For the love of beauty, this is the leitmotiv and focus of the Aston Martin media Dinner held in Frankfurt alongside the IAA press conference last month. Located in a bar born from a restored Deutsche Bank building in the city centre. The location hints at what Aston Martin plans to do in the coming years.
Looking past the champagne and canapé reception, Aston Martin’s welcome to Frankfurt gathered a who’s who of Aston’s current model range. From the recently released DB11 Coupe and the Vantage V8 AMR announced in Geneva, to the highly appreciated Vanquish Zagato Volante and the eye catching Valkyrie hypercar. There is a lot to celebrate for the British brand.
A quick non-disclosure agreement later and we’re ready to see the latest and greatest. In small groups, we are invited into a secondary, secret room for a “preview” of the next Aston Martin.
The general consensus was that this would be the much-anticipated Aston Martin Vantage. Instead, what we actually got to see was the much anticipated DB11 Volante. The Frankfurt car was dressed in a beautiful dark blue metallic paint topped with a new 8 layer super silent black canvas roof.
The shape, as elegant and classy as ever, gets a lower belt line. The front and rear profile look almost identical to the closed top sibling. The lack of a roof line at the back makes the Volante look a little longer than the Coupe, but Aston Martin confirm the Volante retains its ability to carry 2 golf bags with a roof closed and 1 with the roof open.
Aston Martin’s innovative aero blade is still present but operates slightly differently. On the Coupe, air is directed to an opening at the DB11’s C-pillar, where it is channeled into ducts within the bodywork. Air is expelled from an opening on the rear decklid, generating pressure which pushes the rear wheels into the surface.
Interior designers did an excellent job of maintaining the design features and materials from the coupe. A new leather stitched central tunnel is the only noticeable addition. What is different is the choice to launch the Volante as an AMG-powered V8 model with the well-known ZF 8 speed gearbox. It seems likely that it will be joined by a V12 model later.
As the night grew older and dinner, prepared by Europe’s most innovative chefs, concluded, Aston’s CEO, Andy Palmer delivered a very interesting key note. Aston Martin seems to be doing well nowadays, growing organically with revenue jumps of 94% during the first half of this year together with wholesale sales surges of 67% to 2,439 vehicles.
Large investments are expected in the mid-term that will transform the company into an exclusive and luxury brand with a broader portfolio of products. The company plans to release a new car every year ensuring, between now and 2019, the total replacement of its entire current range (including the Vantage, DBS and the launch of an all new SUV).
Greater focus will be placed on electric powertrains, starting now with an already fully sold-out electrified version of the Rapide. Further collaborations will be announced with technical partners AMG and Red Bull F1. Aston Martin will be more “beautiful” than ever?
Words by Yaron Esposito