Harris didn't like Zagato's take on the Z4 or recent Astons - are the brand's own efforts any better?
Aston Martin's new DBS appeared to take an unofficial bow on the weekend at the Concorso d'Eleganza Villa d'Este design extravaganza in Italy last weekend and, following Chris's blog on Zagato, we thought it worth revisiting.
We say 'appeared to' because Aston itself would tell us - or anyone - very little about the AM310 concept, despite it bearing an uncanny resemblance to recent spy shots of what's almost certainly the next DBS in action.
Aston did tell us a bit about the, er, uncontroversial design. "We've got a clear and much admired design language and this is the latest evolution of it," a spokesman said. Well, it works for Porsche.
OK, so it's not exactly adventurous...
It's undeniably beautiful, with elements like the C-shaped rear lights borrowed from the One-77. The look is more elongated, with a flatter rear screen and deck and more pronounced haunches. No, no - look carefully, it's a bit different.
Power is almost certainly provided by an evolution of the current V12, which means more thrust than the present 510hp and a concerted effort to improve the 18.2mpg economy. Whether the price will rise from its current start point of £186,582 is difficult to say.
Inside the dash has a cleaner look with fewer and (possibly) freshly designed buttons. It looked very finished and very production ready.
It's an open secret that Aston is preparing a new car for its centenary celebrations next year. Details are expected to arrive within a few weeks and Aston says this is the first and last we'll see of the AM310 concept.
The Villa d'Este event has been a favourite of Aston's in recent years to reveal future product. First was the One-77 in 2009, with the V12 Zagato unveiled last year. Fair enough, it's a classy event in an even classier setting on Lake Como. Surprisingly, it is open to the public on certain days and if you were to guess at the ticket prices, you'd be dead wrong. The most you'll pay is 14 Euros on Sunday. Friday is free! Worth a punt if you're in the area next spring...
Difficult to know where to go when you've got metal as beautiful and elegant as the DB9/S and V8.
The Porsche analogy is apt as, after solid progress through the 90s, they kinda lost their way a bit in the 00s before regaining their mojo with the 997.
Looks like AM, if they can survive, might have to find their way forward in the same way. I don't think this is quite the right direction, the wheels in particular are awful, but at least they're trying.
Krikkit02 Jun 2012
Concept wheels like that won't last long, but for the most part I like it.
davepoth02 Jun 2012
At least it's something a little different rather than another DB9 bodykit.
El Shafto02 Jun 2012
I like the wheels. It might be because I'm young and tasteless, or it might be because they remind of Lambo alloys...either way, anything to make the Aston range look less civilised and more leary is a step in the right direction.
PaulieMafia02 Jun 2012
Dreadful styling, especially all that cheap looking black plastic/carbon..