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商业 - 汽车

新手“大杀器”V12 Vantage S或成阿斯顿马丁经典形象绝唱

Abigail Bassett 2014年06月25日

V12 Vantage S可能是最后一款沿袭阿斯顿马丁经典外观的车型了,因为这家英国豪车厂商已经宣布,将投产一条新的跑车生产线。最近,我们对这款令人惊艳的新车进行了试驾。

    福特(Ford)、捷豹(Jaguar)和阿斯顿马丁(Aston Martin)看起来好像是三家不相关的汽车公司,但实际上它们背后站着两个相同的设计师,他们为这三个品牌设计的车身外观已经各自沿袭了20多年。不过我们熟悉的阿斯顿马丁的外观风格可能就要 “变脸”了。随着阿斯顿马丁公司与其它公司建立新的合作关系,同时宣布将投产一条新的跑车生产线,它预计也将迎来一系列变化。作为一款近乎完美的英式肌肉车,2015款的阿斯顿马丁V12 Vantage S跑车在外观上是否将成为20多年来阿斯顿马丁标志性风格的谢幕之作?

    1987年,福特汽车公司购入阿斯顿马丁公司部分股份时,后者正处于濒临崩溃的边缘。当时还是一名初级设计师的严凯伦正在一家咨询公司工作,福特聘请了严凯伦所在的公司来拯救这块摇摇欲坠的招牌。严凯伦为阿斯顿马丁设计的一款车型,也就是后来凭《007》名噪全球的DB7,果然起到了挽狂澜于既倒的效果,让阿斯顿马丁重新站稳了脚跟。时间快进到2001年,阿斯顿马丁的设计总监已经变成了知名设计师、未来派混合动力豪车生产商亨里克•菲斯克(Henrik Fisker)。菲斯科对阿斯顿马丁的最大贡献,是将严凯伦的设计改进为一辆V8发动机的Vantange跑车。在二人的合力下,开发出了今天为我们熟知的标志性的“阿斯顿”风格。

    2015款阿斯顿马丁V12 Vantage S继承了这个品牌的经典外观,同时将性能推向了极致。它也是阿斯顿马丁推出的一台标准的英式肌肉车。这个车型的价格区间定位在20万美元左右,预计将与保时捷Turbo S和梅赛德斯奔驰S63 AMG争雄,不过阿斯顿马丁在这个细分市场向来游刃有余。以18.5万美元的起价来看,V12 Vantage S的定位可以说是很不错的。

    阿斯顿马丁选择旗下体型最小的入门级跑车Vantage作为原型,减掉33磅的重量,然后安装了一部高达565马力的V12引擎,打造出这样一部令人目炫神摇的“神车”。它是阿斯顿马丁最快的量产车型(这一点或许只有旗舰车型One-77能胜过它),而且通体上下每一个角落都赚足了回头率。

    我首先得承认,如果有机会的话我一定要驾驶阿斯顿马丁。严凯伦和菲斯科的设计中有些东西让我觉得特别有吸引力,或许是前格栅周围的唇线和尾部的曲线太迷人的缘故。但是一旦你点着了引擎盖下方那台V12引擎,它的轰鸣声几乎让我膝盖发软。这台V12引擎的轰鸣就像一台专业赛车,但又带着一丝英伦范儿的精致和含蓄。

    我的这部测试车在色彩上却绝不含蓄,它的车漆是一种惊艳夺目的蓝色,阿斯顿马丁公司称其为“Flugplatz Blue”。Flugplatz在德语里是“飞机场”的意思,它也是对阿斯顿马丁的赛车传统以及在有“飞翔之地”的纽伯林赛道进行测试的一种致敬。这个颜色的命名很适当,因为Vantage S跑车足足花了两年时间在赛道和普通道路上进行测试。2013年,一辆接近量产的车型还参加了全球最有挑战性的赛事之一——纽伯林24小时拉力赛。

    Ford, Jaguar and Aston Martin are seemingly unrelated car companies, but they’re unified by a pair of designers whose iconic look has carried through each brand over the last 20 years. That look could soon be coming to an end for Aston Martin. New business deals and a recent announcement of investment in a new sports car line, promise change for the company. Could the 2015 Aston Martin V12 Vantage S, the nearly perfect British muscle car, be one of the last of the iconic Aston shape?

    When Ford F -0.66% purchased a stake in Aston Martin in 1987, it was on the precipice of collapse. At that time designer Ian Callum, a former junior designer at the American automaker, was working for a consulting company Ford had hired to revitalize the struggling brand. His resulting design, the DB7, a car made famous by James Bond, helped Aston get back on its feet. Fast forward to 2001, when designer and future hybrid luxury car manufacturer Henrik Fisker became the design director for Aston Martin. Fisker is credited with turning Callum’s design into the V8 Vantage, and together, they developed the characteristic Aston Martin look as we know it today.

    The 2015 Aston Martin V12 Vantage S takes that classic look and pushes it to an extreme level of performance. It is Aston Martin’s equivalent of a British muscle car. Designed to appeal to sports car buyers with around $200,000 to spend, the V12 Vantage S is positioned amongst the likes of the Porsche Turbo S and the Mercedes-Benz S63 AMG, and it plays well in this group. With a base price starting around $185,000, the V12 Vantage S is well positioned .

    Aston took its smallest, entry-level sports car, the Vantage, lightened it by 33 pounds, and dropped a 565 horsepower V-12 engine into it to create the mind-bendingly gorgeous V12 Vantage S. It is Aston Martin’s fastest series production model yet, with the exception of the One-77, and every bit the head-turner.

    Now, I’ll be the first to admit, I would pedal an Aston Martin if I had to. There is just something about the classic design that Callum and Fisker created that I find incredibly appealing. Maybe it’s the lipstick lines around the front grill and the curve of the hip, but when you add the rumble of a V12 engine under the bonnet (no, it’s not a hood in British parlance), it makes me positively weak in the knees. The V12 Vantage S offers the roar of a track car, with a bit of British refinement and reserve.

    My test car, however, was not exactly reserved in the color department. It was a beautifully blinding blue that Aston calls “Flugplatz Blue.” Flugplatz is German for “airfield” and a nod to Aston Martin’s racing heritage and a section of track on the Nurburgring known as “the flying place.” The color is aptly named, as the Vantage S spent two years in testing, both on track and off, and a near-production model competed in one of the most grueling races in the world in 2013; the 24 Hours of Nurburgring.

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