Dear Aston Martin, just don't screw it up this time
With a new CEO, hopefully things will turn around for James Bond's favorite automaker
Every car company has a 'golden age,' a time to which fans and company PR men will point to as the most iconic moment in that brand's history. Ford has the image of three GT40s crossing the line at LeMans, Jaguar has an image of James Dean leaning up against his E-Type, and Aston Martin has an image of Sean Connery at the wheel of his DB5.
I, on the other hand, disagree. I don't think that Aston Martin's greatest achievement is the endorsement of a misogynistic spy with a violence problem.
In the early 2000's Aston Martin was owned by Ford, and in an attempt to 'modernize' the company the VH platform was introduced. It began with the DB9, and it spread all the way to 2017 with the final iteration of the V12 Vantage.
But the cars weren't really much good on paper. The Vanquish had a lazy butler for a transmission, the Vantage had more Ford parts than the new F-150, and the DB9 had an engine that was made from two Ford V6s. Yet, those in the know will tell you that era of Aston Martins resulted in some of the best and most engaging drivers' cars ever produced.
But here's the thing, Aston Martins have never been much good when it comes to the numbers because while every single Aston made in the last 20 years has been bight the back of your hand beautiful, few of them have actually been any good.
But still, Aston Martin customers appreciated that they needn't go from 0-60 three tenths of a second faster at the cost of feel, emotion, and driver involvement.
Or at least they used to.
Starting in 2017, Aston Martin embarked on what it called its 'Second Century Plan,' at the time CEO Andy Palmer promised that the resulting range of cars would bring Aston Martin into the modern age. But that hasn't quite worked out.
The new Vantage looks a bit odd and drives like a Mercedes, the DB11 is gorgeous but has no real place in my heart, and while the DBS has 715 horsepower, it just doesn't do it for me. Because if Aston's new sales pitch is performance, I'd just go out and buy a Ferrari or a McLaren instead.
However, Aston Martin now has a new CEO, and maybe, just maybe he may be the one who restores Aston Martin to its former glory.
Ex-AMG chief Tobias Moers is no stranger to car enthusiasts and has recently taken the reins from Andy Palmer in an attempt to right the sinking ship that is Aston Martin.
Moores is known for his brash attitude and a disdain for political correctness. But above all, he's a car enthusiast.
Rumor has it that he was so furious when the rest of the AMG's board voted to make the C63 a four-cylinder that he walked out of the room and left the company.
But now that he is at Aston Martin, I have good hopes for what is yet to come out of the iconic British automaker. I know that many of my cries won't be answered as in an age of turbochargers and dual-clutch transmissions, some things just can't be regained.
But I do hope that Tobias will have the sense to deliver to customers and loyal fans what they want, an uncompromised approach to building some of the most aesthetically and dynamically pleasing cars on the road.