Aston Martin at the Paris motor show 2008

Published: 03 October 2008

The buzz around Aston Martin continues. The now independent brand is teasing motor show visitors with a styling buck of the One-77 (the ultra-exclusive £1.2 million supercar that’ll be limited to a run of, yep, 77 when it arrives in 2009) that reveals just its front right and rear left aspects, plus there’s an automatic DBS on display and talk of exciting future Aston Martin projects.

Tell me about the DBS

James Bond’s favourite Aston now comes with Touchtronic – a six-speed ZF automatic gearbox that’s borrowed from the DB9 but substantially beefed up. There’s also the option of lightweight alloys that cut unsprung masses by 8kg, rear seats should you need them, while a Bang & Olufsen stereo system is now standard.

What else was new on the Aston stand

There weren’t any other new products, but CEO Ulrich Bez’s speech was filled with promise and intrigue. First he confirmed that the V12 Vantage RS would be on sale by summer 2009, then talk turned to Lagonda – the luxury marque that Aston is reviving. Bez confirmed that the Rapide would definitely be an Aston Martin, but that we’d see a Lagonda concept at Geneva 2009 and refused to rule out an SUV.

CAR’s verdict: Aston Martin at the Paris motor show

The appetite for decision-making and fast-acting continues at Aston. But could the Lagonda badge prove confusing? A four-door Aston could, after all, comfortably carry the badge – yet won’t – whereas an SUV shouldn’t, but might!

CAR’s Aston Martin show score: 4/5

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Paris motor show 2008

By Ben Barry

Contributing editor, sideways merchant, tyre disintegrator