At Aston Martin, big story is new Vanquish flagship
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The big news at Aston Martin is the launch this fall of the Vanquish, which replaces the DBS as the British luxury brand's flagship.
As for the rest of the lineup, expect a trickle-down of Vanquish technology, but no revolutionary changes to the 10-year-old VH platform.
Advances in carbon fiber and other weight-saving technologies are paramount. No hybrids or diesels are planned. The V-8 and V-12 engines will continue, but smaller engines may have to be used to improve the brand's environmental footprint.
Cygnet: For now, the rebadged Toyota iQ is sold only in Europe, Japan, Hong Kong and a few other urban markets. Don't expect a U.S. introduction.
Vantage: Horsepower increases are planned for the V-8 and V-12 versions. For 2013, the V-8's six-speed auto-manual transmission has been replaced with a new seven-speed. A Zagato-styled version of the V-12 Vantage coupe is arriving now. The V-12 Roadster is not slated for North America.
DB9: Expect some Vanquish, DBS and Virage tidbits to filter down to the DB9.
Virage: The coupe could gain the 510-hp engine from the outgoing DBS, adding 20 hp.
Vanquish: The flagship coupe replaces the DBS atop the lineup this fall. Body panels are made of carbon fiber, while the tub is made from carbon fiber and bonded aluminum. A 5.9-liter V-12 produces 565 hp and 457 pounds-feet of torque. There will be no manual transmission version. Inside, the center stack and firewall are closer to the driver, giving it a more immediate driving feel. A new infotainment system answers a common usability complaint.
One-77: The $2 million, 750-hp supercar sold out this year.
Rapide: Assembly of the Rapide sedan has moved from Magna Steyr in Graz, Austria, to Aston Martin's home plant in Gaydon, England. A Rapide S with 50 more horsepower is in the works.
Lagonda SUV: Expect an updated version of the concept from the 2009 Geneva auto show in the 2013 Geneva show, with production a few years later. The British magazine Autocar says partnership talks with Daimler are back on, so the SUV may use GL-class underpinnings.
Lagonda sedan: Complaints that the Rapide back seat is too small has Aston hoping that its SUV partner will allow the architecture to be used for a larger sedan.
You can reach Mark Rechtin at firstname.lastname@example.org. -- Follow Mark on