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Car and Driver: Ask Aston: British Sports-Car Maker Launches Consultancy Business

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1967 Aston Martin DB6 Shooting BrakeAutomakers have long shared their engineering expertise with each other, albeit usually at a hefty price tag. Now Aston Martin is trying to snag itself some of the pie with the launch of its own consultancy business.

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Aston Martin Consulting will, as its name suggests, offer other companies the chance to benefit from Aston’s knowledge of design and engineering, whether they be fellow car manufacturers or firms that operate in completely different sectors. The company has previously collaborated with architects Foster + Partners on the design of a London bus and also a yacht company to make a speedboat (the model of which is proudly displayed in company HQ at Gaydon), but the new venture shows intent to dramatically increase this third-party work.

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It certainly seems like a good idea. Lotus Engineering has often supported the company’s car manufacturing operations and—although downsized in recent years—is known to have worked for manufacturers including GM and Ford. Porsche’s engineering consultancy actually pre-dates the company’s decision to start building sports cars, and in the 1980s its work led to some European-market SEAT Ibizas wearing “System Porsche” badging on account of their Weissach-designed four-cylinder engines.

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Aston Martin Consultancy will be led by Bradley Yorke-Biggs, formerly Aston’s head of product strategy, and it will be able to call on extensive experience within the group. This includes the Q Advanced Operations division we told you about recently, which designed and manufactured the Vulcan track car. When we interviewed Aston CEO Andy Palmer a little while back, he outlined his plans for the new division by suggesting it would be most likely to help other manufacturers on ride and handling, aluminum and carbon structures, and powertrains.

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