Dragon Editions Will Be Available In DBS, Virage, V8 Vantage S Models
Following the lead of Rolls-Royce — whose “Year of the Dragon” special edition Phantom, created specifically for the China market, recently sold out despite a hefty US$1.2 million price tag — another British automaker, Aston Martin, has announced that it will debut its own China-focused “Dragon88” line at the upcoming Beijing Auto Show. Now operating six dealerships in mainland China, Aston Martin recently projected that China will become its third-largest market, trailing only the U.S. and U.K., within only a few short years.
Looking to tap growing demand for ultra-luxury autos even as other auto segments show signs of a slowdown in China, Aston Martin recently opened its largest showroom in China in Shanghai and has expressed interest in speeding up inland expansion in 2012 in order to keep up with competitors like Bentley and Rolls-Royce. Last year, Aston Martin sold 190 vehicles in China, double its sales in 2010, and has new showrooms slated for Chongqing, Shenyang and Ordos.
According to Aston Martin, the new “Dragon88” special edition will be available in V8 Vantage S, Virage and DBS models. Heavy, like many other China-only special editions, on Chinese cultural references and iconography, only 88 Dragon88 models — the number eight is considered auspicious in China — will be available. Paint schemes come in three versions, champagne gold, volcano red or amethyst red, meant to represent, respectively, wealth and fortune, peace and protection, and “dragon fire.” Interior embroidery includes a dragon inspired by the Nine Dragon Wall at Beihai Park in Beijing. Other features in the Dragon88 line include a Bang and Olufsen speaker system, new 10-spoke dragon edition alloy wheels and special black brake calipers.
Pricing and availability will be announced in April at the Beijing Auto Show.