"If you can't beat 'em, join 'em. Or make them join you."
And so the story goes: Mercedes-AMG is gunning for Porsche, not necessarily in terms of sales since sports car output (meaning sales numbers not including the Macan or Cayenne SUVs) at the Silver Star’s tuning division is near equal to that of Porsche, but in terms of performance. Meanwhile Aston Martin is shooting for the moon in order to land somewhere among the stars. It’s particularly interested in falling somewhere within the Prancing Horse constellation, not in the interest of toppling an age-old incumbent, but simply to have a well-rounded lineup.
To do that, Aston Martin is willing to do anything. Being willing is half the battle, but whether or not it’s able to pull it off is another matter. During an interview with Aston Martin CEO Andy Palmer, discovered just how far the British automaker has gone in order to do battle with Ferrari. If you can’t beat ‘em, join ‘em. Or make them join you. That seems to be the logic behind Aston Martin’s decision to hire three of Ferrari’s “key guys” and put them to work building an Aston-badged supercar. Maranello flair with British class and maybe even German brawn; we can think of worse concoctions to throw together into a single four-wheeled chassis.
So what exactly is Aston Martin’s plan of action? "Well, to start with, you recruit from Ferrari the head of body structures, and the head of powertrains," said Palmer. "I've now got three of Ferrari's key guys. And really, it's a big compliment to Ferrari. That's the defining car in its segment, and it's really, really good. And those three guys now work for me. And you combine those guys with Nick [Lines, chief planning officer, Aston Martin] and Marek [Reichman, chief creative officer, Aston Martin] who you know really well, and you create some great recipes. And now I've got a better understanding of what that car looks like.” By that, Palmer means that there’s already a clay model of the car.
No telling when Aston Martin’s Ferrari 488 GTB fighter will be in dealerships, but we do know it’ll sit alongside the new DB11, , and be headed by the range-topping Valkyrie to make it so that the UK's favorite purveyor of luxury grand tourers moves into the future with one of the most comprehensive model lineups in the industry.