.
*AMG is currently a "Performance Division" of Mercedes, making increased-power and sportier models of current MB production cars. Rumor is Mercedes will turn them into a sub brand, starting with a replacement to the famous gull wing 'Mercedes-Benz SLS'. It will now be the 'SLS AMG GT', a rival to the likes of Porche (and now sadly won't have gull wing doors). Similar to what Dodge did with it it's SRT division, now making the Dodge Viper the SRT Viper.
Aston Martin recently announced that it has been developing a new chassis/underbody and frame for it's next generation of models featuring the new Mercedes-sourced engines, starting with the 2016* replacement for the DB9.
I think we found the car Wilson mentioned for Bond 24.
*As far as cars go, a 2016 model year usually means the car starts sales in 2015, perfectly aligning with the release of the most expensive commercial ever next Craig film.
Spy photos of a new Aston Martin 'Ultra-Sedan', as it's being called, were recently revealed.
The design is a clear departure from the brand's current lineup, obvious even through the elaborate camouflage. Whether or not it looks good (at least to a majority) won't be known until it is fully revealed, likely in a grey color, later this year or early next year.
Initial assumptions are that this will be a 'bespoke production' a.k.a. limited run of vehicles, similar to the recent One-77 supercar. It is unclear whether this look is the future of Aston Martin, or simply a one-off design similar to the One-77 and Zagato offerings of the past.
It does look rather similar to the Zagato concepts revealed last July for the company's Centennial celebrations:
This car will not feature a new chassis or newly sourced engine from Aston Martin's recent dealings with Mercedes-Benz.
It's lined up to fit nicely with the production of Bond 24, but I have reservations about Bond in a four-door Aston. If they do it, I'd be pleasantly surprised. If we interpret Michael Wilson's "never before seen" Aston comment for Bond 24 as "never before seen.. anywhere", then this, or something else they've been very good at hiding, is likely your car. If you interpret it as "never before seen.. in a Bond film", then it could very well be the recent/current Aston Martin Zagato or Aston Martin Rapide S.
Looking back through the Casino Royale 'Production Updates' on the site, the DBS was in fact revealed with the shooting of the film. It had been announced that Aston Martin had sent a few cars to the production of the film, but nobody knew which car it would be until Aston announced the DBS would be revealed in the film.
So I do suppose that perhaps Aston may indeed have a new car in production, but will wait to unveil it at any car shows or press announcements until their involvement with Bond 24 is confirmed.
I still don't see how it is possible for them to be in production of a new car without any test mules spotted or rumors going around, but perhaps they're just pulling it off. It could very well just be an updated DBS or Vantage, or indeed the new 'Loganda' sedan (perhaps a two door coupe version, secretly in the works?), or the newly unveiled Vantage GT, which is touted as the cheapest Aston at $99,000.
A few more updates on the 'new era' of Aston Martins heading our way.
Car&Driver is reporting that work on the DB9-replacement is well under way, and will indeed be utilizing the new engines and aluminum frame sourced from the Mercedes-Benz dealings. They still claim it is slated for a 2016/2017 sale date.
If it is going on sale in 2017, I highly doubt it will be the car featured in Bond 24, due out next year.
I'm beginning to think the 'never before seen' Aston Wilson mentioned simply meant that we've never seen Bond in it, and it will not be a brand new revealing of an Aston to the World (as the DBS was in Casino Royale).
The DBS went on sale in 2007, after the release of 2006's Casino Royale. During filming, the car was in the final stages of design, and the stunt cars in the film were actually DB9's dressed as the DBS.
In that respect, depending on how far along the DB9-replacement is as far as design goes, Aston Martin and the production team could very easily simply re-skin a DB9 or Vantage with the future design, to boost sales when the car is publicly revealed sometime in late 2016 or 2017.
My opinion, however, is that Craig will be driving the new 'cheap' Aston, the Vantage GT. It's still $99,000 and its the newest thing Aston has to sell.
(This was originally an accidental double post, sorry.)
Info on the the Casino Royale DBS deal:
And probably the best news from that article is that there seem to be no definitive plans for an Aston Martin SUV at the moment.
As an update to yesterday's post, more articles are reporting that the DB9 replacement will be arriving in the second half of 2016. It will then be followed by a V8 Vantage in 2017 and a V12 Vantage in 2018. Following shortly after that will be a new Vanquish replacement. The four door Rapide model will likely be phased out and replaced by the 'Lagonda' Sedan spied earlier this year. There is no news of any development on an SUV.
The DB9 replacement, the new Vantage, and the eventual Vanquish replacement are all said to differ from each far more than the current generations do, following complaints that the Aston Martin lineup "all look the same."
Along with the engines and new frame sourced from Mercedes-Benz owned AMG, Aston Martin will also be adopting new platform and interior technologies as well as up-to-date safety features that will also be debuting on new Mercedes-Benz models.
With the 'second half of 2016' arrival date, we could very well see Bond driving what looks like the new model in Bond 24 (it will likely be an old DB9 / Vantage dressed up in the new design if it is in the film-this method was used in Casino Royale to great effect).
We could have the DB9 replacement in Bond 24, followed by the new Vantage in Bond 25, and the new Vanquish-replacement possibly in Bond 26, if the Bond team and Aston Martin keep the deal going.
Two major Aston Martin stories from this week.
The first is that the previously discussed potential 'Loganda' Sedan has been confirmed for production. There will be 'less than 100' produced, similar to the previous One-77 hypercar. I wouldn't expect Bond in this for 24. Below is a perfect rendering of what the final product should look like.
The second story is about AM's new 'DP-001' concept car.
The car is a virtual model for the recently released Gran Turismo video game. Several companies including Mercedes, Nissan, and Volkswagen have submitted "Vision GT (Gran Turismo) Concept Cars" for the video game's library of downloadable content. Only Mercedes and Volkswagen have created physical versions of their concepts, but only as examples of design and lacking any real performance capabilities.
Once you download the car, you can race it on multiple famous race tracks from around the World. The cars are virtually tuned to be as realistic and distinct as possible, featuring their own audibly engineered and distinct exhaust noises and engine revving. The full unveil should be later this week at Great Britains Goodwood Festival of Speed.
The coolest part of the car has got to be how similar the wheel rim design resembles a gun barrel. There's no word on if that's an official nod to the Bond heritage, or just a coincidence.
Full reveal of the DP-001 concept:
Go here for more information and images: http://jalopnik.com/the-aston-martin-dp-100-is-an-incredible-aston-on-hallu-1596902144
The first official image of what is likely the Lagonda sedan from Aston Martin is up, and I can tell you right now it won't be in Bond 24, as I previously speculated.
It's based on the same chassis that Aston uses for the Vantage, Virage, DB9, and DBS, and thus will likely be the last model made on this platform, as Aston is working on a successor to the DB9/DBS which is being built on a completely new platform.
Bond won't be driving this anytime soon as it will be only sold through private arrangements, and built to order in a similar fashion to how the 'bespoke' One-77 car was manufactured. Expect a few hundred to be made.
More details here: http://jalopnik.com/the-aston-martin-lagonda-is-four-doors-of-middle-easter-1610557396/all
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If you continue slightly farther, it is obvious that Gary Powell has been visiting the Aston Martin headquarters, featuring two images. One is of a chrome-plated DB-9 or DBS, and the other of a directional sign reading "Aston Martin".
Being the stunt coordinator, it would be reasonable for Powell to get a peek at what will be featured in the upcoming film in order to effectively plan any stunt work or scenes involving a vehicle.
Follow that with Wilson's earlier comments about an "all-new" Aston featuring in Bond 24, as well as the location rumors about the possibility of a car chase, and things get pretty interesting.
I am also enjoying following up on news from AM and other cars, so this will be the place to check in the future.
@Agent7F Of course! That's something I have little knowledge of, so I'm very interested in any collections anyone might have.
The US government is set to pass a new law next month on an additional crash test regulation implemented to study the effects on safety of a side impact of the vehicle with trees, street poles, etc.
The unfortunate news is that the current Aston Martin line-up does not meet the minimum crash test results of this new requirement, meaning they would no longer be able to sell the vehicles legally in the United States. Aston Martin claims this would likely close the company's doors indefinitely, as the recently refreshed DB9 and Vantage were poised to make the company profitable again the US, and the inability of sale would put the company at an irreversible loss.
Like all great corrupt political institutions, there are exceptions to the rules. Last year, Aston Martin applied for an exemption from this crash test requirement in order to continue sale of the DB9 and Vantage through 2016 and 2017, respectively. They have had no response so far.
Outside of this potentially devastating issue, Aston Martin is in a very fragile state. They currently have no spearhead company to supply them with the necessary funding and support for new models. After being let go from Ford Motor Company, they have struggled to maintain profits, let alone a break-even.
Because of this, they have recently looked to Mercedes-Benz on a joint venture to share a new platform for future vehicles, as well as sourcing new engines from the German company. This has led to new products from AMG, an SLS replacement, as well being the basis for all new Aston Martin models, starting with the DB9 replacement in 2016. Over the past two years, the involvement of Mercedes at Aston Martin has strongly grown, leading to rumors that the German company may purchase the sports car maker outright.
You can read more about the new regulation threatening Aston Martin here: http://carbuying.jalopnik.com/how-the-us-government-could-kill-aston-martin-1623500488/+damon
Aston obviously can't do that, but they know they are not reaching their potential is what should be an easy luxury market in the US. Meanwhile, Mercedes is killing it with their AMG models everywhere. Aston is doing the right thing in working with Merc and AMG on their new models, and an outright ownership stake by Mercedes can only guarantee success for Aston in my book.
Anyway, I wouldn't mind betting the whole thing is being talked up to get the rules reversed or changed. I very much doubt it is beyond the wit of Aston or any other car company to comply, but they know it will cost for re-engineering. Especially when the money hoards of China are where its at, not the USA. Audi sold more cars in China last year than anywhere else and accounted for 33% of sales. USA was around a third of that figure. If companies can just write ranges off for the US while creating Asia/Russian specific models at higher margins, they will do.
It's clear they may not have made up their mind yet, as they've recently trademarked the DB10, DB11, DB12, DB13, and DB14 namesakes for future models. Some speculate these may filter out to the Vantage replacement, as well as a future SUV model, though the original Lagonda concept plans for an Aston SUV have been scrapped by the company.
I hope so.
IN OTHER NEWS,
All new photos of the Aston Martin Lagonda sedan are here: http://jalopnik.com/new-pictures-of-the-aston-martin-lagonda-are-warping-my-1631770724
In other news, Mercedes officially revealed its AMG GT today, featuring an all new V8 capable of over 500hp. Expect that to be in a future Aston thanks to Mercedes-AMG's recently acquired 5% stake in the company.
My instinct would be that Aston wouldn't use an outside 'coach builder' to get cues for its next decade of cars. Yet, the Lagonda definitely took its grille and tail from the first Zagato Centinial concepts.. so it's a solid maybe.
Really beautiful. Me want !
Crap, I will never be able to afford it.
Aside from the grill? The front reminds me of Dalton's Vantage! When you add the rest to it? It reminds me of the Delorian from Back to the Future! :D
Cool! Can't wait to see Bond hit the streets of Rome in these exciting new wheels! I wonder if they'll fit rocket launches to either side of this grunty beast.