Few good weeks have passed and it eventually was time to summarize my spring visit to Switzerland, with its main purpose being the Genève International Motor Show. Before I describe the entire event, however, I wanted to share with you what was the highlight for me – Aston Martin’s exposition with their New Vantage!
PUBLIC SPACE – VALKYRIE, RBR, DB11 AND LAGONDA PROTOTYPE
Aston Martin’s stand was doubtlessly one of the most popular at the entire show. During the weekend people queued for more than two hours to get close to their favourite cars and during the weekdays, the line was not much shorter. For the patient, there was a great reward waiting – one could get close to a white DB11 Volante with blue leather interior (to me, controversially combined with orange stitching) and admire the new Lagonda Vision Concept on a separate display. The latter came as a complete surprise. It is spectacular, enormous, fully electric and autonomous a suggestion for the future of automotive industry. On the other hand, in the ‘racing corner’, Aston presented the F1-based Valkyrie with its hybrid, naturally aspirated V12 engine totalling a bit more than 1100 horse-power. Naturally, it was standing next to a Red-Bull Racing F1 single-seater.
ASTON MARTIN RACING – NEW VANTAGE GTE
And there it was – a racing version of my favourite premiere of this year’s Motor Show – New Vantage in GTE specification. Although its racing debut was scheduled for early May at Spa this year, the car already looked fast, even standing still! Extensive but tasteful bodywork in vibrant Lime Essence colour will add to the speed and when combined with huge rear wing – it is bound to generate lots of downforce, too. I was lucky to meet the presenter and journalist Sarah Yvonne Elsser at the stand. She posed for some shots and added some grace to this racing masterpiece. Sarah, if you are reading this, thank you again!
VANTAGE AT THE BACKSTAGE AND… FROM THE TECHNICAL SIDE
Although there was the New Vantage outside too, it was quite crowded around it. I was lucky enough to get even closer to the debutant, as I was admitted to the backstage. Reserved only for the Aston Martin owners or potential buyers it was nicely furnished, whilst still equipped with colour and interior samples to select from for your dream configuration. A typical Aston Martin dealership, but more exclusive and… with a drink bar!
It was at the backstage when I eventually had the chance to take my time and adore the beautiful lines of the body. Marek Reichman’s design team did not want to put any additional aerodynamic elements on the body, what resulted in clean and streamlined car. The interior is very driver-oriented with comfortable seats, which should provide good handling in tight corners. Very good impression is made by the racing-alike shaped steering wheel with large gear-shift paddles placed behind it. It is a very well thought solution and should allow for easy shifts, even in the turns. I was so fascinated by all the details that it took me a while to realize, that it was my first time in a right-hand drive car!
Powered by a 4.0 litre, twin-turbo V8, which generates more than 500HP, the New Vantage seems to be promoted to the sector of Porsche 911 Turbo (rather than regular Carrera), Jaguar F-Type R and Mercedes AMG GTS. Its potential competitors are characterized by similar performance and are also similarly priced – with the second-generation Vantage starting at around 135’000 Euros.
A WORTHY SUCCESSOR
More than 16’000 units of the first-generation Vantage were sold over the past eleven years. Having said that, it has been a crucial model for Aston Martin and the expectations for the New Vantage are set very high. However, I reckon it will be an absolute hit and a worthy successor. And I hope that one day, I could test drive it myself!
At the other end of the backstage there was another DB11 Volante – configured much more to my taste than the other displayed for the public. Impressive as it was however, that day it needed to step back a bit – it was its little brother, who was the true star!
Huge ‘thank you’ to Aston Martin for giving me the chance to explore their stand in full.
Text & Photos: Adam Pękala ©