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Future Aston Martins to become more distinctive
Vantage, Vanquish, DB11 to be easily distinguishable according to Aston design chief
28 Mar 2017
By TUNG NGUYEN
ASTON Martin’s future product roll-out will all carry “beautiful” designs and the British brand’s signature proportions while also featuring greater differentiation amongst its sportscars, according to chief creative officer and design director Marek Reichman.
Speaking to GoAuto at the public unveiling of the Vantage S Red Bull Racing Edition in Melbourne, Mr Reichman said the beauty of an Aston Martin is one of its defining characteristics and that more varied model designs will also be seen.
“You’ll always see beauty, you’ll always read that proportional beauty and that can be applied to whether it’s a mid-engined car… or whether it’s a luxury sedan or luxury SUV, you’ll see a proportion that is beautiful and that’s important to me,” he said.
“You know one of Andy (Palmer, Aston Martin president and CEO)’s statements to me when he joined the company was to bring his mum into a showroom and he wants her to tell him, what a Vantage is, what a DB11 is and what a Vanquish is, so that there is a very distinct character between each of them.
“We do a lot more focus on proxy customers now within the segments, so our cars in the future will be much more distinctive.” Specifically speaking, Mr Reichman talked about the Vantage – a car which often drew styling comparisons with the DB9 grand tourer – but with an imminent redesign, would not suffer the same fate under the recently-released DB11.
“When you see new Vantage, it shares only two components with the DB11 – the door handles, and obviously there are two of them – and obviously the badge, and that’s it,” he said.
“There is nothing on Vantage that you would recognise on DB11, so you’ll see greater flavours of Aston Martin in that respect.
“You will always see a hint of, what I would call, the Aston Martin hill in the grille, or the inflection you would get at the top of the grille.
Left: Aston Martin chief creative officer and design director Marek Reichman “You might not necessarily see grille veins, if you look at Valkyrie there is no grille effect, but you know it’s an Aston Martin via its face and the upper language of the car, you still see the proportions, so imagine that extrapolated into a core mid-engined car and that kind of gives you the flavour of how the mid-engined car will develop as well.” Mr Reichman explained that Aston Martin’s design language adheres to the golden ratio – basically a rule in which the eye is drawn to a point at about one third of the subject matter – with more design flourishes added to make it their own.
“Designers do it inherently, and that’s why Aston Martins have that core of beauty,” he said of the golden ratio.
“All over the car you will see that relationship, but it’s not just about proportional relationship, because we have to have DNA, we have to have a character within that proportion, and the character is the Aston Martin.
“Aston Martin has consequent lines and what does a consequent line mean? It means it does something… it’s emphasising the beauty, the proportion, it’s emphasising how light falls across the surface, but it has a meaning and it lies in context to another line on the surface.
“So whether it’s in Valkyrie, whether it’s in DB11, whether it’s in the SUV, you will see that proportional language and those consequent lines.” However, designing around future technologies – specifically Aston Martin’s first RapidE electric vehicle (EV) – presents its own set of challenges, according to Mr Reichman.
“I think that the advantage is that it’s change, and I think as a designer you always appreciate change,” he said. “Yes, we have to think about cooling but we don’t have to think about cooling in the same way as an IC (internal combustion) unit.
“Balance is different because you don’t have to have a lump at the front, you can spread the load, you can spread the weight, so I think it brings brilliant challenges that allow change and I think every single designer wants change.
“Disadvantages are obviously that it is a mass, and it’s a mass that you have to place somewhere, but it’s a spreadable mass and it makes you think about how the language of something should be.
“I think the positives far outweigh the disadvantages.” Mr Reichman also hinted that future Aston Martin models will feature more technology than ever before and that it “will actually allow us to be more simple and be more relevant to the consumer”.
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