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7 Years ago
News

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First Drive: 2011 Aston Martin Cygnet (European Spec)
For Aston Martin to build a city car is quite a step. For Aston Martin to re-skin the Toyota iQ is a galactic leap. In Britain and the United States, the idea stirred up a storm on enthusiast forums. Calm down, everyone -- there's sense to the idea.

In Europe's city centers, congestion has a whole different meaning than in the U.S. It's not just traffic. The streets were laid down centuries before the automobile was invented. They're a narrow maze of tightly angled junctions, lined with obstructions, and awash with pedestrians. A standard delineated parking spot is about 185 inches long, but many unmarked curbside spaces are smaller. So across the Atlantic, owning a small car isn't just a money-saver....

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7 Years ago
News

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First Drive: 2012 Aston Martin Virage
If you have to ask whether the new Aston Martin Virage is really worth roughly 30 grand more than the near identical-looking DB9, here's a tip: Don't ask Ulrich Bez. The mercurial German, who's headed Aston since 2000, has little time for those who don't appreciate the subtle nuances that define the individual models in the company's 14-car lineup, all of which, apart from the stubby Toyota iQ-based Cygnet, look remarkably similar. "Our cars look like Aston Martins," he says defiantly. "If you don't like the look, buy another car."

As Aston Martin design director Marek Reichman walks you around the new Virage, showing you a new surface here, a new line there, and all the fresh detailing in...

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7 Years ago
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First Drive: 2011 Aston Martin V8 Vantage S
Aston Martin boss Ulrich Bez used to be the head of R&D at Porsche. The Porsche 993, still regarded as the best of the air-cooled 911s, was developed on his watch, so you could say he knows a thing or two about sports cars. Never one to doubt the veracity of his view of the world, Bez left Porsche after clashes with senior management, most notably over the stillborn four-door 989, and spent several years in the wilderness at Daewoo. When he was appointed head of Aston Martin in 2000, it not only brought him back into a world he loved and understood -- sports cars -- but also gave him the opportunity to settle a few old scores with his former employers in Stuttgart.

 Thus, the glamorous Aston...

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7 Years ago
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First Look: 2013 Ford Focus Electric
My initial reaction wasn't, "Hey! Electric Ford Focus." My initial reaction was, "Aston Martin wants its grille back." The 2013 Focus Electric looks like a larger, better-designed version of the Aston Martin Cygnet, the little Toyota-built dinghy for Aston owners who live in or regularly visit London.

Of course, Ford Motor Company still owned Aston Martin when Martin Smith's European studio began designing this car. In fact, the wide maw Aston-like grille first appeared on a Ford when the Verve concept foreshadowed the current Fiesta subcompact at the 2007 Frankfurt motor show.

It's the kind of design detail the ever more style-conscious Ford can more easily pull off when the grille doesn't...

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7 Years ago
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Track Drive: 2011 Aston Martin Vantage N420
We got our first taste of Aston Martin's N cars back in 2007 with the introduction of the N400, a V-8 Vantage that was slightly modified for a more spirited driving experience. Aston Martin has done it again with the introduction of its new N420.

Starting with a standard V-8 Vantage, Aston Martin basically ticked all the sport goodies available, packaging them in the new N420. The 4.7-liter engine still puts out 420 horsepower (hence the name), but Aston's engineers added a special sport exhaust that gives the N420 a distinctive, intoxicating growl that surprisingly doesn't add any power. Top speed is still 180 mph and your sprint to 60 will happen in less than five seconds -- even quicker...

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7 Years ago
News

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First Test: 2010 Aston Martin Rapide
If you were wondering whether the world needs a four-door Aston Martin, the 2011 Rapide is the answer to a question no one asked. But if you're wondering whether people might want a four-door Aston, that's another question altogether. You see, the Rapide is not just cash-the-401k, rob-a-bank, sell-a-kidney gorgeous. It's the ultimate car guy's riposte to all those tiny, whiny voices in your head that suggest it's time you grew up and got rid of the sports car. What it is not, though, is a proper sedan.

Livewire Aston Martin boss Ulrich Bez likes to say the Rapide is perfect for the couple wanting to take their friends to the theater or a restaurant in style. The uncomfortable reality is most...

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8 Years ago
News

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2010 Aston Martin Rapide Test Drive
VALENCIA, SPAIN—Aston Martin hasn't offered a four-door since the ultralinear ASTON MARTIN LAGONDA became extinct in the late 1980s. That's about to change. Now Aston Martin revisits the sedan genre with its new $200,000 Rapide, global recession be damned. This coupé-like four-door may seem audacious for these austere times, but considering the price tags on storied British nameplates like Bentley and Rolls Royce (whose entry-level Ghost is still a steep proposition at $245,000), the ASTON MARTIN RAPIDE starts to look slightly less risqué.Public image aside, how does Aston Martin's newest family member motor? We spent a day touring the Spanish countryside to find out.
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