Friday, March 23, 2007

Aston Martin DBX

Aston Martin DBXSince the firm was taken over last week by a group of businessmen led by Prodrive chairman David Richards, boss Ulrich Bez has wasted no time in outlining his vision for the years ahead. As well as fast-tracking the development of models such as the Aston Martin DBS and four-door Rapide, Bez has hinted at a new flagship, codenamed Aston Martin DBX.
Aimed at the likes of the Mercedes McLaren SLR and Bugatti Veyron, the car would be a benchmark for pace and exclusivity for the British brand. While engineers and designers haven't revealed the performance targets they would set for the newcomer, it would sit on the firm's versatile vertical horizontal (VH) aluminium and composite chassis, and is likely to use a tuned version of the 6.0-litre V12 engine producing more than 700bhp.
That means a top speed in excess of 205mph and a 0-60mph time of less than 3.7 seconds. Inspired by the Aston Martin Zagato, launched back in 1986 primarily to reach 300km/h (186mph), the car will probably feature much of the technology which underpins the forthcoming Aston Martin DBS in a smaller, more potent package.
Power will be transferred to the rear wheels via a six-speed manual gearbox because, while Aston has access to both fully automatic and semi-automatic units, it's thought a manual will offer greater driver appeal.
New owner Prodrive is likely to be involved in much of the suspension and engine tuning, as was the case with the V8-engined Vantage.
Although prices have not yet been discussed, it's expected that the newcomer would be the most expensive model Aston Martin has ever made, with a tag of at least £350,000.
Meanwhile, bosses at the company have also confirmed that they intend to increase sales volumes by speeding up production. Aston will employ more people, and is aiming to lift overall output to nearly 9,000 vehicles every year - up from its current volume of around 6,000 models.
Source: AutoExpress
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