Aston Martin’s future hinges on the Mercedes-Benz partnership

Article by Christian Andrei, on October 12, 2011

As you may know already, Aston Martin and Daimler have been discussing a product development tie-up in order to help the British manufacturer to redesign its coupes and give a platform for a large sedan but also for an SUV. Back in August, German newspaper Handelsblatt said that Aston Martin CEO Ulrich Bez is interested in building Maybachs for Daimler but also a rebadged version of the sedan for Aston but according to Auto Motor und Sport it appears that these talks have collapsed.

For those who don’t know, Aston Martin was planning to use the Mercedes-Benz GL platform for its Lagonda SUV, but now it appears that the project is on hold. Moreover, Aston Martin was also planning to build a larger sedan due to the complaints about the Rapide's small back seat. A rebadged version of the Maybach wearing the Lagonda badge seemed to be the perfect car but unfortunately this vehicle is also dead, says Autonews.

Things are not looking too good for Aston Martin because the future of the Vantage is also in danger, because the new version of this car may end up to a re-engineering of the platform, powertrain and sheet metal. The DB9 future also depends on the Mercedes-Benz partnership because this model uses the same platform as the Vantage and it may take a while until Aston Martin will introduce carbon fiber spaceframes.

The new Aston Martin V12 Vantage is now the marque’s most powerful production sports car in its entire 95-year history. Designed similarly as the highly successful V8 Vantage, the V12 has just been introduced at the 2009 Geneva Motor Show, and it will be powered by a 6.0-litre V12 engine capable of 510bhp (380 kW / 517 PS) and 570 Nm (420 lb ft.) of torque which can speed it up from 0-62 mph (0-100kmh) in just 4.2 seconds, on the way to a top speed of 190 mph (305 km/h).

The newest member of the Vantage series shows distinctive touches in its design that are nonetheless cohesive with other existing Aston Martin models, and are also enticing to a variety of driver tastes.

The Aston Martin V12 Vantage was first revealed to the public as a concept car at the opening of the Aston Martin Design Studio in December 2007. The company has built a reputation of producing market versions of their concept cars. As such, they were able to start producing the Aston Martin V12 Vantage merely 12 months after the concept’s debut.

Dr Ulrich Bez, Aston Martin Chief Executive Officer emphasises that the V12 represents the most performance-oriented Vantage yet, as it is their most swiftly responsive model with their most powerful engine. Bez adds that the V12 exemplifies the ultimate driving package with its superb performance that will surely provide a sportive thrill, while also having everyday practicality.

Bez adds that the Aston Martin V12 Vantage distinctive appeal sets it apart from their other models, such that it will certainly be appreciated by many customers with varying tastes. Thus, more people can then experience the delight of getting into an Aston Martin.

The V12 Vantage also confirms an important mark of the Aston Martin brand: “the ability to act quickly and turn concepts and ideas into reality."

The Aston Martin V12 Vantage has been designed fundamentally for the focused driver. This is evident with every component, as each has been engineered with the ultimate objective of maximising driving pleasure. Truly, this sports car’s race-developed materials and components, with extensive usage of lightweight carbon fibre, elevate its agility and capability to unprecedented levels.

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