Last autumn the general public only got a glimpse of a front wing of Aston Martin's forthcoming £1.2m supercar at the Paris Motor Show. Showgoers at the Geneva show this year will see a whole full-size exterior model revealed.
The One-77 represents the most extreme Aston Martin yet, as design director Marek Reichman confirmed: "The One-77 is lower than the DBS, DB9 and V8 Vantage, wider than all of them (at two meters), has the longest wheelbase in the range, and an overall length a little longer than a DB9."
Beyond the proportions, the graphic language is also extremely bold for an Aston, featuring a massive deeper grille, unusual air intakes that appear to cut into the front light clusters and two huge side scoops that stretch half way along each door. Exterior designer Miles Nurnberger explains his inspiration: "I visited the Luigi Colani exhibition at the Design Museum in London and saw this beautiful plane, a white cylindrical thing with an orange pilot sitting in a very technical section inside the main fuselage - it was like a volume within a volume. With this Aston it's like the grille is everything and this powerful thing is coming through the car with the wheelarches clamping it."
This version is still without an interior though. The complete car will be unveiled at the elite Concorso d'Eleganza car gathering at Villa d'Este, Italy, in late April. By then, Aston's designers say the interior will be finished in high quality materials and some of the car's high-tech, low weight carbon fiber chassis will be exposed within the sporty cabin. Slightly revised front and rear exterior lamps using F1 technology will also be fitted to the final version.
New Car: Aston Martin One-77
The DS naming is part of a new brand strategy for Citroën. The idea is that these ‘Distinctive Series' cars could come to be seen as the next step on from over-hyped premium cars, thus more in keeping with today's zeitgeist and thus a 3 model sub-brand range will be offered encompassing DS3, DS4, DS5. The DS Inside is the preview of the forthcoming DS3 model likely to be revealed at Frankfurt Show in September, a Mini Clubman-sized two-door wagon, based on the C3/Peugeot 207 platform.
Two versions have been produced: the ‘alluring' version released in the original press images with dark brown bodywork and a metal-flecked roof and a second ‘dandy elegance' version seen here at the show with deep grey color and contrasting bright pink roof and rearview mirror housings.
Although it's called DS Inside, the interior was the one part of the car that was not available for viewing, Citroën preferring to keep that part of the story for the later production launch. However we can confirm that the DS Inside model was fully production-ready, complete with pressed panels, wipers and glass seals, so there will only be detail changes for the DS3. In addition, viewing the car wasn't easy, as it was presented in a darkened room behind the main booth, with low levels of colored lighting that made photographing the dark grey car very difficult.
Seen from the side, the most notable feature is the way the shoulderline is terminated behind the door and turns up into the kicked-up B-pillar treatment, meant to resemble a shark's fin. At the front, the vertical gills on either side of the big chrome trapezoid grille continue this shark theme of the design. Overall, the new DS Line is a promising development and we look forward to seeing the finished result later this year.
The Spark is the replacement for the Chevrolet Matiz here in Europe, with target competitors such as the Suzuki Swift, Hyundai i20 and Ford Ka in its sights. The production design is an evolution of the Beat concept shown at the 2007 New York Auto Show and was designed in GM's Korean design studio, although speaking to Vice President of Design Tae-Wan Kim, he explained the production design seen here was in fact well under way when the Beat concept was shown.
The most notable aspect of the exterior is the very deep front end to the car, with a pronounced core line that extends from the A-pillar over the tall, wraparound headlamps. This deep front face end features a familiar twin port grille with a herringbone mesh, divided by a newly-redesigned Chevy ‘Bow Tie' emblem. "It's a confident front end: a small car but not afraid of big SUVs" explains Kim.
The design team tried as much as possible to get some volume into the bodysides within tight width dimensions. Moving the rear door handle up to the window area helped to allow more freedom for the door beam and window glass drop, and thus more sculpture in the door. "Plus it gives an impression of a 3D coupe," Kim continued. Having said that, the impression from inside is somewhat claustrophobic, with a very thick C-pillar and the positive impression of a low beltine at the front is reduced by the large black cheater panel areas and door mirror mountings.
The interior is notable for the use of large areas of body color used on the IP, door uppers and door storage bins. According to Kim, this gives more excitement to appeal to younger customers moving up from scooters, and the motorcycle-type meters mounted on the steering column extends this idea.