Some expressed surprise at the departure of Andy Palmer from Aston Martin but of those I’ve spoken to, more were surprised only that it had not happened sooner. From the moment he took Aston Martin into the public domain in late 2018 and saw its shares free fall, his days surely were numbered. And when Lawrence Stroll came in as chairman complete with a £540 million ($662.8M) rescue package, some thought Palmer’s job would be a condition of the buy in.
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Andy Palmer -- oops, Dr. Andy Palmer -- showed his ability to get out over his skis while at Nissan in the U.K. His almost baffling ability to spin a web of pseudo-business nonsense and make it sound not only easy but brilliant but obvious was legendary. He did many good things at/for Aston Martin, but got off into the weeds with things like the apartment complex in Florida and a tie-up with Tom Brady. Yet he had the foresight to grab Matthew Becker from Lotus and put him charge of vehicle dynamics. For that alone he should be commended.
This could be great, or this could be the end of Aston Martin as Aston Martin -- if it leads to shared engines and platforms. An Aston Martin MUST have an Aston Martin engine, IMO. The AMG V8 does not belong in an Aston Martin, no matter how great an engine it is, and it's an absolute deal-breaker for me. Would a Ferrari be a Ferrari with someone else's off-the-shelf-engine? Of course not. The same applies to Aston Martin. The current development of Aston's in-house V6 is evidence of this, and I hope it survives Moers' arrival. A car's engine and platform/structure provide the car's heart, soul and bones, and they must be unique to Aston. Moers is obviously a very talented manager, and this could be a great thing. However, if this leads to more use of AMG engines, and/or Mercedes-based platforms farther down the road, it would be an automotive catastrophe, and a crying shame.
Re: authors comments about the new Vantage. I can't comment about the pricing of the Vantage, But the styling is a superb breakout imho. It was way past time to break the trend of Astons all looking pretty much the same for the past 15 years.
To each his own, of course. IMO, the previous generation "VH" Aston Martins were, and are, among the most beautiful cars ever produced. The complaint that "they all look the same" was the only "criticism" people could come up with. I don't think that's much of a fault. Also, I've never had any difficulty whatsoever distinguishing the different models.
About the new cars, I think they're basically good-looking, but NOWHERE near the aesthetic league of the previous cars. They're so much more fussy, with all the extraneous lines, creases, and the enormous grille that blights so many current automotive designs. Design signatures were thrown out and replaced with efforts to be "bold" or to "push boundaries." The "roof strakes" on the DB11 and DBS are gimmicky and break up the lines. The grilles are HUGE. The trademark Aston side strake is completely gone on the Vantage, replaced by a three-lined strakey thing with a center line that doesn't line up with the forward point that meets the shut line. Why do this, when Aston's signature side strake looks so good??? And why take the iconic and beautiful Aston grille, make it three times too big, and inject it with Botox so it juts forward, separate from the bodywork? Aston Martin has made many of the world's most beautiful cars. The designs have generally been a superb combination of class, elegance, sportiness and the right amount of aggression. The new cars have lost that -- the designs are over-styled, busy, fussy and in-your-face. Of course the designs needed to change, but they didn't have to abandon much of what made Aston design so successful for so long.