Andy Palmer To Leave Aston Martin, AMG Chief Taking Over Reins

In what appears to be one of the largest shake-ups of this year, six-year CEO of Aston Martin, Andy Palmer, will be stepping down from his position. In a story first released by the Financial Times, Palmer could be replaced as early as this week, with Mercedes-Benz AMG division boss Tobias Moers already prepared to take his place. With the British company taking a huge hit in sales earlier this month due to the coronavirus and the extreme drop in stock price since the company went public two years ago, it seems that investors believe that big changes are deemed necessary. 

Palmer’s role in the company had already been the subject of some speculation and rumors ever since billionaire Lawrence Stroll bought up almost 20% of Aston Martin earlier this year, and injected even more money to the tune of $240 million. Stroll, who now holds the executive chairman title, has instituted much of the changes that we are seeing now, and now that Mercedes-AMG Petronas F1 team principal and CEO Toto Wolf has also acquired a 4.8% stake, it’s no longer a secret that Aston Martin will have huge plans for the future. 

2018 Aston Martin DB11 AMR

Aston Martin has responded to the news and said that the company is reviewing its management team and that an announcement will be made when appropriate. The Financial Times also reported that Palmer was unaware of the announcement and has declined to comment. 

If Tobias Moers is indeed set to take over as CEO of Aston Martin, he’ll have his work cut out of him. Coupled with the largest hit in production and sales across the entire automotive industry, it’ll be an uphill climb for Aston. Moers has been credited for growing the AMG brand, and with it, making a significant profit as the performance division of Mercedes. It is also likely that ties between Mercedes and Aston will grow stronger, with the 107-year old British manufacturer having used AMG V8 engines in several of its cars in recent years.

Source: motor1.com

Here’s A Closer Look At Bond’s No Time To Die Aston Martin DB5

If you’re at all like us, then just about anything involving James Bond and an Aston Martin puts a smile on your face. Even though the latest Bond flick, No Time To Die is postponed to later this year, we can still appreciate a behind the scenes look at one of the movie’s biggest stars, the Aston Martin DB5.

Carfection, one of YouTube’s best automotive channels, took a spin in several of the DB5s used in the Bond films, including special builds that are modified for stunt driving use. In the process, host Henry Catchpole also interviews former rally driver (and current stuntman) Mark Higgins to discuss what it’s like driving the classic Astons for the films.

Producers created multiple knock-off versions of the real DB5 for filming, including one version with an inline-six producing 300 horsepower and a body made from carbon fiber. There’s another version with the infamous headlight guns and an example with body damage for scenes that get a little hairy. Higgins, who has worked on each of the Daniel Craig Bond movies, explains what it’s like stunt driving the various Astons on set, most of the time with huge crews watching. During dramatic chase scenes through well-known locations like The Vatican “Sometimes you feel a little James Bond yourself,” he explained.

To end the video, Catchpole himself gets behind the wheel of a modified DB5, even getting it a bit sideways. Weighing roughly 2200 pounds and with power going to the rear, the movie car is much more playful than a real DB5 would be. Even though it’s a tweaked replica, seeing the greatest Aston Martin of all time skidding around Silverstone is incredible. All this just makes us even more excited to see No Time To Die, which (as of now) is rescheduled to hit theaters November of this year.

Source: motor1.com

Aston Martin DBS GT Zagato Prototype Spied Looking Great On The Road

The Aston Martin DBS GT Zagato is an absolutely gorgeous grand tourer, but the company is making just 19 of them. This fresh set of spy shots offers a look at the rare model in the real world. The color scheme is much more subtle than the one in the official debut photos in red with lots (maybe too many) gold accents.

This DBS GT Zagato has its body in exposed carbon fiber, except for some tape around the grille, which appears to be more for protecting the leading edge rather than concealing anything. The nose features elegant sculpting and a rear-facing outlet in the center. There doesn’t appear to be a body seam for the hood, which suggests the entire front is a clamshell piece that tilts open.

Zagato’s trademark double-bubble roof leads to one of the DBS GT’s oddest design features: there’s no rear window. While there are obvious safety implications of not being able to see directly behind the vehicle, the styling decision creates a unique shape for the tail of the limited-run vehicle.

Farther back, there are three-dimensional taillights and a tiny active spoiler that you can see poking upward in these photos. A prominent diffuser outlines the four exhaust outlets.

The example of the DBS GT Zagato from its debut featured what the company claimed was the “first automotive application of configurable carbon and metal 3D-printed interior finishes.” The glimpse through the open window of this one suggests that it doesn’t have this luxurious detailing. For a prototype vehicle, the material isn’t necessary.

The DBS GT Zagato uses a 5.2-liter twin-turbo V12 making 760 horsepower (567 kilowatts).

The DBS GT Zagato is only available as part of a pair with the DB4 GT Zagato Continuation, and Aston Martin calls the combined offering the DBZ Centenary Collection. The combined cost for each set is £6 million ($7.31 million at current exchange rates). The first examples of the DBS GT Zagato were supposed to go to customers in the fourth quarter of 2020, but it’s not clear whether the company’s factory closures due to COVID-19 might have affected this plan.

Source: motor1.com

Pierce Brosnan Persuaded Aston Martin Into Giving Him A Free Car

Back in the early 2000’s, the James Bond movie franchise was about to make its 20th film, Die Another Day. The film would also be Pierce Brosnan’s fourth and last time to play the secret agent, and would also see the return of Aston Martin since the DB5 in Goldeneye. Naturally, the idea of a British secret agent since again sitting behind the wheel of a British flagship supercar was big news. Since the end of Goldeneye, BMW was more than happy to provide Bond’s vehicles, such as the iconic Z8. Die Another Day was the chance for the V12 Vanquish to make a solid marketing splash, or at least a ton of explosions with rockets, machineguns, and other gadgets. Thing is, Pierce Brosnan actually had to convince Aston Martin to gift him one as compensation. 

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In a very cool and casual sit-down video interview by Esquire, Brosnan talks about his films, his portrayal of James Bond, and the challenges he had over his four-film career as Bond. Of course, the topic of the Aston Martin was the first question, and he explains that he was pretty sure he was going to get one. After all, he would be working his butt off for the film, and the automaker’s participation in the film surely meant they could spare one car.

That wasn’t the case, however, and when he found out, Brosnan even said that he wasn’t stepping anywhere near that car during the press conference. His agent, of course, worked out all of the back-and-forths and, we’re assuming, semi-threatening calls. Ultimately, Aston Martin gave in and actually made him his personalized “handbuilt for Pierce Brosnan” Vanquish. 

 

Unfortunately, the exact car that he wanted so badly perished in February of 2015 when a house fire occurred at his home in Malibu, California, and all that remains is a pair of nameplates that sat on the doors. 

Source: motor1.com

Aston Martin Extends Warranty Cover During Coronavirus Lockdown

  • Aston Martin new car warranties extended, and service interval requirements relaxed to give peace of mind for customers
  • Actions designed to support Aston Martin owners and mitigate potential effects of lockdowns associated with COVID-19 pandemic worldwide

24 April 2020, Gaydon, UK: Aston Martin is working closely with its dealer network to help customers worldwide during the unprecedented lockdown conditions imposed to slow the spread of COVID-19.
 
The brand is taking positive action to extend to 30 June 2020 all new-vehicle warranties that are due to expire, or have expired since 14 March 2020 or, in the case of China, since 1 January 2020. That is, broadly speaking, the period of lockdown in most countries where such conditions exist.
 
Furthermore, customers are being reassured the condition in their car’s Owner’s Guide stating that failure to adhere to specified service intervals may invalidate warranty coverage, is being waived until restrictions change and appropriate dealer operations are able to resume.
 
Aston Martin owners whose cars require a vehicle service during the disruption caused by COVID-19 are being assured that their warranty cover will be unaffected, and all cars serviced within three months or 2,000 miles (whichever is earlier) of the in-car service indicator will be protected in full by any applicable Aston Martin warranty.
 
As soon as restrictions change and Aston Martin dealer operations are resumed, owners of these cars with service work due are being asked to arrange a booking with their dealer. The cars will then have the scheduled service work completed by fully trained service technicians using genuine Aston Martin parts.
 
Andy West, Director of Client Services at Aston Martin, said: “For all of us, the COVID-19 pandemic and associated lockdown has been, and will continue to be, a very trying time.
 
“While issues such as car maintenance and warranty cover are, quite rightly, not top of mind for many we want to let our customers know that in partnership with our global dealer network we are doing all we can to support them, and their sports cars, through this period and will be looking forward to helping them get back behind the wheel of their beloved Aston Martin sports cars when it is safe and appropriate to do so.”
 
For more details on these warranty and service measures, please contact your local Aston Martin dealer.

Source: motor1.com

Aston Martin Vantage V12 Zagato Heritage Twins Are Hand-Built Beauties

Aston Martin and Zagato have been creating automotive art for six decades and have now joined forces once again to mark the coachbuilder’s 100th anniversary. Based on the old V12 Vantage and sold exclusively as a pair, the coupe and speedster duo gets new bodywork made from carbon fiber adorned by gold Z badging to mark the centenary of Italy’s illustrious coachbuilding company.

The jaw-dropping cars will be limited to 19 cars per body style, with the coupe getting Zagato’s signature “double bubble” roof and the speedster fully living up to its name by not having a roof to further shave off weight. There’s more to these hand-built cars than their fancy bodies inspired by the 2011 V12 Vantage Zagato as the Heritage Twins benefit from active aero with a rear spoiler that automatically deploys at high speeds to ensure stability.

A more notable hardware upgrade is found in the engine compartment where the naturally aspirated 5.9-liter V12 engine makes 600 horsepower or 75 more than in the original V12 Vantage and an extra 37 hp over the V12 Vantage S. The healthy bump brings it in line with the V12 Vantage V600 launched a couple of years ago as the model’s last hurrah.

Ahead of a full reveal scheduled for summer, Zagato is showing off the very first coupe and speedster as specified by Marella Rivolta Zagato who jointly runs the coachbuilder together with her husband, Andrea. She’s also the company’s Art Director and she explained why gold and platinum have been a source of inspiration:

“Gold, an emblem of purity and distinction, is in my mind a tribute to our first century. Platinum is resistant to corrosion and has great catalytic capabilities, which is what I wish for our next 100 years!”

Customer deliveries are programmed to kick off in the final quarter of the year and many of the cars have been sold already for what must’ve been an eye-watering price tag. Those fortunate enough to claim the coupe and speedster will not only get a special gift box, but they’ll be able to fully customize their cars by discussing their requests with Aston Martin designers.

In addition, owners will get the opportunity to watch their cars come alive in Warwick, U.K. where bespoke manufacturer R-Reforged will build the vehicles at its new 30,000-square-feet facility. The company claims it can provide customers with an “infinite” color palette and match the exterior and interior with virtually any color sample provided by the car’s owner. Now that’s what we call bespoke.

Source: motor1.com

Aston Martin To Focus On SUV Launch, New Chairman Says

The coronavirus pandemic came at a terrible time for Aston Martin because the company was just about to ramp up production of the DBX crossover at its new factory in St. Athan, Wales. The automaker doesn’t intend to reopen its plants until April 27 at the earliest.

“Our most pressing objective is to plan to restart our manufacturing operations, particularly to start production of the brand’s first SUV, the DBX, and to bring the organization back to full operating life,” Aston Martin Executive Chairman Lawrence Stroll told Automotive News Europe.

Aston Martin intends to begin deliveries of the DBX in the second half of the year, possibly as soon as the summer in some markets. Prices in the United States will start at $192,986, after the $3,089 destination charge.

The automaker will possibly iterate on the DBX by offering multiple variants of the crossover. It will reportedly get a hybrid V6 with in-house development to replace the existing, Mercedes-AMG-sourced twin-turbo V8. There will possibly by a V12-powered AMR version, too. Alternate body styles with a seven-seat configuration or a coupe-like silhouette will also potentially join the range. The company has also displayed a more luxurious version of the vehicle by letting the Q personalization division go to work on the cabin.

Stroll and a group of investors recently put £536 million (around $658 million) into Aston Martin. The company’s filing with the European Securities and Markets Authority indicated there was “increased and unquantifiable uncertainty” for the automaker due to the COVID-19 crisis.

Source: motor1.com

Aston Martin Offers $10k Discount, Other Deals From Luxury Brands

A disease affects everyone, even those who belong to the upper half of society. That’s the case with the current coronavirus pandemic. Sure, the upper class may be suffering less while staying at home, but the fact remains – we are all affected by this new disease.

Now, for those who have been planning to buy a new car, now might be the best time. We’ve seen mainstream automakers offering car deals amid the pandemic, and that’s to alleviate the worries of those planning to buy one for convenience and/or necessity alike. Healthcare workers are also given exclusive offers during the crisis since they are at the front lines in fighting the spread of COVID-19.

This time, however, CarsDirect has reported that even luxury automakers are offering similar car deals amid the coronavirus crisis. In its report published today, car brands are offering huge discounts and flexible payment terms when buying and leasing.

Among the brands listed is Aston Martin, which offers an over $10,000 dealer discount combined with a super lease rate equivalent to 0% APR. This resulted in a $0 down offer with $1,699 per month leasing for 36 months.

Jaguar and Land Rover, on the other hand, are offering 0% APR for 72 months across their lineups, which works in conjunction with their 90-day payment deferral. Porsche, Bentley, and Lamborghini are also offering the 90-day deferral, according to CarsDirect‘s report.

And lastly, just like the other FCA brands, Maserati is offering 0% financing for 84 months for its 2019 models. This offer is valid until April 30.

However, as CarsDirect has pointed out, there are some fine prints that you need to consider before jumping on to these deals. Interest rates continue to accrue despite the deferred payments, while the low financing and leasing rates will naturally require a top-notch credit rating. In the case of Aston Martin, the $0 down for leasing will, of course, require you to pay the first month, along with its taxes and other fees.

With that said, we highly encourage you to clear these things up with your local dealer before signing above those dotted lines.

Source: motor1.com

Recent Investment Might Not Be Enough For Aston Martin

Aston Martin’s recent rescue by a consortium led by Canadian billionaire Lawrence Stroll was a welcome shot in the arm for the embattled company, but it’s not out of the woods yet.

That is because despite its coffers being boosted by £536 million ($658M), according to European Securities and Markets Authority rules – per Automotive News Europe – it still might not have enough working capital due to “increased and unquantifiable uncertainty” brought about by the coronavirus pandemic.

Aston Martin said that the problems caused as a result of the ongoing crisis have made it impossible to determine a “reasonable worse case downside,” and its shares have also tumbled by 9.3 percent as well. Aston Martin’s stock price has also has fallen 60 percent this year alone, and is now 89 percent below the price it was when the company first went public in 2018.

The recent cash infusion should have been enough to help Aston Martin with its cashflow problems, but the coronavirus crises put an end to that hope.

“Taking into account the proceeds of the capital raise, the company is of the opinion that the group does not have sufficient working capital to meet its requirements for 12 months,” Aston Martin previously said ahead of Stroll’s bailout.

As part of his investment, Stroll will take over as executive chairman of the company said that the investment “gives the necessary stability to reset the business for its long-term future. We have a clear plan to make this happen.”

The investment will also aid the production of the new DBX SUV, a product that Aston Martin is counting on to help it turnaround its fortunes. Deliveries are set to commence this summer, but they could be hindered.

Source: motor1.com

Bentley And Aston Martin Could Skip 2021 Geneva Motor Show

The coronavirus outbreak forced the cancellation of the 2020 Geneva Motor Show, and automakers have already started thinking about next year’s event. The British brands Aston Martin and Bentley might not be there, according to a new rumor from Autocar.

In the future, large shows like Geneva might not be necessary for automakers to expose their new products to consumers. They are “not absolutely necessary to attend,” Bentley CEO Adrian Hallmark told Autocar. Without offering a quote to the publication, Aston Martin’s Andy Palmer was allegedly in agreement with this sentiment.

However, it’s worth keeping in mind that statements are hardly definitive since the next Geneva show is practically a year away. With that much lead time, things can change.

As a coincidence, Aston Martin and Bentley were both prepared to debut limited-edition roadsters At this year’s Geneva show. The Bacalar is a special, two-seat version of the Continental GT Convertible with a 12-unit production run and a £1.5 million price ($1.87 million at current exchange rates). Meanwhile, the V12 Speedster comes with no roof or windshield for $950,000, and the company only intends to build 88 of them.

The COVID-19 pandemic has the potential drastically to change the way major automakers debut new models. Dedicated events, like the ones for the 2020 Chevrolet Corvette C8 or Tesla Cybertruck, give companies lots of freedom. They let planners have control of things like the date, location, and guest list. None of this is true of a traditional auto show.

Deciding on the time comes with the extra advantage of potentially having more people paying attention to the debut. During auto shows, every company is showing something, and this can mean less attention from the public. 

Source: motor1.com