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Car and Driver: Aston Martin Plans Seven-Model Range, Starting with Vantage, then Vanquish

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V8 Vantage News

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A replacement for today’s Aston Martin V8 Vantage (photo above) is set to launch next year, and seems likely to continue using the same name. As we’ve already said, this will be the first Aston using the AMG-sourced twin-turbo 4.0-liter V-8 engine. Company boss Andy Palmer confirmed for us recently that it will be offered with both manual and automatic gearboxes, but definitely not a twin-clutch.

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“I’ve already gone on the record saying I want to be the last manufacturer in the world to offer a manual sports car,” Palmer said, adding that he is not a fan of twin-clutch transmissions on the basis of their added weight and complexity: “They can’t do anything that a well-tuned automatic can’t.”

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Palmer confirmed it would be possible to offer the V-8 engine in other Astons, but said that he doesn’t feel any need to expand the relationship beyond the AMG motor and Aston’s use of Daimler’s electronic architecture. Although his preference is to offer one engine in each model, he acknowledged there could be market demand for a V-8 version of the DB11 in economy-conscious markets; similarly, we can hold out hope that the future holds another V-12 engine in the Vantage.

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Beyond the Vantage, expect a replacement for the Vanquish to launch in 2018. Palmer said that there is more than enough development potential in the DB11’s twin-turbo V-12 to ensure it will be significantly more powerful than the current car, although he stressed that he didn’t want to get into a power race with other supercar makers. He also confirmed that long-term plans envision a seven-car model range, and that development of the first four cars is fully financed. Those four are the DB11, Vantage, Vanquish replacement, and the DBX electric cross-over, the latter to be produced in a recently announced all-new factory in Wales.

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Beyond that, we’re expecting at least one Lagonda model and then a couple of surprises; company insiders hint that the hypercar Aston is developing with the Red Bull Formula 1 team isn’t considered a long-term production model, so probably isn’t one of the seven.

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A combination of seven models and a seven-year model cycle would give Aston what Palmer described as a “copy-repeat” planning strategy. Makes it sound as if running a sportscar company is easy, doesn’t it?

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