Aston Martin vice president and chief creative officer, Marek Reichman, says the significant styling contrast between the new Vantage and DB11 are thanks to extensive customer research, showing genuine buyers wanted greater differentiation in the brand's styling.
“I guess I am just fed up with all the comments that all the [Aston Martin] cars look the same,” Reichman told CarAdvice. “You have to understand that within the company, we were relatively constrained in that prior period. To do things like the One-77 or Vantage Zagato was a breath of fresh air for me because they were all brand-new, you know.
"It’s like the handcuffs came off with Andy (Palmer, Aston Martin CEO) and our new business plan, and I am able to put all that energy into the core. So, for me it’s like hallelujah, we can finally show what we are really capable of doing.”
“Our second century is about seven new products, it’s not about 70 per cent change to something, or 60 per cent change. Each product is brand-new, each product has its proxy customer.
"The brief to me is a separation of product in this seven car cycle. That’s a very important factor because we needed DB9 and old Vantage to create the foundations of the company, because when DB9 came out it was the first time Aston Martin has its own platform since the days of David Brown, effectively, so that was a very important step, to create the factory that created that step… [now is a] period of massive growth.
"Each product has its customer, has its segment and therefore has its look feel and drive,” Reichman said.
Nonetheless, while both cars look different, they're both underpinned by the concept of ‘beauty’ derived from their proportions.
“It’s all around beauty still, but different variations of beauty. So if I think about DB11... that’s going to Savile Row, getting a suit made, or going to a kendo class and learning to use a sword and being very ceremonial about your experience.
“Vantage, is about kicking some butt, it’s about driving, it’s about enjoying the driving feel, it's more agile, it's more stripped down, it doesn’t have all the intricacies of the DB11 in terms of aerodynamics because we’ve put it all the aero into the body… it doesn’t need all the aero aids.”
According to Reichman, a great deal of data collection and customer research went into forming the brand’s revised approach to its model differentiation. This may stop some customers cross-shopping DB11 with Vantage, but the brand also expects Porsche 911 buyers to be more interested in the car than before.
“We are more data-driven and want to know who the customer is, but what the customer supports here is more differentiation from DB. You’re the customer, that’s what you’re looking for. There is always the mantle of the DB to be the older gentleman’s car, so we have wound up that request from our Vantage customers to say here you go, this is nothing like DB11.
“We have turned off some of the DB buyers that would have gone here, but guess what? We would be capturing a load of Porsche customers that are saying, ‘I don’t want to see one of these on every street corner’ which is what you get from a 911. This would be rare by comparison to a 911.”
The new Aston Martin Vantage is on sale from $299,950 plus on-road costs, with Australian customer deliveries commencing June/July 2018.