Thursday, October 20, 2016
DB11 Will Lead Aston Martin's Recovery Plans
Media excitement about the presidential election next month has drowned out a significant fact, at least for the super-rich. Aston Martin’s new DB11 will finally arrive in November.
The DB11 comes with the usual over-the-top superlatives, and the long-established luxury performance car maker talks about how it will lead its “Second Century” campaign.
Aston Martin says the DB11 is the most powerful, most efficient and most dynamically gifted DB model in its history. It is certainly the most powerful, with its new V12, 5.2-litre twin-turbocharged gasoline engine producing 600 hp. Claiming it is the “most dynamically gifted” is a bit more difficult to prove, and even if it is the most efficient Aston Martin ever, its claimed 20 miles per U.S. gallon on a good day won’t impress anyone. But buyers of this car won’t be too bothered by the fuel consumption – the starting price is $211,995 before tax in the U.S. – and will probably tell you how clever the technology is because it can switch off half of the 12 cylinders when not absolutely necessary; very environmentally friendly.
At a recent conference Palmer joked that in the first century of its existence, Aston Martin, founded in 1913, went bankrupt 7 times, and plans to make sure that never happens again.
Palmer said new models will spearhead the company’s return to profitability too, but hasn’t said when. Aston Martin, in which Mercedes-Benz holds a 5% stake and supplies electronics and V8 engines, isn’t doing too well at the moment. In June it announced a pre-tax loss of about $160 million for 2015, worse than the loss of $85 million the previous year. It sold 3,615 cars in 2015, down from 3,661 in 2014, and compared with 7,300 in 2007. Major shareholders now are Italian Investindustrial and Investment Dar of Kuwait.
The DB11, which replaces the DB9, is built on a new bonded aluminum structure to be shared with the forthcoming Vantage and Vanquish sports cars. The DB11 has a new aerodynamic system that channels air through the rear of the body to reduce drag and cuts the need for a big rear spoiler. There’s quite a small one instead. There are small seats in the rear, but only really big enough for children.
The DB11 is the first Aston Martin to use Mercedes-electrical equipment, including the engine management computers, switchgear, wire harnessing, infotainment and active safety systems. Mercedes will provide a turbo-charged V8 engine later. More new Aston Martins will include an SUV and a Lagonda saloon, to compete with Bentley and Rolls-Royce.
This is also the first Aston Martin for some time to be launched without much reference to the James Bond spy movies. The previous DB10 was developed especially for the Spectre movie with much hype and bluster.
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