First thing to realise, and the statement which stood out to me, is that the CC100 Speedster Concept provides a hint at Aston Martin’s future design direction.
That’s right – future – not a hark back to the marque’s glorious past, as would seem to be implied from its nomenclature (Concept Car 100 years).
Look a little closer at Aston’s press release and you’ll find mention that it’s the CC100’s ‘features’ which are likely to arise in future Aston Martin sports cars, which could, for example, include its six-speed hydraulically actuated automated sequential manual transmission.
Measuring almost four and a half metres long and more than two metres wide (including mirrors), the Speedster Concept exemplifies the almost infinitely flexible nature of Aston Martin’s Vertical Horizontal (VH) engineering philosophy and utilises the latest generation AM11 naturally aspirated V12 engine.
Performance is quoted as zero to 62 mph in a little over four seconds, with an electronically limited top speed of 180 mph.
“The need to create a truly fitting tribute to 100 years of the Aston Martin brand has brought out the creativity and talent that makes Aston Martin such an exceptional luxury sports car maker,” said Design Director Marek Reichman.
The body and interior are crafted from carbon fibre, were designed and built in less than six months, together with low volume specialists Multimatic.
“The brief was very simple, yet enormously testing: create something that reflects the 100 years of Aston Martin heritage and signals the future of the brand,” said the brand’s Chief Exterior Designer Miles Nurnberger.
Dr Ulrich Bez, Aston Martin’s CEO, set the brief for CC100, “CC100 is the epitome of everything that is great about Aston Martin. It represents our fantastic sporting heritage, our exceptional design capability, our superb engineering know-how and, above all, our adventurous spirit!”
“I have nicknamed it ‘DBR100’ because of its affinity to the great 1959 race-winning cars and, of course, our 100-year anniversary in 2013.”
Dr Bez went on to say, “..it shows that the soul of Aston Martin – the thing that differentiates us from all the other car makers out there..”
Well it’s certainly unmistakable as anything other than an Aston Martin, but it still looks a lot like a Vantage/DB9 derivative, which is something Aston Martin must address in future designs (i.e. change the record please).
Design is key to a brand, not just in reinforcing its past success but in signalling the promise of its future. While Aston Martin may be pushing forwards through its engineering and technology, customers rely on design to signpost when there’s something ‘new’ to experience.
The new six-speed sequential manual transmission is controlled via steering column-mounted paddle shifts, ensuring the lightweight box delivers truly sporting changes to match the Speedster’s track-focused nature.
The concept was revealed at this weekend’s Nurburgring 24 hour race, where 70-year old Dr Bez was competing in the innovative Hybrid Hydrogen Rapide S.
Dr Bez added: “The future of Aston Martin is, very clearly, more exciting now than perhaps at any time in its history and I’m looking forward to seeing the excitement and anticipation that CC100 creates..”