1. The new boss is ex-AMG
Aston Martin – too often a marque in crisis – is rebuilding, with new money, new management and new cars. It’s exciting news. Aston’s long had the potential to be the British Ferrari. Now it’s working to realise that potential.
The new man in charge is a German, Tobias Moers. Doesn’t Aston need a Brit in charge? Not when you look at Moers’ CV, and his contacts book.
Prior to joining Aston (which has links to Mercedes, of course, for electronics and for its V8 engines), Moers was boss of AMG. He grew that brand from niche cottage-industry tuning firm to sales monster. In doing so he transformed the value of AMG to Mercedes and Daimler.
What’s more, Moers is as happy on the test track as he is in the boardroom. A committed car guy, he loves to drive, he’s an engineer and he knows what enthusiast buyers want.
2. Aston will lean more heavily on Merc tech
Moers is working to deepen and broaden Aston’s ties with Mercedes-AMG. The link, already vital, is being made more efficient and, in future, will allow Aston to tap into the kind of electric technology it simply could not afford otherwise. There’ll be hybrid Aston Martins first, including a petrol-electric version of the DBX. Aston’s first all-electric sports car is slated for 2025.
3. The range is getting a spruce up
Top of Moers’ job list is a refresh of the existing range, namely the Vantage, the DB11 (and the DB11-based DBS) and the excellent DBX SUV. The priorities are updating the sub-par interiors, with a blend of Merc-derived tech and Aston craftmanship, and re-calibrating the powertrains and suspension set-ups for a sharper drive.
4. Aston is back in F1
Ferrari is synonymous with Formula 1, the fastest, sexiest, most technically advanced motorsport on Earth. If Aston is to live up to its ‘Maranello of the Midlands’ billing, it needs to perform on the same stage.
So, for the first time in more than half a century, the Aston Martin name is back on the grid. Handily, new Aston chairman Lawrence Stroll already had an F1 team (Force India/Racing Point) in his portfolio when he arrived, so for this season the pink’s turned green and Aston’s back in F1. In a holding pattern for 2021, 2022 will see it move into a new factory and look to challenge at the sharp end of the grid.
5. New cars are coming
Before he left, former CEO Andy Palmer revealed two mid-engined Aston Martins, both set to be powered by a new hybrid V6 powertrain. Those cars will come but the horrendously expensive V6 project has been killed off. New versions of the DBX are also in the works.
But the first Moers-era Aston is a special Vantage, the F1 Edition. It’s Aston’s 911 GT3, if you will, and offers more power, more grip and track-ready performance for a cool £142,000. Loud, fast and serious, it’s a confident statement of intent from Aston Martin’s bold new era.
Aston Martin Vantage F1 Edition: £142,000, 528bhp twin-turbo V8, 3.6sec 0-62mph, 195mph