Aston Martin is becoming far more than just a car company as it drives into its second century.
From watches to hotels, furniture to boats, submarines to aircraft, and even bicycles and condominiums (a luxury development in Florida boasting 391 apartments, including a triple-floor penthouse), Aston is making its mark.
Some of its best work is done on upscale design jobs, but it’s also lending its badge – and credibility – to companies such as TAG-Heuer.
Aston is also partnered with one of the leading grand prix teams, Red Bull Racing, to develop its ultra-high-performance road cars. Even if the F1 racers have Honda, not Aston, engines.
Newest models from Aston are the DBS Volante and Vantage Roadster, but there is much more to come.
“You can now see what we're talking about. We said everything will be different,” Aston Martin’s chief creative officer, Marek Reichman, tells Australian Business Traveller during one of his regular visits to Australia.
He says owners and potential customers in Australia are keen followers of Aston, especially as it prepares the car called 003 – a street-legal hypercar which will bring Aston's Valkyrie tech to the road as a head-to-head rival for the Ferrari 488.
“They are brilliant petrol heads who love our cars. It’s great to come and show things in context,” he says. “We’re talking to them about 003. We’re only doing 500 cars but we have a few left."
Aston is a very British brand and is powering ahead with a stock market listing – another area where it is lining up against Ferrari – and a vast new-model plan from the DBX SUV to a pair of ultra-luxury Lagonda electric models.
“We’re attacking. We’ve got seven cars in seven years,” Reichman says. That has already brought strong sales but the ambition is to more than double the volume.
“There were record breaking results for us (last year). We did 6441 cars last year, so we were up 28 per cent,” Reichman adds. “Once we’ve got DBX running and the Lagondas running you’ve got 14,000.”
As if to put an exclamation point at the end of his talk to Australian Business Traveller, Reichman is now unveiling Aston’s newest dream machine, the DBS GT Zagato.
It’s the second half of Aston’s DBZ Centenary Collection, a pair of cars to mark the 100th birthday of Italy’s Zagato design house.
Only shown in renderings for the moment, the GT Zagato is already expected to be a sellout as it comes in a pigeon pair with the DB4 GT Zagato Continuation car, intended as a nod to the past while the new GT points to the future.
“Sensational-looking and extremely rare, it is the modern incarnation of a timeless icon,” Reichman remarks of the GT.
Only 19 pairs of the Zagato cars will be sold and the price is set at more than $11 million, with first deliveries of the Continuation towards the end of this year and the DBS GT coming at the back end of 2020.