James Bond's DBS from Quantum of Solace

Click above for high-res image gallery of the Quantum of Solace DBS

Your English-manor-garden variety Aston Martin DBS has 510 horsepower and 420 lb-ft of torque. The 6.0-liter V12 that powers it will pull the coupe to 60 in 4.3 seconds. It costs $305,000, and it is a special car. But we drove one that was even more special. We drove one of the Aston Martins that was in Quantum of Solace, driven by the man who plays The Man. We didn't even have to break into some supermax-like vault-within-a-vault to get to it. Aston Martin delivered it to us for a day of spy play, yet that didn't make the experience any less thrilling. Follow the jump for the story.

Spy Shots: Aston Martin Rapide spied again in the buff

With every automaker and their cousins coming up with their own take on the four-door coupe concept, the Aston Martin Rapide continues to sporadically rear its pretty head to show the rest of 'em how it's done.
The concept car, originally unveiled in 2006, cut a striking silhouette, and as the vehicle rumbles towards production it remains apparent that Aston Martin has no intention of losing any of the show car's pizzazz. The latest batch of spy shots, like those we've seen up until now, shows a test mule that retains the concept's glass roof, indicating that it could be a pleasant - though unfortunately top-heavy - standard feature. Speculation is that both V8 and V12 engine options, derived from the Vantage and DB9 respectively, will be offered to better compete with the varied powertrain options available in the Porsche Panamera. Expect to see the production Rapide revealed sometime later this year or early in 2010.
[Source: NextAutos]

Technically Speaking: Aston Martin could be repossessed by banks

Aston Martin chairman David Richards has admitted that his company is in danger of a "technical breach of its banking covenants" sometime later this year. The situation could, technically, lead to the banks which financed the acquisition of the British sportscar-maker repossessing it.
Now we're not experts in finance. Not by any stretch of the imagination. So we couldn't tell you specifically what terms of the particular agreement between Aston's owners and its financial underwriters the company is in danger of breaching. But we take some comfort in the use of the contingent term "technical" in connection with the dire term "breach". At this point it would seem that the breach is only a possibility, not an eventuality, and that in such a circumstance the bank would have to be motivated to take control of the company. (We won't tell them if you don't.) But hopefully the Kuwaiti investors propping up Richards will work out a solution before it ever reaches that stage. Otherwise, Aston Martin could end up changing hands yet again.
[Source: The Sunday Times via WCF]

Aston Martin returning to LeMans with two Works LMP1 cars

Click above for a high-res image of the 2009 Aston Martin LeMans Works LMP1

Aston Martin is ready to tackle the 2009 24 Hours of LeMans in a pair of Gulf-liveried LMP1 vehicles on the 50th anniversary of its only overall win in the Franco enduro. The two coupes are based on the 2008 Charouz Racing System Lola and will be powered by the same production-based V12 found in the LeMans GT1 DBR9. Development was performed by Lola, Michelin, Koni and BBS, along with Aston's largest partner, Gulf Oil. Driving duties will be handled by Jan Charouz, Tomas Enge and Stefan Mücke, along with Darren Turner who was part of the team that campaigned the DBR9 GT1 crew in 2007 and 2008. Harold Primat is the newest addition to the team and one other driver will be announced shortly. Unfortunately, Aston won't be campaigning in the GT1 class in bid to focus all its efforts on LMP1 program. It's going to be an exciting year and we're hoping to bring it to you live the weekend of June 13 and 14. All the details are available in the press release below the fold.

Aston Martin plant down to three-day work week

Click above for a high-res gallery of the 2009 Aston Martin V8 Vantage

Late last year, Aston Martin announced that it would reduce its ranks by some 600 workers to cope with a sales slide of 28% in 2008. Apparently, those cuts, which are now halfway completed, weren't enough to stem the tide of red ink, as Bond's favorite automaker has now said it will place its entire staff of assembly line workers on a work week that starts on Monday and ends on Wednesday. A total of 1,250 individuals now work at the Gaydon, Warwickshire plant, and almost half of those employees will be affected by the three-day work week.
Bentley, another famous British automaker, announced its own production cuts just yesterday. In response to the industry hardships faced by automakers in the U.K., the British government has promised £2.3 billion worth of aid, though we're not yet sure how much will go to smaller companies like Aston Martin.

First "official" images of Aston Martin Rapide... or not

has what it says are official renderings of the new Aston Martin Rapide. If Autocar has it right, however, the Rapide's front and rear aspects are closest to the Vantage V8, not the DBS or DB9. The front air dam features just one lower intake, the trunk valance is flush with the car, and the tailpipes flank the rear diffuser area. Those are all Vantage cues.
The 5-meter long car will get the firm's 6.0-liter V12, but slot exactly in between the DB9 and DBS in output with 480 hp. Autocar suggests this will get the car to 60 mph in 4.5 seconds, but that could be optimistic - those 30 additional horses over the DB9 have to pull 286 more pounds, which will make it a challenge to outrun the middle sibling.
Not that it's really meant to. The Rapide is Aston luxury for four, so it is taller than the DBS in order to provide more rear headroom for the "young adults" that can fit back there. The rear doors open wider than the front for ease of entry and the front seats have been raised to make room for the feet of back seat passengers. It even has a wagon-like folding rear bulkhead and parcel shelf. The Rapide will be appearing in Autumn when, with all hope, a better buying climate awaits it.

Double Treat: Aston to debut DBS roadster, V12 Vantage in Geneva?

Click above to view the Aston Martin V12 Vantage RS concept in high resolution

Aston Martin doesn't have a huge product range. In fact, until the Rapide and One-77 come along, its line-up essentially boils down to two models: the Vantage and the DB9. And if reports coming straight from Switzerland are to be believed, the now-independent British sportscar company is descending on the Geneva Motor Show next month with new top-of-the-line variants of both.
First up is the convertible version of the DBS. The iconic Bond-mobile, whose name may have finally been determined, will make for a stunning drop-top. Not unlike arch-rival Ferrari, which took the 430 Scuderia and crossed it with the F430 Spider to create the 16M Scuderia Spider, Aston will take the fixed-roof DBS and put it in a room together with the DB9 Volante, dim the lights, put on some Boys2Men and let nature run its course.
Reportedly joining the DBS Volante/Roadster will be the production V12 Vantage RS. Forgot about that one? It's easy when Aston keeps serving up delectable new flagship supercars, so we'll scribble the recipe down for you again: take one V8 Vantage and the 600-hp V12 engine from the DBRS9 race car. Add louvers, spoilers, carbon fiber and alcantara. Shake (don't stir). Production should be very limited, and performance should be blistering. Stay tuned.

Aston's seven-figure, 700hp One-77 still available for order

Click above to view the Aston Martin One-77 in our gallery

Selling million-dollar supercars isn't as easy as it used to be. While Lamborghini quickly offloaded its small run of seven-figure Reventons and Bugatti has gone through the bulk of its Veyron production, Aston Martin may be finding it a bit more difficult to separate the obscenely wealthy from their millions.
The One-77 is the big-ticket supercar in question, to be built in a limited run of 77 examples, with only six headed to the US, five staying in the UK and the remaining 66 ending up in the Emirates dispersing around the world. Previous reports circulating the interwebs suggested that the entire production run sold out almost immediately - before the car was even fully unveiled - but those reports may have been misleading. Although 100 potential customers reportedly expressed interest in acquiring the uber-supercar, the order books have apparently yet to be filled with buyers who've plunked down the £200k desposit. But even in this economy, they're bound to sell out soon, so if you've got the cash to spare, you'd better act fast. Like, 700-horsepower supercar fast.

Aston Martin V12 Vantage won't make it Stateside

Click above for a high-res gallery of the Aston Martin V12 Vantage

Dropping big engines into small sportscars is as American as apple pie, but the British are equally adept. Proof came yesterday in the form of the Aston Martin V12 Vantage, revealed ahead of its pre-production debut at the Geneva Motor Show. Only 1000 examples will be made, but unfortunately none of them will be making the transatlantic voyage to these shores (not legally, anyway). After speaking with a member of the U.S. Aston team last night, we discovered there are some problems with the overstuffed front end passing U.S. crash tests, and the airbag-less optional Alcantara-wrapped carbon-Kevlar bucket seats are completely out of the question, making the Nardo-verified 190-mph supercar persona non grata on these shores.
Disappointing though that may be, the V12 Vantage is only one of four anticipated new launches from Aston Martin this year. We've already seen the first official shots of the Rapide four-door coupe, the DBS convertible is tipped to bow at Geneva alongside the V12 Vantage, and despite economic conditions, Aston is still said to be going ahead with the launch of the first model in its revived Lagonda line (to say nothing of the full reveal of the One-77.) The DOT can't keep them all out... can they?

Gallery: Aston Martin V12 Vantage

BMW Z4 : 2009

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More power, more efficiency, & more comfort. Two all-new BMW Z4 Roadster models raise the standard for style and dynamic performance.

Aston Martin Works Service to host annual Bonhams Auction

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On Saturday 9th May 2009, Aston Martin Works Service will once again host Bonhams' annual Auction of Aston Martin motor cars and related automobilia. Bonhams is one of the world's leading automotive auction specialists, and 2009 marks the tenth anniversary of this hugely successful and highly popular sale.

Aston Martin Works Service

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The Works Service department is an integral part to the smooth running of Aston Martin and has been since 1924.

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