Aston Martin offers previous-gen Vantage race cars in Legacy Collection

For lovers of Aston Martin’s previous-generation Vantage sports car, the British automaker’s official motorsport department has a special offer for you.
Aston Martin Racing on Monday announced an exclusive collection of three race cars, one each representing the V8 Vantage GTE, V12 Vantage GT3, and GT4 versions of the previous-generation Vantage.
The trio is known as the Vantage Legacy Collection, and only the single set is planned. Each car forming the set is finished in a matching livery of green with yellow accents, and pricing information is yet to be announced.
No. 97 Aston Martin Vantage GTE at the 2017 24 Hours of Le Mans
The set is made up of new, factory fresh cars, meaning they represent the last in the line of race cars based on the previous-generation Vantage—one of the most successful cars in Aston Martin’s long motorsport career.
Various race cars—159 all up—based on the previous-generation Vantage competed between 2009 and 2018, during which time Aston Martin racked up seven class titles in the World Endurance Championship and two class wins in the 24 Hours of Le Mans. All of those accolades were achieved with the V8 Vantage GTE, making it the most successful race car in the WEC.
Today, Aston Martin Racing fields a race car based on the current Vantage which comes powered exclusively by a twin-turbocharged V-8. Although it has some very big shoes to fill, it’s off to a flying start thanks to a class title in the 2019/2020 WEC season and two class wins in the 2020 24 Hours of Le Mans.
Source: MotorAuthority.com

Aston Martin and Mercedes set to share F1 safety car duties in 2021

Aston Martin is set to share safety car duties with Mercedes at Formula 1 races from next year, Autosport has learned.Mercedes has exclusively provided the official F1 safety car since 1996, starting out originally with a Mercedes-AMG C36 and currently using a Mercedes-AMG GT R.While the German manufacturer has been fully committed up until now, discussions are underway about a revised deal for 2021, when a new Concorde Agreement comes in.Although it is understood that no final decision has been made, sources have revealed that it is looking increasingly likely that Mercedes will step back from being the sole safety car supplier.It will continue to play a major role – which will include providing F1’s medical car – but talks are ongoing about a revised arrangement that will likely result in the safety car responsibilities being shared with Aston Martin.Such a change of deal, that could see the safety car use split evenly between the two manufacturers across the season, would help share the financial burden between the two companies as F1 expands to a 23-race schedule.Mercedes and Aston Martin have become increasingly close over the past 12 months, having reached deals on shareholding agreements and closer technical cooperation.It was recently announced that Mercedes will increase its stake in Aston Martin to 20%, while also giving access to a range of its technologies – including powertrain and electric/electronic architecture.Mercedes team boss Toto Wolff also has a private shareholding in Aston Martin, and is close friend with owner Lawrence Stroll.Next year, Aston Martin is returning to F1 with its own works team, as it takes over the naming rights for the Racing Point outfit.Stroll wants to use the marketing benefits of the series to help boost Aston Martin’s road car sales as it embarks on an ambitious renewal of its operations following some difficult years.The current Mercedes safety car is the fastest in the sport’s history, having been upgraded from the start of the 2018 season.Its 4.0-litre V8 twin-turbo engine produces 585hp and it can reach a top speed of 198mph. The safety car is driven by Bernd Maylander.The Mercedes medical car is an AMG C 63 S Estate, which is driven by Alan van der Merwe.

Autosport has produced a standalone special magazine to celebrate our 70th birthday. All current print subscribers will receive a copy for free. To pre-order your copy of the 196-page Autosport 70th Anniversary issue, please go to: autosport.com/autosport70th
Source: AutoSport.com

Bizzarrini revival in the works, with ex-Aston Martin CEO Ulrich Bez at the helm

It appears De Tomaso isn’t the only classic Italian sports car brand in the process of revival.
Autocar reported Monday there’s a mission underway to revive Bizzarrini, a sports car brand founded by legendary engineer Giotto Bizzarrini in the 1960s.
The revival effort is backed by London-based Pegasus Brands, which operates a number of luxury car dealerships in the United Kingdom, Switzerland and the Middle East, and is headed former Aston Martin executives Ulrich Bez and Christopher Sheppard.
Bez previously served as CEO of Aston Martin and at Bizzarrini has been appointed chairman. Sheppard was in charge of Aston Martin’s Middle East and North Africa regions and at Bizzarrini serves as CEO.
It isn’t clear what the new Bizzarrini has planned, with the company’s website only featuring some of Bizzarrini’s classic models together with the message “coming soon.” It also isn’t clear if Bizzarrini himself is involved in the project, though at 94 years of age it’s unlikely he would have much involvement even if linked to the project.
In case you need reminding, Bizzarrini worked for the likes of Alfa Romeo and Ferrari in the 1950s and ’60s, including handling development of the Ferrari 250 GTO, before starting his own eponymous outfit in 1964. The original company only operated for five years, during which time it launched a handful of sports cars and race cars including the Chevrolet-powered 5300 GT Strada (shown above) and P538S. In the decades that followed the original company’s demise, we’ve seen a handful of Bizzarrini-badged concept cars emerge, the most recent being 2005’s GT Strada 4.1.
Source: MotorAuthority.com

2022 Mercedes-Benz C-Class, baby Land Rover Defender, Aston Martin future: Car News Headlines

Mercedes-Benz is out testing a new generation of its C-Class and our latest spy shots show a prototype with the least camouflage gear yet. The new C-Class is looking a lot like the latest S-Class, and we hear the new C63 from Mercedes-AMG will skip a V-8 in favor of an electrified 4-cylinder.
Land Rover has just redesigned the Defender after more than three decades. This time around we might see the Defender nameplate used for a family of vehicles, with one of the members possibly a compact off-roader to challenge the Jeep Renegade and Ford Bronco Sport.
With ex-AMG boss Tobias Moers now in charge, Aston Martin is in for a major shakeup. Part of his plans call for increased sharing of technology with Mercedes-Benz, including EV technology. Yes, an electric Aston Martin is coming, though not until the middle of the decade.
You’ll find these stories and more in today’s car news, right here at Motor Authority.
2022 Mercedes-Benz C-Class spy shots: S-Class looks and tech in the cards
Land Rover reportedly plans compact off-roader for expanded Defender family
Aston Martin confirms EV, may use Mercedes powertrain in Valhalla hypercar
2021 Nissan NV cargo and passenger vans cost more for final year
BMW iNext electric SUV reveal set for Nov. 11
Mitsubishi invests in WiTricity, for wireless EV charging push
Jeep Gladiator Top Dog Concept is a vehicle for all kinds of activities
2021 Toyota Sienna review
Luc Donckerwolke rejoins Hyundai, Kia as chief creative officer
Ford plug-in hybrid issue prompts it to pool CO2 credits with Volvo in Europe
Source: MotorAuthority.com

Aston Martin confirms EV, may use Mercedes powertrain in Valhalla hypercar

Aston Martin in October reached an agreement that will see it gain access to more technology from Mercedes-Benz, in exchange for Mercedes parent company Daimler increasing its stake in the company to about 20%, up from 2.6% at present.
Aston Martin CEO Tobias Moers, who in his previous role was head of Mercedes-AMG, has shed some light on how the British automaker might end up utilizing some of the borrowed tech.
Tobias Moers
Speaking to Automotive News (subscription required) in an interview published Sunday, Moers said he’s targeting annual sales of 10,000 units by 2024, with up to one fifth of these to be electrified cars. Aston Martin in 2019 sold about 5,800 units.
Aston Martin doesn’t sell any electrified cars but Moers plans to add plug-in hybrid and battery-electric cars to the lineup, with help from Mercedes. These will include a plug-in hybrid version of the DBX SUV in 2023 and an EV in 2025 or 2026, Moers told Automotive News.
2021 Aston Martin DBX
Moers’ predecessor, Andy Palmer, planned to focus on mild-hybrid and EV technology, with the latter to be offered via a revival of fellow historic British marque Lagonda starting around 2022. Moers told Automotive News that Lagonda will be used for something else and that future EVs will be sold as Aston Martins. He also said the EVs will use Mercedes technology. A possibility is the new EVA platform that Mercedes has developed for high-end EVs. It debuts shortly in a Mercedes EQS sedan.
Interestingly, Moers also hinted in his interview that the V-6-based powertrain destined for the Valhalla hypercar, which uses an in-house-developed V-6 unveiled by Aston Martin in March, could be dropped in favor of a Mercedes powertrain. Moers said his team is still working on the powertrain for the Valhalla, meaning the car may miss its originally promised launch in 2022.
Aston Martin Valhalla and Vanquish Vision concept
The good news is that Moers remains determined to launch the new mid-engine Vanquish supercar after the Valhalla and said this car will also feature an electrified powertrain. Aston Martin previewed the new Vanquish with a stunning concept at the 2019 Geneva International Motor Show.
Aston Martin was hit particularly hard by the slowdown caused by Covid-19 coronavirus pandemic, though the automaker looks to be on the mend. It’s reduced its workforce and brought in new management, and the new tech-sharing deal with Mercedes should save it considerable costs compared to having to develop the tech itself. The automaker also enters Formula One next year with the rebranding of the current Racing Point team, and with four-time world champion Sebastian Vettel set to drive alongside Lance Stroll.
Source: MotorAuthority.com

Stroll: Mercedes shareholding “transformational” for Aston Martin

Mercedes-Benz is set to become the second-largest shareholder in Aston Martin in a deal owner and executive chairman Lawrence Stroll described as a “transformational moment” for the marque.Today’s announcement, focused on Aston’s road car business, revealed an increased level of technical co-operation between the two marques which will also have implications for their respective Formula 1 programmes that already co-exist with as much co-operation as the FIA rules allow.The Aston Martin name will return to Grand Prix racing next year when the Racing Point team is rebadged, with new driver Sebastian Vettel set to become a global ambassador for the brand.Plans are already in hand for Aston road car design staff to be based at the team’s new factory at Silverstone.Mercedes is set to increase its stake in the company to 20%, while also providing what Aston Martin calls access to “a range of world-class technologies, including powertrain architecture (for conventional, hybrid, and electric vehicles) and future oriented electric/electronic architecture, for all product launches through to 2027.”PLUS: Will signing Vettel save Aston Martin?Mercedes F1 boss Toto Wolff is already a shareholder of Aston, in a private capacity.”It is the result of six months of enormous effort to position the company for success to capture the huge and exciting opportunity ahead of us,” Stroll said.”I am extremely pleased with the progress to date and that we are ahead of plan on timing, despite operating in these most challenging of times.”Today, we take another major step forward as our long-term partnership with Mercedes-Benz AG moves to another level with them becoming one of the company’s largest shareholders.”Through this new expanded agreement, we secure access to world-class technologies to support our long-term product expansion plans, including electric and hybrid powertrains and this partnership underpins our confidence in the future.”Stroll also announced major new shareholders in the form of Zelon Holdings and Permian Investment Partners.”I, and my co-investors, are fully committed to delivering this plan,” he added.”Our participation in this new substantial round of financing demonstrates both our confidence in the prospects for the business and our commitment to the future success of Aston Martin.”Everything I’ve just described is absolutely game changing. “Of course in addition we have the significant marketing platform of an Aston Martin works team returning to F1 next year.”We now have the right team, partner, plan and funding in place to transform the company to be one of the greatest luxury car brands in the world.”Recently recruited CEO Tobias Moers, formerly of AMG, added: “Today’s expansion of our partnership with Mercedes-Benz AG is a critical step towards achieving our goals for Aston Martin.PLUS: How a key signing will strengthen Racing Point’s Mercedes ties”The capabilities of Mercedes-Benz AG technology will be fundamental to ensure our future products remain competitive and will allow us to invest efficiently in the areas that truly differentiate our products.”Wolf-Dieter Kurz, the head of product strategy at Mercedes-Benz Cars, stressed that the supply of technology would be on “commercial terms”, with access to “new cutting-edge powertrain and software technologies and components, including next generation hybrid and electric drive systems” provided in exchange for its new shares.
Source: AutoSport.com

Mercedes-Benz taking bigger stake in Aston Martin in exchange for sharing more tech

Mercedes-Benz will increase its stake in Aston Martin Lagonda in exchange for greater sharing of components with the British automaker, the two companies announced Tuesday.
Under the agreement, Mercedes will own up to 20% of Aston Martin, compared to 2.6% now. Additional shares will be issued in several stages over the next three years, Mercedes parent Daimler said in a press release. Mercedes’ stake will be valued at up to 373 million. Mercedes said it has no intentions of increasing its stake beyond 20%.
In exchange for the shares, Aston will get access to a wider array of Mercedes components. This will include internal-combustion, hybrid, and all-electric powertrains, as well as electrical architectures, and vehicle components and systems, to be used in all product launches to 2027, Aston said in a press release.
2019 Aston Martin DB11 AMR
After years of discussions, the automakers entered into their initial partnership in 2013, which saw Mercedes supply AMG 4.0-liter twin-turbocharged V-8 engines and electrical-architecture components to Aston. The deal initially called for Mercedes to take a 5% stake in Aston, but that was reduced to 2.6% after Aston’s 2018 initial public offering (IPO) and subsequent funding rounds.
Aston Martin currently uses the AMG V-8 in the Vantage and DB11 sports cars, as well as the DBX SUV. Former AMG boss Tobias Moers was also announced as Aston’s new CEO earlier this year, and Mercedes-AMG Formula One team principal Toto Wolff was part of a consortium of investors that bought Aston.
The Mercedes and F1 connections don’t stop there. Canadian mogul Lawrence Stroll leads the investors backing both Aston and the Racing Point F1 team where his son Lance Stroll is a driver. The elder Stroll has decided to rebrand the team as Aston Martin for the 2021 season. Racing Point currently uses Mercedes powertrains, and will continue to do so under its new name.
Source: MotorAuthority.com

Aston Martin Autosport BRDC Young Driver of the Year Award winner Hoggard has F1 test

Johnathan Hoggard has completed his first Formula 1 test as part of his prize for winning the 2019 Aston Martin Autosport BRDC Young Driver of the Year Award.Hoggard won the Award, which also includes a prize of £200,000, after impressing in MSV Formula 2, Ligier LMP3 and Aston Martin GT3 machinery last year.INSIGHT: Why Hoggard won Aston Martin Young Driver of the Year AwardHe completed a day of testing at the Silverstone Grand Prix circuit in one of Aston Martin Red Bull Racing’s RB8s, which won the F1 constructors’ title and drivers’ crown with Sebastian Vettel in 2012.After the 19-year-old completed an installation run on wet tyres, Red Bull waited for the weather to improve so that Hoggard could have three runs in the dry, each on new slick rubber, with the 750-800bhp V8 machine.He improved on each run and ended up with an unofficial best lap within 1.5 seconds of the fastest lap from the 2012 British Grand Prix, albeit on different Pirelli rubber and without the RB8’s KERS.”It’s a dream come true to drive an F1 car, especially around Silverstone GP,” said Hoggard.”The main thing was how much power it had, especially on full throttle, and the downforce with the blown diffuser – you can get on the power and it really does stick.”I was trying not to leave anything on the table – it could be a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity so I’d have regretted it if I’d have stayed in my comfort zone.”It was a case of being confident and sensible, building up nicely. I want to go again.”Red Bull’s Simon Rennie, who ran the test, was happy with Hoggard’s progression.”He did a good job,” said Rennie.”From seeing how well he performed at the Award tests last year and adapted to the three cars I expected him to do a good job and he carried that on.”He got straight on with it, there were no scary moments and he progressed in each run.”With the blown diffuser it’s a bit of a foreign thing for drivers – to believe that more throttle will mean the car is more stable – but any advice we gave he was acting on in the next run.”Hoggard, who contested this year’s Daytona 24 Hours and impressed in a recent FIA F3 test at Barcelona, has not yet confirmed his 2021 plans, but is considering single-seater options.
Source: AutoSport.com

2021 Ford Bronco Raptor (or Warthog), 2020 Chevrolet Corvette, 2020 Aston Martin Vantage: The Week In Reverse

The 2021 Ford Bronco Raptor (or Warthog) was spotted; the 2020 Chevrolet Corvette won’t be as rare as expected; and we spent time in the 2020 Aston Martin Vantage. It’s the Week in Reverse, right here at Motor Authority.
The 2021 Ford Bronco Raptor—or is that Warthog?—was spotted on public roads undergoing what appeared to be validation testing. Likely in production form, the high-performance Bronco featured 37-inch off-road tires and orange Fox shocks with active damping and external bypass technology.
Toyota’s commitment to the iconic Land Cruiser SUV in the U.S. has apparently ended as a dealer source told Motor Authority 2021 will be the final model year for the large SUV in the U.S. market. “There’s no illusion it’s coming back and it’s completely dead for the moment,” he said.
We slid behind the wheel of the 2020 Aston Martin Vantage and found it excels as a sports car, approaching the Porsche 911 for handling prowess. But it’s expensive and the interior controls can be confusing.
The 2021 Jaguar XF was revealed with a tweaked exterior design and a refreshed interior with updated tech. The XF will now feature an 11.4-inch touchscreen infotainment system that Jaguar says is simpler to use. Digital controls now reside below the infotainment screen for comfort settings.
Turns out the 2020 Chevrolet Corvette won’t be that collectible after all. Production of the mid-engine sports car has been extended through December to build as many 2020s as possible to meet customer demand. Chevrolet has delivered 12,634 2020 Corvettes through the first three quarters of the year.
Source: MotorAuthority.com

Review update: 2020 Aston Martin Vantage appeals as dashing and different

Perhaps no vehicle has taken a bigger leap forward from one generation to the next than the Aston Martin Vantage.
A lot of technology and engineering improvements have been made since 2005, which was the last time the Vantage was redesigned. I drove the manual-transmission Vantage AMR after its 2019 redesign, and I recently spent a week in an automatic model. Here are the positive and negative affects those advancements have had on the latest Vantage.
2020 Aston Martin Vantage
Hit: You can live with it or track it
The last-generation Vantage was a stunningly beautiful car. It also rode like a shopping cart. The new Vantage is the performance model in the Aston Martin lineup and it has the firm suspension tuning to prove it. Still, the stiffer structure allows for a softer suspension, which makes it far more comfortable than the model it replaces. This Vantage can be an everyday sports car, and that will encourage owners to drive it more often and show off its stunning looks to an adoring public. A 2021 Vantage roadster is also on the way to add top-down driving to the experience.
The new Vantage also excels as a sports car. The car shrinks around the driver with quick-twitch moves thanks to extra-sensory steering and a near-perfect 51/49 front/rear weight balance. It approaches the Porsche 911 for handling prowess, but…
2020 Aston Martin Vantage
Miss: Costly
…the Vantage starts at $156,081, almost $40,000 more than the most comparable 911, the Carrera S. That price is also about $15,000 more than the last-generation Vantage. The upgrades certainly make it worth the upcharge versus its predecessor, but the problem for the Vantage—and for other high-end sports cars—is the screaming value and exacting engineering of the 911. Factor in the power and poise of the $60,000 C8 Chevrolet Corvette, and you really have to fall in love with the Vantage’s looks to choose it over those rivals. That’s not hard to do, and there is also something said for being different.
2020 Aston Martin Vantage
Hit: Smart partnership with Mercedes
Aston Martin’s partnership with Mercedes-Benz gives the Vantage two important features: its twin-turbo 4.0-liter V-8 and a viable infotainment system.
The Vantage comes exclusively with the Mercedes-AMG twin-turbo 4.0-liter V-8 (no V-12 thus far). The engine makes 503 horsepower and 505 pound-feet of torque in the Vantage when backed by the 8-speed automatic transmission in this test car (it has less torque with the manual). It’s a strong powerplant that delivers ready, raucous power and sings a Mercedes song tuned to an Aston Martin pitch to be even more sonorous. The 0-60 mph jaunt takes just 3.6 seconds and the top speed is 200 mph. Aston Martin could have developed its own engine, but why bother? This is one of the best V-8s on the market.
Aston Martin also adapts its infotainment system from Mercedes-Benz. It doesn’t look the same but it acts the same as pre-MBUX systems from Mercedes. The system is controlled through a central rotary dial that requires a learning curve, but it has a lot more functionality than Aston Martin would likely develop on its own.
2019 Aston Martin Vantage first drive
Miss: It’s unfamiliar
Sit inside the Vantage and the control layout is different than most of us are used to. The starter button sits in the middle of the center stack flanked by four shift buttons. That’s quite different for a sports car but not entirely new given similar buttons from Lincoln. Aston puts the seat controls on the side of the center console, the center screen lacks touch controls, and this test car is ensconced in synthetic suede like it’s socially acceptable. It’s all a little bit off, though it could be viewed as charming in an off-kilter British way.
2019 Aston Martin Vantage first drive 
Hit: Mode choice
Aston Martin also forges its own path in how it approaches drive modes. Many automakers offer an Individual mode that allows drivers to choose their own parameters for throttle response, stability control, suspension tuning, steering, sound, etc. The Vantage presents a simpler, more elegant solution. The Vantage has two mode controllers on the steering wheel, each with Sport, Sport+, and Track settings. The toggle on the left is for the adjustable and adaptive dampers, while the one on the right handles the engine and throttle response. Like the quicker response with the softer suspension? Set them and forget them. Prefer the relaxed throttle and suspension for the street and the more aggressive settings for canyon carving or track driving? The changeover is easily accomplished with a quick thumb press on each side of the steering wheel. Other automakers Individual modes are easy enough to change, but they often require diving deep into submenus. This method separates out power delivery and suspension tuning—the two parameters that most affect drivability—and makes them very easy to change.
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2020 Aston Martin Vantage
Base price: $156,081 including $3,086 destination
Price as tested: $170,231
Drivetrain: 503-hp twin-turbo 4.0-liter V-8 with an 8-speed automatic transmission and rear-wheel drive.
EPA fuel economy: If you have to ask…
The hits: Livable and trackable, Mercedes partnership, mode choice
The misses: Pricey, unfamiliar.
Source: MotorAuthority.com