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Aston Martin previews next DBS

Subtle: Aston Martin wheeled out its Project AM310 concept at the Villa D’Este Concours classic car event beside Italy’s Lake Como.

Project AM310 concept points to next-generation Aston Martin DBS sports car

29 May 2012

ASTON Martin quietly unveiled what could be a replacement for its DBS flagship sports car at the Villa D’Este Concours classic car event beside Italy’s Lake Como over the weekend.

The Project AM310 concept features evolutionary updates to the familiar Aston Martin shape, with a slimmer-looking grille, more sculpted wheel arches and sleeker side windows further elongated by a chrome trim section.

One of the more striking styling updates is the trademark Aston side vents that flow into a recess running along the doors, a reference to the similar but more exaggerated version on the limited-edition, multi-million dollar One-77 hypercar.

Purposeful-looking flared haunches lead into an integrated split-level boot spoiler, beneath which tail-light clusters, influenced by the One-77, echo the outline of Aston’s winged logo.

The Project AM310’s track-bred intent is illustrated by the deep front splitter, side-skirts and rear diffuser, all of which are finished in naked carbon-fibre weave and contrast sharply with the red bodywork.

Aston Martin has issued no official details on the Project AM310 other than a short statement saying the car “points to an exciting and dynamic future for Aston Martin as we prepare to celebrate our centenary next year in truly luxurious and sporting style”.

Overseas reports suggest a tweaked version of Aston’s venerable 5.9-litre V12 engine lies under the concept’s bonnet and the car sits on an updated version of the brand’s familiar VH (vertical, horizontal) platform.

The Project AM310 has also reportedly undergone a weight-saving regime to improve performance and fuel efficiency.

Concept cars often point to the highest-specification or highest-performance variant of an upcoming product, so while the Project AM310 might signal a DBS successor with its aggressive aerodynamic aids and swathes of naked carbon-fibre, it also provides clues to how replacements for the DB9 and Virage will look.

The production version is expected to be shown at the Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance in California in August, or the Paris motor show in September, ahead of a 2013 showroom arrival to celebrate Aston Martin’s 100th year.

As GoAuto reported earlier this month, Aston Martin CEO Ulrich Bez told British magazine Auto Express the brand would introduce an “entirely new model” to mark its centenary.

“It won’t be a DB9 with a Centenary Edition badge and it won’t be a limited edition like the One-77 supercar,” he said. “This will be a mainstream Aston.”

Even before the Project AM310 was unveiled – but the Project AM310 had been spied testing on the Nurburgring – Dr Bez was defending Aston’s lack of radical new design direction.

“The best cars stand the test of time,” he said. “You need evolution in design, not constant change. Look at the Porsche 911.”

Aston unveiled the race-bred, V12 Vantage-based Zagato coupe at last year’s Villa D’Este and quickly confirmed it for production following success at the Nurburgring 24-hour race.

This year, Milanese designer and coachbuilder Zagato teamed up with Bavarian brand BMW to create the Z4-based Zagato Coupe, which was also shown at Villa D’Este.

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