Desperate times call for desperate measures. Just ask this unfortunate Aston Martin owner.
We're wondering if he's got one of those Meaty McMeat artery exploders in there for us. [TMZ]
The Islamic investment firm that bough half of Aston Martin in 2007 is now considering selling up to 20 percent of its holding in the British automaker and is also looking to borrow up to 300 million dinars ($1 billion) to refinance debt.
Kuwait's Investment Dar's executive vice-president Amr Abou El-Seoud said yesterday that it is looking to sell up to 20 percent of its stake in Aston Martin on behalf of itself and some of its partners.
"We have offers … we are in talks but the (sale) should be value-added whether financially or technically," Seoud told Reuters in an interview. "We are not considering selling and exiting."
He said that there is a 60 to 70 percent chance that a deal would be reached soon but declined to identify potential buyers. Aston Martin recently announced that it will cut up to 600 jobs in Britain as a response to a decline in sales.
Posted by sato at 1:07 AM
While the failure of Senate to pass the auto bailout for the Big 3 may be some depressing news to many this morning we're excited to show your the first official pictures of the upcoming production version of the Aston Martin Rapide.
While these may be pretty basic computer renderings - they are our first look at the production version of the Rapide that will arrive by the summer of next year.
Looks a lot better than its rival - Porsche Panamera; however, we think that Lamborghini did the best job at an uber-luxurious four-door with their Estoque Concept.
Aston Martin Rapide (Production):
So you're stuck with your 380-hp Aston Martin 4.3L V8 Vantage and are pissed off that no one is in the market for a used Aston Martin (since the economy… well sucks) so you can drop your 4.3L for a new 2009 4.7L V8 Vantage that was introduced this summer. Well don't be so angered because Aston Martin has just announced a new "affordable" power enhancement and a Sport Pack option for the folks that own a 4.3L V8 Vantage.
Available immediately thorough dealers, customers can upgrade their 4.3L V8 with an extra 20-hp for a total of 400-hp and a maximum torque of 310 lb-ft (the new 4.7L V8 Vantage makes 420-hp and a peak torque of 347 lb-ft). That allows for a top speed of 177 mph and a slight improvement in the 0 to 60 mph time.
The new Sports Pack option introduced on the new 2009 V8 Vantage earlier is now available to owners of the 4.3L V8 Vantage customers. The Sport Pack gives your Vantage upgraded springs and Bilstein dampers and lightweight forged aluminium 5-spoke alloy wheels.
Aston Martin V8 Vantage:
• Don't know manual? Don't worry - you can still by an Aston Martin DBS.
• 6.0L V12 engine with 510-hp.
• Touchtronic 2 6-speed automatic transmission.
• 0 to 62 mph in 4.3 seconds; top speed comes in at 191 mph.
So you don't know manual but you have enough money to buy an Aston Martin DBS? Don't bother learning stick now because Aston Martin has now introduced (well they actually introduced it at the 2008 Paris Motor Show, this is just the U.S. debut of the model), the option of a Touchtronic 2 6-speed automatic transmission derived from the same ZF transaxle unit used in the DB9. The transmission features a final drive ratio from 3.15:1 to 3.46:1. That means it offers quicker acceleration time, improved performance and still offers the performance of a 6-speed manual.
Oh, and there is no gearbox. You can just select Park, Reverse, Neutral and Drive from the dashboard next to the key-fob insert. Pulling either of the leather-trimmed magnesium alloy paddles mounted on the steering will activate Touchtronic mode.
Aston Martin has also added additional features including a new Bang & Olufsen audio system and lightweight 10-spoke 20-inch forged aluminium wheels. Our favorite addition? You can now swap out the rear storage and get rid of the 2+0 arrangement with two rear-seats for 2+2 seating.
Aston Martin DBS with Touchtronic 2 - Live from 2008 LA Auto Show:
Aston Martin announced today that it will cut a third of its UK workforce as a response to sluggish sales. The luxury sports car automaker said today that it is consulting with unions to cut a total of 600 jobs out of 1,850. The cut will include 300 permanent jobs and 300 temporary jobs.
Aston Martin made it clear that new and upcoming products won't be threatened as a result of the cuts. It said that it is "100% committed" to its existing product plans including the launch of the four-door Rapide and the relaunch of the Lagonda brand is on schedule.
"Like other premium car brands, Aston Martin has been forced to take action to respond to the unprecedented downturn in the global economy," said CEO Ulrich Bez. "These are regrettable but necessary measures in the extraordinary market conditions we all now face."
Our friends at CAR Magazine have obtained the first official image of the Aston Martin Rapide four-door-sedan; conveniently just days after the launch of the 2010 Porsche Panamera. Although the image is a photo-rendering by Aston Martin, it shows what the final production of the new Rapide will look like.
Couple of cosmetic changes have been made to put the Rapide into production, but nothing major. Power for the Aston Martin Rapide is expected to come from a 6.0L V12 engine that will make close to 500-hp with a maximum torque of 420 lb-ft. It will be mated to Aston's 6-speed ZF automatic transmission with paddle shifters.
We'll see the production Aston Martin Rapide early next year with production to begin in late 2009. Pricing is expected to be between £130,000-£150,000.
Earlier this week in Dubai, Aston Martin Racing unveiled its new 2009 specification Vantage GT4 based on the new 4.7L V8 Vantage. Building off of its predecessor, the 4.3L Vantage N24, the new Vantage GT4 has larger capacity engine that offers more torque throughout the rev range. The suspension has also been upgraded to enhance handling with stopping power coming from large front brake discs with revised cooling.
The 4.7L V8 is mated to a 6-speed manual or sportshift transmission with paddle controls. The Vantage GT4 is 300kg lighter than the standard V8 Vantage with a range of weight reduction measures. Also carried over from the standard V8 Vantage are the dynamic stability control, traction control, ABS and electronic brake-force distribution
Pricing starts at £96,645 with deliveries to begin in January 2009. The new 2009 Aston Martin Racing Vantage GT4 is built to FIA GT4 regulations. Aston Martin Racing is now the only manufacturer to produce cars in each of the GT classes: GT1, GT2, GT3 and GT4.
Earlier last month Aston Martin released Episode-1 about its upcoming One-77. Today Aston released Episode-2 which gives us a closer look at the design process involved with the most exclusive Aston Martin ever built.
Aston's Director of Design, Marek Reichman, describes the personal tailoring involved with the One-77. Reichman says that with only 77 units being made for 77 very special customers, Aston will go to the limits to tailor the car to every individual; so much so that customers will be able to tune the feel of the paddle shifts - whether they want a light or heavy feeling.
The video also stars Program Manager Chris Porritt who walks us through the heritage and craftsmanship involved with the car.
The next Episode will be revealed on January 2009 - the month where Aston Martin is expected to officially reveal the One-77.
Follow the jump for the video.
Aston Martin One-77:
Posted by sato at 12:35 AM