Aston Martin One-77
The next couple of years are shaping up to be tremendously busy for Aston Martin, with a reported six all-new models due from the bespoke British automaker between now and 2016.
Kicking off the onslaught of new models will be the ultra-exclusive One-77 supercar due later this year and limited to a total production run of just 77 units. Built not just as a halo car, but as an ultra-halo car, a sort of rekindling of the legacy of Aston Martin, plus a projection of the brand into the future, the One-77 is designed to be the most quintessential Aston Martin ever, and the most perfectly personalized car available.
Flipping over the other side of the new car spectrum, Aston Martin will follow the One-77 supercar with the Cygnet minicar, a rebadged Toyota iQ fitted with some very distinct Aston Martin styling cues. The reasoning behind the project is to enable Aston Martin to comply with tough new fuel economy and emissions regulations coming into effect in Europe by 2012. Expect the bespoke minicar to be launched some time in 2011.
Around 2013 will be the introduction of the DB9’s successor. Codenamed internally as Project VH500, the new car will share many similarities with the current model though almost every element will be improved upon. More power is also on the table, with the current V-12 engine expected to undergo a major overhaul to not only produce more power but also produce fewer emissions. A replacement for the high-performance DBS is also on the cards.
The smaller Vantage is also due for a major revamp, with its replacement coming just one year after the new DB9. Similar changes are planned for it but given its 2014 arrival, anything could change between now and then. Less weight, more power and sharper handling; need we say more?
In late 2014 or possibly early 2015, a new Lagonda model will be in production. The plan is to build a new luxury SUV using Mercedes-Benz underpinnings and sell it to developing markets like Russia and China where raised off-roaders are more practical than ground-hugging sports cars. The Lagonda Concept from 2009 was actually based on a Mercedes-Benz GL but don’t expect the production version to resemble anything like the original concept. It turns out that the negative reception it's received has persuaded Aston Martin to rethink its design for the new Lagonda.
Finally, in 2016, Aston Martin will launch a successor for the Rapide sedan. Why the relatively short lifespan of the current model? Because the Rapide is based on the same underpinnings as the DB9 and Vantage and since both of these models will be heavily updated and re-engineered then so could the Rapide--and for very little extra cost. Depending on how successful the current Rapide proves, production could be moved back to Aston Martin’s Gaydon facility instead of at the current Magna-Steyr plant in Austria as well.