007’s Family Cars? Aston Martin Is Planning Both A Wagon And An SUV – Forbes
Just as one can’t help associating secret agent James Bond with the storied Aston Martin brand of sports cars, it’s difficult to fathom either 007 or his favorite automotive marque being particularly family minded. Sure, Bond was wed in 1963’s On Her Majesty’s Secret Service, but spouse Tracy met an untimely death by the end of the picture, and he’s remained a bachelor ever since.
Aston Martin has likewise stayed true to its mission of building refined and driver-oriented motor cars, but to paraphrase the title of a later Bond film, it’s never say never again, as the coachbuilder from Gaydon is planning to add both a sport-utility vehicle and a station wagon – that’s a “shooting brake” in the proper British vernacular – to its portfolio.
Set to go into production during 2018, the Shooting Brake will be part of an extremely limited production run (325 units total) of Vanquish Zagato models that will also include the latest version of the famed Volante grand tourer, as well as Coupe and Speedster models. Only 99 iterations of the Shooting Brake will be built, and true to tradition – though not necessarily function – it will remain strictly a two-seater (which could, if it’s long enough, serve as the basis for the coolest hearse ever built). Wagons remain far more popular in Europe than they are here in the U.S., where they’re still associated with 1960’s family road trips (and the ensuing car sickness).
Concept images show an extended and moderately sloping roofline that pays homage to the Zagato’s trademark “double bubble” overhead design with glass inlays that flood the cockpit with natural light. The interior is trimmed in carbon fiber with bronze rotary controls and can be fitted with fully aniline leather hides; a power-operated tailgate at the rear to access an immaculately trimmed cargo hold that comes with its own custom-matched luggage set.
As with the rest of the Vanquish Zagato models, the Shooting Brake will come powered by a naturally aspirated V12 engine tuned to put an assertive 580 horsepower to the pavement via an eight-speed automatic transmission, and enable a sprint to 60 mph in the mid-three-second range. Expect the Shooting Brake to command a stratospheric sticker price, even by Aston Martin’s lofty standards.
As for the coming SUV, the German magazine Auto Bild reports that plans are moving forward for a production version along the lines of the DBX concept that debuted at the 2015 Geneva Motor Show. Initially, a choice of two powerful petrol engines are expected to be offered, a 5.2-liter twin-turbocharged V12 with around 500 horsepower and a 4.0-liter twin-turbo V8 with about 600 horses; a plug-in hybrid and/or full-electric powertrain are also said to be in the works for a future model year.
With a new manufacturing facility under works to produce it at St. Athan in Wales, Auto Bild says the DBX SUV will launch sometime in 2019 and carry a sticker price between $195,000 and $263,000.