As the manufacturer of some of the most beautiful cars in the world, Aston Martin are held in high regard by journalists and car enthusiasts all over the world. When sliding Aston under the microscope though, you can observe some signs of decay. Aston Martin hasn't produced a truly unique design on a production car for over a decade now, with the exception of their hugely exclusive £1.2m One-77.
I don't for one moment believe that the V12 Vantage S from this recent video by The Smoking Tire is a bad car. The only interest I have in this particular car though is that awesome V12 engine. As for the rest of it, it's all very nice but it's the same old story I've been seeing and hearing about for around the last decade or so. This particular Vantage is the very last of its kind, there will be no more. However good this car may be, imagine how jaws would have dropped if it had been released with a newer, sharper, and more modern body design around it. Simply put; I don't believe this car deserved the swansong Aston Martin are giving it. I trust in Matt's analysis as an expert in his field, but doesn't that engine deserve an F-Type-like shape around it? Something to reinvigorate the Aston Martin brand?
Whilst on the topic of reinvigorating, perhaps they could consider the design of their steering wheels. When Aston Martin go to such great lengths to make every other part of their cars so beautiful and stylish, why leave the steering wheel (the single most important interior component) looking so poor and neglected? You can keep the thickness, size and shape that I know Mr Farah has previously praised and still show some flair in the design department. For the money being exchanged here customers deserve and probably expect far better, the small details matter. Look at this next picture and tell me; is this wheel really befitting of a £150,000 Aston Martin?
As beautiful as they are, Aston Martin's relentless cloning of the DB9 is getting rather tiresome. The DB9 was first shown in 2003 and when it was released we were all blown away by the styling, it truly was stunning. It's still indisputably gorgeous, but a decade down the road the effect this car once had is rapidly dropping away. It doesn't move people in the same way as it once did. Aston Martin have simply been living off the 'DB9 look' for far too long.
Look a bit closer at their other models. They are all DB9s with some rather miniscule design touches here and there to try and make them unique in their own right. The Vantage, A.K.A; 'Baby Aston' is a pocket DB9. The DBS was just a meaner, more aggressive DB9 with a license to kill. While the Rapide is a DB9 with a couple of extra doors fitted. Even the new Vanquish keeps the DB9 look with a curly lower lip and unique light arrangement.
By its very nature, style and fashion moves on. You need to update the look of your brand in order to keep fresh and relevant. At the current time it seems to me that buying an Aston Martin right now is spending £150,000+ on a car with an aging design made with potentially questionable manufacturing techniques. I don't dispute that the cars they make are still beautiful, but it's time for Aston Martin to refresh themselves.
Edit: Despite some stating otherwise, this article is not about beauty. It's about business. I've stated in the article that I myself believe these cars to be beautiful. So, to save me replying to multiple comments regarding the Porsche 911, allow me to just point out that Aston Martin has lost $78m in two years due to falling demand.