With three blockbuster new models each breaking new ground for Aston Martin, best-in-show honours from Geneva are surely heading to Gaydon this year.
For a company the size of Aston, such a statement of intent is quite extraordinary. But it has got used to saying and doing extraordinary things in recent years.
Core front-engined sports car and GT models all replaced, we’re now seeing the manifestation of the expansion plans boss Andy Palmer has been detailing since he joined in 2014 in the so-called Second Century plan, the description of each project nearly always starting ‘Aston’s first…’
In Geneva today, we see Aston’s first mid-engined supercar with the Vanquish Vision concept, its first ‘usable’ hypercar with the AM-RB 003, and its first super-luxury SUV, the All-Terrain, as part of the new Lagonda brand.
These are on top of its new factory in St Athan, Wales, which will soon start building its first SUV, the DBX, and its first electric cars, the Lagonda SUV and a closely related saloon. It’s also tempted Red Bull into making its own first road car in the Valkyrie, a car with a straightforward, if challenging, brief to be the fastest car in the world.
To top it off, Aston will return to engine manufacture with its first twin-turbo V6 powering the brand’s two mid-engined Geneva models.
Aston must now avoid the pitfalls of over-promising and under delivering, while facing down significant stock market challenges.
Being on the stock market exposes Aston to new daily – or even hourly – pressures and scrutiny that are far greater than anything the company has yet experienced. Sympathy will be in short supply if Aston doesn’t follow up its Geneva splash as stated.
But do so, and Aston will at last become a company as great as its cars.