Drivers in China might want more autonomous technology in their luxury cars, but that's not true of the U.S., at least for sports cars, says Aston Martin's CEO.
"The U.S. is going in the other direction. They want their sports cars to become more pure," Andy Palmer told Automotive News at last month's launch of the new Vantage sports car. The U.S. will be the Vantage's No. 1 market, Palmer predicts, so the company responded. That's why the specification fails to list any semiautonomous technology, bar a blind-spot warning system. But it will include, starting next year, a version of the twin-turbo, V-8 two-seater fitted with a Graziano manual gearbox. And this time it'll be a full production model, instead of a limited-edition version as with the outgoing car. The U.S. market demanded it, says Palmer: "You are getting a greater separation between the weekday car and the weekend car."
Realists might argue that fitting the radars and cameras needed for semiautonomous functions such as adaptive cruise control would be too costly for a small company like Aston, but Palmer argues that wasn't the reason they were left off. If he wants to in the future, he could take them from partner Mercedes. "That's the benefit of using their electrical architecture," he said. "It's plug and play."