Buried on Page 168 of Aston Martin's 321-page initial public offering prospectus released in September was this interesting tidbit: In June, Aston sold the tooling and design drawings for its outgoing Vanquish sports car for £20 million ($26 million). What the company didn't say was who it sold them to.
The Vanquish was Aston's flagship sports car before it was replaced this year by the DBS Superleggera. It came with Aston's V-12 engine, carbon-fiber bodywork, a Volante convertible version and a healthy price tag of $312,950 for the outgoing Vanquish S. It was also getting on a bit, having been launched in 2012.
So who would have shelled out $26 million for it? Lotus appears to have grand plans under new owners Geely, and the brand understands bonded-aluminum platforms just as Aston uses. But adding a front-engine grand tourer to its midengine lineup seems unlikely.
More plausible is that one of the European luxury tuning companies such as Mansory or Ares wants to go beyond lashing extra carbon fiber to existing models and make its own cars.
The sale also includes 18 months' worth of help from Aston Martin Consulting, which will presumably also offer advice on how to build a Vanquish that doesn't at all resemble a Vanquish.