ASTON MARTIN 'NOT LAZY' - OFFICIAL
Why Aston Martin's 'vertical horizontal' tech is far more than spinning endless variations of the same platform
"It's like fine dining. We can take the best ingredients and cook to different flavours."
Hard to swallow
Something that many of us might take with a pinch of gourmet rock salt. But Minards continues. Being so modular means Aston rolls out all-new systems easily, as they become available rather than at model change time - both in-house core competencies and ones developed with engineering partners such as ZF, Recaro, Cosworth and Continental.
Still to be convinced Vanquish product manager Andy Haslam picks up the story. And goes back to basics: VH is, um, not a platform. Because it's a bonded monocoque of die-cast, extruded and stamped aluminium components - think of it like McLaren's carbon fibre MonoCell - to which different components can (or will be) attached. Or, Lotus' bonded aluminium chassis principle, which creates different cars from a shared central core.
The Vanquish is now generally regarded as 'VH 0'.
Tuning in to VH 1 ... 2, 3 and 4
VH generation 1 was the 2004 DB9. The V8 Vantage was also derived from this chassis. "It established our foundation," says Minards.
Generation 2 arrived with the DBS and, later, the V12 Vantage. "On V, it introduced carbon fibre, for H, it brought in adaptive damping and carbon brakes." Rapide, with its stretched wheelbase, was generation 3, "with better sealing, laminated glass and isolated subframes". Vantage S and Virage were also derived from this iteration.
Aston's VH mistake
Where it's failed in recent years, it seems, is to almost use the VH methodology cynically to create 'new' cars. Witness the identikit DB9, DBS and Virage. That's over, it seems. Now, we have DB9, Vanquish, and clear water between them. The methodology will be used to improve the core cars rather than spin off new ones. Lesson learnt for Aston: now it's over to us to see the true benefits of VH.
MQB platform, which underpins the Golf and which is flexible enough to form the basis of all VW Group's mid-range cars in the future. It's far more modular than the old PQ35 platform - but MQB is only doing what VH has done since the launch of the DB9...