After a year of intensive activity in 2004, Aston Martin is setting its sights even higher in 2005 with a return to international motor sport and the introduction of the long-awaited Aston Martin V8 Vantage.
The DBR9 is the race car that will see Aston Martin return to GT sportscar racing including the Le Mans 24 Hours which the company last won back in 1959. Based upon its road-going counterpart, the DBR9 will be racing in North America, Europe and the Far East during 2005.
The car will be seen for the first time in the USA at the North American International Auto Show in Detroit from January 9th. This 600bhp lightweight racer has taken a few days out from an intensive testing programme prior to its planned race debut at Sebring, Florida, on March 19th.
Aston Martin’s DB9 road car - which received critical acclaim at its introduction in the summer of 2004 - saw more than 2000 produced at the company’s new purpose-built headquarters at Gaydon in Warwickshire, UK, with a further 400 Vanquish models delivered from Newport Pagnell, Buckinghamshire. Currently around the world there is an 18 month waiting list for DB9 and a six month list for the recently introduced Vanquish S.
Aston Martin is all set to increase the pace of change again in 2005 with the introduction of the DB9 Volante in the spring followed by the all-new Aston Martin V8 Vantage in the summer.
The concept version of the V8 Vantage - the AMV8 - was shown at Detroit in 2003 and heralds a new era for the company. For the first time it takes Aston Martin into a new sportscar sector where it has not previously been represented, whilst together with the DB9 and Vanquish S it will increase annual production figures closer to 5000 cars per annum.
Dr Ulrich Bez, CEO of Aston Martin, said, "The last few years at Aston Martin have been a period of intense activity and 2005 is going to be even busier for us.
"Along with our owners and race fans everywhere, we’re looking forward to seeing Aston Martin return to the race track with the DBR9. However, this will be our debut year and we have much to do as the new team in GT racing.
"The summer sees the culmination of our model introduction programme with the launch of the V8 Vantage. I know a lot of people have been waiting to see the final version of this third model from Aston Martin. The interest it has caused around the world has surprised us and our dealers. But our customers won’t have to wait too much longer to see the final production version!"
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