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2003-01-06
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Aston Martin has again reinforced the new direction the company is taking by unveiling a spectacular concept car that is destined to become the most significant model in the company’s 89-year history.

Previously codenamed AM305, the Aston Martin AMV8 Vantage is the basis for a smaller third Aston Martin model, due to be launched in 2005, and will sit alongside the DB7 and the flagship Vanquish. The AMV8 Vantage will be hand-assembled at Aston Martin’s state-of-the-art production facility at Gaydon, in the United Kingdom, which is currently under construction.

The name Vantage – which will also be adopted for the production version - was chosen due its long historic links with Aston Martin. This time it’s a specific model name rather than denoting a high performance version.

The AMV8 Vantage is a tailored two-seater sports car that retains a front mid-engine/rear-wheel drive layout. Its design work was undertaken by Henrik Fisker, Aston Martin’s Design Director, and his key objective was to produce a thoroughly modern Aston Martin. Another aim was to ensure that the interior layout and equipment were unique to Aston Martin and could be easily carried over into the production car.

There are also a number of traditional Aston Martin design cues which have been incorporated into the AMV8 Vantage’s styling such as the front grille shape and the typical side strakes found on all Aston Martin models.

Chassis and Body Structure

The AMV8 Vantage is the first model to use Aston Martin’s unique VH Platform Strategy (Vertical/Horizontal), which will form the basis for all future Aston Martin models.

“Much of the technology that has been developed from the Aston Martin Vanquish will be adopted for the production AMV8 Vantage,“ said Jeremy Main, Director of Product Development for Aston Martin. “It has a unique body and chassis constructed from aluminium and composites, AMV8 Vantage is a very advanced sports car offering high degrees of engineering efficiencies, structural integrity and torsional rigidity.”

Styling

Visually stunning, the look of AMV8 Vantage is very much of a modern Aston Martin. However, like all Aston Martin models there are subtle lines and embellishments that help create a powerful-looking sports car. In fact the design brief was to make the car look like a muscular athlete wearing a tailor-made suit.

From the exterior, AMV8 Vantage is striking and perfectly proportioned from every angle. Each carefully detailed feature provides graphic evidence of the painstaking craftsmanship and quality, which are synonymous with the Aston Martin marque. Adamant that AMV8 Vantage should not be a pastiche of retrospect design, Henrik Fisker created a pure, elegant and classic body that reflects the heritage and tradition of the Aston Martin brand.

The long bonnet (hood) and two-seater cabin create an instantly recognisable stance, while minimal front and rear overhangs, combined with a wide track, appear to push the rear wheels out and enhance the extremities of the bodywork.

“AMV8 Vantage features many of the design cues that have become the basic DNA for all Aston Martin models,” said Henrik Fisker. “It was important to ensure that the car’s design was pure, clean and modern, while at the same time you should be able to put your hand over the front nose badge and still recognise the car as an Aston Martin.”

Interior

One area that has received considerable development is the AMV8 Vantage’s cabin design. Great effort has been made to ensure that everything the driver and passenger touch is bespoke and Aston Martin unique. This is something also that will be carried over into the production car.

The AMV8 Vantage features a host of switch gears, which perhaps owe more to the styling cues of premium watch design and prestigious home entertainment systems than from car instrumentation. Finished in an imaginative combination of different leathers and anodised aluminium, customers will be offered an infinite choice of body colours and upholstery schemes as well as the option of being able to request different materials.

“From the outset, the look, feel and functionality of the interior was a key priority,” said Henrik Fisker. “Aston Martin is taking a new direction in its approach to design. We wanted to ensure the AMV8 Vantage reflected the new direction that Aston Martin is now taking – modern, advanced technology but above all Aston Martin design.”

Powertrain

The all new engine is a 4.3 litre, low emissions all alloy V8 which is unique to Aston Martin. This new V8 will use the latest technology to deliver outstanding performance in all environments.

The layout of the powertrain adopts a transaxle configuration, whereby the front mid-mounted engine is connected to the transmission - at the rear of the car - via a torque tube. This configuration provides the car with near perfect 50:50 weight distribution, outstanding handling characteristics and excellent all round capabilities.

Conclusion

While the production aspirations for the AMV8 Vantage is higher than any of the previous Aston Martin models, the car will still retain a high degree of exclusivity – an important characteristic of the British marque.

“The Aston Martin AMV8 Vantage will enable us to appeal to a larger market. Aston Martin will never ever become a volume car manufacturer, but this model will allow just a few more people to enjoy the Aston Martin experience,“ said Dr Ulrich Bez, CEO of Aston Martin. “The AMV8 Vantage is a really significant model for us as it will allow Aston Martin to become a true player in the global sports car market.”
 

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DETROIT AUTO SHOW: AMV8 is an 'affordable' Aston Martin

By Mark Rechtin
Automotive News / January 06, 2003
2004 Aston Martin AMV8 Vantage

Once available only in the most rarified air, the Aston Martin nameplate will descend to the level of -- gasp! -- Porsche and Ferrari.

The AMV8 Vantage, to be unveiled today, Jan. 6, at the Detroit auto show, is the basis of the third vehicle in the Aston Martin lineup. It will be priced at about $100,000.

The current Aston Martin lineup consists of the DB7 coupe and convertible, with base prices ranging from $146,350 to $156,850, and the V12 Vanquish, with a base price of $229,350. All prices include a $1,350 destination charge.

The AMV8 Vantage will be built at Aston Martin's plant in Gaydon, England, which is to open this year.

The two-seat AMV8 Vantage will be powered by a 4.3-liter, alloy V-8 mounted slightly behind the front axle. Power will be delivered to the rear wheels. The platform will be the basis for all future Aston Martin models, with a body and chassis constructed from aluminum and composites. Aston Martin claims a 50-50 front-rear weight ratio for the car.

The design of the AMV8 was overseen by Henrik Fisker, whom Aston Martin hired away from BMW after Fisker's work on the Z8 roadster. Although Fisker wanted to create a vehicle that broke the typical Aston Martin design mold, he incorporated several Aston Martin cues, such as the grille and front quarter-panel openings seen in recent vehicles. But he insisted that the design not revert to the past.

"The AMV8 Vantage features many of the design cues that have become the basic DNA for all Aston Martin models," Fisker said in a release. "It was important to ensure that the car's design was pure, clean and modern. At the same time, you should be able to put your hand over the front nose badge and still recognize the car as an Aston Martin."

"Vantage" usually denotes a high-performance version; for the AMV8 it will be applied to all versions.

Wheelbase: 104 in.
Length: 180 in.
Width: 76.8 in.
Engine: 4.3-liter V-8
Curb weight: 4,283 pounds
 

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Discussion Starter #3
A pic of the back end.....
 

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A pic of the interior.....
 

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Ford plans to put Aston Martin concept into production

By Richard A. Wright / Special to Autos Insider

DETROIT -- Ford Motor Co. Monday offered a glimpse of where it plans to steer its Aston Martin sports car unit with the introduction of the AMV8 Vantage concept car.

While no production date has been set, Ford officials at the North American International Auto Show said they did plan to build the concept car.

Mark Fields, CEO of Ford's Premiere Auto Group, said the AMV8 Vantage is the first Aston Martin sports car with its own dedicated platform. The aluminum platform gives the car its classic long-hood, short-overhang configuration.

Since Ford took over the 89-year-old British nameplate, U.S. sales have grown form 42 in 1994 to 1,500 last year.
 

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