Which Aston Martin? August 2008
I, like most other lovers of automobiles, live in hope. I hope that one day in the not too distant future I will be listening excitedly for the sound of the mail landing on my mat because it may contain brochures from exotic car manufacturers such as Lamborghini, Ferrari, Aston Martin, etc. Now I’m aware that although glossy, sweet smelling and printed on the highest grade paper, receiving supercar brochures is not exciting in itself unless maybe you’ve never kissed a girl and rank the screening of a new series of Robot Wars as the highlight of your week. No, In my mind I ‘m envisaging my excitement being real and justified because I will be in a position to actually part with my hard earned money (or soft earned, I’m not fussy) and become the proud owner of one of these objects of desire whos images have tantalised and teased me from my bedroom walls for so long.
Until my dreams are upgraded to becoming a multi-millionaire, being in this privileged situation would then bring about some wonderful problems of its own i.e. which car to choose. The obvious choices are the Lamborghini Gallardo and the Ferrari F430. Both stunning, exotic Italian supercars but worlds apart in terms of driver experience. On one hand the brutish bull, raw power restrained by an excellent 4wd drivetrain. On the other hand the prancing pony, fragile and flighty with its roots firmly planted in F1 technology. Ooh the agony of choice!
Not to be dismissed however are the likes of Porsche, Maserati and from dear old blighty (sort of) Aston Martin. This brings me to my point though. If I were to request a test drive in 007’s brand of choice, I would not have a clue which one to opt for as they all look roughly the same!
When Ian Callum put pen to paper in the 1990’s and designed the DB7, he obviously knew a thing or two about creating achingly beautiful cars, it was breath taking. Unfortunately its looks weren’t mirrored in its underpinnings, dating back to the less than advanced Jaguar XJS. This didn’t matter however, it sold on the way it looked and after years of uncertainty, Aston seemed to have found the way forward. That was back in 1994 though, 14 years ago and as far as I can see, since then they have steadfastly refused to move out of their comfort zone, venturing to create something new and radical.
Imagine being a fly on the wall at AM when a new model is being initially sketched. Sure, some young upstart may try to start from scratch with an open mind and a blank piece of paper but after sufficient scorn has been poured upon him, he’ll come round and simply tweak the tried and tested DB7 formula so as not to upset the apple cart. Even recent shots of a possible four door model, the Rapide, look like every other AM with two more doors shoehorned in as an afterthought!
Put simply, I see AM’s recent model list as follows-;
Vanquish = Muscular DB7
Vanquish S = Faster Muscular DB7
DB9 = Updated DB7 (God knows what happened to DB8?!?)
DBS = Faster Updated DB7 with cheap bodykit
V8 Vantage = Smaller, Shortened DB7
V8 Vantage Roadster = Smaller, Shortened DB7 with no roof.
Come on Aston, be brave, let go of the past, stop living on memories. Now, did someone mention Porsche……..