British automaker Aston Martin will debut its own China-focused “Dragon88” line at the impending Beijing Auto Show. It hopes to follow in the footsteps of the Rolls-Royce whose “Year of the Dragon” special edition Phantom that was made specifically for the Chinese market had sold out even with a $1.2 million price tag.
Six dealerships are operating in mainland China. Aston Martin expects that China would be its third-largest market, trailing only the U.S. and U.K., within just a few short years. Aston Martin hopes to affect the rising demand for ultra-luxury vehicles even as other auto segments indicate signs of a slowdown in China.
It has recently opened its biggest showroom in China in Shanghai and has expressed interest in hastening inland expansion in 2012 to cope with rivals such as Bentley and Rolls-Royce. In 2011, Aston Martin sold 190 vehicles in China -- double what it had sold in 2010. It has new showrooms slated for Chongqing, Shenyang and Ordos. Aston Martin said that the new “Dragon88″ special edition would be offered in V8 Vantage S, Virage and DBS models.
Like other China-only special editions, it comes with Chinese cultural references and iconography. The number eight is considered lucky in China. Its paint themes have three versions: champagne gold (which stands for wealth and fortune); volcano red (peace and protection) or amethyst red (dragon fire).
Its interior embroidery features a dragon that takes inspiration from the Nine Dragon Wall at Beihai Park in Beijing. The Dragon88 line also comes with a Bang and Olufsen speaker system, a set of new 10-spoke dragon edition alloy wheels and special black brake calipers. [source: Jingdaily]