Pebble Beach 2016: Aston Martin unveils new Zagato-bodied automobiles – Los Angeles Times
Aston Martin took advantage of the captive audience of auto enthusiasts on the Monterey Peninsula to introduce a pair of new Zagato-bodied cars.
The English car company unveiled a Vanquish Zagato Volante during the week, and its brother Vanquish Zagato Coupe on Sunday.
We took advantage of the captive audience of Marek Reichman, chief of Aston Martin’s design team, to ask him about where the company is going.
Speaking from a deep lounge chair in the Carmel Plaza retail space that Aston Martin had rented and dressed as a cozy social club for the week, Reichman said he was pleased with his team’s efforts.
“It’s very gratifying when you create, you work and you put your heart on your sleeve for everyone to criticize, and then you get all the good input,” he said. “People who don’t even like cars are telling us these cars are beautiful.”
With the two Vanquish vehicles, Aston Martin is trying to create fresh energy around existing cars with exclusive, limited-run production of specialized versions. For example, there will only be 99 iterations of the 2017 Vanquish Zagato Volante, which will sell in the $800,000 range, Aston Martin executives have said.
The company will also team with Red Bull on the tentatively named AMRB001 Hypercar, a $3-million vehicle to be delivered in 2018. Aston Martin will make 150 road car models of the Red Bull vehicle, and 25 track car models.
That V-12, gull-wing car will be the fastest production car on the road when it’s available, Aston Martin said.
A more affordable vehicle will be going into production when the SUV currently being perfected by Reichman’s team makes its debut in late 2019 or early 2020.
Aston Martin has chosen the final design for the vehicle, Reichman said, and chosen the factory where it will be built. Reichman called the vehicle, sometimes referred to as the DBX, a work of great beauty and utility.
“It is elegant and will be instantly recognizable as an Aston Martin,” he said.
Somewhat nearer down the production cycle is the promised Rapide E, an all-electric Aston Martin sports car that could be available at the end of 2018.
Reichman said that the SUV project could become the most popular Aston Martin sold. Just as the Cayenne pumped new life into the Porsche line, and the Bentayga is expected to become a best-selling Bentley, Aston Martin’s SUV could be the bread-and-butter car that pays for future experiments.
“Not everyone wants a sports car, but a lot of people would like to own an Aston Martin,” Reichman said. “The greatest area of growth for us could be the SUV.”
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