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New design partnership for Aston Martin

Aston Martin, the British luxury carmaker, revealed it would be investing in a new design and innovation partnership.

The partnership is with the College of Design and Innovation, Tongji University in Shanghai, one of the world’s leading universities for the study of design and innovation.

Aston Martin’s Executive Vice President and Chief Creative Officer, Marek Reichman will become a visiting professor, sharing his knowledge with the students via lectures and workshops.

The first project of this new partnership is a collaboration on designs for future colour and trim projects.

“This is a very exciting opportunity for Aston Martin, collaborating with industry leaders and talented students in China will ensure we are focused on the needs of our Chinese customers. I’m looking forward to working with the professors and students at Tongji University, this partnership further demonstrates the importance of the Chinese luxury car market to the global success of Aston Martin,” said Reichman. 

In addition, Aston Martin also announced today a new partnership with Sinomach Automobiles, which will see the two companies collaborate in the areas of electric vehicles and technical development. 

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AM reportedly preparing for an IPO

Aston Martin is reportedly preparing for a stock market listing or sale in the second half of 2018, said sources familiar with the matter. 

Reuters
 reported earlier in the week that the key owners of Aston Martin,  Investindustrial and Kuwaiti investors, who own 90 per cent of the British marque, have hired investment bank Lazard to work on a preliminary plan and could either opt for an initial public offering (IPO) in the third or fourth quarter of 2018 or a trade sale, two of the sources stated. 

The move could see the marque valued at between 2 and 3 billion pounds, one of the sources said, adding a listing was the most likely option.

Neither Investindustrial, Aston Martin, Lazard, or one of the Kuwaiti investors have commented on the possibility of an IPO or sale and the investors could decide to retain control if they so wanted. 

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Supercar top for price

A limited-edition supercar is for sale in Auckland for $4 million – and it’s believed to be New Zealand’s most expensive car currently being marketed.
A spokesman for the Giltrap Group says the Aston Martin One-77 is the most
expensive at the business while no other vehicle comes close to the price-tag.

The rare black car was new six years ago to the late Neil Graham of Christchurch, who co-founded global logistics business Mainfreight. The vehicle is now at Giltrap’s new showroom in its recently opened $40m 119 GNR premises in Auckland The spokesman says the car is $4m because it’s one of only 77 units made and is likely to continue to appreciate in value.

Marketed at the time as the fastest Aston Martin ever, it has a 7.3-litre V12 engine, does the 0-100kph dash in 3.7 seconds, has a top speed of 354kph and weighs 1630kg.

The 77 cars were made between 2010 and 2012. The vehicle in Auckland has 9,860km on the clock, boasts a petrol motor and was manufactured in 2011. The
cash price includes GST.

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Jaguar I-Pace wins Concept Car of the year award

The North American Concept Car of the Year Awards for 2017 have been held at the Concours d’Elegance of America, and included cars that were total concepts to those in the early stages of production.

The awards were founded in 2002 and recognises concept vehicles that have made the strongest impact on automotive design, engineering and market responsiveness, judged by a team of automotive journalists across North America.

Jaguar, appearing for the fourth time as a finalist, was awarded the 2017 Production Review Concept of the Year for the I-Pace concept car. The electric crossover, aimed to compete with the Tesla Model X, is a first for Jaguar, who designed an all-new platform and drivetrain during development.

A European launch is scheduled for the end of the year, and the I-Pace will reach the US in 2018, with details to come for Australia and New Zealand.

The Concept Car of the Year was awarded to the Aston Martin RB 001 Valkyrie Concept, which was originally codenamed Nebula. Just 150 Valkyrie hypercars will be made when the car goes into production, which is slated to begin next year.

Judges couldn’t reach a consensus for the final category, and there was a tie for Concept Truck of the Year between the Genesis GV80 and the Volkswagen ID Buzz.

The all-wheel drive Volkswagen electric people-mover has a range of over 400km, and the design pays homage to the original Microbus.

From the four winners, the Jaguar I-Pace posted the highest overall score and was named the Most Significant Concept Vehicle of 2017, the second time Jaguar has taken out the top honours at the event.

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Aston Martin victory

Aston Martin Racing drivers Nicki Thiim and Marco Sorensen have won the FIA World Endurance Championship’s season finale in Bahrain.

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